How to Not Make Friends

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Want to see me alienate virtually anyone who may be reading this? Schools: You are filled with caring people, but that doesn’t change that you’re a huge institution, and institutions are sociopathic. Your instincts will continue to drive all decisions … Continue reading

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You Are Going to Die

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One of the most common questions students will ask me, when they find out I was in Iraq, is, are you any different? Are you crazy now? Well, I was crazy before I signed up. I am different, though it … Continue reading

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5,000 Hours is Too Long for High School

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You’ll spend five thousand hours in a High School building by the time you’re done. I can’t think of a single reason why that might be justified. For a comparison, to hunt in New York you need to take a … Continue reading

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The Purpose of Grades is to Bribe and Threaten

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  Here’s your homework assignment. Ask a dozen teachers, what is the purpose behind grading students? I don’t know for sure what they’ll tell you, but whatever they say it will likely fall into one of three categories. The first … Continue reading

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Don’t Delay Instant Gratification!

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One mark of maturity is the ability to delay instant gratification. A mature person waits until they lose those extra 20 pounds before eating their birthday cake; they wait until their credit cards are paid off before booking the Tahiti … Continue reading

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7 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Students’ Test Scores

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  Nobody likes standardized testing, but they’re here, so we might as well prepare our students as best we can. I have English as a New Language (ENL) students who, on certain testing days, test for 12 hours a day, … Continue reading

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Pay Cash for College…Why You Should, and How You Can

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When I was in High School and college, the advice I got about student loan debt was that it’s good. It’s better than credit card debt, it’ll help build your credit, and without at least a BA you’re going to … Continue reading

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The Marble Sorting Factory Model of Education

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It seems to be in vogue to describe public education as the “factory model” having sprung from the “industrial revolution.” That’s a vague and unfair way to characterize a factory, and insinuates that nothing of value happens at factories. Some … Continue reading

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Teaching Evolution Without Learning a Thing

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Everyone knows that the number one reason we should send kids to school and not just do it ourselves through some half-baked homeschool program is to ensure proper socialization. School is where all of the worlds’ kids are, so without … Continue reading

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Operation Iraqi Freedom & The Grading Policy

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I write about education and what I think that should mean or be, both criticisms and hopes, and stories about the kids in the public school that I work. This post is about Iraq and 2004, and something innocuous I … Continue reading

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Why Do We Want a Scholarship Endowment for Refugee Students?

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  For those who don’t know me, my name is Brian Huskie. I’m a teacher in an urban school district and as of this writing I’ve been there for eight years, five of which I’ve taught English Language Learners. Before … Continue reading

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Five Ways Teachers Waste Their Time

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  My name is Brian Huskie, I’m a National Board Certified English teacher, I’ve been teaching for nine years in an urban school district, and I spend an obscene proportion of my day busily wasting time. After some reflection, I … Continue reading

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Students Need to Do More Than Opt Out. They Need to Strike.

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Thank you Peter DeWitt for this post. Ghandi said, “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.” Some version of that was in my head and on my heart when I left the school building around … Continue reading

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“5 reasons parents should embrace Common Core tests” Debunked

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It makes sense that the person with the test-prep business would want your kids to take more tests (embrace them, actually). Her actual points as to why they should take them make less sense. Your child needs to learn how … Continue reading

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What High School Could Learn From Dave Ramsey

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“The thing I have discovered about working with personal finance is that the good news is that it is not rocket science. Personal finance is about 80 percent behavior. It is only about 20 percent head knowledge.” ~Dave Ramsey   … Continue reading

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People Will Never Forget How You Made Them Feel

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“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou “Because I don’t goddamn listen.” Rohan, age 3 or 4.   Not my … Continue reading

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Love, Responsibility, and Freedom

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After my first semester at college I jumped into a car with a bunch of guys and drove to a state park a half hour away. I can’t remember if I knew what the mission was, but it was late … Continue reading

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A Response to Steve Hargadon’s August 1st Post

Our national debates aren’t thoughtful, they are for the most part sensationalist and argumentative. Cross political or philosophical lines and there’s an epithet waiting for you. Ask reasonable questions and you’re labeled a “denier,” “skeptic,” or “conspiracy theorist.” Steve Hargadon … Continue reading

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The Reader’s Bill of Rights

The Reader’s Bill of Rights, by Daniel Pennac   1. The right to not read 2. The right to skip pages 3. The right to not finish 4. The right to reread 5. The right to read anything 6. The … Continue reading

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12 Hours of Testing

  I’ll say it plainly. English Language Learners have 6 hours to complete each of their 5 required regents exams, and they usually take at least 5 of those hours. Oftentimes, the tests that are required of them fall on … Continue reading

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Thank you SUNY!

Thank you Kay Broughton, Taras Kufel, and everyone else at SUNY for making this alumni piece happen, and for bringing awareness to our refugees and to this project:   http://blog.suny.edu/2015/06/from-conflict-to-classroom-an-alum-is-working-to-give-students-a-chance/   You guys are the best!

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Thank you to Natasha Sachs

Thank you to Natasha Sachs from Cobleskill-Richmondville High School for writing about this project on the Times Union High School Blog: http://blog.timesunion.com/highschool/albany-high-teacher-starts-fund-for-refugee-scholarship/46553/ We appreciate everyone working hard to get the word out! Thank you!

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High Standards

“Some people say we have to raise standards as if this is a breakthrough. Like really, yes, we should. Why would you lower them?” Sir Ken Robinson  “The task of teaching is never quantifiable. If everything I learned in High School is a measurable objective, I haven’t learned … Continue reading

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The Refugee Scholarship Fund, Interview

Thank you WAMC for helping me to get the word out!

http://wamc.org/post/albany-teacher-seeks-scholarship-program-refugees

 

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Kids Aren’t Sick, You Aren’t the Cure

“In my early professional years I was asking the question: How can I treat, or cure, or change this person? Now I would phrase the question in this way: How can I provide a relationship which this person may use … Continue reading

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When it comes to education

I’m responding to a challenge by Scott Mcleod: When it comes to education, what are the five things we have to stop pretending? My contribution: That compliance is the same as engagement. That a teenager is a “child” who isn’t ready for … Continue reading

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It Can Be Scary

‘Your father does not know how to teach. You can have a seat now.’ I mumbled that I was sorry and retired meditating upon my crime. ~Harper Lee from To Kill a Mockingbird   “Our deepest fear is not that … Continue reading

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To the College Bound

“A consistent thinker is a thoughtless person, because he conforms to a pattern; he repeats phrases and thinks in a groove.” Jiddu Krishnamurti   You shouldn’t go to college. Don’t do it. Don’t even think about it. It’s a waste … Continue reading

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The State

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. … Continue reading

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What Knowledge Is

“…ledge, the second element in the word knowledge, means sport. Knowledge is the result of playing with that we know, that is, with our facts. A knowledgeable person in science is not, as we are often want to think, merely … Continue reading

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