From the 2009 Autumn issue.
For What Kinds of Communication is Email Good?
Practitioners use email to:
- Remind clients of clinic hours including special extended hours.
- Announce specials and changes in practice.
- Send welcome and follow up messages.
- Send birthday greetings.
- Promote gift certificate sales.
- Send coupons clients can print or forward to others.
- Promote special services and educate clients about the benefits of services or techniques.
- Send irregular clients reminder messages.
- Send or forward articles or links to clients with particular interests or conditions.
- Announce classes and workshops.
- Communicate about scheduling with clients. (This requires checking your inbox frequently.)
- Alert clients when there is an opening. It may be worth having a list of clients who have checked a box: "Let me know about last minute openings." Including an incentive can increase the response, such as 15 extra minutes for the first one to schedule.
Enhance Communication Skills
The art of a creative teacher is one who has the ability to educate learners by combining the use of Multiple Intelligences and Communication Styles. The foundation is laid by developing curriculum (lesson plans and activities) that addresses these styles and types. The next step is to encourage further exploration of these communication skills throughout the school term.
Actively Listen: Speakers usually reveal how they learn, take in information and retrieve
what they have learned. Make it a conscious game for learners to pay attention in your
classroom. Review the nine Multiple Intelligences and the four Communication
Styles (with the 10 behaviors each). Give learners cues for what to listen for
in regards to the types and styles. Consider making posters of this information
so it can easily be referenced throughout the year.
Read More Information: Understanding the importance of these
communication styles may require additional reading. There is plenty of
information available on the Internet. Encourage learners to explore this topic.
Role-Play: Do role-plays after the learners have a better understanding
of how to communicate and have identified their individual learning and
communication styles/types. Have the learners become the client/practitioner
or the consumer/business person. In one application have the learners stay in what they know, using
their preferred MI and Communication Styles. Another role-play is to have the learners take on another style and/or type
(this gives the learners an opportunity to experience what it is like to be out of context).
Evaluate: As each of us are learners, it is important to receive feedback. Ask your learners and colleagues how something
could have been taught in another way for additional learning to take place.
Encourage Participation in Discussions
- Create a safe space.
- Allow time for reflection.
- Set discussion ground rules complete with consequences for breaking those rules.
- Inform students that a percentage of their grade is based on their classroom participation.
- Control discussions so no one student monopolizes the classroom.
- Verbally reward participation.
- Ask open-ended questions.
- Allow time for reflection.
- Clarify any confusing comments.
- Call on nonparticipants.
- Utilize a variety of discussion formats.
- Be tactful whenever correcting a student.
- Resist responding to the students' comments.
- Avoid repeatedly calling on the same people.
- Summarize students' ideas on the board or overhead transparency.
- Point out the similarities and connections of students' comments.
- Make sure the discussion topic is relevant and interesting.
- Utilize small group discussions as an option or a prelude to a full class discussion.
- Use eye contact to provide feedback and maintain classroom management.
- Ask follow-up questions to a student's question or comment.
- Whenever a student asks a question, make sure everyone hears it: repeat the question and rephrase it, if necessary.
2008 Spring issue
Tips for Creating a Safe Space
The instructor must appropriately set the tone for honest communication through some authentic self-disclosure. Good places to start are talking about how you learned how to handle difficult ethical situations, mistakes you have made or why you are teaching this course.
Utilize exercises and learning experiences to create a safe emotional environment. Encourage learners to share things at the appropriate depth; too much or too deep a self-disclosure in the beginning of a group's development can act as an inhibiting factor.
- Be authentic and psychologically savvy.
- Encourage an open atmosphere.
- Set clear limits and boundaries
- Incorporate experiential learning concepts and activities.
- Maintain neutrality.
- Keep a non-judgmental demeanor.
- Be honest, humble and sincere.
- Express strength of character, warmth and a caring attitude.
- State and reinforce the concepts of classroom confidentiality.
- Model confidentiality by keeping student's paperwork and records in a locked cabinet.
- Refrain from talking about a student when you can be overheard.
- Ideally, arrange the seating so that everyone is facing each other.
2008 Summer issue
Key Business Class Activities
The majority of time spent in business class should be devoted to exploring the depths and nuances of this subject area. One of the most difficult challenges a business teacher has is deciding which activities to do. Include a variety of active learning techniques so you don't always rely on discussions. The following activities can be done for a variety of topics.
- Graduate Panel: Graduate panels bring an element of reality to business class. Plus they are a great opportunity to reinforce what you've been teaching.
- Self-Assessment: Oftentimes learners have no idea what career path to take. Do personality tests to assess their strengths and weaknesses. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the various career options.
- Simulations: Practicing activities helps to diminish fear associated with those activities, and enhances confidence and competency.
- Discussions: Discussions can be an effective tool to build rapport among learners, inspire the class to learn more about a topic, encourage critical thinking skills and gauge what learners know.
- Projects: Projects are excellent ways for learners to demonstrate knowledge and their abilities to analyze, synthesize and evaluate material. They can be done individually or in groups.
- Visualizations: Creative visualization can help learners stay inspired, energized and on track.
- Demonstrations: Demonstrations are effective, easy to organize, no-cost methods for active learning. Demonstrations can be done to teach topics, such as interviewing techniques, setting boundaries and communications.
- Games: Games that are fun and challenging promote active learning, encourage participation and enhance assimilation of the lesson content.
- Field Trips: Visiting different types of businesses often provides learners a new prospective and a dose of reality. Take them to different work environments as well as other companies that they might work with in the future (e.g., printer, laundry service).
2007 Autumn issue
Business Course Preparation
The first stage is preparing your course. Your school might provide you with a full lesson plan or simply give you the course objectives. The following preparation steps come in handy whether you are essentially starting from scratch or adapting pre-designed curriculum:
- Review the curriculum, noting topics where you lack sufficient knowledge or interest and arrange guest speaker(s) for those topics.
- Read the textbook(s) and other material that are required for the course.
- Peruse other books and articles that address the course topics.
- Review the teaching materials supplied by the textbook publisher and the school.
- Compile research on current statistics, trends and regulations.
- Create a recommended reading list.
- Assemble ancillary teaching materials.
- Order freebies for students (e.g., sample preprinted marketing materials).
- Identify ways to teach using active learning principles and techniques.
- Review notes from times you've previously taught this course and incorporate changes.
- Finalize your lesson plans.
Accelerated Learning Tips
- Provide content in ways that challenge the learners to search and discover the information for themselves.
- Incorporate challenge and novelty through active problem-solving activities that require movement and group interaction along with thought.
- Furnish many opportunities to link prior knowledge with new content.
- When you use lecture, overheads, or slide shows, break it into small chunks (no more than 20 minutes) with interaction between the chunks.
- Use holistic, big picture challenges as well as Brain Gym™ exercises.
- Include instrumental music.
- Hold small group discussions where learners can test understandings and formulate questions without fear of embarrassment or failure.
- Allot time for internal processing through journal writing and time for notes on personal meaning and uses for the new learning.
- Encourage learners to ask and answer questions related to why we are here, what's the purpose of learning this content, what will happen when we finish the learning, etc.
- Employ aromas, such as lemon, peppermint, cinnamon and clove, to stimulate concentration and learning. Put citrus and peppermint hard candies on the tables to stimulate taste and support learning.
Critical Thinking Chart
|Knowledge ||Comprehension ||Application ||Analysis ||Synthesis ||Evaluation|
|Identify ||Define ||Experiment ||Uncover ||Create ||Rank|
|List ||Categorize ||Classify ||Compare ||Forecast ||Judge|
|Recall ||Paraphrase ||Distinguish ||Discover ||Form ||Measure|
|Group ||Summarize ||Model ||Examine ||Predict ||Conclude|
|Name ||Show ||Record ||Divide ||Invent ||Defend|
|Label ||Explain ||Contrast ||Simplify ||Imagine ||Rate|
|Find ||Expand ||Differentiate ||Inspect ||Construct ||Grade|
|Match ||Demonstrate ||Apply ||Survey ||Extrapolate ||Award|
|Select ||Re-organize ||Solve ||Sort ||Develop ||Justify|