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Teachers Share Powerful Stories of Classroom Violence, Diminished Learning with Lawmakers

Connecticut teachers Danielle Fragoso, Jennifer Reynolds, and Cindy Mazzotta prepare to testify before lawmakers about their experience with aggressive student behavior.

At a public hearing of the legislature’s Education Committee today, classroom teachers—along with CEA leaders and staff—gave powerful testimony urging lawmakers to address the crisis of violent student behavior in rural, urban, and suburban schools throughout the state.

They asked their legislators to support a bill—House Bill 7110 An Act Concerning Enhanced Classroom Safety and School Climate—that would require schools to help students exhibiting extreme behaviors, provide increased student supports and teacher training, and address children’s mental health and social-emotional needs.

More than a dozen teachers and CEA staff testified in person at the hearing, while over 100 others submitted written testimony describing behaviors that continually render their classrooms unsafe and inhibit learning for all students. Read more

Free Resources for Teaching About St. Patrick’s Day

Resources include videos, arts & crafts, printables, worksheets, interactive maps, and tutorials. They will help your students learn about and explore Irish culture, history, and traditions, including Irish folktales, literature, recipes, Celtic art and mythology, the Great Potato Famine, and more.

For Grades K-5

1. Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato (8:08)
An Irish folktale. A leprechaun offers Jamie O’Rourke the biggest potato in the world if Jamie will let him go. (Grades K-2)

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Statement from CEA President Jeff Leake on Governor Lamont’s Budget Address

CEA supports sensible ways of assisting the state in its efforts to make up for decades of underfunding teachers’ retirement, including the governor and treasurer’s plan to smooth out the state’s payments to the fund over a longer period of time and lower the investment earning assumption to a more realistic rate. Teachers have consistently paid their fair share into the fund—while the state has not—and teachers had their payments increase nearly 20 percent last year.

However, we oppose any teacher retirement cost shift that transfers millions in costs from the state to our cities and towns, putting additional financial strain on taxpayers and pressure on already tight school budgets. The plan to shift the cost of teacher retirement contributions onto our cities and towns didn’t sit well with Connecticut taxpayers, legislators, and municipalities in 2017—because it placed additional financial burdens on cities and towns and property owners—and it doesn’t sit well with them today. Read more

March Is Music in Our Schools Month

March is Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM), and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) website provides ideas for how to participate in MIOSM and promote support for school music. A menu offers downloadable MIOSM logos for web and print use, and activity ideas.

How to Incorporate Music in Your Subject Suggests how teachers can include music in math, foreign language, social studies, and language arts classes. Read more

Crisis in the Classroom: Legislators Need to Hear From You

Many Connecticut children are losing out on learning time when disruptive behavior from another student continually interrupts the school day. Problematic student behavior is a major problem in our schools, but many legislators aren’t aware of what’s happening in your classroom. They need to hear your stories.

On Friday, February 22, the legislature’s Education Committee will be holding a public hearing on legislation that protects students and teachers from dangerous situations in the classroom, and provides support and services for students who act out. Legislators need to hear from you!

Click here to submit written testimony now.

You can submit your story under your own name, or anonymously.

If you are interested in testifying and sharing your story in person with the Education Committee on February 22, please contact myvoice@cea.org.

Encouraging the Love of Reading With CEF’s 2nd Annual Reading Bus Tour

Screen Shot 2019-02-14 at 6.07.56 PMThe second annual Read Across America Reading Bus Tour will be heading off across Eastern Connecticut on February 25 for a week full of visits to elementary schools. Over 1,000 fourth graders will get to board the bus for read alouds and hands-on activities, and will receive book bags, school supplies, and free books.

CEA Vice President and Connecticut Education Foundation (CEF) President Tom Nicholas joined iHeart Radio’s Renee DeNino recently to talk about the bus tour and the importance of reading in children’s lives. Listen to the interview here. Read more

Women’s History Month for the Classroom

The theme for Women’s History Month 2019 is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” This March, examine the changing cultural perceptions of women in society and honor their contributions with the following lessons and activities.

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CEA Joins Labor Community in Urging Alternatives to Austerity

“We reject the idea of cutting our way to prosperity. That has never worked,”  said Connecticut AFL-CIO President Sal Luciano. His remarks came at a press conference yesterday where members of the labor community, including CEA, called on the state to adopt a pro-growth, investment budget.

Members of the Connecticut labor community, including Norwalk Federation of Teachers President Mary Yordon (at podium), CEA President Jeff Leake (standing at left), and Connecticut AFL-CIO President Sal Luciano (at far right), held a press conference yesterday to call on the state to adopt a pro-growth, investment budget.

Labor leaders pointed out that austerity budgets haven’t worked elsewhere, and there is no reason to believe one would work in Connecticut. Their remarks came ahead of the governor’s budget address, which is expected February 20. Read more

Save Big With CEA Member Discounts Over February Break!

Whether you’re staying at home or traveling over the Presidents’ Day long weekend, you can save with CEA member benefits. From discounts at Vermont and Massachusetts ski slopes to savings at area museums to deals on car rentals and airport parking, your CEA membership card goes a long way.

Below are just some of the deals available to you as a CEA member.

 

Enfield Second Graders Celebrate 100 Days of Schools

The 100th day of school means big excitement for elementary school students across Connecticut. At Henry Barnard Elementary in Enfield the 100th day arrived yesterday, and second graders and their teachers celebrated by rotating through seven different fun, 100-themed activities.