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
Change Is on the Horizon This Back-to-School Season
Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzell welcomed superintendents to a new school year at the State Department of Education's annual back-to-school meeting.
August 16, 2018
While the last weeks of summer vacation bring much of the same back-to-school prep across Connecticut as they do every year, superintendents and other education leaders attending the Commissioner of Education's annual back to school conference yesterday looked ahead to some changes that could have a big impact on Connecticut classrooms.
The laws and policies that govern much of what happens in schools are set by politicians, and, with elections taking place this November, the winners elected to these crucial positions will have the ability to shape our schools for years to come.
"The State Board of Education may see substantial changes in the coming school year," said board chair Allan Taylor. The terms of six of the 11 members of the State Board of Education will be up this February, and whichever candidate is elected governor this November will have the power to appoint members of his choosing. In Connecticut, the Commissioner of Education is also a position appointed by the state's governor.
Every seat in the state legislature is up for election this year, and one key player, State Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, the co-chair of the legislature's Education Committee, is already out of the running. Fleischmann, a 23-year incumbent, lost Tuesday's Democratic primary to political newcomer Jillian Gilchrest.
"We'll have two new chairs of the Education Committee," said Robert Radar, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. "We'll have a new governor, things are going to be pretty different." Former Senate Democratic Education Committee Co-Chair Gayle Slossberg decided last spring that she would not seek reelection.
An Emotion Revolution
One change that's already coming to Connecticut classrooms is a new focus on social and emotional learning.
Dr. Marc Brackett, director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, says he wants to make Connecticut the first emotionally intelligent state. (Click image for larger version)
"It's time for an emotion revolution," Dr. Marc Brackett, director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, told superintendents. "If you address how students feel, it makes a big difference."
Research has shown that school-based social and emotional learning programs not only improve students' proficiency in managing their emotions and behavior, but also substantially improve academic outcomes.
"All of us in education need to have these skills so that we can best support our students," said Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzell.
"The life of a student is replete with hundreds of emotions a day. How much direct instruction are we giving kids on managing their emotions?" Brackett asked.
He said that when he and other researchers conduct interviews and surveys with children, they find that students are not doing well, emotionally. "The top three emotions that our nation's youth tell us they're experiencing are tired, bored, and stressed."
Some may dismiss social and emotional learning as "soft skills," but Brackett argues there is no such thing. "Emotional skills are harder to manage than cognitive skills," he said.
The RULER approach, developed by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, takes a systemic approach to addressing social and emotional learning in schools. "A piecemeal approach doesn't work," Brackett added. "It's so important to start with the adults."
For teachers, Brackett says, the primary emotion they feel at school is frustration. Yet teachers who work with principals with higher levels of emotional intelligence are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and less likely to experience burnout.
"If you want less teacher burnout, think about hiring emotionally intelligent principals," he said.
Brackett encouraged superintendents to work with him and the Yale Center to make Connecticut the first emotionally intelligent state. "Together we can build a healthier and more equitable, innovative, and compassionate Connecticut, so all children can thrive and achieve their dreams."
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.