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Posts from the ‘Member Stories’ Category

Teacher Leadership Should Be a Redundancy in Terms, Says Former Connecticut Teacher of the Year

Teaching is a challenging profession that doesn’t always receive the recognition it should. Nevertheless, teachers must never doubt their own significance or hesitate to speak up Connecticut’s 2012 Teacher of the Year David Bosso told early-career and aspiring educators during a speech this winter at the University of Hartford.

Berlin social studies teacher David Bosso gave the first talk in the Dean’s Lecture Series at the University of Hartford’s College of Education, Nursing, and Health Professions.

“Teaching is a strange, tenuous balance between feeling empowered and humble,” Bosso told the 100 students and professors gathered for the first talk in the education department’s Dean’s Lecture Series. “We are giants. We are pillars in our communities. And any teacher who stands among great teachers, among their students, feels like they are walking among the redwoods. But even redwoods, as they reach for the sky, remain firmly rooted in the soil. On average, redwoods live over 500 years. How far into the future does our impact go?”

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How Connecticut Classrooms Are Celebrating Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here, and students and teachers around Connecticut are sharing what they’re thankful for.

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Region 16 English Teacher Named Connecticut Teacher of the Year

Woodland Regional High School’s 600-plus students rose to their feet and cheered as beloved teacher Meghan Hatch-Geary was honored in a surprise ceremony announcing Connecticut’s 2020 Teacher of the Year (TOY). The announcement came this morning at the Beacon Falls school where she and her husband, building rep Paul Geary, teach English.

Region 16 Education Association President Stephen Jerram, 2020 CT Teacher of the Year Meghan Hatch-Geary, CEA President Jeff Leake, and CEA Vice President Tom Nicholas.

“We are so proud to see Meghan recognized for the invaluable work she does and for the talent, passion, and dedication she brings to the teaching profession,” said CEA President Jeff Leake. “Her work, like that of her peers, does not begin and end when the bell rings; it extends well beyond the school day and well beyond the walls of her classroom, into extracurriculars and the community sphere. Connecticut’s teachers truly enrich the lives of their students and delight in their personal and academic achievements, and we are pleased to honor Meghan as an ambassador for the profession. She is an exemplar and an inspiration.” Read more

Connecticut Schools Celebrate Halloween

In ways big and small, many Connecticut schools are celebrating Halloween today. Here are just a few of the fun activities and costumes making it a special day for students.

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CEA Members Share Why They Became Teachers and What They Love About Teaching

Teachers all have their own reasons for choosing the teaching profession, but ultimately it comes down to a love for their students and a desire to make a positive difference. Teachers who participated in a CEA ad campaign share why they decided to become teachers, what they love about the profession, and how they build relationships with students.

“I decided to become a teacher because I truly care for my students, and I wanted to give back, being from this neighborhood,” says Waterbury Reed Elementary health and physical education teacher Ricardo Gibson, who came to Waterbury from Jamaica as a child.

“I love the diversity of the children. I love being able to learn from my students, their families, and other teachers,” says Melissa Vargas, an English language arts teacher from Waterbury’s Rotella Interdistrict Magnet School whose family comes from Puerto Rico. “I love that I can be myself and express my culture with my students and share that with them as well.”


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Berlin Teacher to Be Inducted into National Teacher Hall of Fame

Teachers are a selfless group who choose their profession because of a love for children and teaching, not for any expectation of accolades or honors. And that makes those times teachers are recognized and have a chance to be in the spotlight all the more special.

Berlin Superintendent Brian Benigni, Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell, National Teacher Hall of Fame representative and Joel Barlow High School teacher Christopher Poulos, and CEA President Jeff Leake congratulate David Bosso on his induction into the National Teacher Hall of Fame.

Berlin social studies teacher Dr. David Bosso had a student finishing a quiz at the end of the school day today and was afraid he was going to be late for a faculty meeting. When he arrived just in time he was surprised to see his colleagues joined by a number of special guests, and to learn that what he thought was a routine meeting was in fact a celebration in his honor.

Bosso, Connecticut’s 2012 Teacher of the Year, is one of only five 2019 inductees into the National Teacher Hall of Fame. Read more

Teachers Speak Up, Share Stories With Legislators: Join Them

Teachers have a lot to say on issues from their pensions to classroom safety this legislative session, which is why local associations around Connecticut are meeting with their legislators and making their voices heard.

Hamden Education Association members including President Diane Marinaro, standing at right, had a number of questions for Rep. Mike D’Agostino, Rep. Josh Elliott, Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, and Senator George Logan.

“Politicians make decisions that affect our students and our profession,” says Hamden Education Association Vice President David Abate. “Sitting back and waiting isn’t a solution. I don’t like politics, but for legislators to know what’s going on in our schools they have to hear from teachers.” Read more

Hear How Your Colleagues Are Welcoming Their Students and Celebrating Diversity

“My favorite thing about teaching in a public school is that I get to meet people from all walks of life,” says Bridgeport teacher and 2019 Connecticut Teacher of the Year Sheena Graham.

Why public schools? “Every child deserves an education, and public schools are the best way to provide that education,” says Marlborough teacher David Wasserman.

Graham, Wasserman, and other teachers who took part in a recent CEA TV commercial share why public schools are so important and what learning in a diverse environment offers their students.

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Disrupted Learning: Oregon Teachers Share Their Stories, and You Can Too

There’s a crisis of disrupted learning not just in Connecticut, but across the U.S., and the Oregon Education Association today released a report on the conditions students and educators are facing in schools.

Some Oregon teachers talked to a local news station about the disruptions they face daily.

Teachers in Connecticut experience many of these same situations, but legislators are unaware of the severity and pervasiveness of the problem.

Share your own story (anonymously if you so choose) to make legislators aware of the need for action to make classrooms safe for all students and teachers.

To arrange for a teacher-legislator get-together in your district, contact your local association president and CEA’s Chris Donovan or Robyn Kaplan-Cho.

Windsor Choral Teacher Cheers on Former Student, Finalist on The Voice

white kym joye (002)

Choral teacher Tracee White (left) is delighted to welcome NBC’s The Voice finalist Kymberli Joye back to Windsor High School, where she was White’s student all four years. Joye serves as an inspiration for White’s current students, who watch each episode as a class and are rooting for their hometown celebrity.

A teacher’s good work often shines in her students, and for Windsor High School choral director Tracee White, the product of her hard work now shines on television.

White is the former teacher of rising star Kymberli Joye, a current finalist on NBC’s television reality competition The Voice. Joye’s vocal talents have landed her a spot in the top 10 on the program, which airs Mondays and Tuesdays.

White, who taught Joye for four years and learned that her protégé was auditioning for the show earlier this year, has been following her former student’s successes, even incorporating her progress into lessons for her choir classes.

“I make it educational,” White says, adding that she shows each performance to her classes. “They write reflections and critiques on the vocal performances. They look forward to that every week.”

An added bonus was when her star student was able to visit Windsor High School recently to share her experiences on The Voice—a huge morale-booster for current students.

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