Professional Development Opinion

OPPI Festival Makes Educators Say Wow

By Starr Sackstein — May 17, 2015 1 min read
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Seldom do I have the opportunity to attend an event that I’m meant only to be a participant in and enjoy it as much as I did the OPPI festival.

It was networking heaven mixed with a little adventure.

Taking in rather than giving out and recharging the little hamster in my brain who loves to run, I listened with fervor as each empassioned educator or educational professional shared ideas about change.

Change makes me spin; particularly positive motion in my classroom that encourages risk taking and growth in my students’ learning experiences. The highs and lows of my manic relationship with change are incredible, like a child literally twirling in circles until the world begins to spin.

Passionately fanning the fire of infectious embers of possibilities that hopefully catch on like the best kinds of contagions.

Great ideas should travel like this particularly in terms of improving learning for children.

Kids are our most important commodity. Investing in them is what every nation should be doing and therefore investing in teachers is essential.

And that’s what the OPPI festival did.

One speaker after the next fixed my attention and fed me delicious bits of longing that will only make me strive harder to make change happen for our noble profession.

Between Randy Weingarten, Pasi Sahlberg, Andy Hargreaves, Gavin Dykes, Frances Strickland and many others, I longed for the educational world they spoke of.

Whether Pasi Sahlberg spoke of the way teachers are prepared and revered in Finland or the thoughtful words of Andy Hargreaves about servicing those who service others, I was moved by the thought of teachers seeing themselves as respected professionals equivalent to the most honored of doctors, lawyers and business people.

Here is what folks were saying about #OPPI on Twitter:

The overall feeling was inspiration. If you haven’t had a chance to attend an OPPI festival, I highly recommend it. It’s time we start to celebrate educators as they have.

What if educators were given their due by society for the tremendously important job we do every day? Please share your positive stories.

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