Archive for August, 2010

Say Hello Fall

As summer winds down officially next weekend for Labor Day and white is no longer acceptable to wear in public anymore, it’s high time to consider taking one last mini vacation before the real holiday rush and obligations come creeping in.  If you’re a thrifty shopper, you simultaneously look for Christmas and birthdays while searching the deals during back to school. A few scenarios come out of doing this: 1. You are stress free by the time Thanksgiving break rolls around and you can focus on the turkey, not Black Friday the day after. 2. You forget where you placed these savvy, thoughtful yet on sale gifts, and are left with the dilemma to go out shopping again.

Why not make this year special and incorporate something educational and useful into all your holiday plans. Take this fall semester to learn something new yourself and pass it onto someone you love. Some favorite ideas are books, new or used they all work the same!, on tape for the car ride or via download on your new Kindle. Get a thought provoking game like a fun puzzle. Puzzles and word games are great to give and can be themed to individual personalities. You can put them out at a party for guests to begin while dinner is being prepared. Take a lesson with a friend like a new language, or learn how to rock climb.

Where on earth will you have the time to hunt down a rock climbing instructor or a good freelance  tutor?! AND not to mention go shopping for books to make up for those early purchases you now can not find? Well, Excel Assist can help. Use it to search for the freelance instructors you need and if you don’t see one available, create a post for one so someone can respond to you. Find those games, books and crafts you need for your party too.  Test it out today http://www.excelassist.com.

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I am a Teacher

Everyone is a teacher in some form. Even if your profession isn’t necessarily education or titled “teacher”, many people hold roles entailing the same skills. Think about it, if you have ever trained someone else, demonstrated something, allowed someone else to shadow your work, than you too are a teacher. If you are an older sibling, know it or not, you had an influence on the younger generation.

We all can agree that a wide education is key, ignorance is not bliss if you want to get ahead in the workplace. The hope is that good things will follow if we are determined enough. It is the perfect opportunity to work the teacher in you into your daily life. In a way, a movement like this could resemble the idea of doing a random act of kindness, or catch on like in the thought provoking movie Pay it Forward. Passing on your knowledge to someone else is like keeping the elevator door open.  You can’t give a man a fish, you have to teach a man to fish so he can eat for a lifetime.

“Everyone, everyone is a teacher. Everyone is a teacher to someone; maybe it’s your children, maybe it’s a neighbor, maybe it’s someone under your supervision in some other way, and in one way or another, you’re teaching them by your actions. ”

Stated by John Wooden- Coach, Teacher and Author of You haven’t taught until they have learned: John Wooden’s teaching principles and practices.

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Remember the days when we were in school? There weren’t computers or if there were they were those huge block style apple computers with the little black screens and the green type. Then Aol dial up came into the picture and it was so amazing. Today you can’t enter a school without computers being utilized. Some schools are fortunate enough to have them in all classrooms!

Calculators were, for many of us, forbidden in math class because teachers wanted students to actually think and work out their brain. What is thinking in the modern day age and for the future? Imagine what our grandkids will be learning by the time they begin school.

There is a lot to be said about this topic and how it relates to today’s workplace. Standard skills are blowing right out the window but technically advanced skills of the younger, faster generation can certainly get you ahead, if you have the common sense to go along with it. There is a hard line on what to teach and allow in your classroom based on what used to be, and what the future of technology provides us. There is so much more to learn that can’t possibly be crammed into one school day of lessons. Capability to teach yourself and learn on your own is a fantastic start to the road to success.

Everyone has a niche, something they are good at, love to do, and can focus on in life. We are lucky if we know what this is early. Sometimes it takes some trial and error to figure out. In all age brackets, there are many of us not so technologically inclined. Keying in on our strength’s and staying open to learn and accept new challenges can be such a rush. Try something new today- see what else you can learn to make you happy!

Post your strengths on excelassist.com – see what freelance opportunities you could try!

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US vs. The World

The US is different from other countries in multiple aspects involving the workplace, taking vacation, leave of absence, hours n the work day, educational direction, maternity needs and so on.

A teacher or childcare provider thinking of having kids? Maybe you should try to move to Canada! Did you know that as soon as a woman confirms a pregnancy she may not work or resume working for 2 years?! Also, the men also gets to take a “maternity” leave of 2 months if he chooses when the child is born.

Need longer than a one week vacation from your day job and evening or weekend teaching jobs to de-stress? Think about relocating to Europe. Their summer breaks are a minimum of a month in all professions. They also get to go home for lunch or a nap each afternoon. Wouldn’t that be great to have implemented in the US!

Here are a bunch more fun facts on educational comparisons in other countries from NationMaster:

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7 Tips for easing back into the school year:

1. Make and keep a tradition for the day or night before, after the first day, week or weekend. Idea: Go for ice cream to celebrate the end of the first school week.

2. Get a good night sleep. Start getting to bed a half hour earlier and waking up a half hour earlier each day until you get used to it. Wake up to natural light if possible for the easiest eye opening morning.

3. Have a good breakfast to give you energy for the day. Make sure there is good protein included with those waffles!

4. Talk about any worries and upcoming school activities to put the mind at ease and create excitement for the fun things to come.

5. Pack your lunch, supplies and bags the night before so you  are all set in the morning. Many things get forgotten with groggy morning wake-ups so be prepared!

6. This applies to teachers and students: if it’s a new school or classroom, take a tour before hand so you can become familiar with the area and know where to go on the day you begin. If it’s a new commute route, take a test drive to plan how much time it will take you so you know when you need to leave by and when you will be late.

7. Remember everyone else is in the same boat on the first day so don’t be afraid to smile and introduce yourself. A new year has arrived- make some new friends!

Visit Oprah.com for more helpful ideas on planning your entry into the new school year as well as tips on how parents can get more involved.

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For those of you beginning the school year and looking for another job opportunity to go along with teaching in the classroom, online teaching may be an option. You must LOVE to teach in order to take on a whole new class after you just get in from an actual classroom all day. You must be organized and have excellent communication and writing skills in order to communicate via email as necessary with learning questions. You must be somewhat tech savvy in order to schedule video class sessions, upload content and create posts for your students to respond to. Find out more on How To Get A Job Teaching Online with pros and cons  on doing so.

For students looking to enroll in these online classes, it is really more about your learning style. If you are a great self educator and will take the time to look into and research the topics as needed to complete your assignments by the deadline, then online is perfect for you. If you are the type that needs the interaction or to hear the lecture in order to learn best, then online is not your best option.

A study conducted in 2009  found that online education actually trumped classroom education. Read about it here from the nytimes.com

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The US unemployment rate is still a big issue we are trying hard to overcome. The European Union is having trouble with this problem as well reporting a similar statistic for the old and young age group. A logical theory out there is that the more qualified citizens began picking up the positions young people would likely go for.

From the European Parliament: Both young and old people are often squeezed out of the labour market and find it difficult to find jobs. The 15-24 age group has the highest unemployment of any group and just half of 55-64 year olds are in work.

Rush Limbaugh commented on this as well in an article earlier this year and revealed this chart below:

Tips for the old and young in search of work:

  • Register at your local Workforce Center and be enthusiastic about finding a job.
  • Accept the fact that this is a lengthy recession and that actually finding a job may take a while.
  • Get help creating your resume or updating the one you have.
  • Use any job interview as an opportunity to refresh and fine-tune your interviewing skills.
  • If your computer skills are feeble or non-existent, explore the opportunities for local community education courses that train you in basic or advanced skills. Courses like these are common almost everywhere; they are affordable, if not free, and convenient.
  • File your resume with a temporary staffing agency, highlight your years of experience and your strengths.
  • Get job references in writing from colleagues, managers/supervisors, clients/customers—encourage them to include quantifiable information in their reference letters. Ask a few if they are willing to provide the same in verbal references. These are “testimonials” to your qualifications and experience—what you can bring and offer to an employer/place of business.
  • Seek the support of a local group of unemployed adults—groups like these have cropped up all over the country.
  • Volunteer with an organization you respect and might enjoy learning more about.
  • Check out your job hunting opportunities with job placement services.
  • Get a higher education and better your training. Education and experience is the only way to compete these days now with the previous working crowd now having to step down a bit to lower more entry level positions.
  • Try excelassist.com to pick up freelance roles during your search. It may turn into something more permanent!

Unemployment Handbook

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