How You Can Help Students Who Seem to Not Want Help
June 20, 20180

Do you have students who struggle in your classes, yet will not ask for help? Do you conduct outreach strategies, or do you wait for them to contact you?

It would seem students should want the help of their instructors, especially when they are struggling with course topics, assignments, and meeting deadlines. But the reality is that this is not usually the case and as most educators know, students may even resist the very idea of asking for help and prefer to give up when faced with a challenge. This can occur even when an instructor has done everything possible to encourage students to speak up.

For example, I have observed many online classes where instructors created optimal classroom conditions that were conducive for productive exchanges, similar to what I have done...

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Online Teaching as a Career: Nurturing a Positive Mindset for Student Success
June 02, 20181

Do you take time to focus on the mindset of your students? Do you implement any teaching strategies to promote a positive mindset? When you consider factors that are important for the learning process, from the perspective of your students, you might list factors such as academic skills, self-motivation, and time management. However, what any student needs to succeed over the long term is perseverance, persistence, and a growth mindset.

At the heart of all of these qualities and characteristics is a belief system which either supports or derails a student's progress. The beliefs that students hold about their academic abilities and capability to participate in the learning process will determine their level of effort, energy, and willingness to be involved. It influences their...

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Discover Why Critical Thinking is Critical for Learning
May 24, 20180

Do you understand what critical thinking means? Is there an indicator when thinking becomes or transforms into critical thinking?

The phrase "critical thinking" has become widely used in this field and it is a skill which students are told they must learn. The challenge is that this phrase can have multiple descriptions when educators are asked to define it. The descriptions provided by students are even more varied and often described using clichés such as "thinking outside of the box", or they can come closer to what this concept means when they relate it to problem-solving.

This poses a challenge for the inclusion of critical thinking in a list of skills students need to learn because there isn't a clear standard regarding how best to teach it, along with an...

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How to Work with a Difficult or Challenging Boss
May 17, 20180

A difficult manager. We have all known someone like this or worked for this type of person. This is a person who seems to have an on and off switch which can be triggered or activated, with or without any warning. This manager is challenging to work with and when it is your manager whose personality or demeanor seems to constantly change – it poses even greater challenges as this person is responsible for your work assignments, performance evaluations, and establishing a reputation with your employer. When you find you are in this situation, there are coping strategies you can implement to help how you respond to and work with this type of challenging (and often difficult) boss.

Management Styles

While there are countless articles written about managing...

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The Key to Success in Life and Work is Learning What Fear Means
May 10, 20180

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.  – Franklin D. Roosevelt.

There is one feeling that carries with it more negative power than any other and it is fear. The very word fear itself can bring unpleasant memories to light and remind us of what we believe we cannot accomplish. It carries a negative connotation and represents an uncomfortable feeling of helplessness or hopelessness. It may be felt when a goal was not achieved, and result in a time of questioning, doubt, and second-guessing.

Fear is also associated with a time when a person becomes afraid to try something new or becomes indecisive while considering possibilities about what may or may not happen as a result of a pending decision. It is a time of uncertainty, looking ahead and not knowing...

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Online Teaching as a Career: How to Become Visible in a Virtual Classroom
February 19, 20180

Do you know how to maintain an active presence in an online or virtual classroom? Do you understand the connection between an active presence and students' perception of your involvement in the class?

If you have taught an online course you know firsthand what it is like to teach in a virtual environment, along with challenges that are inherent for working and interacting in this type of classroom. Online teaching is viewed by some instructors as a function that must be managed, and others see the true potential that it holds and that it is a process to be nurtured. If instructors are going to create conditions that are conducive to learning they must do more than manage a class, they must be active, present, and available for students. This requires the development of a virtual...

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How Can You Put Heart and Soul Into Teaching Adults?
January 13, 20180

Teaching students can be a transformative experience, for educators and students alike, when both immerse themselves in the learning experience through the exchange of ideas and discourse which sparks critical thinking.

Teaching adults is more commonly called instruction or facilitation, and is often viewed as a specific function with associated requirements that depend upon the person’s status and classroom environment. Some persons choose to teach adults as a career in a traditional university and others choose a non-traditional route, such as an online school or corporate classroom.

But why does someone, or why would someone, decide to teach adults as a career choice? I have found there are persons who are good with the delivery of information, effective facilitating a...

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August 11, 20170

"Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings." -Samuel Johnson

There is one particular quality which makes everyone shine, one which shows through their work and even within their resume. Do you know what it is? It is having a well-established sense of self-confidence.

A person who is self-confident will approach their work with a measure of certainty; possessing self-awareness of the experience and knowledge or know-how needed to get the job done.

Even a resume will reflect that confidence through the word choice used and this will also come across through a person's tone during an interview. Being self-confident comes easily for some people, yet others struggle to try and sustain it. For most people this is a feeling that can fluctuate...

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Have You Discovered Your Power to Uplift and Inspire Students?
May 20, 20170

Do you want to teach your students, or would you like to use the power of teaching to also inspire and uplift your students? Many people view an educator as someone who is a subject matter expert in their chosen discipline, a gatekeeper to a school's policies, and the one who is charged with providing instruction through the teaching strategies he or she has implemented.

As a point of reference: When I use the word "teaching" I am not referring strictly to primary education, rather I am using it as a generic term for instruction, as my perspective is written based upon my work in the field of higher education.

Many institutions value credit hours and scholarly publications as the primary criteria for hiring instructors. Yet having qualifications and publishing articles...

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Here are Five Warning Signs You Are Stuck in a Career Rut
March 11, 20170

Are you feeling unhappy about your job or your career? Does it feel as if you are going nowhere in your job no matter how hard you work or the amount of time you devote to performing your very best? Or have you just given up and resigned yourself to the present circumstances?

Most people want a reliable and steady job, one that provides a feeling of security and a sense of accomplishment. A job can serve a variety of purposes and that includes meeting a need for income or serving as part of a specific career plan and becoming a step towards meeting career goals. Over time a job can become the basis for a stable career, one that allows for the development of new skills and provides new opportunities. While stability in a career is important, what happens when that job you value...

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