CEA Professional Learning Academy: Our District Resource for Professional Development

CEA Professional Learning Academy

CEA Professional Learning Academy offers a wealth of professional development opportunities for teachers, aligned with Connecticut's professional learning standards.


  • Developed by educators with teaching and administration experience, and other experts in law and special education
  • Delivered on-site—no costly conference attendance
  • Designed to provide practical tools and build immediately useful skills
  • Customizable to your local needs, groups, environment, and circumstances
  • Continually updated to include new strategies and to address evolving needs

For more information or to schedule a professional development workshop, contact CEA's Professional Learning Academy at 860-525-5641 or at myprofession@cea.org.

CEA is a Connecticut State Department of Education designated professional development provider.

Available Workshops


  • Adult Learning Theory

    3 hours

    This session is for local trainers or presenters who want to become familiar with the principles of adult learning, gain an understanding of different learning modalities, revitalize their training, become more aware of their presentation style, and discover and address generational differences in their training design. This highly energized, interactive session will help presenters and trainers add to their toolkits and become refreshed and ready to provide professional learning to their peers.

  • Difficult Conversations

    1.5 hours

    When a professional or personal relationship goes into a rut or when you're having trouble achieving results with your team or organization, it's time to have a difficult discussion. In this interactive session, participants will learn the principles of a difficult discussion, how to recognize the need to have one, and how to conduct one while keeping the personal or professional relationship—as well as your emotions and dignity—intact.

  • Getting from HERE to THERE: Collaborative Visioning Toward a Common Goal

    1.5 hours

    This introductory workshop is designed for any school, district, department, or team of educators who would benefit from identifying, setting, and planning collaborative goals. Participants will be prepared to move forward on the path to success and consider the assets and possible roadblocks they might encounter along the way.

  • Increase Collegiality and Collaboration Using Meaningful, Standards-Based Professional Learning

    1.5 hours

    Learn what districts across Connecticut are doing to foster greater collaboration and collegiality among their faculty, offering regular activities such as book clubs, "critical friend" groups, and Japanese-style lesson study. Discover new ways to use professional learning to transform school culture and enhance student learning. This training is most useful for PLC groups, data teams, department chairs, and PDEC members.

  • Innovative Group Facilitation Methods

    1.5 hours

    Whether your local has a problem of practice that members want to explore or a professional practice issue that a skilled facilitator could help navigate, CEA has you covered. Learn some different facilitation methods that can be used in the classroom, at a PD session, or in a meeting. Create a toolbox of facilitation methods—such as Open Space, World Cafe, Appreciative Inquiry, and Circle Conversations—that you can use to keep students and adults engaged, on-task, fully participating, and contributing. Move beyond PowerPoint and traditional "sit and get" sessions to highly interactive, deep conversations that tap into the collective knowledge that already exists in your classroom or school building.

    CEA also offers facilitation tools training and simulation for members looking to hone listening and communicating skills and practice facilitating conversations with ease.


  • Constructive Feedback Strategies

    1.5 hours

    This workshop is designed for complementary evaluators, peer coaches, department chairs, TEAM mentors, and anyone who wants to improve his or her skills at giving (and receiving) feedback. Constructive feedback encourages reflection and creates reciprocal pathways to improved performance. This workshop provides educators with specific, practical questioning strategies to build collegiality and empathy, encourage self-reflection, and help teachers enrich their practice and enhance student achievement. This session will be highly interactive, and participants will practice constructive coaching with several different partners

  • Dispute Resolution Strategies for Teacher Evaluation

    1.5 hours

    This highly interactive workshop is designed to provide teachers with practical strategies and structures to defuse and resolve disputes is an impartial, healthy, and transparent way. Useful for department chairs, PDEC representatives, dispute resolution committee members, and classroom teachers, these strategies can be applied to a variety of situations and contexts. Disputes resolved openly and fairly help foster trust and collegiality and promote a positive school culture. This workshop will involve role play, and participants will practice resolving common disputes.

  • ESSA: Implications for Your District — Title I Accountability

    1.5 hours

    The Every Child Succeeds Act, or ESSA, replaced No Child Left Behind (NCLB), returning a degree of autonomy over accountability issues to the state level. This session focuses on Connecticut's Title I ESSA plan and what it may mean for your district. Learn what flexibility and choices exist for districts and how to identify and overcome some of the challenges associated with quantifying non-academic indicators such as social-emotional growth.

  • Thinking Outside the Clock: PDEC Strategies to Save Time and Promote Collaboration

    2 hours

    "We don't have time for this" is a common refrain uttered by teachers and administrators in school districts across the country. Common Core, standardized test preparation, a complex educator evaluation process, and ever-changing professional development mandates consume so much time that little remains for teachers to engage in meaningful collaboration focused on teaching and learning. This session identifies creative ways to rethink existing time without shortchanging instruction or infringing on teacher prep periods. This session is most useful for PDEC members, as many of the strategies focus on streamlining and simplifying the teacher evaluation process.


  • Building a Culture of Empathy

    1.5 hours

    Appropriate for teachers of all grades and subjects, this workshop focuses on building a schoolwide culture of empathy. Learn practical approaches, exchange ideas, and devise opportunities for students to become involved in creating positive social change at the local, national, and international levels. The session will be interactive and include group discussions as well as role-playing activities to explore how we learn to empathize.

  • Classroom Management

    2 hours for overview; 8 hours for entire training with modules

    There are so many things new educators need to know and be able to do, but perhaps the most important is how to manage a classroom. This interactive, informative training, based on the "I Can Do It!" program, addresses seven practical and immediately actionable aspects of classroom management, including cultural responsiveness and—everyone's favorite—dealing with difficult behaviors.

  • Maximizing Your Time

    1.5 hours

    Planning, grading, chaperoning, and committee work are just a few of the responsibilities teachers take on. In this workshop, designed for newer teachers, participants will learn strategies for managing their time, staying organized, and identifying and coping with stressors.

  • Maps Are Cool: Integrating Mapping into Your Classroom

    1.5 hours
    • Mapping Series Workshop 1: A Review of Free Mapping Software for Grades 9 to 12
    • Mapping Series Workshop 2: Integrating Mapping into the Common Core Curriculum

    This two-part workshop is taken in succession on separate days. Expanding a teacher's toolbox can improve instruction by extending the reach of lessons to multiple intelligences and learning styles. This unique opportunity will help teachers incorporate visual representations of information with mapping software. The applications from math to science to social science and history are endless.

    Note: Mapping workshops require participants to have access to a computer with a robust Internet connection and the authorization to download the necessary software.

  • Promoting Student Autonomy in the Classroom

    1.5 hours

    This workshop is designed for teachers of all levels and focuses on encouraging students to gradually take ownership over their learning goals and take a more active role in achieving them. Practical classroom tools include total class participation strategies, student-generated performance rubrics, student-led parent conferences, and more.

  • Reworking Homework: Maximize Student Achievement and Minimize Stress on Students and Families

    1.5 hours

    Homework is a hot topic. When relevant, carefully designed, and given in moderation, homework has been shown to increase student achievement (at the high school level). It can also, however, contribute to high levels of stress, anxiety, and family discord. This workshop provides an overview of the extensive research into the subject of homework and offers practical tips for minimizing the harmful impact while maximizing the positive outcomes. Designed for middle and high school teachers, this workshop can be customized for any grade level.

  • Social Media Safety

    1.5 hours

    Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. These are just three popular social media sites used by teachers&##8212;and they're also used by students, parents, and administrators. In this interactive session, participants learn how to keep information private and ensure that they are as protected as they can be if they choose to use social networking sites.

  • Strategies to Foster Social-Emotional Well-Being in School

    1.5 hours - beginning January 2018

    Students need more than just strong academic skills to be successful in college and career. While they do need strong content knowledge in core subjects, they also require a wide array of non-cognitive skills, behaviors, and attitudes to help them meet the unknown challenges of the future. Students who are experiencing trauma, poverty, hunger, anxiety, or bullying are unlikely to perform well academically. Learn what school districts in Connecticut and across the country are doing to promote the social-emotional health of students and how that is translating to improved academic outcomes. Teachers will identify strategies and programs that can be adapted to suit the unique circumstances of the students in their school or district.

  • Strategies to Help New Teachers Survive and Thrive

    1.5 hours

    This workshop is designed for new teachers, mentors, cooperating teachers, instructional coaches, and others who want to learn how to better support and strengthen the practice of early-career educators. Included in the workshop will be useful teacher evaluation tips for new teachers, mentoring strategies, and classroom structures and routines to help new teachers maximize instructional time.

  • The Gender Achievement Gap: Why Boys Are Falling Behind and What Can Be Done About It

    1.5 hours

    Boys are falling behind girls academically at every level, from kindergarten through graduate school. Girls dramatically outperform boys on every standardized measure of reading and writing achievement and have reached rough parity with males in math and science, except at the very top of the curve. Boys are also far more likely to get in trouble at school and experiment with drugs, and they are three times more likely to drop out of school. Sixty percent of students graduating from college are now female, and for the first time in history we see more women than men getting advanced degrees. What is the trouble with boys? Learn what schools can do to support males academically and emotionally and begin to close the growing gender achievement gap.

  • Unconscious Bias: Its Powerful Effect on Instruction and Learning

    3 hours; Beginning January 2018

    Social psychologists and scientists have found that all of us, regardless of race, have cognitive biases that influence how we perceive and make decisions about other people. Implicit attitudes regarding race, stereotyping, and prejudice are a few of the many factors that can prevent African American, Latino, and ELL students from achieving in school at the same level as their white counterparts. This workshop will raise participants’ awareness of unconscious bias and its powerful effect on student learning and teacher/educator performance, while explaining how unintended thoughts can contradict our beliefs and how acting according to our values can require more than good intentions.


  • Mythbusters: Understanding Your Legal Rights and Responsibilities in the Special Education Process

    2 hours

    This workshop focuses on the laws regarding special education, with a particular emphasis on regular and special education teachers' rights and responsibilities when participating in the special education process. Participants will learn what the law requires of them as well as what they can and cannot do in such areas as PPT meetings, drafting IEPs, and accommodating students in the regular education environment. The impact of special education laws on teachers' working conditions will be integrated throughout the workshop.

  • Preventing and Responding to Assaults by Students

    2 hours

    As the demands to address all of a student's academic and emotional needs have increased, it is vitally important that all teachers are informed of their legal rights and duties related to assaults by students.

    Teachers will learn preventative measures and how to protect themselves and their students before an incident occurs; procedures to follow in the event of an assault; actions allowed by state law if self-defense is necessary to protect educators and students; reporting assaults or threats to administration and reporting requirements of administrators; how your Association can help you, protect your rights, and ensure a safe working environment; and safety provisions that can be negotiated into collective bargaining agreements.

  • Section 504: An Emerging Issue for Educators

    2 hours

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is receiving increased attention in schools as more teachers than ever before are working with 504 students on a daily basis. This workshop will provide an overview of the civil rights law, including the 2008 changes, its procedural requirements (with an emphasis on the eligibility process) and relationship to the IDEA, and its applicability to such timely issues as AD(H)D, field trips, and allergies.

  • Teachers and the Law

    2 hours

    This presentation examines the rights and responsibilities of educators regarding a variety of legal issues, including DCF and state mandatory reporting laws, DCF investigations, Weingarten meetings, physical assaults on teachers, FOI, and other related matters.

Back to Top