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Middle and High School Students Learn What it Takes to Be a Teacher

National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes gave the keynote address at the 20th Annual Connecticut Future Teachers Conference.

“You have come from all corners of the state—I’m happy to see so many middle and high schools represented,” Dr. Zulma R. Toro told students gathered this morning for the Connecticut Future Teachers Conference.

“Connecticut is a very diverse state and we are proud of that,” the Central Connecticut State University president said to the hundreds of future educator club members gathered on her campus. “That’s why it’s so important that people of all backgrounds become teachers. Diversity in the teaching ranks is vital to the success of all school children.”

The annual conference, now in its 20th year, is sponsored by the Regional Educational Service Center Minority Teacher Recruitment Alliance. It seeks to inspire all young people, but particularly students of color, to consider teaching as a profession.
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West Hartford School Celebrates International Night

Aiken Elementary School in West Hartford has an increasingly diverse student population—which the school community thinks is cause for celebration. Every year the school comes together for a special International Night so that students can learn more about the cultures of their friends and neighbors.

Watch what parents and teachers at Aiken have to say about the school’s most recent International Night.

Educator Certification Shortage Areas for 2017-18

If you’re working under an endorsement that is considered a shortage area you may be eligible for benefits such as loan forgiveness and mortgage assistance.

Based on a survey done in the fall, the state Department of Education released the Certification Shortage Areas for 2017-18.

Most of the shortage areas remain the same as they did in 2016-17, however, for the coming year, teaching English to speakers of other languages and teaching occupational subject areas at vocational technical high schools were added as shortage areas. School psychologist and intermediate administrator were removed from the list. Read more

Register Now For CEA’s Summer Leadership Conference

Summer is right around the corner—don’t forget to make plans to attend CEA’s Summer Leadership Conference. This year’s conference, which will take place July 31 – August 2 at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center, will emphasize how members can stand up and be strong voices in support of their students and the teaching profession.

CEA is offering a variety of workshops and mini-sessions to help you and your local become more effective. Workshop topics range from beginning negotiations to organizing against the workplace bully to helping new teachers survive and thrive—and much more.

Each local association may send up to eight free attendees this year. Please contact your Local Association President prior to registering to determine if you are eligible to attend at no cost.

See the conference brochure for more information.

Click here to register.

Special Education & Equity in Connecticut

Mary Beth Bruder, UConn; Marisa Halm, Center for Children’s Advocacy; Catherine Holahan, EducationCounsel; and Betty Sternbger, CCSU took part in a panel moderated by WNPR’s David DesRoches.

As with other areas of public education, when it comes to special education there are big disparities between districts. How do we make sure all students and families receive equitable special education services? 

That was the topic of a panel discussion at a recent Special Education in Connecticut Summit sponsored by the UConn Neag School of Education and the Klebanoff Institute.

“Early identification and early screening are so important,” said Catherine Holahan, senior legal and policy advisor for EducationCounsel.
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How to Survive Year-End Stress

The principal wants your data from the entire year…next week. Your evaluator wants to complete your final observation…tomorrow. Parents suddenly want to know what their children can do to bring up their grades…today.

How will you survive the end of the school year?

Click here for helpful tips from NEA.

Memorial Day Lesson Ideas

file331270483625Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day, a day to honor American Civil War dead. Following World War I, Memorial Day became a day to honor soldiers killed in all wars.

Honor the nation’s fallen military men and women with the following lessons and activities.
Resources for:

Bloomfield Teacher, Softball Coach Scores Winning Run for Students

Coach Mary Kay Rendock, at right, and assistant coach Lauren Serafino, at left, with last year’s 5th-8th grade softball team.

Ninth-grade girls in Bloomfield have been arriving at the high school and joining the varsity softball team never having touched a glove before. Without a town league or a middle school team, there were few opportunities for students to play.

Now all of that is changing, thanks to the time and dedication of Carmen Arace Intermediate School math instructional coach Mary Kay Rendock.

It’s not just about teaching students what a strike zone is and how to swing a bat, though. For Rendock, the relationships students develop and the confidence the sport offers are what truly make the experience worthwhile.

“Being on a team is really special,” says Rendock. Read more

CEA President Tells Teachers: “If We Engage, We Will Make a Difference”

CEA President Sheila Cohen.

The many challenges confronting public education on both the state and national level can at times feel overwhelming. CEA President Sheila Cohen told delegates to the CEA Representative Assembly (RA) this weekend that our only hope for our students and our profession is to stand strong together.

“Public education is in the crosshairs,” Cohen said. “If we sit back and hope for the best, we don’t know what we will get. If we engage, we will make a difference, and we set an example for our students.” Read more

Education Advocate and Former Legislative Leader to Assume Administrative Helm of State’s Largest Teacher Organization

The CEA Board of Directors has appointed accomplished policymaker and education advocate Donald E. Williams Jr., as the organization’s new executive director. The position is currently held by Mark Waxenberg, who is retiring after serving as CEA’s executive director for five years. After a distinguished career in public service, law, and journalism, Williams joined CEA in 2014 as the Association’s Director of Professional Policy, Research, and Reform.

“In three years at CEA, Don has done an excellent job addressing the issues that teachers value, and that improve public education in Connecticut,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “He is a strong advocate for public education and teachers, and understands the extraordinary challenges facing public education.” Read more