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CEA President Sheila Cohen on Celebrating American Education Week

amer-ed-weekThis month we celebrate American Education Week, a recognition of all that is outstanding about public education in America and in Connecticut. American Education Week honors excellent teaching and learning. Each day our students come to us with a wealth of experiences and an enthusiasm for learning.

This week, as many parents visit our classrooms, I know they will observe highly dedicated, caring teachers who make meaningful connections between the wealth of experience their students bring, their enthusiasm for exploring new information and ideas, and the lessons taking place in the classroom.

In Connecticut, every week should be Education Week; we always have cause for celebration. Our state is home to great public schools. Students, parents, staff, and community members work together and share responsibility for the success of our students. We all celebrate and take pride in their accomplishments—because their success is our success.

I once heard a teacher say, “Teaching is not what I do. It is who I am.” This statement has had a profound effect on me and I believe it speaks directly to all of us. Teaching is not what we do, it is who we are. We will never be “just teachers”.

We are professionals who understand the art of teaching. We are changers of lives. We are influential role models and sources of inspiration to our students. We are trusted guides, leading our students into uncharted territories to explore. We are the vessels of knowledge who care about the wholeness of every student in our care. We are the experts who should be instrumental in determining the art of teaching. And we touch the hearts as well as the minds of the future generation of Americans.

Be proud today and always—because we are the teachers.

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