Mr. Avallone

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About The Teacher

NAME: Mr. John Avallone

ROOM: 809

OFFICE HOURS: PERIOD 7 (also there 2, 5 and 6 sometimes)

SCHOOL PHONE: 212 312 4800 x-8090 (discouraged)
E-mail : JAvallo@schools.nyc.gov
Email is by far the more effective way to reach me!

About The Teacher

Before becoming a teacher in 2002, Mr. Avallone worked as an Engineering 
Physicist, designing products ranging from medical autotransfusion and 
purification systems to a cordless nail gun.

He hopes to incorporate his Engineering experience and his appreciation of 
Physics as both a practical and theoretical instrument to lead his 
students to excel.

In 2013, Mr. Avallone received a Math for America Master Teacher 


I LOVE this article.  It promotes the attitude toward learning and 
accomplishment that I hope my students can apply to their lives.  

Stressed for Success?

Published: New York Times : March 30, 2004

Many of you high school seniors are in a panic at this time of year, 
coping with your college acceptance or rejection letters. Since the 
admissions process has gone totally insane, it's worth reminding 
yourself that this is not a particularly important moment in your life. 

You are being judged according to criteria that you would never use to 
judge another person and which will never again be applied to you once 
you leave higher ed. 

For example, colleges are taking a hard look at your SAT scores. But if at 
any moment in your later life you so much as mention your SAT scores 
in conversation, you will be considered a total jerk. If at age 40 you are 
still proud of your scores, you may want to contemplate a major life 

More than anything else, colleges are taking a hard look at your grades. 
To achieve that marvelous G.P.A., you will have had to demonstrate 
excellence across a broad range of subjects: math, science, English, 
languages etc. 

This will never be necessary again. Once you reach adulthood, the key 
to success will not be demonstrating teacher-pleasing competence 
across fields; it will be finding a few things you love, and then 
committing yourself passionately to them.

The traits you used getting good grades might actually hold you back. To 
get those high marks, while doing all the extracurricular activities 
colleges are also looking for, you were encouraged to develop a 
prudential attitude toward learning. You had to calculate which reading 
was essential and which was not. You could not allow yourself to be 
obsessed by one subject because if you did, your marks in the other 
subjects would suffer. You could not take outrageous risks because you 
might fail. 

You learned to study subjects that are intrinsically boring to you; 
you may have stopped thinking about which subjects are boring and 
which exciting. You just knew that each class was a hoop you must 
jump through on your way to a first-class university. You learned to 
in adult-supervised settings.

If you have done all these things and you are still an interesting person, 
congratulations, because the system has been trying to whittle you 
down into a bland, complaisant achievement machine. 

But in adulthood, you'll find that a talent for regurgitating what 
want to hear will take you only halfway up the ladder, and then you'll 
there. The people who succeed most spectacularly, on the other hand, 
often had low grades. They are not prudential. They venture out and 
thrive where there is no supervision, where there are no preset 

Those admissions officers may know what office you held in school 
government, but they can make only the vaguest surmises about what 
matters, even to your worldly success: your perseverance, imagination 
and trustworthiness. Odds are you don't even know these things about 
yourself yet, and you are around you a lot more. 

Even if the admissions criteria are dubious, isn't it still really 
get into a top school? I wonder. I spend a lot of time meeting with 
students on college campuses. If you put me in a room with 15 students 
from any of the top 100 schools in this country and asked me at the end 
of an hour whether these were Harvard kids or Penn State kids, I would 
not be able to tell you.

There are a lot of smart, lively young people in this country, and you 
find them at whatever school you go to. The students at the really elite 
schools may have more social confidence, but students at less 
prestigious schools may learn not to let their lives be guided by other 
people's status rules — a lesson that is worth the tuition all by itself. 

As for the quality of education, that's a matter of your actually wanting 
learn and being fortunate enough to meet a professor who electrifies 
your interest in a subject. That can happen at any school because good 
teachers are spread around, too. 

So remember, the letters you get over the next few weeks don't 
determine anything. Picking a college is like picking a spouse. You don't 
pick the "top ranked" one, because that has no meaning. You pick the 
one with the personality and character that complements your own.

Mission For The Class

Enhancement of the brilliant minds of these students to appreciate not 
only the knowledge of Physics itself but the power of problem solving 
and rational thought that comes with that knowledge.


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Last Modified: Wednesday, September 28, 2016
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