In Canisius High School's mission to prepare students not only for college, but for their entire lives, we must adapt to our increasingly digital world: an effort that has been led by teacher Eric Amodeo '94. Originally hired in September 2001 to teach algebra and geometry, Eric has come to play a pivotal role in Canisius' transition to the digital world in his present roles as chair of the computer science department and director of academic technology.
As director of academic technology, he introduced the 1:1 iPad program to the school in the fall of 2012, and he continues to direct the school in its efforts to integrate technology within the classroom. In his teaching role, his classes include computer science 12, AP computer science principles, and video game design.
Eric loves the energy and enthusiasm students have for learning, and he enjoys channeling that enthusiasm in class, using it to guide potential new topics and courses. The video game design course, for example, grew from student interest in the topic. One of Eric's most recent projects is leading the school's new robotics team.
The robotics and video game design offerings have also been expanded to a summer workshop format for rising sixth and seventh grade boys. In one-week workshops for each topic, students can explore their interests in these fields before their high school careers begin. To learn more about the summer workshops, visit canisiushigh.org/bestsummerever.
Eric recognizes that Jesuit education is focused on "cura personalis", or caring for the whole person. For him that means teachers don't see students as simply students, but as human beings who have their own interests, desires, and struggles – or complete human beings. Naturally, such a viewpoint requires a commitment to discuss life and bring the teacher's own experiences into the classroom to create a bond with their students, and a willingness to listen and respond to the students.
When asked about his approach to education, Eric likes to quote a fellow teacher at Canisius -- Fr. Richard Zanoni S.J. -- who says, "When asked what I teach, I say that I teach young men."