Otis-28Starting as an international outdoor adventure guide, Kriegel made his way the classroom afterwards and has been teaching for the past 15 years. Having taught in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Berlin, Germany, Kriegel has taught all of the grades 1st -8th in monolingual, dual language, inclusion as also created and taught a Digital Arts program for a public Middle School in New York City. Otis was adjunct faculty at New York University and a guest speaker at The Bank Street College of Education, City College of New York, Touro College and others. An experienced presenter, Kriegel has spoken at numerous conferences and given workshops to hundreds of new and veteran teachers alike, as well as consulted with educational administrators and principals. He wrote Everything a New Elementary School Teacher REALLY Needs to Know (But Didn’t Learn in College) (Free Spirit, 2013) and Starting School Right: How do I plan for a successful first week in my classroom? (ASCD Arias, 2016).

Kriegel is an artist, who cofounded the public art collective, Illegal Art, whose book, Suggestion (August 2005), was published by Chronicle Books. Kriegel’s public art, photography and video/film projects have been featured in such media outlets as National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” New York Magazine, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Public Art Review and The New York Times. His work has been exhibited, commissioned and published in catalogs throughout the Americas and Europe, and was an artist-in-residence at the 2013 SXSW Festival.  Kriegel was also  commissioned by The White House to participate in the South By South Lawn Festival.

Art as Collaboration and Public Service

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Otis uses his knowledge of participatory-based public art and communication to create campaigns, public events to encourage participation, and slogans for a number of different companies and organizations such as Foundation Rwanda, Five Acre Farms, Ito-En Tea, Campari/SKYY Vodka, SXSW Festivals, TMP Worldwide, Comet Skateboards, Gooder Companies and Teak Interactive.

Featured In:

NyTimes Entertainment Weekely NPR Public Art Review The Losa Angeles Times Advertising Age The Dallas Morning News The Boston Globe WNYC The Guardian

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I have often called upon Otis’ services to help across the many companies I’ve been involved in. While he is best known as an educator and author revolutionizing the way teachers perform their duties, he demonstrates equal brilliance as an artist and creative collaborator. With an insightful and provacative approach, Otis has challenged the world through his public art projects and lent his vision to many creative agencies and brands whom wish to engage with their audience in a more relevant way.

Otis is a brilliant mind! I’ve known Otis for nearly ten years and he is a constant source of originality and is someone I find myself continuously yearning to collaborate with. I’ve worked with Otis on a number of Illegal Art projects in conjunction with Foundation Rwanda. He has an amazing way of making art simple, playful and accessible to all while fostering unique interactions. I highly recommend working with Otis should you have the opportunity to!

Simple Skills & Strategies to Help Both Teachers and Administrators Be Effective Now

Kriegel’s programs and workshops have helped numerous new and veteran teachers alike. He also coaches administrators on how to get the most out of their staff and out of themselves as school leaders. All focused upon making schools effective, positive environments, Kriegel’s work with educators avoids jargon and is based upon the everyday experience and needs of educators everywhere.

Covering crucial territory that is often overlooked in certification programs, without ever being rigidly prescriptive, Kriegel guides the reader with humor, care, and incisive intelligence. It’s a book to devour from cover to cover, and to return to often.

Otis Kriegel is someone that teachers have to meet. Although he has never met them before he immediately builds rapport, trust, and makes educators even more excited about their work.  Otis is flexible and inherently understands what teachers and schools need to actually be successful.

In 2006, at the request of a professor of education, Kriegel created the program, “How To Survive Your First Year of Teaching & Have A Life”. Since then, he has worked with hundreds of preservice, new and veteran teachers as well as principals, coaches, administrators and professors on how to help teachers at all stages of their careers to maximize their potential, and be more effective now.

Kriegel regularly speaks at conferences and universities and gives workshops for individual schools and districts. He also consults with administrators at every level in person, via Skype or phone.


Watch Otis Speak

Kriegel has spoken at or consulted with the following groups and organizations:

ASCD Annual Conference 2014 & 2015
Bank Street College of Education
Barnes & Noble
Book Expo America
City College of New York
John F. Kennedy School
Learning Community Charter School, Jersey City, NJ
Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association (MESPA)
NYC Charter School Center Annual Conference
New York University
Touro College
University of Minnesota 

Kriegel has written for or been reviewed by the following publications:

Education Week
Foreword Reviews
New York Family Magazine
PBS Parents
Scholastic Instructor
Scholastic Parent & Child Magazine
School Book at WNYC Radio
Teachers College Record
The Teacher Writer
The Washington Post
411 Voices Spotlight Radio Show

Books to Inspire

Starting School Right by Otis Kriegel

Barnes & Noble

How do I plan for a successful first week in my classroom?

Packed with ideas for both new and veteran teachers of K–8 students, this book touches on a variety of topics that are especially relevant to the rst week of school. The author provides critical information that includes arranging and navigating the classroom, setting basic expectations, communicating routines, and understanding your students’ needs. Plus, you’ll see how these efforts actually work in the classroom as the author shares experiences, anecdotes, and quick tips. You’ll gain new insight into how these fundamentals support an authentic, effective, and thorough plan for the rst week of school and set the stage for a successful year for students, parents, and teachers.

In clear straightforward language, Otis tells you how to create that essential sense of “we” while reinforcing the teacher’s need to project a leadership style that is aligned with your authentic self. With concrete examples he tells you how to do it in those crucial first days!

Everything a New Elementary School Teacher REALLY Needs to Know

It’s not a typical how-to manual for new teachers, but a “little black book” of tools and tactics for getting through every school day with grace and sanity. It covers things most elementary teachers have had to learn the hard way—from managing parents to walking your class down the street safely on a field trip to why it’s important to keep a change of clothes in the classroom. The information in the book will save new teachers time and energy, and help them to be more effective, right away.

Otis Kriegel is the teacher every parent wants their child to have. For those who care about improving the quality of our schools you simply have to hope that elementary teachers and parents will buy and read this book.

Suggestion Box by Michael McDevitt and Otis Kriegel

“Hey, would you like to make a suggestion?”

With that simple question and an enormous white suggestion box, the New York Citybased collaborative Illegal Art canvassed the five boroughs, collecting suggestions from passersby of every stripethe young, the old, the filthy rich, the homeless, the mouthy, and the shy. “Love each other or perish.” “Take breath mints when offered.” “Give me a break!” In true New York style, the suggestions are by turns hilarious, nonsensical, angering, and heartwarming. Some people held the suggestion box prisoner while they wrote suggestion after suggestion; others ignored the box, but then came scrambling back with a sudden idea. One woman scribbled as she walked down Wall Street: “More time in the day.” One man in Harlem, when asked if he would like to make a suggestion, said, “Isn’t it obvious? World peace.” Or at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, a woman sadly wrote her misspelled suggestion and then held it up for all to read: “Never brake up with someone on a bridge.” With over 350 entries and 50 photos of the suggestion box in action, Suggestion is authentic, honest, and totally appealinga testiment to the the public’s innermost desire, whether it’s free beer, free daycare, or free pumpkin pie every Thursday.