Teacher Spotlight: Meet John O’Neill, Otisville Elementary third-grade teacher

Teacher spotlight artwork

John O'NeillMeet John O’Neill, who teaches third-grade at Otisville Elementary School!

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?

My favorite part of the job is working with the students. Developing and maintaining a positive rapport with them is essential for success. Even during these unprecedented times, the children come to Google Meets or class eager and ready to learn. That is the fuel that drives teachers to work with children. The ultimate goal is to inspire them to be intrinsically motivated to learn! As an educator, it is rewarding to witness their progress.

Why do you believe in and support the work of the Minisink Valley School District and what it does for the community?

Although I am not a resident, I have had the pleasure to feel welcomed as a resident. Over the past 24 years, I have seen some amazing teamwork in the Minisink Valley School District. “It takes a village to raise a child” is so true and that is what this community is all about. There are many people that are committed to this group effort and that is the formula that makes this school district so special. I am proud to be part of this formula.

How has this pandemic refocused the work you do every day?

The pandemic has certainly changed the way I work every day. In particular, I have learned so much over the past year about setting up and implementing a digital classroom. I am very thankful for the collaboration with my colleagues and countless “YouTube” videos on using technology in the classroom. Also, I have learned so much from the students, too. Many times I have heard, “Mr. O’Neill, maybe you should try this…” They are usually right!

The silver lining of the pandemic is that everyone has learned more about technology and supported one another in ways that we have not had to in the past. These technology skills will certainly be utilized as we move forward. I am certain that I will continue to hear “Mr. O’Neill, maybe you should try this….”

What do you want to say directly to the community about the importance of your work?

Thank you for your commitment to this group effort to raise the children of the Minisink Valley School District! This school district is made up of hard working, caring and committed people who come together for the good of every child. Your continued support is appreciated. I am thankful for being part of this school community and am honored to work with the children and adults of this community.