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Posts tagged ‘professional development’

New at Summer Leadership: Mini Sessions


Cheshire 30-year veteran teacher Tracy Ajello and Torrington teacher Michael McCotter, entering his fourth year, practice broaching tough topics in the mini session Difficult Discussions.

Sometimes good things come in small packages—and that was the case on the final day of CEA’s 2017 Summer Leadership Conference. Day 3 featured a packed morning and afternoon of 90-minute workshops on a wide range of topics, including student debt, teacher evaluations, educator autonomy, culturally competent schools, adult learning theory, engaging members in political campaigns, trauma-informed practices, legal rights in the special education process, Section 504, and more.

“It’s my first time at Summer Leadership, and I just came for the day of mini sessions,” said North Haven teacher Jennifer Frederick. “I’m especially interested in new laws and policies affecting our classrooms. As a regular education teacher with special education students in my classroom, I’m also seeking support in that area as well as using Google apps in my classroom—which is covered in one of the sessions I signed up for.” Read more

CEA Workshops Create New Opportunities for Teachers

CEA President Sheila Cohen welcomed members to PD workshops this Saturday.

Nearly 200 teachers turned out for free CEA professional development workshops in Rocky Hill Saturday, making good use of the opportunity to learn, engage, and connect. Educators who teach preschool through grade 12 in districts around the state attended.

At a workshop on the growing problem of student assaults on teachers, participants learned about their rights, reporting protocol, and how their local Association and CEA can help. CEA’s Robyn Kaplan-Cho, who specializes in teacher assault laws, fielded questions about everything from restraint training to how to write an IEP that includes the necessary student and teacher supports.
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New Teachers: CEA Conference Just for You on April 1

ntc-brochureIf you are an educator with six years or less in the classroom and are looking to improve your skills, plan to attend CEA’s New Teacher Conference on April 1 at the Mystic Marriott Hotel in Groton.

From culturally responsive teaching to the intricacies of the teacher evaluation process to Google Apps for Education, the conference sessions will explore everything that beginning teachers need to know. The event will feature Waterbury teacher Jahana Hayes, the 2016 National Teacher of the Year, as the keynote speaker.

The cost of the conference is $20 and includes lunch. Your local Association may reimburse your cost.

Click here for the brochure.

Click here to register.

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Coming March 18: Three Free PD Workshops for CEA Members

PD March 18CEA is providing three exciting professional development workshops to members free of charge this March 18.

The topics of the workshops are as follows:

  1. For K-3 educators—Common Core Standards and their impact on our youngest learners
  2. For all educators—Understanding your rights and responsibilities when handling aggressive student behavior
  3. For Association presidents and treasurers—Your role in managing local funds and protecting members’ dues dollars

Click here for more information on the workshops.

The three free workshops will run concurrently on Saturday, March 18, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Hartford South in Rocky Hill.

Click here to register for one of the three professional development workshops.

Registration and a complimentary continental breakfast begin at 9:30 a.m.



Free PD Sessions from Mystic Seaport

mystic-pdMystic Seaport offers a series of free, monthly professional development sessions for teachers. The upcoming workshops, and food, are free, but space is limited, so sign up now.

Connecticut’s Unsung Heroes Program
with Barbara Jarnagin, Associate Director of School & Family Programs, Mystic Seaport

November 16, 4-6 pm 

Connecticut was and still is a very inventive state full of ingenious people. There are many Connecticut citizens who have invented great things to make our lives safer, easier, and fairer. What was it about the small developing towns in this small state that produced such big thinkers? Read more

East Hartford Teachers Strengthen Professional Skills to Benefit Students

IB World Rebecca Tubbs, Laura Griffin, Lia Hickey, and Darcy Noble Malone.

East Hartford kindergarten teachers Rebecca Tubbs, Laura Griffin, Lia Hickey, and Darcy Malone at the I Teach K! conference this summer.

When it comes to professional development, research shows that sustained, job-embedded, collaborative professional learning opportunities are most likely to help teachers better support students. The opposite of a morning lecture on a generic subject, this type of learning opportunity requires a substantial time commitment and a focus on the specific skills teachers need for their content area.

It’s just the type of professional development East Hartford kindergarten teachers Laura Griffin, Darcy Malone, Lia Hickey, and Rebecca Tubbs were able to participate in this summer thanks to a grant from the Fund for Teachers.

“I feel like kindergarten is kind of a stand-alone grade,” said Hickey. “It’s very different from pre-K and very different from first grade.” Read more

New Guidelines Spell Out Importance of Union Voice in Teacher Evaluation

New guidelinesnew PDEC guidelines distributed to superintendents this week have the potential to increase the effectiveness of local Professional Development and Evaluation Committees (PDECs) and ensure teachers’ voices are heard in discussions about teacher evaluation and professional learning.

The guidelines were developed by the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) after CEA and AFT-Connecticut brought teachers’ concerns to the council.

“Most districts want to follow what is required by statute, but sometimes there is confusion or districts aren’t aware of what is required,” said CEA Teacher Development Specialist Kate Field. “I’ve found in my work with local Associations that there are often teachers and administrators who aren’t aware that there needs to be a representative from the local bargaining unit on the PDEC.” Read more

Something to Listen to at the Gym or During Your Next Long Car Ride

2015-10-14_14-02-29Imagine having the time to collaborate with colleagues to design lesson plans and being able to try the lessons out while receiving feedback from fellow educators. In Japan this method of improving teaching, known as lesson study, is common practice, and now some schools in the U.S. are experimenting with it as well.

In lesson study teachers come together to identify a teaching problem they want to solve. The teachers research why students are having trouble mastering a specific concept and together design a lesson plan to better teach that concept.

Then they hold a public research lesson where one teacher uses the lesson plan to teach a class of students while the other teachers observe. The observers focus on the students and how they respond to the lesson being taught.

Lesson study is the focus of one segment of a radio documentary from American RadioWorks, titled “Teaching Teachers.” The documentary explores methods for training new teachers and helping current teachers improve, and is worth a listen during your next long car ride or trip to the gym. Read more

Unique Learning Experiences for Teachers in Mystic

From left are

Teachers spent three days participating in workshops and hands-on activities at Mystic Seaport this week. From left are Jennifer Paul, Southington; Kristina Kiely, Wallingford; Blaise Messinger, Cromwell; Beth Horler, Groton; and Deborah Sanders, Cromwell.

More than a dozen Connecticut Teachers of the Year (TOY) wrapped up a three-day trip to the Mystic Seaport today. The TOY finalists and semi-finalists were not vacationing, but learning. The teachers spent their days in educational workshops and participated in hands-on activities and guided tours of the Seaport, learning how to improve lesson plans and bring history and science alive for their students in the classroom.

“This is the best professional development program that I’ve experienced in my 27 years of teaching,” said Groton teacher and local Association president Beth Horler.

Horler wasn’t alone in her proclamation. The teachers all had rave reviews for the unique professional development program. Read more

New Teachers: Conferences Just for You Coming Soon

Teachers are busy and Saturdays are precious, but you can learn a lot and connect with other new teachers in just a few hours at a regional new teacher conference convenient to you.

CEA’s New Teacher Conference has been redesigned this year into four Regional New Teacher Conferences, giving you a variety of dates, locations, and workshops from which to choose.

The cost of the conference is only $20, including a continental breakfast and lunch, and some local associations will reimburse that fee.

All conferences run 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Below are the dates and locations.

  • February 7 – Spa at the Norwich Inn, Norwich
  • February 21 – Trumbull Marriott, Trumbull
  • March 7 – Sheraton Hartford South, Rocky Hill
  • May 2 – Heritage Hotel, Southbury

Click here for the brochure, and click here for more information and to register.