Southwest Suburban Federation of Teachers

Southwest Suburban Federation of Teachers

AFT Local 943


Below are links to important notices and useful teaching websites

Following is information we received about Professional Development Programs from both the Learning Policy Institute and Chicago Botanic Garden.  The Botanic Garden is also offering scholarships for field trips for September through December 2017.

Information about both programs is listed below.




Tweets for Investing in Professional Learning Webinar August 28, 2017


Professional learning & growth key part of developing high-quality #teachers & #principals under #ESSA                                                                                                                        

Professional learning is critical to student success. ESSA can support it. @AFTunion @NAESP @NASSP @AASAHQ @NEAToday


Webinar Monday: Research shows investing in quality professional development makes a difference. #investineducators


Webinar 8/28: How #ESSA can help school & district leaders provide quality professional learning #investineducators



Field Trip Scholarships for September through December 2017


At the Chicago Botanic Garden, we believe that field trips make a big difference in a student’s attitude and success in school. We strive to offer programs that help teachers address academic standards in a fun and creative way, and help students make connections between school learning and the natural world.


Therefore, we are offering free or reduced cost field trips, including subsidies for buses, to schools that serve low-income populations. These need-based scholarships provide an opportunity for a quality learning experience at the Garden.

We are now taking applications for our scholarship field trips now!  These scholarships will be awarded to eligible schools on a first come, first served basis as long as funding and space are available. Scholarship Field Trips occur in September, though we will work to best schedule your scholarship group with the other schools coming to the Garden.

Follow this link to apply online:

Please contact Field Trip Coordinator, Drew Wehrle, , for more information.


Upcoming Teacher Professional Development


Classroom Cooking: Pumpkin and Squash

Grade level: preK – 12
$85/$68 | ITW Kitchen 3, Learning Center
Saturday, September 9, 2017 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Integrate cooking, science, and NGSS using pumpkin, squash, melon, and other fall produce. Through easy recipes and investigations you can do in the classroom, you will examine the structure, function, and adaptations of these fruits and the processes by which cooking changes foods and flavors.
CPDUs: 6, Gateways: 6


Illinois Department of Natural Resources


ENTICE: Using Resources Trunks to Teach Next Generation Science Standards

Grade level: K – 3

$10 | Classroom 9, Learning Center

Saturday, September 30, 2017, 9a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) offers resources trunks for loan to educators statewide. These teaching tools are loaded with hands-on, supplemental, Illinois-specific items that can make your lessons come alive for students! Join us at this workshop to learn how the Illinois Insects and Spiders and Illinois Birds trunks can be used to help you meet Next Generation Science Standards for grades kindergarten through three. We’ll examine the trunk contents and take part in activities both indoors and outside. We’ll also be using the Illinois Trees and Illinois Wild Mammals trunks to show you how you can make connections between all four of these trunks with teaching topics. You’ll receive many resources, too! Professional Development Hours are available. Register at


Early Childhood Leaves, Bark, and Seeds

Grade level: preK – 2
$85/$68 | Classroom 9, Learning Center
Saturday, October 14, 2017 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Use nature play and simple science activities to examine leaves, bark, and seeds with young children. Take advantage of the changing season to investigate why leaves change color, how seeds move, what tree bark is for, and more.
CPDUs: 6, Gateways: 6


A limited number of scholarships are available for 50% off the cost of most workshops with a statement of need. For more information or to request a scholarship, please contact Rebecca Ammann, Manager of Teacher and Student Programs at rammann@chicagobotanic.orgPlease include your school name in your request. Visit the Chicago Botanic Garden website for a full list of workshop offerings.

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