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ISTE 2017 – Affiliate Summit Keynote – Joe Sanfelippo

June 24, 2017

Part of the Affiliate Summit this year was a keynote from Joe. Joe is an incredible speaker, and while I would normally just included my notes as part of the Affiliate Day, it was too good to wait, and it stands alone.

Joe Sanfelippo, Ph. D.,, @joesanfelippo Fall Creek Wisconsin, home of the Mighty Crickets

Become Unforgettable! The Power of Telling Your Story

Sometimes in public education, we’re allowing people who have no connection with schools, create and manage the narrative. The problem is this isn’t fair to our organizations, to our kids, our communities who work so hard to support. It’s not something we pay for, rather it’s something we invest in.

Today I shall behave is if this is the day I will be remembered. – Dr. Seuss

Core things:

  1. Being intentional about what we do
  2. Build Staff
  3. Open Doors

We tell the story as a team, we can’t do it all by ourselves. The more people we invest in, and develop trust within our classrooms and schools, the better we will become.

In the absence of knowledge, people make up their own.

This isn’t right, but there is a distinct difference between what is right and what is real. If we don’t change the story, we’re giving people the right to tell the story they want to. People tell only the story about what they see, which is never the whole story.

Be Intentional

This always always always starts with culture. Culture is built in 30 second increments. Joe asked us if we believe it’s possible. He had each of us stand six inches away from our neighbour, facing them, for 10 seconds. Imagine what a difference this makes with 30 seconds. Then he asked us to call or text someone who has made a difference in our lives and helped us to become the person we are, in 30 seconds. Therefore we reach the conclusion that yes, 30 seconds can make a difference, and in the course of the day, we have so many 30 second opportunities. What are we doing to build relationships? Does your team know that “you won’t drop them”?

Joe will sometimes send notes home to family members of staff, just to say thank you.

If people know your “why” and how it works, they will follow.

Open Doors

How do we tell the story about our organization? It’s not just words, but it’s pictures, and anything else that helps tell the story. Joe uses #gocrickets on everything. Every picture, every post, every item of clothing has this on it.

There are so many tools, but he finds out where his people are. For Joe’s district, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the places to be.

It’s okay to make a mistake when you are telling the story, as long as you’re telling the story often. If you only tell it once, you have a problem.

This is your opportunity to make people feel like rockstars. They are rockstars, but you need to tell the story, get it out there, and let the world know. You need to tell the story and set the narrative.

Joe did an incredible job encouraging everyone to make a difference. His style and energy was engaging and convincing. Though he is part of small district, his motivation impacts a great number of people. Would love to see Joe as another keynote again!




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