American Education Week, celebrated November 15-19, 2021, presents everyone with an opportunity to celebrate public education and honor the individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every student receives a quality education.
Unfortunately, this year American Education Week comes at a challenging time for educators as the COVID-19 pandemic, teacher shortages, attacks on educators, and high levels of stress are all contributing to a difficult year.
“Right now, teachers do not feel appreciated,” says CEA President Kate Dias. “Teachers deserve to be recognized as the professionals they are and thanked for their dedication to their students. Educators don’t choose their profession for the pay—we choose to teach because we are committed to doing our very best for every child who walks through our classroom door.”
Dias ensures teachers who have been on the receiving end of unfair criticism and blame that CEA stands with them.
“Teachers are the experts and professionals when it comes to educating children, and their voices need to be heard,” she says. “You are not alone. CEA’s leaders, UniServ Representatives, and government relations and communications staff are here for you and will help you speak up. We will not allow teachers to be silenced.”
In a CEA survey of members at the start of this school year teachers reported continuing high levels of stress.
“As a society and in our communities, we need to do more to support our teachers,” Dias says. “And not just because it’s the right thing to do but also because, unless things change, we’re going to lose significant numbers of teachers to burnout and exhaustion.”
The CEA survey found that 38 percent of Connecticut teachers are considering retiring early or changing careers.
“As communities, we really need to dig deep and figure out how we can address these issues,” Dias says. “We need to meet the needs of teachers and make sure that schools are not just great places for kids—because we all agree that’s a top priority—but that they’re also great places for educators, where they can continue to grow and feel that they’re invested in.”
Addressing teacher stress and burnout is a top priority for CEA, and leaders are working on a number of initiatives to address the issue. Don’t miss any updates—subscribe to receive the latest news from CEA in your inbox.