Children have been back at school for about three weeks now and teachers couldn’t be happier to welcome them back in-person. That enthusiasm is captured in the Connecticut Education Association’s latest ad campaign. 

“Teachers showed their tenacity and perseverance last year, as they quickly adjusted, reflected, and responded to the chaos caused by the pandemic,” CEA President Kate Dias said. “This year, as witnessed in the ad, our teachers are excited to be back at school, ready to face whatever challenges come their way and to do what it takes to make this a great school year for their students.”

State data showed earlier this month that students who attended school in-person last year did better academically than those who were remote or hybrid. 

“Kids come to us as they come to us every year,” Dias has said. “This concept of gaps or what have you, maybe it’s exacerbated in the sense that there may be a wider spread of children who have had challenges last year.”

It’s something teachers have always done, according to Dias. They’ve met the students where they’re at and this year is no different. 

The state of Connecticut has told districts to return to in-person learning and have not offered alternatives for those who want to continue remote

Rich Baez, an instructional coach at Harbor Elementary School in New London, who is featured in the ad, said teachers are happy to have the students back in the classroom. 

“Teaching virtually is not the same,” he said. 

He said technology helped get them through last year but “it will never replace live instruction.”

“Teachers live for that ‘aha’ moment to see them catch an idea,” he added. 

Dias said the ad campaign provides families with a great sense of confidence and optimism about the school year and underscores that safe, in-person learning is the best way for students to learn and grow.

“It drives home the message that teachers and schools are about more than just academics,” she said, adding, “Teachers are professionals, who are trained to navigate the unexpected and are willing to make sacrifices of their own time and resources to make sure students are back to places where they feel safe, supported, and loved.”

The month-long campaign will air on Connecticut’s major television networks, radio stations, cable channels, streaming platforms, and online news sites, as well as Spanish television and radio.