TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Author: John Cho

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John Cho is a recent graduate of Amherst College. Upon graduating, John entered the world of education as a resident tutor/teacher in the Match Teacher Residency in Boston, MA. He now teaches GRE test preparation through Manhattan Prep and lives in Boston with his wife, who is also a teacher. Needless to say, the two spend all their days debating best teacher practices and ed policy.

Posted Feb. 3, 2016, 9:54 a.m. by John Cho | View Comments
Crank Up the WPM: Our Test of RSVP Readers

If you’re a decently fast reader, you can read, at most, at about 400 words per minute (WPM). (You can check how fast you read here.) So when I first started reading claims that programmers were developing new apps to help people read at 1,000 WPM, needless to say, I was skeptical. These apps seemed like gimmicks at best. When I tried the apps for myself, though, I was actually pleasantly surprised. The theory behind these so-called Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) apps is that when we read, we waste a lot of time because our eyes constantly make unnecessary ...

Posted Dec. 16, 2015, 9 a.m. by John Cho | View Comments
Pomodoro: Work All Day Without Breaking a Sweat

Earlier I wrote a blog about the Unschedule – the best method to get started on your work without procrastinating. But what do you once you start working? Is there a tried-and-true method of using your time most efficiently? During my junior year in college, I discovered the Pomodoro Technique. It totally revolutionized my life. To this very day, I use Pomodoro whenever I have a big project to work on. Francesco Cirillo, the brains behind this productivity hack, decided to name his invention after the Italian word for tomato. When he first starting testing out his theory, the only ...

Posted Nov. 19, 2015, 9 a.m. by John Cho | View Comments
Defeat Procrastination with an “Unschedule”

Throughout my high school and early college years, I was a compulsive procrastinator. I was also a perfectionist. Weird combination, right? Actually, no. As it turns out, one of the main reasons why people procrastinate is that they are afraid of producing imperfect work. Needless to say, I was up late all the time trying to perfect work that I hadn't started until the last minute. Then I was introduced to Dr. Neil Fiore’s “The Now Habit.” This book completely changed the way I tried to battle against procrastination. Before, I would just tell myself, “You gotta work harder! Stop ...

Posted Oct. 12, 2015, 8 a.m. by John Cho | View Comments
4 tips for writing a research paper

In 10th grade, I took AP World History and had to write my very first major research paper. I was overwhelmed and stressed out of my mind. How would I possibly get the required 15 sources about Fidel Castro’s early political philosophy? I soon found out, however, that the research process is actually quite straightforward if you have a process. 1) Pick a great topic This seems like a moot point, but it’s really not. Picking an appropriate topic is essential: not too broad, not too narrow. If you decide to research an overly narrow topic such as, “The significance ...

Posted Sept. 15, 2015, 8 a.m. by John Cho | View Comments
AP US History Exam

Last year, College Board rolled out its new Advanced Placement U.S. History exam. This move prompted a wave of criticism from teachers all around the country. Many complained that the new AP history curriculum focused too heavily on “alternative narratives” instead of telling the true (a k a old white male) story of our proud nation. I won't say a lot here other than that view sounds a bit too much like Arizona (no, not the tea). Others, however, offered a more legitimate critique: College Board simply wasn't providing enough resources for students to succeed on this new exam. Teachers, ...