CEA advocates for teachers and public education. We've been a driving force in lobbying legislators
for the resources public schools need and campaigning for high standards for teachers and students.
Our proud history spans more than 150 years.
Whether it's your first time in the classroom or your sixth year, we are here with
all the resources early-career professionals need. We've got classroom management
and professional development ideas. We've got more ways to stretch your hard-earned
dollars. And we've got your back.
The Teacher Education and Mentoring Program (TEAM) is a two year induction program for
beginning teachers that includes mentorship and professional development. Beginning
teachers participating in the program are assigned a trained mentor to guide them
through developing individualized growth plans, uniquely based on their own needs as
Henry Barnard Fund
76 Chatham Road
Kensington, CT 06037
Member Spotlight: Bob Brown
JANUARY 10, 2020
Bob Brown has been an advocate for children, teachers, public education, peace, and justice for his entire adult life. Why? In his words, “I grew up in a very difficult family--my father was an abusive alcoholic. That has shaped many of my passions. I care deeply about children, ALL children, and want to help find ways to make their lives better, especially those growing up in poverty. My childhood shaped me into both an extremely sensitive adult, someone who passionately wants to take pain away from people so they do not experience the pain I experienced growing up, and a tough person who can withstand any difficulty. It made me value public education--that saved me and gave me a career and passion I will never leave. My core belief is that we need to find ways to put the absolutely best, most effective teachers in front of our students, and the best way to do this is to provide them with the best working conditions possible. That is where the union comes in--it enables us to attract the best and brightest by advocating for the best working conditions.I treasure my teaching career so much--my students are the loves of my life (besides my family) and it is beyond rewarding to come across former students now succeeding as adults (and those who became history teachers because of my influence, well, they leave me speechless!).”
Bob was born in Detroit but grew up in Bristol. He taught social studies in the Southington Public Schools for 41 years, the last 30 years at Southington High School. He taught World History and three other courses that he created: Modern Russia, American Culture, and the Middle East. He received his BA from Colby College, earned a Master’s degree, and then completed a 7th year. He was inspired by his mother, a special education teacher who Bob describes as “the kindest person I ever met.”
Bob started his extensive involvement in our union very early in his teaching career. He was a negotiator and Southington Education Association (SEA) vice-president during the last teacher strike in Connecticut in 1979. After the strike, he was elected SEA President and worked very hard to restore a positive relationship between teachers, the union, the administration, and town officials. He was awarded a CEA Human Rights Award for his work. Bob continued to serve the SEA as a negotiator and president for many years.
Bob’s involvement in our union at the state level is extensive. He served as a vice-chair on the CEA Board of Directors for several years. He continues to serve as chair of the CEA Political Action Committee (CEA-PAC). Bob was the driving force to create a CEA task force to study the impact of poverty on students and to look for ways to diminish poverty. He recently organized an all-day conference at CEA on this issue. Attendees heard from Loren Fountaine, a NYSUT field rep, about “Poverty, Education, and Unionism.” Bob’s goal is to work with many stakeholders to actually end poverty. “I have a plan- a place to live, a job, and an education,” he says. He wants to create a clearinghouse of ideas and programs that work to end poverty. Bob belongs to a national group, Local Progress( a group of locally elected progressive office holders working to further a progressive agenda) and has attended conferences and presented his poverty plan to them.
Bob has attended the CEA Representative Assembly and NEA Representative Assembly for many years. He has worked to raise tens of thousands of dollars for the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education. He has personally donated thousands of dollars to this fund which helps elect pro-education candidates throughout the country.
Bob loved teaching, and his students loved him. When he retired, he threw a party for his former students and almost 600 people showed up. He keeps in touch with many former students through social media.
Bob still wanted to be involved with improving public education after retirement. He ran for the Southington Board of Education the year that he retired, and he has been re-elected twice. He puts in much time and effort in this role- still advocating for students, teachers, and public education.
Bob created a Wall of Honor for Southington High School alumni who have made a difference in a variety of endeavors. He wants the high school students and the citizens of Southington to know about the successes of Southington graduates. Each year family, friends, and townspeople are invited to an inspiring ceremony to celebrate new inductees to the Wall of Honor. Over 50 alumni have been inducted so far.
Family is very important to Bob. He met his wife Gloria at a CEA event when they were both young local presidents. They have been married for 38 years and have two children. Their daughter Jessica is a special education teacher in the Bronx, a challenging but rewarding experience. Their son Michael is an attorney who helps mostly poor minority people with their appeals. Jessica has three young children, and Michael has two children. Bob enjoys his role as “Papa” and loves spending time with his grandchildren. As he says, “My family is the most important thing in the whole world to me, and the source of endless pride!”
As busy as he is, Bob still finds time for his personal interests: playing the piano (mostly classical music), Yankees baseball, UCONN basketball, yoga and meditation, and Broadway plays. He made a huge lifestyle change by becoming a vegan 8 years ago.
Thank you, Bob Brown, for all you have accomplished!
Dalio Philanthropies donates $40,000. Hundreds of schoolchildren across the state facing extraordinary hardships will receive a helping hand—as will minority students planning on entering the teaching profession—thanks in large part to a generous donation from the Dalio Philanthropies.
“From Stamford to Manchester and towns in between, teachers have been reporting illnesses related to environmental problems within their schools,” says CEA President Jeff Leake. “There’s black mold, rodent droppings, extreme heat and cold temperatures, dust, asbestos, and other issues that are putting our students and teachers at risk every day.”
Educators from every corner of the state came together at CEA’s first-ever teacher tailgate party this weekend at UConn football’s homecoming game. More than 100 teachers, friends, and family members enjoyed breakfast, music, a fan photo booth, and games of KanJam, cornhole, and ladder golf.
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The National Education Association (NEA) and Connecticut Education Association (CEA) today applauded Rep. Jahana Hayes, longtime NEA and CEA member as well 2016 National Teacher of the Year, on her introduction of the Pell Grant Restoration Act, H.R. 4298.
There are those, including current U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who argue that spending more on public education doesn't lead to better outcomes. School finance expert and Rutgers Professor Bruce Baker begs to differ, and he has research to back his position up.
Teachers are a selfless group who choose their profession because of a love for children and teaching, not for any expectation of accolades or honors. And that makes those times teachers are recognized and have a chance to be in the spotlight all the more special.
Teachers have a lot to say on issues from their pensions to classroom safety this legislative session, which is why local associations around Connecticut are meeting with their legislators and making their voices heard.
Speaking to hundreds of students at Harding High School in Bridgeport today, Governor Ned Lamont encouraged his audience to pursue a career in teaching and be role models for the next generation of students.
Wearing #RedForEd T-shirts, several hundred Waterbury teachers showed their strength as a union, their dedication to their profession, and their value to the community they serve when they packed a March 7 Waterbury Board of Education meeting.
Community schools, minority teacher recruitment and retention, the opportunity gap, and school literacy were just some of the issues members of the legislature's Education Committee heard public input.
"Our students would only benefit from having more opportunities to learn about the culture, struggles, and contributions of African-Americans and Latinos throughout history," Waterbury teacher Sean Mosley told the legislature's Education Committee
"Teachers become teachers because we want to help kids," says Danbury building rep Lori Woodruff. "It's the same with our union—we are here to help each other. As teachers, when we're involved with the union we can do more to help one another."
Connecticut Education Foundation's (CEF) second annual Read Across America Reading Bus Tour kicked off on February 25, featuring a customized blue bus decorated with well-known Dr. Seuss characters and outfitted with bookshelves, benches, carpeting, and hundreds of new books.
At a public hearing of the legislature's Education Committee today, classroom teachers—along with CEA leaders and staff—gave powerful testimony urging lawmakers to address the crisis of violent student behavior in rural, urban, and suburban schools throughout the state.
Teachers, CEA leaders, and staff testified before the Connecticut General Assembly's Black and Puerto Rican Caucus on issues critical to teachers this legislative session. These issues included school climate, classroom safety, the persistent shortage of ethnic minority educators, and funding for public schools.
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"We reject the idea of cutting our way to prosperity. That has never worked," said Connecticut AFL-CIO President Sal Luciano. His remarks came at a press conference yesterday where members of the labor community, including CEA, called on the state to adopt a pro-growth, investment budget.
Project Oceanology and New England Science and Sailing are partnering to offer "Sound Education: Working with NGSS and STEM in Long Island Sound". This is a FREE two-day PD event from April 5 - April 6 for teachers in grades 4-12, with overnight accommodations provided in Project Oceanology's waterfront hostel.
Legislation passed late in 2015 made many "tax extenders" semi-permanent, but there are still a few esoteric items that keep everyone on tenterhooks when, as once again this year, Congress fails to pass the tax bill by the end of the year.
Marks the inauguration of a new governor and the beginning of the 2019 session of the Connecticut General Assembly. It's likely to be a busy session with many issues for legislators to tackle over these next five months.