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Chicago Teachers Are Striking for Their Students

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.

Today marks the third day of the Chicago Teachers Union’s strike. Twenty-five thousand teachers and 7,000 support staff have taken to the picket lines to stand strong for a better future for their students. Read more

Education Commissioner Discusses the Changing Needs of Students Today and More

“The needs of students today are much greater than they were 20 years ago,” said Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona during an interview on WNPR’s Where We Live Program this morning. “I don’t think that we’ve done enough to make sure that we’re providing teachers with support and professional learning to meet the demands of the students today.”

From the achievement gap to minority teacher recruitment to social and emotional learning, Cardona spoke on a number of topics. Listen to the complete interview here.

On the changing needs of students today, Cardona said, “Unfortunately, many times when we’re cutting back, and we’re cutting out reading supports, or we’re cutting out social-emotional supports, that’s what the kids need the most. We need to be looking at the staffing that we have and where we’re putting our resources to provide supports, not only for the students in the classroom, but for the teachers that have the difficult job of raising the bar, despite having needier students at times.” Read more

CEA Guide Makes Teacher Evaluation Simple

What happens when you find out you’re being evaluated for the first time… in June?

What if you never received feedback on your last observation—and your next one’s coming up?

Are your student learning objectives (SLOs) appropriate? Do you have any say in setting them?

Get the answers to these and other questions in CEA’s free guide, updated for 2019-20, Teacher Evaluation Made Simple, available exclusively to CEA members.

Help Promote 2020 Census by Becoming a Statistics in Schools Ambassador

Are you interested in shaping the future for your students and community?

The U.S. Census Bureau is looking for teachers interested in becoming ambassadors with the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistics in Schools program. This program uses Census Bureau statistics to educate students about the importance of a complete and accurate census count.

Ideal candidates are active pre-K through 12th grade teachers excited to spearhead a national initiative at their schools while shaping the future of their communities through social media, collaboration, and leadership.

Responses to the 2020 Census survey will determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds is distributed to communities each year for the next 10 years, so an accurate count of everyone living in all Connecticut towns and cities is very important.

Learn more about the program here.

To apply to be a Statistics in Schools Ambassador, please email CLMSO.SISambassador@census.gov. The application process closes Thursday, October 24.

In Hartford Marathon, Teachers Go the Distance to Help Students, Colleagues


Before the starting gun, several teachers running for Team CEF gather outside CEA’s building.

For the sixth straight year, Connecticut teachers came together in Hartford to test their strength and endurance, support one another, and—perhaps, most importantly—make a meaningful contribution to those in the education community who are struggling and striving. More than a dozen early-career and veteran educators from throughout the state ran or volunteered for Team CEF in the 2019 Hartford Eversource Marathon, to benefit the Connecticut Education Foundation (CEF).

“This is such a near and dear cause for so many of our members,” says CEF President Tom Nicholas, noting that since its inception in 1991, the Foundation has distributed more than a million dollars in assistance and scholarships to students and teachers in need. Through the Holiday Bear Project (see page 3), Children’s Fund, and Boland Fund, CEF supports children whose families are experiencing financial difficulties, as well as teachers facing extraordinary hardships. The Foundation also provides scholarships to high school and college students planning teaching careers.

“We are proud to have logged our sixth year as an official charity of the marathon,” says Nicholas, “a truly energizing and positive event that allows us to raise some of the much-needed funds to help Connecticut’s students, educators, and aspiring teachers. Read more

Veterans Day Activities

On November 11, we honor the wartime service and sacrifice of men and women in the armed forces. Originally proclaimed Armistice Day in 1919 to commemorate the end of World War I, it was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to include American veterans of all wars.

The following lessons, activities, games, and resources will help your students celebrate service men and women past and present.

Resources for:

Don’t Miss These Social & Networking Events for Early-Career Educators


One of the best things you can do for yourself as an early-career educator is make time to socialize with other new teachers.

Join us for free food, networking, and a chance to bounce ideas, tips, and questions off your colleagues. How are they handling challenges in and out of the classroom? How can you learn from and support each other? Read more

Enfield Teachers Connect with Their Community Through Annual Book Drive

For members of the Enfield Teachers’ Association, three is a magic number.

For the third year in a row, teachers have collected books for young readers, giving local families a chance to build their home libraries and shape their children’s future. The first year of the event, the union collected 1,000 books; this year, the group gathered 1,589 titles in about two weeks, all of which were given to local children at Enfield’s Family Fun Festival earlier this fall.

Prudence Crandall School teachers hand out donated books at the Enfield Family Fun Festival in Enfield in September. From left to right: Jessica Soule, fourth grade teacher; Sheree Winans, fifth grade teacher; Kelly Shea, third grade teacher; and Rachel Boulette, third grade teacher.

“Being a part of this event puts us in the community in a role outside the classroom,” says ETA’s Kelly Shea, who teachers third grade at Prudence Crandall School. Shea worked the ETA table at the festival, along with several co-workers. “It reminds families and students that we care about being involved in all aspects of their lives. Sometimes students in Enfield struggle to find books to stock their home libraries, so the ETA wants to help everyone kick off a new year of learning and support families at home with these resources.” Read more

You Could Win Up to $500 in the Live. Love. Protect. Sweepstakes.

It’s Life Insurance Awareness Month, and you could win up to $500 in the Live. Love. Protect. Sweepstakes. from NEA Member Benefits. Visit www.mynealife.com to learn more and enter.

Help protect those you love with exclusive NEA life insurance programs, including special no-cost coverage available to all NEA members through the NEA® Complimentary Life Insurance Program.

CEA Meetings Happening Now Around the State. Get Involved.

At last night’s Windham County Forum, CEA President Jeff Leake shared with members how they can learn more about candidates running for president. 

CEA’s first round of 2019-2020 county forum meetings is running now through Oct. 30. Meet with your colleagues and local union leaders to hear about issues impacting education and your profession, and learn how you can advocate for yourself, your students, and public education.

Attend a CEA county forum near you, and encourage your colleagues to join you. Click here for dates, locations, and more information.

At yesterday’s Windham County Forum, CEA President Jeff Leake shared with teachers how they can learn more about candidates running for president. NEA has compiled information on all major party candidates’ positions on education issues so that teachers can be informed education voters.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat, Republican, or Independent,” Leake said. “We want to raise the voice of educators and make sure candidates have education issues top of mind as they’re running their campaigns.”

He added, “Everything that you do, everything that affects the kids in your classrooms—including the resources available to teach them, comes about because of political decisions. We need to be involved with the political process. We’re not going to get anywhere with Betsy DeVos over the next 5 years.”

Click here for county forum registration information.