A teacher’s first years in the classroom are often the most challenging—and a time when educators need all the support their veteran colleagues and peers can give them.
“Early career educators are often so busy learning the ropes and managing multiple new responsibilities that they may not feel as connected to their union or as aware of their rights, responsibilities, and the resources available to them,” says CEA Training and Organizational Development Specialist Christopher Teifke.
That’s why CEA has piloted a series of events called ONE Young and Union: Empowerment Through Knowledge, tailored to the needs and desires of local associations who want to engage more early career educators and provide opportunities and training geared specifically to that demographic.
“ONE stands for Opportunity, Networking, and Empowerment,” says Teifke, “and that’s what we aim to provide to this often-overlooked group. We’ve designed events that are relevant and informative to educators just starting out and that connect them to their union leaders and to each other. These gatherings are also fun—they give early career educators an opportunity to learn and grow together outside the classroom.”
The first event, held this winter in Groton, was a legal bootcamp where participants were introduced to laws affecting their profession, including those governing tenure, teacher evaluation, and union representation.
“We had a great turnout, and we look forward to the next learning sessions, which will focus on more legal issues, the Family Medical Leave Act, and other important leave provisions,” Teifke says. “The series is geared toward teachers with less than six years’ experience and is free to all CEA members. We’re also happy to bring this program to any local association interested in engaging its newest members.”
Click to learn more about upcoming ONE Young and Union events or to schedule a program in your area.
Upcoming events already scheduled this spring are being held at the Groton Town House Restaurant from 4-5:30 pm. Register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 4: Public School Educators Legal Boot Camp
Learn about free speech, use of technology, and how social media impacts your professional life.
May 2: Family Medical Leave Act and Other Important Leave Provisions
Are you confused about the federal, state, and local leave benefits for Connecticut educators working in public schools? This helpful overview should provide a general understanding before you may actually need that time off from work.
June 6: ONE Young and Union Networking Event
This is your opportunity to meet and share with your local and state union representatives and your colleagues from the region.