Conference Day Inspires OCSD Teachers
Teachers have to be a little crazy to do what they do, according to Dr. Joe Sanfelippo, the keynote speaker at the DO Ed Tech ’18 Destination Oneonta conference on Friday, Oct. 19.
But they don’t have to be crazy alone.
“You’ve got a group of people who do this together. This is who we are. Let’s take care of each other,” said Sanfelippo, who is the superintendent of the Fall Creek School District in Wisconsin.
In a wide-ranging presentation punctuated by Sanfelippo’s self-deprecating – yet inspiring – brand of humor, the superintendent addressed more than 200 teachers and school staff members. Most were from Oneonta City School District, which organized the conference in conjunction with the New York State Association of Computers and Technologies in Education. The conference coincided with a regularly scheduled superintendent’s conference day for Oneonta CSD.
Sanfelippo's lively talk at Oneonta High School encouraged teachers and school staff to create a culture of storytelling in order to build engagement within a school community and beyond.
“There are people in your school district that do not have people to tell their stories,” Sanfelippo said, noting these could be both students and adult staff members. “We’ve got to tell stories.”
Social media is a valuable tool that may be used to craft and share these stories, he added.
Oneonta CSD IT Director Bonnie Nobiling said Sanfellipo helped set the tone for the day through this engaging presentation. After the keynote address, teachers and staff members cycled through a series of workshops covering areas such as Google Apps for Education, digital citizenship, coding and robotics and cyber security.
Immediately after Sanfellipo’s talk, a trio of Oneonta teachers discussed what they could do next to implement some of his ideas.
“I’m really excited,” said Jennifer Allers, the Oneonta Middle School French teacher. “We work with an amazing group. And after hearing that, I just want to hug everybody I know and say thanks for working together”
Amy Lamb teaches high school Spanish at Oneonta.
“I think it was something that we all really needed to hear,” Lamb said. “I am grateful every day for what I do and the people I work with. I am going to start crying. It just made me really appreciate what we all do for each other and our students.”
Kathy Stein, who works in the Oneonta Middle School Library said the talk was inspiring.
“I am overwhelmed by the support that we have around us and know that now I need to recognize that support and that we all are here for each other and that we all are rock stars,” she said.