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So Blah to Sublime: Transform Your Staff Room!

“Well-used and a bit sterile.” That’s how Plainville High School teacher and CEA member Debbie Seibert, now retired, described her building’s staff room.

All too often, the faculty lounge is one of the most neglected areas of a school. If that sounds familiar, NEA-endorsed California Casualty invites you to do something about it! Enter California Casualty’s $7,500 School Lounge Makeover at www.YourSchoolLounge.com/NEA, and your breakroom could be transformed.
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Teachers Ready to Help Those Affected by Hurricane Michael

The devastation to the panhandle of Florida is catastrophic as Hurricane Michael has caused extensive destruction to the northeastern Gulf Coast, reducing structures to rubble and destroying entire communities. Much of the coast of the Florida Panhandle, including Panama City and Mexico Beach, near where the hurricane made landfall, was left in ruins by the storm.

Once again, the National Education Association and its members stand ready to help.

“In the spirit of solidarity and compassion, NEA is asking its members and the public, as we did last year after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and just last month after Hurricane Florence, to help educators and schools affected by Hurricane Michael. Communities in North and South Carolina are still picking up the pieces from Hurricane Florence,” says NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. Read more

Subscribe to BlogCEA for a Chance to Wear #RedforEd!

With elections coming soon and the future of teachers and public education at stake it’s never been more important to stay up to date on the latest education news affecting Connecticut teachers. Here at BlogCEA we want to make sure you as a CEA member get all the news you need.

Now through November 7, when you subscribe to BlogCEA, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a CEA #RedforEd T-shirt. One winner will be selected every week from among all who subscribe.

Click here to subscribe today.

Enfield Teachers Donate 1,400 Books to Local Families

Teacher Kelly Shea greets community members at Enfield’s Family Fun Festival, where teachers distributed 1,400 free children’s books.

Enfield’s teachers are on a mission to create bookworms in their community.

For the second year in a row, the Enfield Teachers’ Association (ETA) is adding to local families’ libraries through its community outreach efforts.

After the ETA put out a request for books, teachers collected 1,410 gently used titles for young children and adolescents through teacher donations as well as leftovers from the library of a recently closed school. The ETA beat last year’s inaugural record of 1,000 books collected.

Teachers were able to round up the books within two weeks, said Prudence Crandall School teacher and building rep Kelly Shea, who chaired the event. Over four nights, volunteers sorted the selections by grade level and genre and packed trios of books into large Ziploc bags labeled with the age range. The packets, suitable for kindergarten through high school, were handed out to children and families in late September at Enfield’s Family Fun Festival.   Read more

Educators Appreciation Day at Mystic Seaport Museum

Don’t miss Educators Appreciation Day at Mystic Seaport Museum on October 20! CEA members and their families (up to four people total with teacher ID) will receive free Mystic Seaport Museum admission.

Don’t miss this special opportunity to explore the museum and learn more about the seaport’s educational programs and classroom connections. Education Department staff will be on hand to discuss program offerings and answer questions. In addition to the museum’s regular activities, there will be a special agenda of activities just for educators and their families.

Click here for more information. 

Register here.

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 2018-19, Teacher Evaluation Made Simple, available exclusively to CEA members.

Will Connecticut Open Two New Charters? Now It’s Up to Legislators

Representatives from the Danbury Prospect Charter School discuss their proposal with the State Board of Education.

The State Board of Education today voted to give preliminary approval to two new charter schools, but those charters can only open if they can convince legislators to fund them.

In past years, charter schools that had applications approved by the State Board of Education went forward and enrolled students before receiving funding from the state, pressuring legislators into providing the funding. The legislature has since made it clear that that process is unacceptable and that no students can be enrolled until a school is funded.

CEA President Jeff Leake spoke out against the charter school applications at today’s meeting, saying, “CEA believes that charter schools should be non-profit, publicly accountable, transparent, and operate without diverting public funds from neighborhood public schools or to third-party management organizations.” Read more

October Deals and Discounts From NEA Member Benefits

This October take full advantage of your CEA and NEA membership to enjoy savings at the GE Appliances Store, get a great deal on a new or used car, take advantage of exclusive savings and shop the world’s largest cruise sale, and more.

NEA Click & Save “Buy-lights” for October 2018

The new school year is in full swing, and the fall season is upon us. Get ready for changing weather and invigorating outdoor activities with the proper clothing, footwear and equipment! 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!* Read more

Unions Give Teachers a Voice to Advocate for Students, Says Building Rep

Building Rep Superhero Sara GoepfrichWhat does your union mean to you? Fairfield Ludlowe High School teacher Sara Goepfrich, who serves as a building rep in her school, says it’s easy to be an island in your own classroom and do your own thing, but that approach doesn’t work so well when it comes to protecting teachers’ rights and securing resources for students.

“The union is not some entity outside of ourselves. The union is everyone we work with, it’s us, and through our union we can advocate for our needs and for our students’ needs,” says Goepfrich. “Unions give a voice to our profession to allow us to advocate for what students need to be successful in the classroom. They also create a support system for new teachers to ask questions and gain support in a non-evaluative way. Unions allow us to advocate for things that are unpopular but really necessary for students. Things that administrators might push back against or that might be seen as making waves.” Read more

CEA Report Card Measures Legislative Candidates’ Support for Public Education

The Connecticut Education Association today released its first-ever Legislator Report Card that evaluates legislative candidates’ overall support for issues important to students, teachers, and public education. CEA’s new report card recognizes legislators who are committed to giving students more opportunities for success and are working hard to improve public education and the teaching profession in Connecticut.

The report card evaluates legislators’ voting records, as well as their advocacy and efforts to advance CEA priorities over the past two-year legislative cycle. These priorities include funding public education, preserving collective bargaining, enhancing the teaching profession, protecting the pension system, keeping schools safe, upholding teacher certification standards, and supporting sound education policy.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to public education and teachers’ rights, many legislators took actions in the wrong direction and earned less-than-stellar grades,” said CEA President Jeff Leake. “This new report card system is transparent and holds candidates accountable. It informs our members of the candidates’ positions on key issues and highlights those who want to help our students and teachers, and those who are doing harm to them.” Read more