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Connect With Other Educators and Learn Online

Educators are increasingly taking advantage of the professional learning opportunities and connections with colleagues that the Internet makes possible, but plenty of educators are not yet learning and collaborating online. Connected Educator Month aims to change that.

This global celebration of community is for educators at all levels and from all disciplines. The 2014 event is building on previous years’ success with hundreds of new events and activities from dozens of organizations and communities. Read more

Facts and Information for Educators About Ebola

As we continue to hear the recent news about Ebola — a third case in Texas and the continuation of the outbreak in West Africa — we all are becoming increasingly concerned. And, as the situation continues to unfold, educators have many questions about their own safety and that of their students. The CDC and other groups have produced some excellent resources that help explain how the disease is spread, what the symptoms are, and the steps educators should take in the event of a suspected case in their schools.

The NEA Health Information Network (HIN) has gathered the following resources from healthcare officials to ensure that educators are well-informed about Ebola: Read more

Newly Established Teacher Retiree Healthcare Trust Gets Off the Ground

Leaders of Connecticut’s teachers’ unions are applauding the new trust established in September by the Teachers’ Retirement Board (TRB) to better protect and sustain beneficiaries’ healthcare over the long term. The board last month voted unanimously to establish the legal structure after receiving approval from the Office of the State Attorney General.

Connecticut Education Association (CEA) President Sheila Cohen said, “Teachers contribute their hard-earned dollars to the fund, so they count on the fund to be safe. The latest move by the Teachers’ Retirement Board helps teachers rest assured that their futures are secure.” Read more

Have You Ever Shadowed a Student?

studentHow would education be different if teachers had the opportunity to “be a student” for a day? One educator followed two high school students over the course of a normal school day and came away with many ideas for doing things differently.

I waited fourteen years to do something that I should have done my first year of teaching: shadow a student for a day. It was so eye-opening that I wish I could go back to every class of students I ever had right now and change a minimum of ten things – the layout, the lesson plan, the checks for understanding. Most of it!

Read about her experience and takeaways. Have you ever done anything similar? If so, did it change how you teach?

CEA Legal Department Wins State-Wide Award

CEA attorneys Melanie Kolek, Chris Hankins, and Adrienne DeLucca (pictured), along with paralegal Linda Reed and legal secretary Sandy Alzak, have won the Connecticut Law Tribune's Legal Department of the Year Award for Community Outreach.

CEA attorneys Chris Hankins, Melanie Kolek, and Adrienne DeLucca, paralegal Linda Reed, and legal secretary Sandy Alzak (not pictured), have won the Connecticut Law Tribune’s Legal Department of the Year Award for Community Outreach.

CEA’s Legal Department — consisting of attorneys Chris Hankins, Melanie Kolek, and Adrienne DeLucca; paralegal Linda Reed; and legal secretary Sandy Alzak — received the Connecticut Law Tribune’s Legal Department of the Year Award for Community Outreach.

“We are all so proud of the excellent work of our legal team and their commitment and resolve to assisting CEA members with their legal issues,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “It’s gratifying to know that those outside the education community recognize the outstanding and often momentous work they perform for educators across the state.”

CEA’s legal team was also featured in the October issue of the Law Tribute. Read the article here. Read more

Derby Secondary Schools Receive New State-of-the-Art Fitness Center

Derby High School PE teacher Eric O'Toole

Derby High School PE teacher Eric O’Toole is excited to use the new fitness center with his students.

“Academics and fitness go hand in hand,” actor and fitness pioneer Jake Steinfeld told an auditorium full of Derby Middle and High School students this morning. “When you’re in shape and exercising you’re less fidgety in class and more focused.”

Steinfeld was in Derby in his role as chairman of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils to unveil a new $100,000 fitness center the foundation built at the high school.

Derby High was one of just three schools in Connecticut — the others are in Hartford and Meriden — to be awarded a fitness center. The Derby students are eager to begin using the new machines, which include strength training equipment, cardio fitness equipment, and interactive exercise games. Read more

October Deals and Discounts for NEA Members

Discounts and special offers on products and services are some of the many benefits of CEA/NEA membership. Check out special October offers from NEA Member Benefits below.

NEA Click & Save, the online discount buying service for NEA members, highlights select retailers and merchants each month. Check out these featured “Buy-lights” for October — and make the most of the fall season.

Be sure to check NEA Click & Save often for unadvertised, limited-time offers, including discount dining certificates from Restaurant.com. Read more

Important Election Information in Your CEA Advisor

The issue of the CEA Advisor arriving at your home this week has important information about this November’s election. You can read the entire Advisor online, here.

See where the candidates for governor stand on the issues in this side-by-side comparison found on page three of the Advisor (click to enlarge).

side-by-side

This message is made independent of any candidate or political party.
Paid for by the Connecticut Education Association, Sheila Cohen, President.

Connecticut AP and SAT Scores Out for 2014

Thanks to their own hard work and that of their teachers, more Connecticut students took an Advanced Placement (AP) exam this year, raising their scores, and narrowing the achievement gap. According to the State Department of Education, more students (4.1 percent) took an AP exam in 2014 than in 2013 and more (3.8 percent) received a score of 3 or higher.

Black and Hispanic students showed particularly large increases in participation. The number of black students taking the exam increased by 17.3 percent with nearly a quarter more receiving a score of 3 or higher. Hispanic students’ participation rose by 13.7% with 17% receiving a score of 3 or higher. Read more

How to Help Students Personally Connect with Learning

It’s no secret that we’re all more motivated to learn when we see what we’re learning as relevant to our lives and personally valuable. Teachers work hard to connect classroom activities with their students’ interests, and studies are shedding light on additional strategies that may be useful to some educators.

Writing in The New York Times, a psychologist describes several research studies that reveal ways to make learning personally meaningful for students. In one such study, high school science students were asked several times over the course of a semester to either write a summary of their classroom learning or write about how science is useful in their own lives.

Not surprisingly, the students who wrote about how science was personally useful to them outperformed the students who had merely summarized their learning, with the former, on average, earning almost a full grade point more. And the first group didn’t just earn better grades, at the end of the semester they also said they more interested in science.

Read more from The New York Times.

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