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
Jahana Hayes Delivers Inspiring Message at CEA's New Teacher Conference
2016 National Teacher of the Year and Congressional Candidate Jahana Hayes gives the keynote address at CEA's New Teacher Conference.
October 22, 2018
"You chose this profession because you wanted to make a difference, and that means standing on the front lines for democracy," CEA President Jeff Leake told nearly 200 educators gathered for CEA's 18th annual New Teacher Conference on Saturday. "It means protecting education for the common good; keeping schools safe for our students; fighting discrimination; and resisting political interference into our classrooms while acknowledging that politics affects our work, our livelihood, our communities, and our planet. Because we are on the front lines for democracy, we will always rise to our duty to educate for democracy, stimulate critical thinking, and shape global citizens."
Pointing to a "CEA Stronger Together" button he wears every day, Leake added, "This reminds us that our collective voice is so much more powerful than just one voice and that the best way to improve the fate of our students, our profession, and our communities is through the collective action of democratic, independent unions."
Teachers' voice: helping students
Keynote speaker Jahana Hayes, the 2016 National Teacher of the Year who is now running for Connecticut's Fifth Congressional District seat, expanded on the idea of teachers' voice and how she has developed her own.
Jahana Hayes and her former student, Iris Marte, now a teacher, reconnect at CEA's 2018 New Teacher Conference, where Hayes delivered the keynote address.
In recent years, Hayes shared, she has at times been the only teacher in rooms with powerful decision-makers setting public policy that runs counter to what teachers know will serve the best interests of their students.
"Much of my journey has been about finding my voice," she said. "No matter where you are in your profession, this may be something that you, too, are struggling with. I started to practice using my teacher voice with my students, because while I was afraid to speak up for myself, I had no problem fighting for my students. I had no problem advocating for them against anyone. My teacher voice was in me; I just didn't know how to elevate it."
Hayes recalled her own struggles as a student—growing up in poverty, born to a young mother battling addiction, and becoming a mother herself at 17. She credited her teachers with lifting her up.
Pre-service teachers Kristen Iadarola and Zachary Troiano, members of the CEA Student Program, were among the many conference attendees who came to network, learn, and support each other.
"It wasn't just what was happening in the classroom but the investment that teachers made in me outside the classroom, doing all of those things that we are told are 'not our job.'" She described how in the space of eight years—as she finished her degree and her own daughter became a teacher—she went from no one in her family having a college education to being a second-generation college-educated family. "Using our voice to advocate, to stand in intercession for people who don't have a voice—that is what teachers are; that is what teachers do."
Brimming with emotion at the keynote address was Hayes' former student Iris Marte, now a world language teacher at Brown Middle School in Madison.
"I am so inspired by her," Marte said, holding back tears.
Teachers helping teachers
This year's conference, held at the Heritage Hotel in Southbury, helped educators at all stages of their careers learn to better engage their students, manage behavior, help struggling writers, build a culturally responsive classroom, advocate for themselves as professionals, and more. Geared toward teachers with less than seven years of classroom experience—but open to all CEA members—the conference featured two rounds of workshops, many of them presented by teachers, and covering a wide variety of topics.
Early-career educators like Jeremy Timperanza (third from left) benefited from the advice and mentorship of experienced practitioners, including CEA's Teacher Development Specialist Kate Field and New Fairfield Education Association Vice President Brian Cragin (far right).
"I may be new to the profession," said first-year teacher Jeremy Timperanza, "but as a social studies teacher, I know the importance of unions. I know that as teachers, we can use our profession to effectively advocate for the sake of education in this country, in today's political climate."
Brian Cragin, a 38-year veteran special education teacher, said, "Regardless of how long you've been teaching, the education landscape is a constantly changing horizon. One needs to be informed, and we turn to our unions for that information."
Cragin and Timperanza both participated in a session titled Teachers and the Law, which updates teachers on ever-changing legal issues relevant to their practice, as well as a Teacher Evaluation session, where experienced educators provide support and insights for newer colleagues facing their first professional assessments.
Plainville teachers Jill Limberger and Allison Pascucci, with a combined 52 years in the classroom, said there is always something new to learn. Pascucci, attending a CEA conference for the very first time in her 21-year career, said, "It's great being around like-minded people, celebrating our profession together with a strong union and everyone working toward a common purpose."
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.
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.