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
For English Learner Turned Ivy-Leaguer, Public School Teachers Made the Difference
Sharing her story as an immigrant and English learner, Georbina DaRosa answers questions from fifth-grade
girls at Waterbury's Walsh Elementary.
April 23, 2018
About to embark on a promotion of her own—starting on her master's degree at an Ivy League
school—Georbina DaRosa had also once been a fifth-grader at Walsh, back in 2006. Like many of the girls
she would now be speaking to, she had struggled as a child and faced incredible odds. With help from her
teachers, she beat the odds and dispelled many myths—about immigrants, about ethnic minorities and
females, and about public schools—every step of the way.
One of us
DaRosa was eight when her family immigrated to the U.S. from Cape Verde, a group of islands off the west coast
of Africa, where the primary language is Portuguese-based Cape Verdean Creole. On her first day of school,
DaRosa—a third-grader at Walsh—spoke no English.
"When Georbina first got here, she struggled with the sounds of the language," said veteran EL teacher Linda
Strange, who worked with DaRosa 11 years ago and continues teaching Walsh students today. Strange told current
Walsh students, "Georbina knows just what it feels like to be a fifth-grade girl at Walsh because she was one.
She used to live on Rose Street."
DeRosa stays in touch with her teachers, who made a profound difference in her life. Here she catches up
with longtime CEA members, EL teacher Linda Strange and PE teacher Ken Yaffe.
(click image for larger version)
DaRosa eventually earned a scholarship and a degree in psychology and human development from Connecticut College
in 2017, the first generation in her family to attend college. She was then accepted to Columbia University,
where she is pursuing a master's degree in social work.
"Georbina shows how strong Connecticut's public schools can be, and how students in inner-city public
schools—with the right support and resources—can truly succeed," says Strange. "Her story is a
compelling success story for Connecticut public schools. It's a story of teachers who go beyond to give their
students a better chance."
DaRosa has now returned twice to Walsh school to talk to fifth-grade girls.
"Mrs. Strange was my teacher and my mentor," DaRosa told the students. Strange took DaRosa to events that were
difficult for her parents to get to and eventually took her on college tours and attended her naturalization
ceremony (in high school) as well as her college graduation.
Teachers make it happen
DaRosa's family later moved to Bridgeport, where she finished high school, graduating second in her class of
"When we moved to Bridgeport," she recalls, "there was no funding for the schools. We had our biology class in
the math classroom. There was no lab. Many of my peers were not college bound, and with girls, there was a lot
of drama and fighting. But teachers made the difference. They were so supportive. Like my mother, they helped me
understand that education is important and something no one can take away from you. It builds your self-esteem."
She adds, "It's important for girls to know they can do great things. A lot of kids at Bridgeport's Harding High
School thought, â€˜This is it for me. This will be my whole life.' They didn't always know there's a whole world
outside for them. But our teachers were willing and able to support us. My biology teacher, Mrs. Benard, was one
of my hardest teachers. She made sure she put me to work—as did my chemistry teacher, Mr. Vincent.
Regardless of our circumstances, or theirs, our teachers believed in us and cared about us."
"Certainly, Georbina's story is a story of her own individual success," says Strange, "but it is also the story
of the support she received along the way, both in schools here in Waterbury and in Bridgeport. We think her
story is an inspiration for our students."
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.
Once again, the Connecticut Education Foundation's Board of Directors invites you to support the Children's Fund by joining Association members and CEA staff at the 25th Annual Hands Across the Green Golf Tournament on Monday, July 15.
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.
CEA supports sensible ways of assisting the state in its efforts to make up for decades of underfunding teachers' retirement, including the governor and treasurer's plan to smooth out the state's payments to the fund over a longer period of time and lower the investment earning assumption to a more realistic rate.
"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.