Gary Ciesla, M.S. is a prolific writer and a veteran Special Education teacher who has worked in a variety of interesting and challenging classroom environments. He has taught in state and federal prisons, in institutions for troubled youth, in a program for autistic children with Asperger’s Syndrome, in an Alternative Education program, and most recently, at EF International Language School in Tarrytown, New York, where he first taught English to students from around the world, and then managed the EF/NY University Pathways Program. As an author, Mr. Ciesla has written The Little Book of Secret Code Puzzles: Pearls of Wisdom & Encouragement Waiting to be Discovered; Romeo & Juliet: Fill-in-the-Blank Story Summary Worksheets and Tests; The Little Book of Logic Puzzles: 25 Puzzles That Will Make You Think; The Little Book of Questions Whose Answers Are on the Tip of Your Tongue! (and) The Little Book of Bible Code Puzzles: 25 Surprising Insights From the Word of God. He lives in Highland Falls, New York. If you wish to contact Mr. Ciesla, he can be reached, via email, at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit AlaraLearning.com for more information.
Gary Ciesla believes in capturing a student's attention and interest by presenting an unusual challenge that is just a small step beyond what he or she already knows. Gary likes to present work to students which appears, at first glance, to be nicely designed, but completely mystifying. The wisdom of doing this first became evident to him in 1997 when he began writing Code Puzzles on the blackboard of classroom #7 at the Otisville Federal Correctional Institution. At first, the bright and engaged students in the class were puzzled by what was written. As they began to understand and solve the cryptograms by using the clues presented to them, cracking each puzzle's code and revealing the answer, the less interested students began to join in once they saw the answer start to emerge. This experience shaped the way that Mr. Ciesla develops his materials: create a page that looks visually appealing, but make it challenging. Give students whatever brief explanation they might need to get started, and then circulate around the classroom, giving help to those who need help, encouragement to those who are wavering, and praise to those who are doing well. Another important component of Mr. Ciesla's style is consistency. While the initial Romeo & Juliet or Macbeth Story Summary Worksheets might require that some explanation be given to the students, subsequent worksheets which follow the same design pattern are completed by the students without delay. A third principle, which is embodied in the provision of what Mr. Ciesla calls "Printable PDFs" is that if we are going to ask students to give their best, we should give them our best. PDFs allow teachers to make perfect copies each time. Why do educators, who should know better, persist in giving students copies made from books, when placing books on copiers causes the copies to have black shadow marks all around the corners, producing copies that look unprofessional? As much as possible, Mr. Ciesla always strives to give students perfect and professionally made copies in order to model the quality of work he expects to receive from them.
Selected as a Finalist in Para Publishing’s 2012 e-book awards for The Little Book of Secret Code Puzzles: Pearls of Wisdom & Encouragement Waiting to be Discovered.
EDUCATION & CERTIFICATION ·M.S. in Special Ed., Permanent NYS Certification (K-12), Mount St. Mary College, Newburgh, NY. ·B.S. in Elementary Ed. with majors in Speech and Psychology, SUNY at New Paltz.
Formative quotations that have influenced Gary Ciesla: "The difference between a good word and the right word is the difference between the rain and the rainbow." -Mark Twain. "Here's the advice an experienced editor gave to one aspiring writer: Learn to use both ends of the pencil equally." -from THE LITTLE BOOK OF SECRET CODE PUZZLES: PEARLS OF WISDOM & ENCOURAGEMENT WAITING TO BE DISCOVERED by Gary Ciesla. "I'm sorry, but we don't deal with self-published authors." -words spoken by a book buyer for Hudson News, the company which holds the contract to sell books at all NYC airports, possibly made in recognition of the inconsistent quality of work produced, sadly, by many self-published authors. “I hope my stories will be enjoyed by readers for many years to come, long after I am dead and gone from the earth. I don’t want people to read these tales and find even one mistake in any of them. I am going to make sure that no one will ever think of me as just another writer who didn’t care about his work.” -author unknown, adapted from an old Chinese story and included in ELA Stories: 50 One-minute tales of Wisdom by Gary Ciesla. "No matter what it takes, there must be no mistakes!" -personal writing and editing motto.
English Language Arts, Reading, Vocabulary, Specialty, Math, Arts & Music, Special Education, Drama, EFL - ESL - ELD, Other (ELA), Religion, Critical Thinking, Literature, Classroom Management, Word Problems, Problem Solving, Basic Reading, Basic Math, ESL / ELL / EFL, Writing, Reading Strategies, Holidays/Seasonal, Mental Math, Informational Text, End of Year