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
Teachers Share With Legislators Heartfelt Stories of Being Assaulted
CEA UniServ Reps Sue Fulleton and Mike Casey, Norwich teacher Heidi Kapszukiewicz, and Manchester school
social worker Charity Korb were some of the CEA members and staff who testified on student assault at a
legislative hearing last night.
March 15, 2018
Although it was after ten o'clock last night by the time the legislature's Education Committee heard public
testimony on a bill to help ensure classroom safety and address student assaults, CEA members and staff made
sure they were present to testify so that legislators could hear their stories.
"I am here today to tell you that there is a crisis in many schools across Connecticut related to student and
teacher safety. And although it might seem incredulous, the majority of the most serious safety issues are
occurring in elementary classrooms, including in pre-kindergarten," CEA Program Development Specialist Robyn
Kaplan-Cho told legislators.
With increasing frequency, teachers are reporting being assaulted by students in their classrooms. From being
kicked, bitten, and knocked down to having chairs and books thrown at them, teachers are dealing with a sharp
rise in aggressive student behavior that impacts not only educators, but also students.
"Students are disrupting classrooms and putting themselves, other students, and teachers at risk at an alarming
rate," said CEA President Sheila Cohen. "Oftentimes, the disruptive students are taken out of the classroom for
a short period of time and then returned right back into the same classroom, where the aggressive behavior
"I came to Manchester a very healthy and active 33-year-old woman," said social worker Charity Korb. During her
years as a school social worker she's sustained multiple injuries from which she's never been able to heal as
she's been repeatedly injured by students again and again.
"There's such a large number of students who need significant behavior supports that I can't ever bring anything
to fruition," said Korb, who is the only social worker for the 300 students at her elementary school. She says
she daily misses regularly scheduled appointments with students who have an IEP or 504 plan because other
students are acting out and disrupting their class.
"I've been injured multiple times by different students over the last few years," said Heidi Kapszukiewicz.
Kapszukiewicz retired from a career teaching art in Norwich just weeks ago, but not because she wanted to. "My
career was suddenly stopped short because of my host of injuries. I loved what I did. When I got punched in my
right shoulder and they tore my rotator cuff I was so upset they robbed my career from me.
"I'm here to speak for my colleagues and other teachers because I know they love what they do, they're very
passionate, they would do anything for these kids," Kapszukiewicz told legislators. "No student, no teacher
should go to school afraid of what might happen to them that day."
Watch Heidi describe how student assault ended her career
Teachers urged legislators to pass Senate Bill 453, An Act Concerning Classroom Safety and Disruptive Behavior,
to address this troubling trend and enact policies and procedures to appropriately handle student disciplinary
"Our teachers and students need your help and this bill provides a starting point," urged Kaplan-Cho. Measures
in the bill include
requiring reporting of incidents of violations of daily classroom safety
enhancing response and establishing appropriate procedures regarding violent behavior
requiring administrators to follow up to address violent behavior on an ongoing basis
allowing teachers to remove students from the classroom who have assaulted someone or are a threat to the
safety of others
ensuring violent students receive appropriate supports before returning to the classroom
CEA's Robyn Kaplan-Cho told legislators that there is a crisis in many schools across Connecticut related to
student and teacher safety
"One of CEA's proposals would allow a teacher to remove a student from the classroom who has assaulted someone
in the classroom, repeatedly bullied other students, or is a threat to the safety of others, and place the
student in an appropriate setting that does not threaten other students," said CEA Executive Director Donald
Williams. "It requires that the student receive appropriate supports before returning to the classroom."
"If a classroom has to be cleared several times per week because a student is having a meltdown and throwing
chairs and pulling down bulletin boards, none of those students, including the disruptive one, is learning,"
Kaplan-Cho said. "Just last week a teacher told me that from the time the tantrum began and she had to quickly
remove the rest of the class to another safe place until the class was able to return to her room, three hours
"Teachers should not have to be fearful of students in their own classrooms. When violent incidents happen,
teachers must feel protected and supported by administration. We must put an end to the increase in student
violence, address behavioral issues, and hold administrators accountable for taking action," concluded Cohen.
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.
Woodland Regional High School’s 600-plus students rose to their feet and cheered as beloved teacher Meghan Hatch-Geary was honored in a surprise ceremony announcing Connecticut’s 2020 Teacher of the Year (TOY). The announcement came this morning at the Beacon Falls school where she and her husband, building rep Paul Geary, teach English.
“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.
The #RedForEd movement is only getting stronger—from Chicago, to Fairplay, CO to Little Rock, to Mendota, IL. Educators and their allies are coming together in communities across the country to create better schools for our children.
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.
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.