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Teacher's Corner

Teaching tips from the Teacher's Aide Newsletter.

2006 Autumn

Focusing Techniques

2006 Summer

Newsletter Resources, Advice and Tips

Reference Materials

Companies That Prepare Newsletters

Computer Software

2006 Spring

Demonstration Tips

2005 Autumn

Evaluating an Answering Service

Hours of Operation and Call Forwarding

Most answering services operate 24/7/365. You control when your calls are forwarded to your answering service. Make sure you have the option to daily change when you forward your calls. Also consider activating an automated answering option offered by your answering service during the evening hours.

Knowledge of the Industry

Most answering services serve a wide variety of customers. Ask if they have any experience working with your type of practice. Find out if they understand your industry and can answer specific questions that callers may ask about you or your services.

References

Ask for and check their references. Talk to their customers that are in your line of practice and ask them what they like and don't like about their service.

Other Services

In addition to answering your incoming telephone calls, ascertain additional services they might offer such as:

ROI

Establish the level of return on your investment their services deliver.

2005 Summer

Computer Savvy Tips

Computer security is preventing outside influences, such as viruses and hackers, from fooling with your files, as well as protecting files from accidental damage. (If unprotected, in as little as five minutes from the moment your computer is connected to the Internet, you can expect it to be infected!) Research how the following tips can help secure your particular operating system, (e.g., Windows 2000 and later, Mac OS X, Linux). The good news is, your computer may already include most of these features!

Anti-Virus Programs: Cleaning Out Viruses and Trojans
An infected computer often runs slowly, becomes plagued with pop-ups or crashes frequently. Here are some options to cure your computer:
  • Commercial anti-virus programs: Norton's Anti-Virus or McAfee
  • Freeware programs (free download from the Web): Spybot or AdAware
  • Take your computer to your local trusted computer shop
Encryption: Coding Private Data
Encryption is the process of saving documents and other files which contain private information in coded form. Client information, for instance, should certainly be kept in encrypted form. You enter a (secret) password and the encryption program uses this password to scramble the bits of the document, or a whole drive; the document cannot be unscrambled without the password. Encryption can be applied at different levels: single files; multiple directories; and whole disks.
Backing Up: Data Loss Prevention
Data backup is making sure your information is safe even if there's a system crash or some other equipment failure. You can lose a document in lots of ways, such as accidentally deleting it; your hard drive failing for some reason; or you mess it up while moving it from one disk to another. There are several different ways of backing up: full backup; daily backup; specific backup; disaster backup; and automatic scheduled backup.
Firewalls: Protecting against Viruses and Trojans
A firewall is like a force field for your computer. Though Windows XP has a built-in firewall, it isn't necessarily enabled when you first get your computer. You can switch on the built-in firewall yourself by following the instructions on one of the following websites:
  • XP. Vista, 7, and beyond have the firewall enabled by default.
  • Windows 2000, unfortunately, does not include a software firewall at all. You can buy a firewall program from one of the vendors listed here.
User Accounts: Access Control
Most operating systems allow you to setup several user accounts on the same computer. Each user is assigned a name and a password, so that he or she can have the computer set up differently. Some programs can be made available to everyone, as needed.

Among these accounts, there is a pre-defined account called "Administrator." It is strongly suggested that this account is used only for system maintenance (e.g., installing programs, setting up firewalls, running anti-virus programs). A separate ordinary account should be created even for the principal user of the computer, with reduced privileges for general use.

2005 Spring

Getting to Know You

These questions help learners get to know each other better. Choose one or more of these categories. Start the process by answering the question yourself. Then either ask for a volunteer or simply pick the next person. Give that person something that can be tossed or passed (e.g., a small stuffed animal, a koosh ball or a talking stick). When the first person is done, he passes the item to another person who answers the question and passes the item. Proceed until everyone has shared.

2004 Autumn

Seasonal Cheer Tips

2004 Summer

Summer Motivation Tips

2004 Spring

Website Marketing Tips

2003 Autumn

Classroom Celebration Tips

2003 Summer

Classroom Confidentiality Tips

Do

  • Do have students write questions/responses on 3x5 cards if the discussion topic is of a sensitive nature.
  • Do meet with students privately.
  • Do secure student records.
  • Do emulate confidentiality in the way you discuss others in the classroom.
  • Do provide private areas for the intake interview in the school clinic.
  • Do be aware of your environment and potential listeners when having a personal conversation.
  • Do have clear policies for all employees, faculty, students and student clinic personnel.
  • Do make yourself available to students for private conversations.

Don't

  • Don't give a student's grade out loud.
  • Don't have students correct each other's papers.
  • Don't ask direct questions of a personal nature during class time.
  • Don't treat Teaching Assistants as confidants.
  • Don't leave sensitive information unattended.
  • Don't discuss classroom interactions beyond the classroom.
  • Don't press a student for the reason he is late to class when he comes in.
  • Don't correct students who have breached a classroom agreement in front of the class, unless it's an appropriate issue for the class to address together.

2003 Winter

Tips for Closing a Class

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