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Still Time to Sign Up for a Reforum

Veteran Guilford teacher Pete Cuticelli (left) proved himself to be a strong mentor in teacher advocacy when he encouraged his colleague third-year teacher Burt Vitale to join him at a reforum.

CEA members are packing hotel conference rooms across the state as they participate in reforums that give them opportunities to learn, talk, and plan for their legislative advocacy roles in the “Year of Education.” There are four more reforums scheduled for this week and next, so if you haven’t attended one yet, sign up now.

Veteran Guilford teacher Pete Cuticelli, a building representative, encouraged his colleague, Burt Vitale, a third-year teacher, to join him at the Middletown Reforum yesterday.  Vitale said, “It’s important that young people get involved with the issues if they want to stay in the teaching profession.”

East Haddam teacher Susan DeBisschop (right) and Old Saybrook teacher Margaret Samela review the reforms outlined in the CEA plan, "A View from the Classroom: Proven Ideas for Student Achievement", as they shared ideas at the reforum held in Middletown.

Cuticelli said he’s impressed that CEA’s been “proactive” with its reform agenda.  Susan DeBisschop, an East Haddam teacher, said her intent is to carry a “positive message forward.”

In total, CEA is hosting eleven reforums for teachers to hear an overview from CEA staff on statewide issues, participate in discussions, and carve out strategies for keeping their views percolating on the legislative front burner.

“Sure, I will continue to to email, call, and reach out to my legislators,” said Margaret Samela, an Old Saybrook teacher.  “I don’t think teachers get the respect they deserve.  CEA’s book, A View from the Classroom: Proven Ideas for Student Achievement, is a positive step.  It’s a way for us to come together as a collaborative voice and share our concerns about where our profession should be headed.”

Two Bridgeport teachers saw the reforum as such a vital opportunity that they are considering attending two of the gatherings.  Daniel Kwet and Jason Poppa say they have many concerns.  Just one was succinctly expressed by Kwet this way, “It’s just drill and kill at Harding High School where I teach.  The curriculum has been so narrowed.”

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