Sean Persico: Massachusetts Educator of the Week

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Click here for a full list of our Connected Educators of the Week!

What is your current job of position?

I am a Special Education teacher working in the Falmouth Public  Schools at the elementary level. This year, I will specifically be working with grade four students with moderate special needs.

What is your educational background?

I have an undergraduate degree in English from UMASS: Dartmouth, and a Masters of Education (Moderate Disabilities PreK-8) from American International College.

Describe your educational philosophy and educational vision?

My philosophy on education is based in building trust, and confidence in my students, as well as having high expectations. School is becoming increasingly difficult, and I feel it is my job to positively relate to students on a personal level, give them the tools to succeed. That goes for parents as well, who are the  biggest key to a child’s success, in my opinion.

My vision for education is a more streamlined profession that prioritizes collaboration by taking advantage of real-time networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter. We now have the potential to share ideas, techniques, successes and failures as educators on a global scale. It’s a very exciting time for education.

How do you grow and engage your professional learning network?

I have always been a person-to-person type of networker, but I have found that often times, it is very difficult to keep up with face-to-face connections when we are thrust in the heat of the school year. There just isn’t enough time in the day!

I am now branching out on social media in hopes of creating an evolving network that is time efficient, easy to use, and above all, useful.

What is the greatest benefit of your professional network?

As a special educator across multiple grade levels, I am constantly working with everyone in the building to help my students succeed. Not only that, I am always modifying curriculum based on individual student goals. The greatest benefit of my professional network is having seasoned educators provide their expertise areas, experience, and directions to be able to constantly hit the moving target that is educating
students.

If you blog, what is the focus of it? How long have you been writing? Who is your audience?

Currently, I am in the process of finding a starting point to blog. I feel I would like to reach other special education teachers to share my experiences, and also make that as an available resource to parents.

How do you use social media to connect with other educators?

In the past, I have used social media to keep in contact with former colleagues, but now I am trying to dig deeper and find people who are actively using social media to bring new
information and resources to teaching.

What is your advice to teachers on social media and education?

Take your time, and accept help when it is offered! Becoming part of the real-time social media buzz can be overwhelming if you are not used to dedicating that much time to your computer or device. Learn from others, and don’t be afraid to share your experiences with the world. You never know who might you fascinating!

What advice in general do you have to teachers today?

Without sounding too preachy, always remember why we are here, which is to keep children safe, and educate them for the future. Being thoughtful also goes a long way with your colleagues, and never forget the custodians and administrative staff are your best friends. Dream with your students, love their ambitions, and respect their challenges. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself sometimes, and don’t gossip.

Describe a teacher who has had a significant impact on your professional development?

For me it would be Suzy Brooks, Associate of IT for Mashpee Public Schools. I had the privilege of working with her my first year in Falmouth. She is one of the most knowledgeable, caring, and dedicated educators I have ever met.

I base the energy I put into my craft from watching her, which is unsurpassed. Suzy has been not only an educational role-model for me, I have the pleasure of calling her a close friend as well.

What book would you recommend to teachers?

I have found that The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a great guide to personal, and professional success.

What are you thoughts on My Town Tutors? Have you ever tutored or do you know teachers who tutor?

I think My Town Tutors is a fantastic resource for tutors, and parents. The connections they are building in an organized, and easy to navigate way are unlike any other tutoring databases I have seen. As a current tutor, I am excited to be working with My
Town Tutors to help connect my business with interested families in my area!

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