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Are You Happy?

Authored by Kate Bendrick, Math Teacher

“Are you happy?” she said. I was in my early twenties, working on my masters degree, scraping together money where I could, and trying to figure out what to do next. I was stricken by the question, blindsided, like an interview question it had never occurred to me to prepare for. Because no one had ever asked me that. Am I happy? I reflected for a moment. Suddenly, in a cataclysmic moment of realization, thoughts flooded my brain. Among them various ideas about our culture’s relationship with happiness: studies showing that the happiest countries are not those with the most secure standard of living; studies showing that happiness, above all else, correlates with feeling that you are a part of a community; the cultural ideal of “pursuing happiness,” and how my home country latched on fervently to that ideal. And yet, no one had ever asked me. Not even me, in my years of introspection. The fact that I had not been asked to assess my life satisfaction up to this point was not born of a...read more

Topics: Kate Bendrick, Happy, Happiness, Pursuit of Happiness

Questions to Ask When Searching for the Right College Prep School

Authored by George Higgins, Headmaster

Like most specialized fields, education has its buzzwords. You’ve probably heard a few of them: grit, data-driven, student-centered, inquiry-based, flipped classroom, etc. Despite taking different approaches to education, all of these new perspectives on what teaching and learning could look like seem to be adding up to one big conclusion: college. As a result of the cultural emphasis Americans place on college, a plethora of “college prep” programs and “college prep” high schools have seemingly sprung up to meet the needs of students.  If all of these programs and schools are emphasizing college preparedness, how are you supposed to choose the right path? Students, parents, and teachers know that every learner has individual needs, and finding a college prep program that both supports those needs and pushes students to confront areas that need improvement is pivotal when preparing for college.   There are also some high schools and nonprofit-run programs that support students with...read more

Topics: George Higgins, college prep

How Does Beekman Meet Individual Needs?

Authored by George Higgins, Headmaster

As New York City’s oldest and best provider of personalized education, The Beekman School offers small classes averaging 5 to 6 students, as well as one-to-one classes, to college prep high school students on a year-round, rolling admissions basis.  Students can begin a course at any time during the day, and be admitted on a part-time or full-time basis. Please watch this video and contact us for additional information. read more

Topics: The Beekman School, individualized learning, George Higgins

What Sets Beekman Apart From Other Schools

Authored by George Higgins, Headmaster

“I’ve done my homework and there isn’t another school like you in the whole country!”  Yes, that mother is right.  Beekman’s ability to personalize a student’s education is unmatched.  As our tag line states, “One school. Infinite possibilities.” Although our college preparatory program follows the same guidelines as larger, more traditionally structured schools, Beekman’s combination of class sizes averaging 6 students, one-to-one courses, and distance learning provides us with opportunities to create a schedule as individualized and unique as each student’s needs. Since 1925, The Beekman School has set a high standard for exemplary academics in a friendly, welcoming environment.  We have a 100% college acceptance rate for our graduates who apply and our college guidance program is second to none. When families are looking for a high school that has a decades-long tradition of successfully educating high school students, The Beekman School’s midtown townhouse stands alone as your...read more

Topics: The Beekman School, high school, individualized learning, George Higgins

Community Service from the Benevolent Blue Jays

Authored by Vanilla Macias-Rodriguez, Science Teacher

As the oldest of three, I passed a lot of hand-me-downs to my siblings.  What we didn’t share with each other, we donated to Goodwill, Catholic Charities or whatever organization put a flyer on our door saying they’d be around next week to pick up any donations.  The importance of being thankful for all we had and giving back to those in need was something my parents instilled in us from a very young age.  Even though we are huge Dallas Cowboys football fans, we missed the big game to participate in the annual Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner, which provides turkey and all the trimmings on Thanksgiving Day for senior citizens and the less fortunate.  It is a huge event serving over 25,000 meals.  We helped out at a soup kitchen where hunters would bring in deer they had shot that was made into venison stew for hungry families.  We worked church carnivals. We provided entertainment at retirement homes for seniors (we dressed up in costumes and sang country songs-there are pictures--don...read more

Topics: Vanilla Macias-Rodriguez, community service, Benevolent Blue Jays

Physics in Action: The Egg Drop Experiment

Authored by Linli Chin, Physics Teacher

Is that a bird? Is that a plane? No, it’s our Physics Egg Drop Experiment!  Every year, after we complete the unit on Forces, Impulse and Momentum, the students in my Physics class have an opportunity to test out their engineering and creativity skills in a project where they are tasked with protecting two eggs from breaking when dropped from the 4th floor of our townhouse building into the garden. During the design process, our budding engineers are given a list of materials that they are allowed to use such as cardboard, cotton, fabric, rubber bands, plastic bags, twine, and tape, and a list of forbidden materials such as pre-made containers, bubble wrap, helium balloons, peanut butter, Jell-O or any other type of food (in my 19 years of doing this project, there have been quite a handful “interesting” requests for materials, including a drone, which was met with a quick NO!) They are given weight restrictions for the project to ensure that they are not merely packing the entire...read more

Topics: egg drop, physics, experiment, Linli Chin

Why Do We Study History?

Authored by Ian Rusten, History Teacher

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” Marcus Garvey Why history? Is the past actually relevant to today? Why do we spend so much time in middle and high school studying history? Some students see history as a boring compilation of dates, events, and dead people, even a "brain drain" on their already taxed growing minds. Why should we need to understand what happened in the past? Isn’t the future what is really important? History is much more than a series of dates, key events, or important people. It is a poignant narrative of the journey of humanity.  Teaching history in my small classes at The Beekman School, I try to connect to the human aspect of the subject.  My job is to bring our shared past alive and attempt to communicate the triumphs and tragedies of the human experience. It’s the small stories that matter. Winston Churchill may have been correct that “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it,”...read more

Topics: Ian Rusten, history

ACT Accommodations – What to Know Before You Apply

Authored by Maren Holmen, Director, The Tutoring School

Are you a student taking the ACT with accommodations?  You should know these things before you test: If you think you may need accommodations, make sure that you get the necessary paperwork to your school’s counselor or testing coordinator at least 2 months before you take the test.  (Note: You must register for a test before your school can submit a request for accommodations.)  It can take a while for the ACT to review all of your paperwork, so make sure you aren’t leaving it to the last minute. If you are approved for accommodations that are anything other than 50% extended time, self-paced, you cannot test at a national test center.  These test centers only have proctors for test takers who need no accommodations or get time-and-a-half in one day; all other accommodations (including computer) automatically get pushed to a student’s school. You are responsible for ensuring that you have a test site.  While your school will likely have this outlined already (test dates, times, etc...read more

Topics: ACT, standardized testing, accommodations, Maren Holmen

Fun with Maps

Authored by Gabriella Skwara, History Teacher

John Oliver, the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, has a running joke that he plays on his audience. Whenever he is discussing another part of the world, he points to an incorrectly highlighted map and then calls people out for not having caught the mistake. He will sometimes point to several “wrong” countries before he finally settles on the actual one. This somewhat pretentious joke points to a frequently true stereotype about Americans: we aren't very good at world geography. However, the Beekman students in my Geography and World Cultures class would beg to differ. Most adults remember studying maps and filling in blank ones in order to memorize the names of countries and cities. This process could be tedious, and there were always a number of students who invariably did poorly on tests, especially if they struggled with spatial perception. I admittedly dreaded the map portion of this class until discovering and implementing the Seterra app towards the end of last year. The app (...read more

Topics: Gabriella Skwara, history, Maps

Picking the Right Major: How Do You Beat the Robots?

Authored by Kate Bendrick, Math Teacher

Attempting to mold your future is a daunting task, made no easier by a rapidly changing technological environment. Motivation in choosing a major boils down to two main concerns: passion and personal fulfillment versus the likelihood of obtaining a reasonably (or wildly) lucrative job down the line. Some pick a major to fulfill one over the other, some try for a major that balances the two in some way. For those concerned with finding a path to financial stability and prosperity though, how to choose wisely? We know something about how college majors translate into yearly returns. Engineering, computer science, and math graduates, for instance, earn about a 12% yearly premium in pay in the 20 years after graduating. Not all of this premium is due to the choice of major: men earn more than women, and these graduates earn more partially because they are overwhelmingly male. The earnings premium remains after controlling for gender, however, and is still significant. According to a study...read more

Topics: artificial intelligence, major, college, career, Kate Bendrick

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