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CEA Issues Guidelines for Teachers, Schools to Protect Against Coronavirus


CEA Executive Director Donald Williams and President Jeff Leake talk to Governor Ned Lamont about plans to protect Connecticut’s schools and communities against coronavirus.

As the threat of coronavirus disease spreads, CEA is working with Governor Ned Lamont, State Department of Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona, and others to ensure that Connecticut’s public schools are prepared.

“We must be proactive about ensuring the health and safety of our students, teachers, and school communities,” said CEA President Jeff Leake. “CEA is taking every step to make sure our teachers are up to date should this virus make its way into our state.”

Earlier this week, CEA posted to its website protocol developed especially for schools, based on recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control. Read more

Classrooms in Crisis: A Conversation with Commissioner Miguel Cardona

Join us on March 5 and share with Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona what you are experiencing regarding student trauma and disruptive student behaviors in your school. Attend CEA’s forum with the commissioner where you can speak out and support your colleagues.

We need to ensure that students in crisis get the help they need and classrooms are safe learning environments. Topics to be discussed include disruptive behavior, staff ratios, class size, caseload limits, kindergarten start age, excessive testing, and more.

We hope you will join us for this important event and speak out or attend to support your colleagues.

Register now.

Thursday, March 5, 2020
Sheraton Hartford South, Rocky Hill

Registration begins at 3:30 p.m.
Buffet dinner begins at 4:00 p.m.
Forum 5:30-7 p.m.

CEA, Others Support Bill Protecting Teachers’ Rights to Stand Together

In a public hearing before Connecticut’s Labor and Public Employees Committee, CEA President Jeff Leake and others voiced their support of House Bill 5270, which protects the rights of teachers and others to join or remain in their union. Among other things, it prevents employers from deterring or discouraging employees from being members of their union or from learning about their union during new employee orientation.

Testifying before the Labor Committee are Rep. Anne Hughes and Attorney Dan Livingston. In a show of support behind them (L-R) are AFSCME Council 4 Executive Director Jody Barr, CEUI President Carl Chisem, SEIU 1119 President Rob Baril, CEA President Jeff Leake, and AFT CT President Jan Hochadel.

“The bill we support is important because it ensures that the relationship between unions and their members is collaborative, communicative, and inclusive,” said Leake. “It pushes back against policies that undermine this relationship, and it fights back against individuals with unimaginable wealth who actively spend it to expand their wealth at the expense of the remaining 99% of workers just trying to get by.” Read more

It’s Public Schools Week!

This week is Public Schools Week 2020, a time to celebrate our nation’s public schools, our students, and the many school professionals who work tirelessly to help students succeed.

Public schools are the cornerstone of our democracy, educating nine out of 10 students in America. This week serves to highlight the great things happening in our nation’s public schools as well as bring attention to the critical issues facing our schools, students, and educators.

Show your support by taking the Pledge for Public Schools and celebrate all that public school educators do for our students. Shine a spotlight on the educators who are making an impact in your school district and post a photo or video to social media using the hashtags #PSW20 #PublicSchoolProud and #PublicSchoolsWeek.

West Hartford’s Future Educators of Diversity Share Achievements, Plans


Conard High School senior Kaliya Ortiz (center) says Future Educators of Diversity Clubs help students like her “see a path to becoming an educator.”

Future Educators of Diversity were at the top of the agenda at West Hartford’s Board of Education meeting this month, where the Board and community members learned about the organization’s mission, achievements, and planned activities.

Future Educators of Diversity was piloted in West Hartford, where it has grown and is very active.

Since then, similar clubs have been established in four other Connecticut school districts as part of CEA’s ongoing efforts to bring greater diversity to our state’s teaching force,” says CEA Vice President Tom Nicholas, who was awarded a grant from the National Education Association to create and expand “grow your own” high school clubs that provide underrepresented students with the tools, knowledge, and support to enter the teaching profession. “We are excited to see new groups starting up, as well as established organizations—such as the one in West Hartford—grow and thrive.”

West Hartford’s FEoD, a combined group of students from Conard and Hall high schools, meets every Thursday during the school year and encourages students of diverse backgrounds to examine issues related to race and equity in education and to explore careers in teaching—a profession that is largely white and female. Read more

How Is Your Stress Level?

Teaching is the most stressful profession in the U.S., tied with nursing, and that stress can have a negative effect on teachers’ health and well-being.

CEA has teamed up with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence for a survey examining teachers and stress. We want to know what’s happening in your classrooms and how it may be leading to increased stress levels so that we can help policymakers understand the magnitude of the problem as well as its root causes.

Take the survey. Read more

Free Resources for Teaching About St. Patrick’s Day

Check out these curriculum resources for all grade levels for exploring Irish culture and history. Resources include videos, arts and crafts, printables, worksheets, interactive maps, and tutorials.

Help your students learn about and explore Irish culture, history and traditions, including Irish folktales literature, recipes, Celtic art and mythology, the Great Potato Famine, and more.

For Grades K-5

1. Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato (8:08) 
An Irish folktale. A leprechaun offers Jamie O’Rourke the biggest potato in the world if Jamie will let him go. (Grades K-2)

2. History of St. Patrick’s Day
Nine brief videos covering the history of St. Patrick’s Day and associated traditions. (Grades K-5) Read more

Channel 3 Featuring Teachers, Public Schools This Week

Every night on the 11 p.m. news this week WFSB Channel 3 is putting a spotlight on what’s going on in our public schools. The stories feature the results of a survey of CEA and AFT Connecticut members.

In the first spot, which aired last night, teachers share the positive and negative effects of technology in their classrooms. The majority of teachers surveyed said they find technology to be a double-edged sword.

Watch last night’s story about technology in the classroom.

Manchester Education Association President Kate Dias, a math teacher at Manchester High School, told Channel 3 about the effects of constant cell phone use on adolescents.

“There is no question if something goes on, it can throw a kid off all day, and follows them via Instagram, and Snapchat and they are constantly messaging,” she said.

Kindergarten teacher and CREC Education Association President Lisa Cordova told Channel 3 that there are interactive iPad apps she finds useful for helping her students learn but added, “I think there is a fine line between using just enough technology and too much. It’s not a babysitter for the classroom. They need to be engaged, they need to be problem solving and not just looking at a screen.”

How Connecticut Classrooms Are Celebrating Valentine’s Day

How are Connecticut students and teachers celebrating Valentine’s Day? Some schools are off for break today, but many students are learning about kindness, sharing, and how to make someone else’s day a little more special.

Read more

Women’s History Month in the Classroom

“The First Picket Line – College Day in the Picket Line. Photograph. Feb. 1917. From Library of Congress: National Woman’s Party records, Manuscript Division.

The theme for Women’s History Month in 2020 is “Valiant Women of the Vote.”

Honor the women who fought to win the right to vote a century ago, and for those who still fight to win that right for others.

Resources for: