Spotlight: Local Teacher Shares His Survival Guide to High School - South Shore Moms

If you have a child in high school, this post is for you! We recently spoke with local teacher and author, Brian Heffernan, about his book Big Bri’s Survival Guide to High School.

Your book serves as a manual for success for high school students. How did you come to write it?
I have been giving advice to high school students for my whole career, and over the years I have had many students tell me, Mr. Heffernan, you should write a book.  So I thought about that, and thought to myself, that’s a great idea. I should write a book. The book is a culmination of keeping a journal for an entire school year, and I believe that is why the book has been so successful. It was actually written in the moment of the school year, so the advice that you read on any given page is very applicable as it takes the reader through the entire 180 day school year. My students comment often on how relevant the advice actually is!

Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I have three degrees from Bridgewater State University, a CAGS degree in Educational Leadership, a Master’s Degree in Special Education, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology.  I have been teaching Special Education to high school aged students for close to 30 years, and have been teaching at Hingham High School for the past 22 years.  I am the founder of Heffernan Enterprises, offering specialized educational tutoring since 2011, and am the author of Big Bri’s Survival Guide to High School, published in 2013.

What do you see as the biggest difficulty high school students face these days?
Academics, organization, time management, social media, peers, athletics, work, and family. All of these factors greatly influence a high school students’ life. They have to learn how to balance these multiple demands, while at the same time begin to make a plan somewhere along their high school career as to what they will do after high school. Things move very fast, and it is important for the high school student to understand that and to move in a direction that offers individual success.

We know your book focuses on high school prep. Will we find any tips and tricks when it comes to preparing for college as well?
The book is useful to the entire high school student community, including students of all ages, parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, and coaches. It is also a great resource for 8th grade students who will make their transition to high school in the fall. The book is designed to be read each day throughout the course of school year, put down at the end of the year, and then picked up again at the start of each new year of high school. It is a simple read and each day takes no more that a few minutes to read. I consider it a manual for success. College tips, as well as life lessons are mentioned along the way, and I have had many of my students tell me that they have taken my book off to their college campus, which is very nice to hear. The best advice that my college students tell me is to make sure that I tell my current students to learn how to manage their time, and to be able to achieve quality results.

You’ve had some great local support. Where has your book been featured?
I have had a great couple of months with sales and am very appreciative of all the support that I have received from local area businesses and media, including book signings at AZ Studio in Hingham and Buttonwood Books and Toys in Cohasset, an appearance on WATD 95.9 South Shore Live, sponsorship in the First Annual Team Cork Golf Open 2017, and articles in the Hingham Journal, Pembroke Mariner and Express, and other local publications.

How do we get our hands on your book?
The book is available for sale locally and on line. On line options include:, and

It is also currently available for purchase at AZ Studio in Hingham and at Buttonwood Books and Toys in Cohasset.

Thank you, Brian!

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