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teaching

Living in Spanish

Learning Spanish, or any foreign language, is great for many reasons. It develops the language center of your brain, which helps you speak, read, and write better in your own language. It teaches grammar. Studies show learning a foreign language can protect against mental deterioration as we age.  Some say that learning the melodious sounds and rhythms of another language develop your ear for music.  The benefits are many.

A Beginner’s Guide to Art Class

I am an artist-educator actively involved in making socially-engaged art using a variety of technologies and techniques. When I came to The Beekman School to teach drawing and photography three years ago, I was not quite sure how to approach teaching drawing and photography to students who might not be very interested in “art” of any kind.

Serendipitously, I had one very talented and passionate art student in my first class – but his passion was Manga and Anime, and these were art forms that were largely unfamiliar to me.

Beekman: Teaching to the Individual

Our national school system, public and private alike, is designed for keeping a group of students as homogeneous as possible.  Even with all of the claims of “teaching to the individual” that a traditional school makes, there has to be a level of keeping everyone in the class at the same pace, leaving some students behind and holding others back.  How, then, can you truly teach to the individual?

Failure: An Invaluable Component of a True Education

It is the failures in our lives, rather than the successes, that have guided our way toward expertise.  Failure is a profound teacher.  The experience of failure can show us how to improve.  Success only demonstrates what we’ve already learned.  In fact, too much success, coming too easily, can lead to boredom, loss of interest, and over-confidence.  When failure is repeatedly experienced, but success still seems possible, people are driven to improve in order to achieve the reward of success.  It is the failures themselves that teach us the way to that success.

Faculty Q&A with History Teacher Ian Rusten

Growing up in the artsy neighborhood of Soho, it is no surprise that Ian Rusten set his sights on a career in the arts. While he enjoyed subjects such as history and English, “I liked drawing even more,” he says. However, after teaching English in Korea after college, he caught the teaching bug and went on to earn an M.A. in Education and an M.A. in History, both at Hunter College.

“It’s funny; teaching as a career just never really occurred to me,” he says.

His students are glad that it finally did.

 

Faculty Q&A with History Teacher Anastasia Georgoulis

Even as a child, Anastasia Georgoulis had teaching in her bones. In grammar school, she felt a sense of responsibility towards her classmates, always ready to lend a helping hand with homework or a social problem.

“I was the kid to whom classmates went for help,” recalls Anastasia, who grew up in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

That attentive, protective spirit intensified during her studies at New York University, where she graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in history and later earned a M.A. at Teacher’s College.

 

Teaching Turgenev's Novella "First Love"

Like many of us, high school students are often attracted to stories with characters going through similar struggles and life changes. I have found some success teaching Alan Sillitoe's novella The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1959), whose 17-year-old protagonist from a working class home, Colin Smith, has been caught burgling and is sent to a reform school. Discovering Smith’s gift for running, school officials enter him in a cross-country competition.

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