The instructors at School of Cards aren’t content only to use their card knowledge in the classroom; when they’re not teaching, they’re competing in high-stakes cash games and tournaments, including World Series of Poker events. Although their training grounds resemble a cozy living room complete with a plush, microfiber couch, the school’s professional poker and blackjack tables demonstrate its intent to make students comfortable in the casino environment. Beginning blackjack and poker players can get their start in three-hour introductory classes, learning such fundamentals as game etiquette, card counting, and how to spot edible chips. Intermediate and advanced players move on to more in-depth courses, as well as services such as game and body-language evaluation.
When Blake Eastman meets strangers, plays poker, sits in on corporate negotiations as a consultant, or turns on the TV and watches politicians speak, he analyzes dozens of nonverbal clues and subtle behaviors that betray an individual's true feelings and intentions. "I've always been a natural at it," he says. "It's part of who I am." But through his education and independent research he’s gotten better and can now pinpoint every indicator that shows a person is hiding their emotions––from their microexpressions to their wooden nose growing 2 inches.
During interactive group classes Blake outfits his students' observational tool belts with the knowledge to read body language or improve their dating lives. Classes engage with multiple activities that range from video analysis to role-playing. As images of apologetic celebrities and athletes flash across the screen, Blake pinpoints telltale microexpressions that crawl across each person's face. In the game "two truths and a lie," students take turns trying to deceive each other as the class hunts for the lie and its tells. The skills in each class lay a foundation for what Blake calls a lifelong effort to learn what someone is truly thinking or feeling.
In the late 1970s career educators Eileen and Raymond Huntington opened the first Huntington Learning Center in Oradell, New Jersey. Their goal was to take an individualized approach to education, adjusting instructional tactics according to each student's set of needs. Their success in helping K–12 students prepare for exams and improve grades and study skills quickly spawned franchises across New York and New Jersey.
Today, the certified Huntington tutoring staff utilizes testing and rubrics for assessing each child's skills, academic needs, and potential for growth. The teachers even note the student's behavior in different testing and academic situations to craft a methodology sensitive to each child's learning style. Teachers also adhere to the company's code of ethics that stresses professionalism and confidentiality and encourages pupils to improve their grades honestly through dedicated study rather than shortcuts.
Since the company’s inception in 1987, more than 50,000 students have earned certification or bolstered their earning power at NYREI. Graduates including Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump have made their way through the flexible schedule of courses for aspiring Realtors, small-business owners, and freelancers of all stripes. Besides licensing courses for real-estate brokers and salespeople, the school offers more than 50 programs. The sessions include investor training, workshops on LEED accreditation, and one-on-one tutoring. Those stuck at home, in the office, or waiting at a glacier crossing can still take steps to further their careers with a large selection of online classes.
At more than 900 learning centers across the world, Sylvan Learning offers kids a leg up through personalized programs prescribed by an in-depth skills assessment. Students build on past lessons to learn progressively, and sessions may hone in on different disciplines, granting kids the confidence to interpret literature and the rhetorical skills needed to negotiate a later bedtime. The positive mindset of personable, invested instructors helps to inspire kids to greater academic feats, as does a prize program that rewards hard work with CDs and gift cards.