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Serge Avery, Social Studies


If you look at Social Studies teacher Serge Avery's Twitter account, you'll see he calls himself a "former archaeologist,
fishmonger & flaneur." We asked Avery about that interesting description and his experience at Tech.
Here is what he shared:


Ha, I knew I should have deleted that Twitter handle. Before working as a teacher I worked as an archaeologist
throughout the Middle East and Hawaii, and in southern states. One of my first jobs as a teenager was in a fish store.
A flaneur is a French word for someone who likes to wander aimlessly, usually in a city, which is one of my favorite
things to do in NYC.


Tell us a bit about being an archaeologist, and what made you turn to teaching as a second career.
After dropping out of a Ph.D program in anthropology I turned to teaching.  I have a degree in Middle Eastern Studies and worked as an archaeologist in Israel and Jordan and traveled extensively in the Middle East.  Archaeology was a great way to see interesting parts of the world but at a certain point I decided I liked interacting with the living over the dead.


Human Geography is among the courses you teach. What others? What are your favorites to teach?
I have taught many courses but mainly I consider myself a teacher of world history and historical research methods. I also teach AP Seminar, a very interesting, new curriculum that is centered on skills development - especially research, writing and evidence-based argumentation.


How do the course offerings at Tech compare to other schools? Does every high school student have Human Geography as an option?
One of the special things about teaching at Tech is the diversity of course offerings. Students in the social science major at Tech take college level courses like anthropology and sociology. The same goes for all the majors with all their specialized course offerings. It is unique for a high school.


Tell us about your own educational background.
I have an MA in Near Eastern Studies and Anthropology from the University of Toronto;
I have an M.A.T (Masters of Arts in teaching) from Fordham;
I have a BA in Anthropology from Penn State University.


What is your favorite thing about Tech, and what do you find most challenging?
Of course my favorite thing about Tech are the students.  Each year I get to know 170 different personalities and not a one is alike.  Also, the cultural diversity of our student body is amazing. Outside of the UN, I don't think there is a more diverse group of people under one roof than at Brooklyn Tech.


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