A teacher is one of the most trusted people in his/her community, according to public opinion polls. So, it stands to reason, when groups of teachers band together to organize on critical issues, they can make a powerful difference.
Local union after local union—affiliates of CEA—have countless examples of what’s been accomplished when teachers work together. Never satisfied to rest on their laurels, however, 176 teachers yesterday began their training in CEA’s Summer Leadership track on organizing—the centerpiece of CEA’s annual leadership program.
Torrington teacher Carrie Phillips, along with four of her colleagues, is participating in the exciting new program. “We have many committed members of the Torrington Education Association (TEA), but our goal is to interest a greater number in becoming activists,” says Phillips.
She continues, “I see a great deal of talent and dedication among our newer TEA members, and I want to communicate effectively about what we can accomplish together. The best local associations are inclusive and driven by shared decision making. I want TEA to be all that it can be and that is inextricably linked to member activism.”
According to Phillips, a strong TEA is a critical voice in the community. “There’s no downplaying the reality that good working conditions make great learning conditions for our students. Relationship building is important both within our association and when reaching out to the community to develop approaches that increase student achievement and promote strong communities. The bottom line is that we want to make high-quality public education a reality for each and every youngster. ”