Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘CEA members’

CEA Summer Conference, Day Two: The Deep Dive

John Mastroianni and Tiffany Reynolds

Trumbull Education Association President John Mastroianni and Tolland teacher Tiffany Reynolds exchange ideas at CEA’s Summer Conference.

Energy levels remain high on day two of CEA’s Summer Conference, where hundreds of teachers have reconvened in Cromwell for intensive training, networking, and the sharing of ideas, concerns, and best practices.

“This is my second time attending,” says Tolland teacher Tiffany Reynolds. “The first time was last year, as an emerging leader. Since then, I’ve worked on two grievances, and I’m here to learn how to do that more effectively so that I can be the best advocate for my colleagues.” Read more

September Deals and Discounts from NEA Member Benefits

mumsNEA Member Benefits highlights select discounts and offers especially for NEA members every month. Check out the September offers highlighted below.

NEA Click & Save “Buy-lights” for September

NEA Click & Save, the online discount buying service for NEA members, highlights select retailers and merchants each month. Check out these featured “Buy-lights” for September!*

*Note: Up-to-date information on merchant discounts, shipping terms and WOW Points appears on the NEA Click & Save Web page at and may change at any time.

  • NEA Apparel Store: Build up your back-to-school wardrobe with access to dozens of top retailers—like Kohl’s, Under Armour, Macy’s and Nike—all in one place!
  • Special savings on athletic shoes; free shipping on orders of $49 or more, plus a 60-day return period and prepaid return shipping
  • Paragon Sports: Get everything you need for fall hiking and camping, plus free shipping on orders of $49 or more
  • NEA MB Electronics Store: Get member pricing and earn WOW Points on name brands like Panasonic, Samsung, Dell, HP and Canon
  • NEA MB Entertainment Store: Exclusive member pricing on world-class performances and entertainment including Broadway shows, movies, sporting events, and amusement parks

Read more

Teachers of the Year Inspire Lifelong Learning

Connecticut’s 2015 Teacher of the Year praised and thanked her former teachers, Farmington Public School educators, for inspiring her to become an educator, and reminded her colleagues of the...

Read more

Students Hit a Home Run in Naugatuck

Nearly a dozen students in teacher George Macary’s construction class at Naugatuck High School showed off what they learned in the classroom by repairing rooftops on baseball dugouts in town.

Caption: Naugatuck High School students VanKacy Cuevas, Madison Daly, Steven Hong, and Antoine Sistrunk used the skills they learned in the classroom to help repair dugouts in town.

Caption: Naugatuck High School students VanKacy Cuevas, Madison Daly, Steven Hong, and Antoine Sistrunk used the skills they learned in the classroom to help repair dugouts in

“It’s a great community service project, and a win-win for everyone,” said Macary, who is also the Naugatuck Teachers’ League President.“The students, many of whom played baseball on the town fields, are giving their time and honing their newly acquired skills to improve the Union City Little League dugouts, giving back to future generations of players.”

Macary said the idea came from colleague and NTL Vice President Charley Marenghi who asked if the students would be willing to fix the rundown rooftops on the dugouts.

“The students were thrilled with the idea and have spent many hours working on the project, which gives them real-world experience and something special to put on their resumes,” he said.

Macary hopes to expand the program and get more students involved in community service projects throughout the year.

Read more

Schoolhouse Rock Songwriter Bringing His Classic Tunes to Bloomfield

You may have never heard of singer-songwriter Bob Dorough, but his songs are a pop culture phenomenon that rocked their way into the homes of millions of Americans over the past 40 years.

Disguised as Saturday moschoolhouse rock billrning cartoons, ABC’s Schoolhouse Rock entertained and taught grammar, history, math, and science to generations of children.

The catchy and infectious lyrics are known to many of us who can sing along to the popular tunes including, “Conjunction Junction,” or “I’m Just a Bill.

Then there is, “Three is a Magic Number,” “My Hero, Zero,” and “Interjections!” And who can forget “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get your Adverbs Here.Read more

Timeline for Foundations of Reading Survey Delayed

A message from CEA President Sheila Cohen regarding the Foundations of Reading Survey.

I am forwarding to you a memo from the State Department of Education that was sent to all Superintendents.

There have been numerous and different concerns raised regarding the Foundations of Reading Survey, concerns that include its administration, how the results will be reported, to whom the results will be reported, where the results will be stored, and how the results will be used in driving professional development and student instruction.

For now, the timeline has been pushed back until late fall. We will keep you informed as developments occur.

Thank You for all you do every single day!!


From: Nemr, Georgette []
Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2014 4:28 PM
To: Reading Survey
Cc: Barzee, Sarah; Pugliese, Nancy
Subject: Reading Survey UPDATE
Importance: High

Dear Reading Survey Liaisons:

Due to questions that have arisen about the implementation of the Reading Survey, the survey administration window dates have been delayed until late fall. We will continue to communicate updates about the status of the survey as soon as we reach a decision about the new administration dates.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please forward them to our dedicated email address

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and your teachers in the scheduling of the reading survey administration for the fall. Thank you for your assistance and patience.

Georgette Nemr
Bureau of Educator Standards & Certification Connecticut State Department of Education

Teachers spend $1.6 billion of their own money on back-to-school supplies

Some things never change: Teachers buying supplies

How much do you spend on your students and classroom?

This year, educators are spending between $500 and $1,500 for their students and their classroom.

A study by the Education Market Association found that virtually all, 99.5 percent of teachers, spend their own money on instructional materials and classroom supplies for their students, including notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, and other necessities. In total, public school teachers across the country spend an estimated $1.6 billion a year.

If parents are financially unable to provide the necessities or if students forget or lose their supplies, then teachers fill the gaps. The spending can be particularly heavy for teachers at lower-income schools, where students often show up for school without the most basic supplies, such as pens and paper.

Welcome Back!

A message to teachers from CEA President Sheila Cohen

I extend my warmest wishes to you and welcome you back to a school year filled with hope and opportunity, a school year in which the demands placed upon you are determined through reasonable and collaborative flexibility, and that the professional development you are provided is meaningful and has had your representative input.

You are dedicated, caring, and talented individuals, working long hours teaching and caring for children with diverse needs. You wear so many hats—teacher, friend, social worker, caregiver, counselor, and so much more. You ensure that your students have the tools they need to succeed both inside the classroom and out. Your job is extremely important. Your dedication and commitment matter. You make a difference. Thank you for all you do. Thank you for being a teacher.

Words to live by

berlin 2

Berlin High School English teacher Christine Briganti prepared her new classroom for students.

Berlin high school students are being greeted by their teachers in new classrooms today, part of the high school’s $70 million, multi-year renovation.

Teachers, including Christine Briganti, have been working for the past week to prepare their classrooms for students.

Briganti, a second year English teacher, said she’s very excited about the new classrooms. “After undergoing a year of renovation, the new English wing is complete and gorgeous,” she said.

Briganti shared this advice to teachers entering the classroom for the first time:

“As a first year teacher, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the newness of everything going on around you. Although it’s important to expect the unexpected, also remember to take chances and have fun—that will result in the best learning for your students and yourself.”

How’s that for some words to live by.

Students, teachers, and school districts benefit from computer science professional development


Sixteen teachers from across the state participated in a Mobile Computer Science Principles professional development course at Trinity College this summer.

Sixteen teachers from across the state gave up the majority of their summer to learn something new to enhance their teaching skills for themselves and for their students. They participated in a six-week class to better understand mobile computer science principles and build apps.

The teachers participated in the Summer Mobile Computer Science Principles professional development course at Trinity College in Hartford.

The program, funded by the National Science Foundation and sponsored by the Connecticut Computer Science Teachers Association (CT CSTA), improves the computer science skills of teachers, who then deliver their expertise, experiences, and skills to students throughout Connecticut’s school districts.

“With the growing importance of computing in society, there is a huge need for students to understand the fundamentals of computer science and for teachers to have the continued professional development and resources needed to teach in this constantly changing field,” said Chinma Uche, president of CT CSTA.

Uche says the highest paying jobs are going to students with computer skills, and the nation needs to invest in technology education.

In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be more than nine million jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by the year 2020. Half of those jobs, will be in computing with an average annual salary of $76,000.
Learning new skills
Bridgeport teacher Laura Grover said the professional development program was “awesome.” She especially liked that it was taught by a college professor who worked with the teachers on developing each lesson plan.

“It gave us a well-rounded view of computer science and how things work, why they work, and how to make them work. We will bring that all back to our students and help them learn.”

The teachers spent 40 hours per week in classrooms learning to build socially useful mobile apps and increased their computer skills—learning everything from coding to sorting. In its second year, the program instructs educators to teach lessons on building mobile apps by using computer science principles.


Manchester teachers Matthew Meisterling and Chase Solarz displayed the app they created called “MHS, Go Quiz Yourself!”

Manchester High School teachers Matthew Meisterling and Chase Solarz built an app called “MHS, Go Quiz Yourself!” designed to help students understand their school culture by taking fun daily quizzes that improve their knowledge of teachers, school history, and more.

Computer science principles encompass a wide range of skills including emphasis on writing, collaboration, and creativity. The teachers say working with computers is fun for students, and it can help students excel in other areas.

“Building apps and computer games all require math, physics, and writing skills, so if we get students involved and interested in computer science, they will pay more attention and do well in their other classes—because they will realize they need the skills,” said Solarz.

Meisterling added, “We can use the fun and games to get the students motivated and engaged in the project. Then they learn without realizing it.”


Westbrook teacher Susan McManus (left), and Bridgeport teacher Laura Grover (right), created an app designed to keep parents and students informed about school activities.

Grover and Westbrook teacher Susan McManus created the “My School” app, designed to keep both parents and students informed about school activities, programs and events.

“It’s a fun way to get students’ attention,” said McManus, “while teaching them a wide-variety of skills.”

“There’s hands-on teaching, problem solving skills, teamwork, and math and logic components that all help the students get a well-rounded experience,” said Grover.

Across the country, too few students have the opportunity to take engaging and rigorous computer science classes, and there is little diversity among those who do. Rachel Martinich, a teacher at Jonathan Law High School in Milford, said this program can help change that.

“We can use what we’ve learned to teach students about programing and coding and show them that they are accessible to everyone. We need to debunk the stereotype that the computer science field is only for white males. Our training and new skills will help us get more girls and minorities interested in computers.”

Solarz agreed, “Computer science and technology are the future of our society, and we are all becoming increasingly more dependent upon them. So either we understand them and become part of our new world, or just be a user and not understand. Our training can help us teach our students to embrace it.” Read more