Connecticut teachers go above and beyond every day for their students, despite ever-changing demands that threaten to weigh them down. This is the core message of a new public awareness TV commercial sponsored by CEA. (Watch the ad here.)
The commercial focuses on the word “rise,” delivered every morning as students prepare to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Poignant images of teachers, as well as students and parents, proudly standing up and placing a hand on the heart serve as a metaphor for the dedication and resilience of those on the real front lines of public education.
Over these images, a voice-over reminds the public that teachers and students rise with dedication and without fail in the face of new challenges – the kind being posed by the current implementation of the new state teacher evaluation system and new common core standards and related tests.
Most teachers and their advocates believe top policymakers have yet to foster a climate and structure that implements school reform efficiently, effectively, and fairly. Teachers are pushing themselves even further every day as they confront rapid and, often, misguided changes.
The commercial’s closing shot asks everyone to join teachers, students, and communities in standing up for good ideas, smart policies, and successful programs that will guarantee school improvement.
Actual Connecticut teachers are featured throughout the commercial, including Lauren Blum of Manchester, David Jedidian of Rockville, Kim Patella of New Milford, Spencer Peterson of Newington, Nina Smith of Waterbury, and Christopher Todd of Windsor. The teachers are joined by students from across the state and were filmed over two weekends at Elmer Thienes School in Marlborough and Bennett Academy and Keeney Street School in Manchester.
Patella said she hopes the commercial will drive home the message that Connecticut has well-educated, highly qualified teachers who are passionate about the job they do and will rise to whatever challenges come their way.
“We want a student-centered reform agenda, and that’s clear in the ad,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “Our teachers are relentless in their focus on student growth despite the obstacles and frustration that are part and parcel of Connecticut’s approach to school reform.”
Peterson agreed. “We make a difference every single day. If you ask anyone ‘who is the most influential person in your life after your parents?’ he or she will tell you a teacher,” said Peterson.
Watch the new commercial here or below.