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Griswold Teacher Brings Back Key Lessons from Holocaust, Genocide Workshop

Materials distributed at a recent workshop show educators how to create thoughtful lessons from tragedies such as the Holocaust and help students draw meaningful lessons from them.

Two days after the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that claimed the lives of 11 Jewish worshipers, Griswold High School social studies teacher Hannah McNeil found herself in a discussion with other teachers about the difficult and important lessons that arise from human tragedies fueled by bigotry and hate.

An early-career teacher, McNeil was one of many educators—including new and veteran history and English teachers, department chairs, and college professors—at a workshop titled Teaching Holocaust and Genocide, hosted by the University of Hartford.

Connecticut’s public school teachers have gained increasing access to professional development opportunities such as this one since the passage of Senate Bill 452 this past spring. Supported by CEA and signed into law in May 2018, the legislation has added Holocaust and genocide education and awareness to the required courses of study for Connecticut’s public schools. Read more

Find Out How You Can Help a Child This Holiday Season

Many families across the state are facing unexpected hardships, but you can make a difference this holiday season by sponsoring a child through the Holiday Bear Project.

Watch the message below to find out why CEA Vice President and CEF President Tom Nicholas urges you to consider sponsoring a child.

Holiday Bear—a project of the Connecticut Education Foundation (CEF), CEA’s charitable arm—helps brighten the holidays for needy children who have been nominated by their teachers.

Gifts and donations must be received by Friday, November 30, at CEA’s offices in Hartford or at CEA UniServ offices for distribution before the holidays.

Click here for more information, or contact Mary-Pat Soucy at marypats@cea.org.

ACES Building Rep Goes the Distance to Communicate With Members

“I’ve always been a big advocate for educators,” says ACES teacher Salman Hamid—and now he’s formally representing teachers in his union as a building rep.

Building reps are often a teacher’s first point of contact when questions arise—ranging from practical matters to sensitive subjects. They are their colleagues’ contract enforcer, organizer, and spokesperson.

The Wintergreen Interdistrict Magnet School sixth grade teacher tells his fellow educators, “It’s absolutely key we get involved in our union and become active and proactive. Decisions made at the local, state, and national can have a big impact on our classrooms, our salaries, and our retirement.” Read more

CEA and iHeartRadio Team Up for a Brighter Holiday for Children

Vice President Tom Nicholas took to the airwaves to let listeners across the state know about the 20th annual Holiday Bear project, which brings holiday cheer to hundreds of Connecticut children in need.

CEA Vice President Tom Nicholas with iHeartRadio’s Renee DiNino.

In an interview with iHeartRadio’s Renee DiNino, Nicholas urged Connecticut residents to sponsor one of 100 public school students across the state, from pre-K through 12th grade, who have been nominated by their teachers to receive holiday gifts (such as books, toys, or gift certificates) and essentials (such as coats and hats). Families of these students are facing financial hardships that will make it difficult to afford holiday gifts this year. Read more

Old Saybrook Parents to Teachers: Thanks, and Bon Appetit!

Teacher Judy Ayers warms up with a cup of coffee.

Teachers and staff entering the faculty lounge at Old Saybrook High School before the morning bell were treated to a mouthwatering surprise: three tables of hot and cold breakfast foods, snacks, and beverages brought in—on the sly—by parents wanting to show their appreciation.

“What a wonderful thing!” said child development and family specialist Judy Ayers, who does double duty as a literacy interventionist at the elementary school. Read more

Celebrating American Education Week

AEW 2018 FBFrom that first tentative day of preschool to mortar boards soaring through the air at high school graduation, teachers play a crucial role in their students’ lives. You provide a safe, welcoming space for children as they learn about themselves and the world around them.

Thanks to your dedication, students learn not only about parts of speech, atoms, prime numbers, and the American Revolution, but about what it means to be part of a Democracy, how to care for one another, and how to make valuable contributions to their community. Read more

How Connecticut Schools Honor Veterans

Many schools around Connecticut are closed tomorrow in observance of Veterans Day, which is why schools around the state honored Veterans and taught students about their service on Friday. From school-wide assemblies to classroom visits by students’ family members who are Veterans, below are some of the ways schools have been honoring Veterans.

Thanksgiving Ideas for the Classroom

ThanksgivingCelebrate the Thanksgiving season in the classroom and at home with lessons, quizzes, activities, games, trivia, books, and movies.

Resources For:

Pro-Education Candidates Sweep Connecticut’s Midterms

Thanks in large part to teachers who were determined to make their voices heard and their votes matter, pro-education candidates chalked up significant victories in yesterday’s midterm elections.

Major wins were scored in the state senate and house as well as in a close gubernatorial race, where education advocate Ned Lamont defeated a challenger whose agenda favored privatization of schools, caps on teacher salaries, anti-union initiatives, and an unrealistic economic plan that threatened to decimate school budgets.

“Teachers made a decisive contribution to these positive outcomes—because they were engaged and informed,” said CEA President Jeff Leake. Read more

Election Day Is Here! Get Out and Vote!

CEA Vice President Tom Nicholas and President Jeff Leake have already voted, have you?

Watch their Election Day video message to find out why all teachers should make it a priority to participate in today’s election.

Not sure where to go to vote?

Polls are open until 8 p.m. If you still need to register to vote, you can do so by going to your town hall.

And if you’re still deciding who to vote for, check out where the candidates stand on education issues at cea.org/reportcard.