New Teacher Hotline Features New York Teacher of the Year

New York Teacher of the Year, Rich Ognibene, joined host Mike Kelley to share teaching strategies that can help all teachers be more successful in the classroom on the New Teacher Hotline this week. A teaching veteran with more than 20 years of experience, Ognibene is one of the only male recipients of Teacher of the Year.

Ognibene teaches chemistry and physics at Fairport High School Fairport, New York. He has taught science for middle and high school students and has served as a mentor teacher to many first-year teachers. He said, "What makes great teachers great is on those days when you struggle and things don't go perfectly, you wake up the next day and go in with the strength and the love and the wisdom to keep going."

Ognibene discussed the struggles new teachers face, the obstacles of classroom management and the importance of establishing classroom rules the first day of school. "The classroom atmosphere has to be planned for as much as the content," Ognibene said about the importance of classroom management and preparation. He shared personal lessons learned as a new teacher and offered examples of how to engage students in a variety of ways that not only teaches them the content, but also allows students to work in groups and encourage each other.

To conclude the interview Ognibene shared his most valued piece of advice. "When every strategy fails, more love is always a viable solution," Ognibene told listeners. To listen to the full interview, visit and click on Episode 18, "Rich Ognibene, New York Teacher of the Year."