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4 Things You Can Do To Make Your Teachers Feel More Comfortable With Classroom Observations

Posted by on Mar 1, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Things You Can Do To Make Your Teachers Feel More Comfortable With Classroom Observations

Classroom observations offer a variety of benefits for both administrators and teachers to take advantage of. Administrators can gauge job performance as well as determine where training and support can be improved. Teachers can learn new sets of skills, redefine their standards to optimize student inclusion, and rethink their short and long-term goals. But even with these benefits in mind, classroom observations can be intimidating and uncomfortable for teachers. As an administrator, here’s what you can do to make the process more comfortable and less stressful for your teachers on staff: Provide Pre-Observation Training An excellent way to prepare your teachers for observations so they know what to expect throughout the process is to provide pre-observation training to them at the beginning of each school year. During the training session, make sure that the observation process you’ll be using is well explained to the teachers, and that they have an opportunity to have their questions and concerns addressed. It’s also a good idea to outline some tips and tricks they can use to maintain control in the classroom and work as if nobody else in the room is watching them. The teachers should also have a chance to meet and get to know the observers who will be spending time in their classrooms throughout the year. Maintain an Open-Door Policy It’s also important to make sure that your door is always open for confidential classroom observation discussions so teachers know the can come to you with any issues they have without worrying about prejudice or judgement. Teachers should be able to make complaints or express concerns anonymously if they want to and feel confident that they won’t have any repercussions to worry about. Your open-door policy can also facilitate mediation between teachers and observers when conflicts arise if necessary. This support system should help them feel more open-minded about the classroom observation process and reassure them that they still have the control over work situation. Give Teachers a Chance to Observe Giving your teachers a chance to observe their colleagues periodically throughout the school year will enable them to see what it’s like on the other side of the stick. They’ll be able to experience the process personally and explore all the ways that observations are beneficial to the observer. These observations will also give teachers the chance to share their ideas, techniques, tips, and tricks with one another based on what they learn while observing their peers. Set up a rotating schedule that enables teachers to sign up and observe at least two of their peers at some point throughout the year to ensure fairness and variety. Conduct Post-Observation Interviews To improve the classroom observation process in future years, take the time to conduct post-observation interviews at the end of the year with both observers and teachers. This will give you an opportunity to gain important feedback from each person involved so you can use the information to help develop the next year’s observation procedures. Create a questionnaire that features pointed questions that teachers can respond to directly and thoroughly before their interviews. Give them at least a week to fill the questionnaires out before returning them to you so they have plenty of time to think through their answers. You can use the post-observation questionnaires that each...

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Doing Your Day Care Diligence: Tips For Choosing Quality Caregivers For Your Child

Posted by on Aug 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Doing Your Day Care Diligence: Tips For Choosing Quality Caregivers For Your Child

Putting your child into day care can be both exciting and anxiety-inducing. It’s wonderful to see your child grow and interact with other kids their age, but it’s also vitally important to choose a good day care. If you want a place that will help your kid learn and develop, it’s important to know how to ensure they get quality care. Interview Potential Candidates It’s natural to feel lucky when you find a good day care, but that doesn’t mean you’re ready to drop your kid off just yet. Day cares are still businesses, and it’s always best to shop around before trusting one business with your patronage — especially when you’re also trusting them with your child. Sit down with the head of each potential center or group, and have a long discussion about whether your not your child will be happy in their care. Good topics to cover include your personal policies as a parent, the number of children in care at the same time, the ratio of caregivers to children, and the types of activities the children will engage in during their stay. This helps reduce potential conflict between you and your child’s caregivers, and makes it easier to weed out day cares that don’t agree with your parenting style.  Asking about other day cares and dropping hints that you’ll be interviewing others can sometimes net you unexpected benefits, as well. For example, a day care manager who wants to catch your eye may offer you a starting discount rate in order to keep you from going to a competitor. Ask About Accreditation Not all quality care centers will be nationally accredited, but many of them will be. Accreditation with a national organization that promotes the welfare of young children is a great sign when interviewing potential caregivers, since it indicates that an expert third party has reviewed their facilities and techniques. If you have a particular day care in mind, be sure to ask in the interview whether they are accredited with the National Association for Family Child Care or the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Each of these organizations provide their accredited members with the latest tips on caring for young children at different stages of development, both individually and in a group setting. You can also check a potential day care’s credentials online using the organization websites. You can also use their databases to search for accredited care centers in your area if you aren’t sure yet where to start looking.  Pay Surprise Visits Once you’ve picked out a day care, you still may not actually know everyone who will be watching your child yet. It’s a good idea to drop in unexpectedly some days early on to get a genuine view of how the caregivers handle your kid. This gives you a little chance to eavesdrop and make sure the day care is following your desired rules for rearing your child. You can also get a family member or friend to do it, if you can’t get away from work. As an added bonus, stopping by occasionally can really help to assuage your child’s separation anxiety. Stopping by frequently and then slowly coming less often in the first week of care can make it easier for your kid to understand that...

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5 Types of Movie & TV Electrician Jobs You Can Train For

Posted by on Jul 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Types of Movie & TV Electrician Jobs You Can Train For

The electrician field is filled with a lot more than just careers as a general home and business technician. In the world of television and movies, electricians are an integral part to making a set come to life. By attending an electrician school, you can get the proper training to work on a movie set. Once you graduate school, there will be multiple options for booking gigs on countless television shows, movies, and productions that take place all around the world. Understanding the following five film electrician positions can help guide you on a proper career path through your educational training. Apprentice Technicians One of the first and easiest jobs to obtain once you finish electrician training is an apprentice technician. Unlike a standard electrician job, movie sets are very hectic and under strict guidelines. Electricians are assigned to specific tasks and cannot complete tasks that are not assigned to them. The flow and experience of a film set are taught through this apprentice technician. Through this job, you will have limited tasks, but still get the ability to shadow current film electricians. The best part of being an apprentice technician is the variety of film sets you’ll get a chance to visit. Learn differences between big budget features, low budget features, and television sets. You can even expand to daily shows like a late night talk show. By visiting these different sets, you will have the ability to find what type of industry electrician work you are looking for. Day Player Electrician During the active filming of a movie, the production hires a variety of day players. Each electrician on the set is assigned to specific tasks like the lights or various electronics used in a scene. For example, if a scene takes place in a real subway station, one electrician may be assigned to the wall lighting while another is assigned to the train lighting. Day players are typically hired for the duration of the film, depending on the type of production. Some day players may only be used for large exterior or interior scenes where a lot of lighting is needed. This type of career involves a constant revolving schedule, but once you are a part of an organization or union, you can easily find a lot of job opportunities. Generator Operator Movie sets that take place in large fields or isolated areas often need extra sources of power. The connections to power grids is typically controlled by a set electrician referred to as the generator operator. This person is responsible for running the generator, keeping power levels even, and ensuring the production has enough power to operate the film set or extra things like a production trailer. Through your school training, extra courses on generators can help you prepare for this type of career. With a specific focus, it will help you book jobs running generators for all types of Hollywood productions. Gaffer The order, control, and day-to-day logistics of electricians on movie sets is run by the gaffer. This is a higher electrician position that usually extends from pre-production to post-production and through any possible reshoots. The gaffer position is something that is earned through years of work, but extra educational training can help expedite you to this position. Any electricians on the set...

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Love Daycare But Hate The Illnesses? 2 Ways To Keep Your Child Healthy

Posted by on May 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Love Daycare But Hate The Illnesses? 2 Ways To Keep Your Child Healthy

Nothing is worse than trying to get ready for work, only to have your toddler complain about another sore throat. In an instant, you might go through the names of your child’s daycare playmates to find the guilty party. Was Johnny’s mom complaining about the flu, or was it Sandra who mentioned the problem? Although it might be easy to blame communicable sicknesses on other people, you can actually do a lot to protect your kid from frustrating pathogens. Here are two ways to keep your child healthy, even if they attend daycare regularly: 1: Focus On Nutrition Every parent has been there. You want your kid to eat their food, so you cave in and let them have a chocolate muffin for breakfast…again. Unfortunately, letting your child call the shots at mealtime can teach them bad habits and leave their tiny immune systems vulnerable to disease. Here are a few power foods that might boost your child’s immunity, and how you can sneak them on their plate without igniting a temper-tantrum: Yogurt: Your intestinal tract is a safe haven for dangerous bacteria, which is why probiotics are such a big deal. Yogurt that contains the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri has been found to stimulate white blood cells, so that your immune system can spring into action. In fact, one Swedish study found that people who drank the probiotic took 33% fewer sick days. To make probiotic yogurt more kid-friendly, let your child mix in their favorite fruit or dry cereal. Chicken Soup: It might seem like an old wives tale, but chicken soup has actually been found to have important anti-inflammatory powers. In addition to thinning mucus and giving your child an extra dose of hydration, chicken soup has also been found to reduce the migration of inflammatory white cells. Sweet Potatoes: Your skin plays a vital role in your personal immunity—protecting your insides from dirt, grime, and bacteria. Fortunately, sweet potatoes contain as much as 40% of your daily dose of Vitamin A, which helps your skin to regenerate and produce connective tissue. Instead of letting your child indulge in sweet potato fries, consider cutting up sweet potatoes like carrot sticks and serving them with ranch.   Before your child heads out the door, make sure that their bellies are full with nutrient dense, healthy foods. You never know, you might be able to protect their little bodies from the inside out. 2: Ask About the Routine By the time you track down a top-notch daycare with friendly employees, you might be hesitant about picking the place apart with questions about the daily routine. After all, if they are willing to watch and protect your child from dawn to dusk, how much will it matter if they don’t scrub down the tables regularly? However, a few bad habits could let viruses and bacteria thrive—which could infect your child. Here are a few things to pay attention to, so that you can keep your kid safe: Toy Sanitation: Germs can live on surfaces for days, which is why it is important to scrub down the toys that those little tots suck on. In fact, the flu virus can live up to 24 hours on hard surfaces, meaning that little boy that went home sick yesterday at 3pm could infect kids...

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Tips For Supporting Young Writers

Posted by on Feb 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Writing is one of the most difficult academic skills to teach. This is evident not only by students’ lack of writing proficiency upon graduation, but also by an inability to define the best ways to teach it. When homeschooling your child, these issues often make it difficult to know the right way to support your child as they develop. Fortunately, there are some common strategies that tend to help young writers become adept at communicating through the written word. These tips will help you integrate meaningful–and effective–educational experiences for writing both fiction and informational pieces into your homeschool writing curriculum. Tip #1–Invest Time In Teaching Organization Many novice educators spend a great deal of time on the drafting and revising portion of the writing process. This is a tremendous mistake. It’s not that drafting and revising aren’t important skills for children to learn–they absolutely are. However, students are not freed up to focus on the quality of their prose when their ideas are lacking. Instead, spend a great deal of your time supporting the thought process and organizational component of writing. Avoid taking shortcuts to get your students through the planning process quickly. Think aloud with your students constantly, and let them develop their own method for navigating the thought process required to write well. You’ll gain the time back in the form of a speedy and effective drafting process. Tip #2–Teach From Small To Big Sentences are made up of words. This isn’t a shocking idea. That said, most teachers tend to visit word choice as a topic after students have already written all of their sentences. As a result, word choice considerations become an exercise in cherry-picking through a thesaurus–and words/sentences aren’t seen as a means to increase clarity for the reader. Instead, model that every sentence starts with an idea. To communicate that idea, show how authors craft a specific sentence using specific words to create the desired effect. Understanding the purpose behind word choice and sentence construction is critical for students to apply punctuation and proper structure consistently. Tip #3–Don’t Be Afraid To Evaluate Ideas In the well-intended effort to foster a love of writing in students, many teachers will avoid criticizing a student’s ideas at all costs. Unfortunately, poorly crafted ideas often lead to a poorly crafted piece. If students are never redirected toward more fruitful idea construction, they could begin to associate their inability to craft a coherent piece with a latent inability to write well. That said, it’s important to keep these evaluation sessions short and actionable. Try to catch students in the planning phase when they haven’t already invested considerable time into their work. Also, incorporate as much of the original idea as possible when you redirect the student. After all, you want to model the process by which they move their thinking in the right direction. Tip #4–Learn To Love Writing Prompts In today’s public education sector, many folks eschew writing prompts for a writer’s workshop model of instruction. This structure does a great job of allowing students time to think and to craft their own individual pieces. What they lose from this practice is the sheer number of repetitions that used to be the bulk of writing instruction. Writing prompts force students to think flexibly and quickly. These are...

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Questions You Should Ask Before Pursuing A Career As A Pilot

Posted by on Dec 18, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Before you enroll in flight school, you need to consider if the investment in this education will be worth it for you. There are many aspects of flying that you may not know about, and you don’t want to start school, only to find out that becoming a pilot is not for you. These are the questions you should ask yourself before pursuing a career as a professional commercial pilot. 1. What is the return on investment? Flight school, like any other school, will probably require you to take out a student loan in order to meet the financial demands of tuition. Because flight schools provide the most up-to-date technology, and have significant investments in high-end equipment, costs can be just as high as completing a master’s programs at a state school. Most flight schools encourage applicants to have some sort of degree from a post-secondary education institution before starting flight training, so those educational costs should be factored in to your decision as well.  However, the cost of schooling should not dissuade you from aviation school if that is what you want to do. It can take dedication and commitment, as well as a lot of hard work and plenty of flight hours, to get up to earning a livable salary after graduation. Most graduates begin as co-pilots, and after they have experience, they may move up to becoming captains. This process can take years, but the experience can help you get a contract with a passenger airline or a courier. Some pilots with many years of flying behind them can make well over $100 000 a year. Some can even make double that amount.  2. What is your criminal record like? Most airlines will run extensive background checks on potential pilots. After all, they are responsible for hundreds of lives on a daily basis. You can go to school if you have a criminal record, but once you graduate, you’ll need to find a job and put your investment to work. You may find it more difficult or impossible to get hired by an airline if you: have DUI charges on your record. Driving a car is a big responsibility, but compared with operating an aircraft, it’s like a pothole next to the Grand Canyon. Many airlines will see a DUI charge as a sign that you couldn’t handle the laws with a car, and cannot be trusted with a plane. However, if the charge happened a long time ago, possibly when you were a teenager or college-aged driver, and it only happened one time, the airline may forgive the charge if you have great credentials in other areas. have tested positive for drugs on any drug test, including those for sporting events or any mandated by previous employers. Drugs are an addiction, and airlines can’t run the risk of being liable for the injuries of passengers if a pilot is under the influence of illegal drugs, or has a history of addiction. Also, airlines will run routine drug tests after you are hired, just to make sure all pilots remain safe during operation.  have committed a felony. With any degree of felony on your record, you will not qualify to fly a commercial aircraft. 3. How’s your health? Thanks to glasses, contacts, and corrective surgery, anyone...

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Holiday Crime Sprees: Everything You Need To Know About Increased Holiday Crime

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Although “crime spree” may be an overstatement, some types of crime do increase around the holidays. What types of crime increase, how can you protect yourself, and who needs to phone an attorney first thing in the morning? Here’s a look at what goes on in courtrooms come January second. DUI Why do DUI’s Increase? With festivities come intoxicated drivers, people who should know better driving home after they’ve had one too many. Lucky for everyone else on the road, police officers are well trained in spotting the telltale signs of intoxicated driving, and sometimes more of them are on patrol during the holiday season.  Do You Need a Lawyer? If you are involved in an accident involving a drunk driver, you may benefit from hiring an attorney, because they can help you navigate through the legal process and help with your insurance settlement. How to Protect Yourself: Besides avoiding getting into a car with someone who’s been drinking and not drinking and driving yourself, you can help protect yourself and your family by changing your driving habits. Head home a little earlier in the evening, or plan to stay with family or friends over night. There are more drunk drivers on the road between midnight and 3:00am than at any other time of day, so make sure you’re not driving during those times. Burglary Why Does Burglary Increase? If you were a small time crook, and needed some money to get your grandmother a Christmas gift, how would you go about getting it? You’d pick an easy target, steal some expensive things, and liquidate your ill-gotten assets for cash.  Do You Need a Lawyer? Sometimes these cases go to trial in criminal court, meaning that the district attorney will be prosecuting the accused. However, if you have been a victim of this crime, hiring a lawyer to help you with your insurance claims and back up the DA may be beneficial. How Can You Protect Yourself? Burglars prefer easy targets. Many burglars gain entry to their targets through an open door or window, so making sure your home is securely locked is your first line of defense. Keeping your window shades drawn prevents burglars from casing your home for valuables, and placing a security camera, or even a decoy camera, in a visible location close to commonly targeted areas can help deter criminals.  Scams Why Do Scams Increase? As with burglary, a desire for cash may drive the increase in scams during the holidays, but scams also increase because people are more generous this time of year. Many scams imitate charities, and people with a giving spirit are often made targets. Do You Need a Lawyer? Hiring a lawyer early in a scam or fraud case can help prosecution go more smoothly. Many of these cases are perpetrated by criminals in other countries, making it difficult or impossible to obtain justice, but with local scams, a lawyer can help move the case forward. The case may end up in criminal court, as with burglary, in which case the DA will be your lawyer. Before that time, hired legal services can help. How Can You Protect Yourself? If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Most scams are not done in person these days, and instead take place over the phone or Internet. Don’t send money...

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Shut Down The Carpool – Get Your Teen Licensed

Posted by on Dec 8, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A class that used to be included in most mainstream high school education curriculums is now missing from many of these educational lineups. Driver’s educational classes, or driver’s ed, used to be a right of passage. This is no longer the case. Parents in many school systems are having to privately pay for the classroom hours, and find a private instructor to provide the required number of behind the wheel hours. The good news is, you can still find ways to get your teenager licensed. What Happened To Drivers Ed? In past years, the required number of classroom hours was taught during the traditional school day, with the on-road requirements taking place after school, on weekends, or over the summer. The best part about this is that the class was free, or offered at a highly reduced rate, which made it affordable to most. Unfortunately, things have changed. Public driver’s education classes have become a victim of many different things. Many school systems have abandoned these classes. This has been done in a pursuit to focus their curriculum more on the types of classes that their students will need to pass the ever demanding college entry exams. Other school systems have abandoned driver’s education classes as a result of substantial system budget cuts. Even when these classes were being offered free to the students, their costs were being paid for by the school systems. Ever tightening demands for dwindling resources placed these expensive electives on the educational chopping blocks across the nation. Still other school systems have decided to no longer provide these classes due to the liability that the school systems incur when the students are completing their on-the-road training. Although this training was provided by licensed professionals, the school systems still had to incur the costs of the liability insurance. No matter what the reason, the bottom line is that this rite of passage is no longer available as many of you remember it. What Is Required For Your Teen To Get Their Driver’s License? Due to teenagers having the highest crash risk per mile than any other driver on the road, all fifty states, as well as the District of Columbia, have put graduated licensing programs in place for this age range. Under the graduated licensing program, prospective drivers must go through three stages: Learner Stage – During this stage, learners are required to learn the laws of the road, as well as have supervised road practice. After students have mastered the book work, and have performed a certain number of hours of road work, many states will allow them to receive a learner’s permit. This permit will allow the student to continue to practice on the road with a licensed driver. In many states, this licensed driver must be a parent or guardian. Most states require underage drivers to keep this permit for one year, and they cannot relinquish it any sooner than their 16th birthday. Intermediate Stage – After keeping their permit for a specified period of time, the student will then be required to take a written test , as well as a physical road test, which will result in the student being given a drivers license. Once the student receives this license they will then be allowed to drive unsupervised with certain restrictions. These restrictions will vary by the state the...

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4 Unique Aspects Of A Catholic School Education

Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

While you may have heard that catholic school students perform better academically or require more theology courses, many people do not have a complete understanding of all the ways that a catholic school education differs from public education. It is important to be familiar with the curriculum and learning environment of each type of alternative school so that you can choose the one that is right for you. Here are four unique aspects of a Catholic education that you should consider when making your decision. Catholic Schools Provide Character Education “Character education” is a term used by Catholic schools to describe the curriculum and extracurricular activities that they offer to help students grow in faith. Catholic schools go to great lengths to help students develop not only academically, but spiritually, and as members of the community. Community service projects are highly recommended in every Catholic school, and are sometimes required as a part of the curriculum. Some examples of community service projects that catholic schools take part in are helping with food drives, creating gift boxes for local hospital patients, and collecting donations for veterans. Catholic Schools Openly Express Religion While some public schools have extracurricular Catholic school groups, the Catholic faith is an integral part of the learning environment. You will see features in a Catholic school classroom that you would not see in public schools, such as rosaries and Bibles. The activities of reading from the Bible, singing hymns, and decorating the May altar are meant to help students feel engaged in the school’s Catholic faith. As explained by, Catholic school students should “have the impression of entering a new environment, one illumined by the light of faith.” These features help to support the community identity of Catholicism no matter what course material is being covered. Catholic Schools Outperform Public School Test Scores Directly comparing test scores between private and public schools can be somewhat challenging. This is because private schools can pick and choose the test they administer instead of using their state’s standardized testing methods. However, the National Assessment of Educational Progress is administered in both private Catholic schools and public schools, providing a common ground to compare their performance. Recent studies by the National Center for Education Statistics have shown that Catholic schools perform higher on the NAEP than public schools by a significant margin. In mathematics, Catholic school students scored five to 10 points higher than public school students. In reading, Catholic schools students scored 15 to 20 points higher. This excellent academic track record speaks volumes about the quality of education that students receive at Catholic schools. Catholic Schools Offer More Individualized Learning Coinciding with the high value that Catholic schools place on community involvement, Catholic school teachers are trained to provide personalized learning opportunities for every student. Teachers are there to be both educators and role models to the students, and it is important that they are available to answer questions about the Catholic faith to foster students’ spiritual growth. Catholic schools feel that students will learn better if the atmosphere of the school is relaxed and more like home. Rather than serving only as a detached disciplinarian and source of information, teachers are encouraged to befriend students. This helps to build at atmosphere of trust and teamwork within the...

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