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Connecticut Teachers Wear #RedForEd in Solidarity With Arizona

Teachers around Connecticut are wearing Red For Ed today in support of our Arizona colleagues who have requested we observe today as national #RedForEd day.

This day of solidarity is in reaction to the unprecedented decision by the Arizona State Supreme Court to remove the Invest In ED ballot measure from the November ballot. This measure, if enacted, would have raised nearly $700 million for Arizona’s badly underfunded public schools.

Thank you to those of you who have already shared your #RedForEd photos—and if you haven’t yet, there’s still time.

Visit the CEA Facebook page and add your photos.

Here are some of the photos your Connecticut colleagues have already shared today.

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September 4 Is National #RedforEd Day—Please Join Us

While we remember the history of the labor movement this weekend and the sacrifices of generations of union members who went before us, this Labor Day weekend we also stand with our colleagues in Arizona and around the country whose plight shows so clearly why unions are still so vital today.

In places like Arizona, where unions have been weakened, teachers’ voices have been silenced, salaries and benefits have plummeted, working conditions have eroded, class sizes are higher, and outcomes for students are often lower. Many students in Arizona are not receiving the high-quality education they deserve because Arizona’s public schools are severely underfunded. Read more

After a Fire, Plainfield Memorial School Community Shows What’s Possible

Just two weeks ago, Plainfield Memorial School students and teachers had no idea where they’d be starting their school year after a fire caused extensive damage to their school building. Yet, thanks to the generosity, hard work, and dedication of a community pulling together, 350 fourth and fifth graders are back at school today with their teachers, ready for the year ahead.

“These two weeks have taught me something about kindness I’ll never forget,” says principal Natasha Hutchinson.

“Our whole school initiative is talking about grit. Boy, have we shown grit,” says fifth grade teacher Jessica Phaneuf.

When Jessica Phaneuf found that the classroom she’d be using with her fourth graders lacked cabinet doors, she quickly improvised a solution.

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Back-to-School Means Time to Reconnect With Fellow Union Members for Windsor Teachers

Poquonock Elementary STEM Coach Carrie Canoni and Clover Street Intermediate reading teacher Terri Faucher used to teach in the same building and were happy to reconnect at a Windsor Education Association social.

“This is a great way to start the year off right,” said Clover Street Intermediate reading teacher Terri Faucher, who gathered with her fellow Windsor Education Association members for a social earlier this week at Carbone’s Kitchen in Bloomfield on Windsor teachers’ first day back at school.

WEA members who attended agreed it was the perfect way to reconnect. The local has tried hosting socials at other points in the year and found that many teachers have too many other commitments to be able to attend. Read more

New Milford Teachers Welcome Families Back to School

Despite the oppressive heat, hundreds of students, parents, and siblings lined up yesterday afternoon outside Northville Elementary School in New Milford, eager to meet their new teachers at the preschool through second grade school before today’s first day of classes.

Second grade teachers Doranne Koval and Jenna Giudice.

“I can’t wait to get to know the kids and hear the questions they have,” said building rep and second grade teacher Doranne Koval as she prepared for the family meet-and-greet. “I try to help them discover the answers on their own.”

Soon many of her 23 students and their families were busy introducing themselves and checking out the classroom where they’ll spend this school year. Read more

Haddam-Killingworth Teachers Start the Year with a Splash

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A team of middle school teachers takes the trophy for the pool race at Haddam-Killingworth’s convocation. For more photos from the day’s events, visit CEA’s Flickr page.

Forget the crowded auditorium and the motivational speeches. At Haddam-Killingworth schools, convocation is about dunk tanks, pool races, DJs, and human games of Hungry Hungry Hippos.

“All that fun and energy, that’s who we are as people, and it’s what makes us successful as teachers,” says Haddam-Killingworth Education Association President Donna DiGregorio, who came to convocation in a blue tutu. Together with her colleagues, also decked out in tulle, DiGregorio helped organize a team-building activity—Hungry Hungry Teacher—in which educators, administrators, and staff competed in a wheelbarrow-style race to collect as many plastic balls as possible in small, round laundry baskets. Read more

Guilford Education Association Serves Up a Day of Fun and Fellowship

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Guilford teachers Kristie Whitcomb, Kevin Buno, Regina Sullivan (who is the local president), and Peter Cuticelli dish up a warm welcome for their colleagues at a pizza lunch provided by the Guilford Education Association.

Following their convocation this morning, Guilford teachers were treated to a pizza lunch, courtesy of the Guilford Education Association.

“We want to celebrate our teachers—about 320 GEA members—and welcome 18 new educators into our district,” said GEA President Regina Sullivan, a physical education teacher at Guilford High School, where the back-to-school celebration was held. “It’s important to start the year off with plenty of positive energy and let our teachers know how much we appreciate them.” Read more

Litchfield Teachers Kick-Off the Year on a Bright Note

Litchfield faculty and staff enjoyed a rousing back-to-school welcome from HoWiE Roll, a band made up of faculty, staff, and a student, who brought a musical touch and upbeat energy to this morning’s convocation.

Band HoWiE Roll, which opened Litchfield Schools’ convocation, features music teachers Peter Perkins and Dan Porri, student Matt Bove, school nurse Theresa Simaitis, principal Kristen Della Volpe, administrative assistant Tammy Knox, and paraprofessional Jen Gleason.

Dan Porri, a music teacher at Litchfield Intermediate School who plays bass in the band, says the band initially formed almost a decade ago when Litchfield High School Principal Kristen Della Volpe came to the district. Della Volpe thought a faculty band would add enthusiasm and excitement to the first day of school, and the band has been performing at convocations ever since. They’ve added other school gigs as well, playing at a battle of the bands, the high school pops concert, and more. Read more

Quality Professional Development for You From CEA

CEA Teacher Development Specialist Kate Field leads a teacher evaluation workshop.

The CEA Professional Learning Academy offers a wealth of professional development opportunities, aligned with Connecticut’s professional learning standards, to improve teaching practice and enhance student learning.

Through the CEA Professional Learning Academy, members can attend free workshops, conferences, and trainings developed by experienced educators, administrators, and experts in law and special education. CEA is a State Department of Education designated provider of professional development.

CEA offers workshops and seminars on dozens of topics, including  Read more

A Warm Waterbury Welcome for New Teachers

“Welcome, all of you,” Waterbury Teachers’ Association (WTA) President Kevin Egan greeted more than 60 new teachers during an orientation program earlier today. “Waterbury is a great district to work in, and you have a strong WTA union here at your disposal.”

Waterbury Teachers Association President and CEA Treasurer Kevin Egan talks with new Waterbury teachers this morning at an orientation at Waterbury Career Academy.

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