George Lucas Educational Foundation

Brian Sztabnik

AP Literature teacher from Miller Place, NY

Brian Sztabnik created the Talks With Teachers podcast,, and #aplitchat on Twitter. He has taught English Language Arts for 11 years in middle schools, high schools, the inner city and the suburbs. He is currently the lead English teacher at a high school on Long Island, where he teaches AP Literature and Composition, Creative a Writing, and Public Speaking. He is the College Board advisor for AP Literature and was a 2015 Bammy! nominee for Education Commentor/ Blogger. He spent 10 years as a varsity basketball coach but now spends his time as a devoted father.

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  • College Readiness

    Teaching the College Essay

    Your students can write argumentative essays, but they need additional guidance to produce standout personal narratives.
  • Literacy

    Alternatives to the 5 Paragraph Essay

    While the standard essay format is a useful scaffold, it’s important to teach students other, more authentic kinds of writing as well.
  • Literacy

    March Madness in the Classroom?

    Use NCAA-style brackets to get your students passionately debating works of literature—or big topics in any subject.
  • Student Engagement

    The 8 Minutes That Matter Most

    Like a story, lessons deserve compelling beginnings and endings. From pop culture connections to finishing with a level-up, here are eight strategies for holding students’ attention.
  • Critical Thinking

    A New Definition of Rigor

    Rigor doesn't simply mean giving students more or harder work. Instead, it's the result of work that challenges students' thinking in new and interesting ways.
  • Literacy

    Igniting a Passion for Reading

    A veteran English teacher on the importance of choice, plus three tactics to keep high school readers engaged.
  • Flipped Classroom

    Start a Reading Revolution: Flip Your Class With Blogs

    By adding blogs to a flipped ELA class, teachers present literacy as a design challenge where words, images, and format serve to express students' ideas.
  • Critical Thinking

    A Hunger for Dystopia: Critical Thinking on the Journey to Self-Discovery

    Contemporary dystopian fiction, including The Handmaid's Tale and The Hunger Games, offers young people a mirror for their society's fears, flaws, shortcomings, and injustices.
  • Teacher Development

    Reclaiming the Virtues of Teaching

    Despite the pressure to teach for measurable results like assessment and accountability standards, don't lose sight of core virtues like cooperation, honor, and hospitality.
  • Classroom Management

    Homework: Helping Students Manage their Time

    Two simple strategies for guiding students to improve a crucial skill.
  • Professional Development

    Department Meetings Done Right

  • Student Engagement

    4 Steps to Better Writers

    Guest blogger Brian Sztabnik isolates four steps to becoming a better writer - Purpose, Organization, Evidence and Thesis (POET) - and, with this prewriting exercise, encourages his students to 'be POETs' before writing their essays.
  • Character Education

    Our Boys Need Us: The Power of Mentoring

    Traditional education may put boys at a developmental disadvantage, and we must try harder to make them feel understood, valued, and eager to learn.

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George Lucas Educational Foundation