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Cohen Kicks Off 2016 CEA Summer Leadership Conference

CEA President Sheila Cohen opened the 2016 Summer Leadership Conference.

CEA President Sheila Cohen opened the 2016 Summer Leadership Conference.

“We must put the joy of teaching back into teaching. We must put the joy of learning back into learning.”

That was the message CEA President Sheila Cohen gave to more than 550 teachers at the CEA Summer Leadership Conference today.

In her welcoming remarks, Cohen encouraged members to get involved and do what is necessary to improve teaching and learning for Connecticut’s children.

“Students shouldn’t be unhappy coming to school because we are testing everything out of them,” she said.

Cohen explained that everything teachers do—from testing to curriculum decisions—is all political. She said we have to change the way we do things and reinvigorate ourselves.

“We are a labor union. We are a professional organization. We are a political organization. Everything we do is based on a law.”

CEA Summer Leadership Conference

Cohen reminded teachers, as she does every chance she gets, to never forget how important they are to a child’s success.

“You are the bridge that children travel across from failure to success,” she said. “You are heroes and heroines and are treasured.”

In addition to Cohen, teachers also heard from public education advocate Jonathan Kozol this morning, who received the Friend of Education Award from the National Teachers Hall of Fame. Wednesday morning, Waterbury high school teacher and National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes will address conference attendees.

Teachers will spend three days in sessions and workshops enriching their professional knowledge, expanding their skills, and interacting with colleagues at the annual conference.

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