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May 14, 2017

The emergence of globalise trade, increase in foreign investment and cross-border transactions have put many small businesses under pressure to find innovative ways to continue to market their products and services. This is especially difficult given that they often operate on tight marketing budgets.

In the quest for cheap marketing alternatives, these small businesses continue to use conventional marketing tools such as newspaper, magazine, radio and television advertisements, unaware of the advantages that Internet Promotion offers. All too often, these entrepreneurs focus on the disadvantages of Internet Promotion and fail to adequately take advantage of the opportunities that it presents. Moreover, their preoccupation with conventional marketing strategies is driven by a misconception that these are cheaper than Internet Promotion.

To most small business entrepreneurs, marketing or promoting their products or services via the Internet can be a daunting task. However, with adequate information small businesses can benefit significantly from Internet Promotion while minimising the disadvantages that it presents. In fact, it may prove to be the marketing strategy that generates the highest return on investment.

The Advantages

Cost Effective and Enduring Marketing Strategies

The Internet has become the information superhighway for the buying public. Most persons prefer the hassle free transactions that Internet shopping can offer. As a result, the Internet has become the most powerful selling tool. Internet Promotion offers cost effective ways for small businesses to enhance their product or service distribution networks. For example, the use of portals can help create new marketing channels and logistics, or provide better or faster product access for customers.

In comparison to other forms of marketing, Internet Promotion presents the advantage of reduced budget and storage costs, when compared with printing brochures, producing television or radio advertisements or managing a call centre. It presents a fast and cost effective option for penetrating new markets.

Market Penetration

With millions of person using the Internet to search for products and services, small businesses can penetrate other markets at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing methods.

Websites act as virtual storefronts, allowing businesses to stay open 24/7. Internet Promotion gives a business greater visibility, thereby creating more opportunities for increasing its customers at relatively low cost. Never before has it been easier for an upstart business to be able to reach out to literally millions of potential customers and to position themselves for success, without the need for costly infrastructure and overwhelming marketing costs. Thanks to the Internet, new businesses can become popular almost overnight.

Low Cost, Instant Communication

Email makes business communications instant, whether the customer or business affiliate is across the street or across the globe. It makes it easier for customers to maintain contact and readily facilitates repeat purchasing. An effective online strategy can therefore turn a small web business into a virtual cost saver and income-generating machine. The net result is that the small business can gain significant competitive advantage in a given market.

Many online businesses have therefore resorted to the use of ezines, blogs, pop-up ads and other online marketing tools to let customers know about new products or services as well as provide information relevant to their respective industry. The benefits of this strategy are two fold. Marketers can effectively heighten brand awareness for relatively new products on the market whilst strengthening customer relationships, with shorter time frames.

Content is Timeless

Internet Promotion also provides the advantage of being enduring. Whereas participation at a trade fair or conference loses sales impact, once it is over, and an advertisement in a newspaper or business magazine may quickly lose its sales generating value within a day or two or as soon as the next issue is released; Internet Promotion is often timeless. Apart from the dates and sometimes prices, much of your website content remains valid years after.

Real Time Statistics For Measuring Success of Promotion Campaign

One of the most significant advantages of Internet Promotion is that its success is measurable. Marketers can use tools that provide real time statistics, on unique visitors, repeat visitors, click through rates (CTR) on advertisements, thereby allowing them to evaluate the effectiveness of a promotion campaign. This enables marketers to determine what works for their particular market and to make timely changes in their marketing strategies.

Time Saving

Another important advantage of Internet Promotion is that it saves time since it generally does away with counselling on product uses and benefits, service information and sales administration. Visitors can access “frequently asked questions” to help themselves, and can buy online, without the involvement of staff. This saves time and money. So, whether 10 or 10,000 visitors visit the site, the increased cost is marginal whilst the savings can be immense.

But like any business approach, Internet Promotion is not without its risks and weaknesses.

Disadvantages

Difficulty in Attracting Customers

Small business may not have the resources to pay for paid directory inclusion, pay per click inclusions and often have to rely solely on search engine optimisation or word of mouth to drive traffic to their sites. With millions of businesses selling the same product and services, competing with more established businesses can be frustrating and costly venture for small business.

On the other hand, larger companies can offer promotions, pay for directory inclusions, implement pay per click campaigns as well as employ the “who is who” in internet marketing to develop campaigns that generate traffic and leads.

Difficulty in Evaluating Legitimacy of Transaction

Another notable disadvantage of doing promoting businesses online is that it may be difficult for the businesspersons and consumers to thoroughly evaluate the legitimacy of a transaction. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to thieves using stolen credit cards and stolen information to do online transaction.

With Internet credit card and identity fraud on the rise, small businesses are forced to finance costly security measures to reduce their vulnerability to fraudulent transactions.

Salespersons and Customers are Isolated

Another disadvantage of promotion via the Internet is that the customers and businesspersons are isolated. There is little personal contact between customer and salesperson prior to and after the sales is closed. Thus, the prospect for repeat sales may thus be diminished. Entrepreneurs are therefore compelled to adopt marketing strategies to drive online users back to their site.

From all indications, it appears that the advantages of Internet promotion, far exceed the disadvantages. With adequate knowledge, entrepreneur can benefit significantly from Internet promotion, especially small business owners.

More and more, the growth and outreach of the Internet’s, its ease and accessibility for customers is becoming inevitable. Small business would therefore be well advised to start their web advertising function in order to improve their competitiveness online.

Source by Carla Lendor

May 14, 2017 0 comment
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After introducing the traditional IT governance frameworks, I would like to point out some differences between them and an agile approach. I’ll examine the COBIT model:

1. COBIT is a generally applicable and accepted standard for IT governance focused more on control, less on execution. Control, inherently induces the need for documentation and contract negotiation. Agile IT Governance, on the other hand, emphasizes execution and the collaboration between individuals to achieve execution. COBIT could be strengthened further by emphasizing the latter as much as the former.

2. COBIT requires that policies, plans and procedures that drive an IT process are documented, reviewed, maintained, approved, stored, communicated and used for training. This comprehensive documentation can be disastrous if the documented process is inherently flawed and cannot adapt to rapid changes in the business environment. Agile IT Governance emphasizes the need for working governance vs. comprehensive documentation on governance processes. COBIT could benefit from a balanced emphasis on just-enough process documentation for legal compliance and baseline business activity.

3. COBIT says to successfully deliver services to support the enterprise’s strategy, there should be a clear ownership of the requirements and deliverables. Of dozens of managers in a business unit, which individuals have the right level of subject matter expertise? Or the organizational relationships to enable clear ownership and direction of the requirements? The answers to these questions can vary widely depending on who you ask. COBIT could benefit from the consideration that identifying the wrong owner can lead to flawed governance. Agile IT governance mitigates this risk by focusing on identifying the right person who fits the role of “the owner” for the right stage of the project.

4. COBIT believes that processes and tools make enterprises quick to adapt. Processes and tools can only be as effective as the people who design them. Plus, they can be effective only for a specific period of time. Processes and tools often lack the ability to adapt to changing business environments. The emphasis on individuals and interactions help overcome these challenges because they allow teams to maneuver with agility, and adapt to the circumstances at that point in time. COBIT could benefit from consideration of Agile principles which emphasize individuals and interactions over tools and processes.

5. To satisfy business objectives, COBIT emphasizes complying with the laws, regulations and contractual arrangements to which the business process is subject. The emphasis is again on contract negotiation, not on collaboration. The word “contract” often awakens adversarial feelings and can lead to counter-productive behavior. While a framework for Agile IT Governance appreciates the value of contracts, it laments the fact that there is no mention of the word “collaboration” in COBIT.

It’s no longer a question of whether organizations should adopt an agile governance framework, but rather, why you think yours doesn’t already. What are your experiences with traditional governance frameworks? What is your opinion about an agile approach to governance?

Source by Adina Palade

May 14, 2017 0 comment
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There are quite a handful of different flight sims available on the PC and in other platforms. One of my favorite early flight-sims was F-22 Lightning by Novalogic. The game used a 3D engine that was considered to be quite state-of-the-art for its time. The main appeal of the game to me was the fact that I felt like I could fly virtually anywhere I wanted to as long as my fuel would last without any invisible barriers to hamper my flying skills (or lack thereof). It was like a little kid’s dream come true to be able to actually pilot a top-class fighter jet with no restrictions and no repercussions in case of failure. What made the experience even sweeter was the fact that you could literally crash the jet in all sorts of places and even shoot your guns and missiles at your own base and destroy all the buildings on your own airstrip. The amount of freedom that you had in this particular flight simulator was quite unprecedented considering the fact that it was released in the mid-90’s just before OpenGL and Direct3D became the standard for almost all 3D games.

The reason that I am bringing up F-22 Lightning is because I felt that even though the game had some flaws as far as game design was concerned, the realistic flying experience that it offered was unparalleled at the time it was released when most flight sims had this arcadey, game-like feel to them. This brings us back to the present time. At one point, I felt a bit nostalgic and sought a kind of free-roaming, do anything you want flight sim that was more up to date and would actually run on my modern PC. I did a few Google searches and after reading a few articles on various flight simulator software, I found several positive ProFlight Simulator reviews. Of course, what really attracted me to the software was that based on the gameplay videos and screenshots, it didn’t require a very high-end PC, but the graphics were quite passable for a modern game. After mulling it over a bit, I decided to take the risk and make the purchase – fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed.

Most people would probably be put off by ProFlight Simulator because of the somewhat dated looking graphics that would not look too out of place in an early PS2 launch title, but don’t let that fool you. The fact of the matter is that when it comes to gameplay, ProFlight Simulator is arguably the best flight sim available on any platform. What really sets ProFlight Simulator apart from the completion is the amount of depth that was put into creating this game. There are over 120 different aircraft available in the game and all of them handle differently – presumably, as similar to their real-life counterparts as possible. You can even pilot the legendary Wright Flyer if you want. Furthermore, there are over 20,000 simulated airports in the game and the environments are actually updated in realtime using GPS Satellite data taken from the internet. This means that you can actually visit different countries from all around the world and they will look as close to the real thing as the game’s graphics engine permits in realtime.

As far as realism goes, ProFlight Simulator is not for those who cannot stand a bit of a learning curve. This game actually simulates how a real pilot would fly a plane in real life. There are no shortcuts to learning how to control your aircraft and if you do not know what you are doing, you will find yourself in many epic plane crashes as you get used to the game’s control system. Time may be the only difference between the game and flying in real life. Travel time is noticeably compressed in the game because it is quite doubtful that anyone would actually find piloting a 5-hour trip on a commercial airliner entertaining.

If you are looking for a realistic flying experience along with the ability to take your plane anywhere you want in the world, then ProFlight Simulator is the PC game for you.

Source by Lloyd Junsay Doronila

May 14, 2017 0 comment
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It is 2017 so I guess we shouldn’t be surprised with all the advancements that are being made. Every time we think we are learning one piece of technology the newest model shows up.

In terms of medical professionals this is no different, we also have to get used to new technologies and advancements being made all the time. These technologies are put into place with the idea that they are making the lives of medical professionals easier.

Some of these technologies are proven as beneficial to medical professionals and their patients. While other technologies are questionable to whether they are beneficial or not. I am going to discuss three of these technologies and give my opinions on them.

The question I ask here is do they really make the lives of medical professionals easier or are medical professionals spending more time learning how to use these technologies than on patient care?

The first medical technology is Electronic Health Records, also known as EHR. This system allows all patient information to be added into a database and be reviewed by medical professionals. The information that is added into this system includes:

Basic patient information

Past medical history

Patient medications

Lab and x-ray information and results

Notes on patient visit

Patient diagnoses

Vital signs

Benefits of this system include:

Cutting back on paper since all patient information is entered on this database instead of being hand written.

Allows patients to review their records online through the patient portal.

Allows medical professionals to coordinate care by sending patient information to each other.

Saves space that is required to store paper medical records and allows this space to be used in better ways.

Allows 24 hour 7 days a week access.

It saves time and money.

Some cons of this system include:

Not all patients are tech savvy and won’t benefit from this system.

Like with all online systems EHR systems are at risk in regards to cyber hackers and malicious hackers. This means extra diligence is necessary to prevent patient information from being accessed by unauthorized users.

If the system is not updated regularly it can cause issues with the use of the system.

If the internet goes out in a facility than this system is useless.

In my personal opinion I feel this technology is beneficial to medical professionals, as well as patients. It allows patients to be involved in their care by having access to their information instead of feeling they are in the dark and not know what’s going on with their care.

This system also has many advantages for medical professionals. One big one is they have more time to communicate with their patients instead of having to spend a lot of time reviewing and charting patient care. I also feel it prevents clutter that may that happens with paper records and reducing the mistakes or errors of medical professionals.

The second medical technology is Infusion Pumps. Infusion pumps are used to deliver fluids, nutrients, and medications to patients. This device helps deliver controlled amounts of fluids to the patient’s body.

Some of specific uses for an infusion pump include delivery of:

IV fluids if a patient is dehydrated.

Chemotherapy drugs.

Insulin or other hormones.

Antibiotics.

Pain relievers.

Some specific benefits to these pumps include:

The can be set so the patient only gets the amount of fluid, medication, or nutrition need.

They are easy to use.

They provide wireless drug library and pump data.

Some cons to these pumps include:

There are insufficient updates and upgrades.

Weight based dose checking only allows maximum weight to be entered.

I feel that these infusion pumps are good for patients. On the other hand I feel there needs to be some improvements made to these pumps to reduce error and to offer more update and upgrades.

The third medical technology is the Unique Device Identification Tracker, which is also known as the UDI. This technology is an implant and implantable device tracking software designed for use in an operating room. This device is Internet based and is used to manage and track of all implants.

Some specific implants that this device tracks includes:

Tissue

Orthopedic

Cardiovascular

Any other type of implant

Some specific benefits of this device include:

It allows hospital system integration, which improves workflow.

Provides expiration date alerts, which improves patient safety and reduces waste.

Provides supplier regulatory status, which allows you to view AATB, FDA, and state licenses.

Provides barcode scanning and labels to save time finding what you’re looking for and eliminates error prone data entry.

Provides notifications on recalls.

Some cons of this device include:

If a professional scans the wrong item it can lead to major issues.

If the facility using this system does not offer proper training on this device it can lead to major issues or misuse of this device.

I feel this technology is very useful to medical professionals and their patients. It allows for the medical professional to focus more time on patient care and less time on paperwork.

Which makes patients feel they are a priority and that their medical teams truly cares. This device also improves safety for patients since it helps make sure any implants being used meet all requirements for safe implantation.

So my overall analysis on medical technologies is they are a good idea. They are beneficial to medical professionals, as well as their patients as long as they are used properly. I feel these medical technologies do help improve patient care and help make the job of the medical professional easier.

Source by Makayla V Phillips

May 14, 2017 0 comment
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When I was a younger man one of my girlfriends had told me I hope you get struck by lightning. I thought to myself the chances of me being struck by lightning or about a million to one. However they are not quite that high and in fact I used to like to go jogging in the rain because I was a very good runner in high school and college. And I like to run on mountain trails near my home and therefore my chance of getting struck by lightning were probably 10 times greater than anyone else in the city who was hiding in their house during the storms.

Nevertheless about two years after this woman uttered these words and she was a very cute gal as I recall; her own brother got struck by lightning and I thought to myself I guess my mind is too strong and her words could not reach me, but instead her brother was the one that got struck by lightning. Believe it or not he lived to tell about it. So I can say I know someone who has been struck by lightning and then I thought well the chances of someone being struck by lightning has to be less than a million so I did little searching on the Internet.

The actual odds in the United States of America are; 244,000 to one of been struck by lightning in your lifetime. In fact they are a lot less than winning the lottery. So in case you are thinking you’re going to win the lottery for your retirement may I say to you; you are better off to save your money because the chance of you winning the lottery are over a million to one; whereas your chances of being struck by lightning are less than 250,000 to one. So consider this in 2006.

Source by Lance Winslow

May 14, 2017 0 comment
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What’s Going On In Our World As To Why We Would Need To Be Preparing For An Economic Disaster??

I realize that for some, the term “Preppers” may be totally new and it may make you think of the kids in high school who wore khaki’s, penny loafers and polo shirts. But this is for you if you are just starting to realize that world events and potential natural disasters can be cause for concern for you, your family and your business.

So, a “Prepper” is someone who takes this seriously and is at least doing some things to prepare for such eventualities.

Now for the committed preppers, thy will realize the Amish offer a glimpse into the “Simple Life”, which the Amish have lived since the 1600’s when they were formed in Europe by a man named Jakob Ammann. A related group with similar conservative religious values is the Mennonites.

So, for purposes of our discussions, when I refer to the Amish, I am talking about the Amish/Mennonite culture.

The Amish migrated to the United States in the 1800’s to escape religious persecution. They have established several small areas which they live in throughout the U.S. and one of them happens to be central northern Indiana here I have lived for many years. About 10 years ago my wife and I bought a business from a Mennonite family and we had many Amish working for us during the time we had the business. (We sold it in 2009, just before real estate market got really bad. Made a nice profit and everything was paid off. The business just sold again for a few hundred thousand less than we sold it for.)

We have been prepping to some extent the entire time we’ve lived here, but have stepped up our activity dramatically the last year or so.

Willis my Amish friend revealed to me a few months ago, that he’d really like to find a way to help others by getting survival and prepping tips out to society. So, with my colleague, Hari Luker, Willis and I have formed Amish Survival Secrets.

This is all a long way of setting the stage and giving you a feel of where we’re coming from. You see, the Amish have been made fun of, sometimes thought of as very mysterious. There are shows on TV like Breaking Amish ( http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/breaking-amish/videos ) that sensationalize the Amish lifestyle.

Then there’s the Amish Heater, which has been sold for several years through full page, direct response ads in virtually every newspaper in the country. The fact is that the Amish don’t use these heaters and the only thing that might make them Amish is a wood surround cabinet for the electric heater. ( http://www.heatsurgesale.com/ ) From a business growth specialist, I have to tip my hat to them, but from someone who knows the Amish I realize how fake it really is.

In our case, this is not fake. Willis is really Amish and I have worked with and know the Amish. By combining our technology and online skills with Willis’s personal knowledge and access to secrets only the Amish know, we can bring you “true Amish” ideas that you can use in your life.

So, what are the threats to consider?

Here’s just a few things that could happen:

  • Major economic upheaval due to burgeoning debt and failing economies throughout the world
  • Natural disasters
  • Earthquakes
  • Tsunami
  • Hurricanes
  • Volcano
  • Solar Flares on Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) – Wipes out everything electrical and would shut down everything, instantaneously. Internet, modern cars, phones, electrical grid, computers, etc. This has happened a few times in the last century and our enemies now have the capability to do it to us.
  • Nuclear Strike
  • Terrorist Strike
  • Major Energy Shortages Skyrocketing Inflation Whatever Else??

We’ve seen all of these play out recently. See how many people were devastated in these situations.

If this sounds like doomsday talk and you just want to go about your daily business and react when you have to… no problem. But, consider how many are listed above and others that haven’t been considered. Is it possible that at least one of these could happen to you in the next 10 years, even if you are not a gloom and doom person?

So the point is here, is to simply make you aware of what COULD happen and that there are some very simple remedies for you to act upon to make sure you are ready if or when this happens.

Source by Willis Yoder

May 14, 2017 0 comment
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If you try and notice the education sphere today, there is a lot of buzz about students enrolling themselves in good established management schools and wanting to acquire their management education. Experts believe this is majorly because of the rising competition in the business sphere. A business school becomes very helpful for students because it has a theoretical as well as practical approach towards the topics and subjects of the student’s choice. These management education courses are practical because they include case studies; that is real life business situations that have occurred in major companies, along with how the company resolved the issues to rise to the top again. This is of tremendous help to a beginner manager while he is learning to apply his knowledge in a way that will get maximum benefits for his company.

After studying a number of case studies thoroughly, the students are assigned projects in order to help them develop various managerial skills like those of leadership, decision-making ability, motivational speaking ability, etc. Thus, management education hugely contributes to the overall growth of an aspirant and converts him into a thorough professional who is ready to enter the business field confidently. This is what gives individuals an edge over the others during job interviews. Thus as a result of all this, there are so many people who want to do courses from business schools.

Why these business schools are different is because they work on the problem areas of the students and teach them take not just decisions but responsibility for them as well. Initially the student is asked only to observe case studies. During this stage, the student learns to investigate and analyze the situation of the company at that particular point in time. The observation skills of the students increase tremendously during this first stage of solving case studies.

Further on, the students are asked to imagine themselves as professionals in the industry and devise solutions for the set of business problems that the company is facing at that time. This is where the students learn to strategically plan and brainstorm with the objective of coming up with good solutions. These projects also help to enhance team building skills of the students. The feedback of the professors who are actually experienced industry professionals lets the students know where they actually stand with respect to the actual business sphere. This is very important because it is a reality check that goes a long way in motivating students to pull up their socks and do all it takes to reach a respectable position with respect to the actual business sphere.

Source by Happy Garg

May 14, 2017 0 comment
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I have a habit of sending a thank you letter for meeting after any meeting I attend. People often tell me it is not serious and out of contest but I believe a thank you letter for meeting is necessary for any decent business man.

In this article I will describe the benefits of a good thank you letter for meeting and the components it should include.

I am taking any meeting seriously. I make sure all the important people accept the meeting invitation and prepare a good agenda for the meeting. I don’t do it to get a thank you letter for meeting. I do it in order to have a fruitful meeting with good decisions.

After this kind of effort the best thing is to get a thank you letter for meeting.

How many times have you conducted a meeting with out getting a feedback? A thank you letter meeting gives you the best feedback you can get.

So let me answer the most important questions about thank you letter for meeting:

When to send the thank you letter for a meeting?

The best time to send the thank you letter for meeting is on the beginning of the first week after the meeting. Sending it right after the meeting will seem too faked and sending the thank you letter for meeting after a long period will not be relevant. Sending it in the beginning of the week will show that you have thought about it during the weekend and decided that it worth a thank you letter for meeting.

Who should you address the thank you letter for meeting?

You should address the letter to the meeting conductor directly and to the information of all the meeting attendees and other interested parties. Remember, you write a thank you letter for meeting so that all the interested parties will read it.

What should be on a thank you letter for meeting?

You should start the letter by thanking the meeting conductor for the meeting with not more than two sentences. The thank you letter for meeting should include afterworlds a brief description of the benefits you got from the meeting. Then, you may add a personal compliment for the meeting conductor for his meeting preparation and management. If there are remarks or points of improvement I usually add them briefly in the end of the thank you letter for meeting.

Of course, A thank you letter for meeting is good only for good meetings. Do not send thank you letter for a meeting that doesn’t deserve it.

Use this tool in your career as leverage to a better career – honor one who conducts a good meeting with a good thank you letter for meeting.

Source by Ofer Cohen

May 14, 2017 0 comment
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At the risk of sounding like a wimpy coach I am going to go the sport of Professional Basketball as a metaphor. Think that is a bad idea? Well at least I did not suggest Soccer…

Professional Basketball coaches have a defined strategy for substitution patterns. I am pretty sure I said strategy not seat of the pants execution. So, what is your strategy?

There are two types of decision that fall under this category. First, there are those decisions that might be decided before the actual game, and secondly those that arise during the course of a game.

Before the game the Coach needs to decide the parameters of the substitution strategies. Questions that the Head Coach and all the Assistants Coaches need to determine might be a little more complex than you might initially expect. The Game is going to be hectic enough without compounding the confusion with disagreements or differences of opinion while the game is going on. These can only deteriorate the player’s trust in the Coaching Staff.

1. Which Coach or Coaches on the bench will make substitutions?

a. Most HS Teams do not have a unique coach for the box like many college programs have. Identifying who will send in the lines as well as unique position players is key for your bench organization, substituting on “the fly” is acceptable, while coaching “on the fly is not.”

2. Are we going to substitute as units or lines or as individual players?

a. This is not as simple as you might expect. Many Coaches have moved away from rigid substitutions of middie lines with the advent of LSM players as well as defensive midfielders. Maybe you are a high school program that does not have a pure three-man defensive midfield, but possibly you might have a strong athlete, not great with the stick who could possibly be an effective rider or defensive midfielder when combined with a LSM and the best midfielder on a line. Or possibly when you substitute your fifth Attack player or fifth defender you want to have them play with two of the starters.

3. What is your priority for a lot of players playing in the game?

a. It has always been my strategy to play all or as many players as possible in each game. But the strategy might surprise you. I like to substitute most of the Bench in the first quarter, and predominantly in the first half. I learned this lesson by watching the kid’s body language on the bench as an observer rather than as a coach. Actually, one year I had to play many freshmen and sophomores and once we get over the initial “Deer in the Headlights” phase it will be OK.

b. Players that expect to have a good chance of playing in the game practice significantly harder and are far better at paying close attention in practice. Not to mention they will be significantly more prepared (since a lot of it is mental anyway) should you need them due to injury issues.

c. Players that have played even 30 seconds to a minute or two in the first half are aggressive, engaged vocal supporters for the rest of the game.

d. Once the starters realize this shift in your culture as well as realize they are going back in the game in a moment or two, they too become engaged with the younger or less experienced players.

e. It sure changes the weight of the terms “Team” and “we”.

Finally, as the Head Coach I might strongly suggest that both you as well as the Assistants are CLEARLY on the same page. The day before the game take a few moments to discuss as a coaching unit who might be earning a little more playing time and have a definitive strategy for making that happen.

So often Coaches get to the end of the game and did not have an opportunity to give players the time they had expected to give. And then more often than not have a tendency to get defensive about the decisions or lack of substitutions. Has this happened to you?

The game is far too hectic, make a plan, and then make a plan to implement the plan. Or ask an Assistant to make sure to remind you in the first quarter of the plan. Getting these types of substitutions out of the way in the first half takes a lot of pressure off you as a Coach, and reduces the player’s anxieties about “Will I play?” off the table as well. After three or four games you might find you had more ‘players’ than you expected.

Source by Mike Muetzel

May 14, 2017 0 comment
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A perfect solution to adding heat to a home during a construction or addition project is using radiant ceramic flat panel electric infrared heaters. They are cost effective, efficient, eco-friendly, and a primary heat source of comfortable absorbing heat. They even warm the floor! This solution is applicable whether building an addition on a home, adding a three season glass enclosure or patio enclosure, remodeling a home, or refurbishing an older home. These units are the perfect solution for homes that have that one room that never stays warm enough.

So the question is how does this apply to the construction and refurbishing industry of older homes, home with additions being built, or green home construction? Using electric radiant infrared flat ceramic panels offers a dual benefit. The first is to bring heat to additions being built without running new tin and without the worry of the current furnace being powerful enough to handle the additional square footage. The second is to add a more effective and efficient primary heat source to the home or addition. Particularly a heat source that utilizes green technology that operates at a savings of up to 50% over the cost to heat the same space with natural gas.

Heating electrically has historically been less expensive than heating with natural gas or oil. That is because using 1000 watts of electricity costs about 10-12 cents per hour to run. But more than that heating with electric infrared technology reduces the recovery time of heating a room. This means the heating unit does not have to operate as frequently to keep the room warm or to re-heat the room after a door or window was opened.

A quick explanation and review of the efficiency and cost savings of infrared radiant heating follows in the next two paragraphs, then I will explain the benefit of ceramic flat panel infrared radiant heaters in the construction and refurbishing industry of older homes, home with additions being built, adding heat to patio enclosures or green home construction.

The reason why electric radiant infrared flat panel heaters are efficient and cost effective to operate can be explained this way; forced heated air systems only blow warm air into the room. The room must be filled with enough warm air to make a person feel warm. But at that point the only thing that is warm is the air, but hot air rises. There is usually a difference in temperature between the air at the ceiling and the air at the floor. The space at floor level and a few inches above the floor is never comfortably warm and is usually drafty. To fill a room with heated air takes time and, the air is warmed before the person is warmed. The room cools rapidly due to cold air infiltration, and takes longer to recover. But the biggest disadvantage is that the forced air system must run longer and work hard to heat the air in the room and then reheat the room which costs the consumer more energy dollars.

Conversely, infrared radiant heating heats people and objects first by utilizing the technology of long wave electromagnetic energy. After the people and objects are warmed they release the warmth into the air which then heats the ambient air. Even if a door is opened that lets a rush of cold air into the room, radiant heating has a faster recovery time due to all the objects in the room being warmed and releasing that warmth back into the room. Even though the unit operates continuously until the thermostat turns it off, it operates at an inexpensive rate. And that cost is only incurred when the unit is running whereas a gas system is always burning a pilot light and trying to overcome drafty cold air infiltration.

The electric radiant infrared flat ceramic panels are manufactured by Radiant Electric Heat (REH) in Wisconsin. These units are made in the USA. That is important to a lot of consumers and I am happy to point that out. The REH brand is called CeramiCircuit ™.

The CeramiCircuit ™ brand is constructed of ceramic coated 18 gauge steel plates with an energizing circuit on the internal face of the heating element. The heater body is a 20 gauge galvanized steel construct with ventilation slots at perimeter. The unit is made with a junction box of approximately 135 cubic inches running the width of the heater on the back side of the heater body. Three 7/8″ standard knockouts located left, right, and center, are built onto the rear surface of the junction box to allow entry of power feed. Actual power connections to the element and heater grounding connection are located at the left end of the heater. The heater elements have a wattage density of approximately 2.5 – 3.0 watts/square inch of emissive surface area. The popular residential ceiling cove units are rated at 825 watts (Model 645) or 1000 watts (Model 945) in appropriate voltages of 120 volts, 208 volts, 240 volts, or 277 volts. REH also makes CeramiCircuit ™ brand units in the following configurations: wall mounts, baseboards, large portable units (on casters or wall mount), and small under desk space heaters. More information can be found at http://www.radiantheatusaonline.com/shop/category.aspx?catid=3. The products at this page each have a link to the product brochure for more information. Some of the above detail of the unit construction came from those brochures.

During new and/or green construction, the building of an addition, any type of patio enclosure or three season room, or just a drafty, chilly room, the CeramiCircuit ™ brand of flat ceramic electric radiant infrared heating units offer perfect, efficient primary heat. They mount on two brackets that install like hanging a picture frame, they come with lead wire for behind the wall wiring offering a clean finished look, and the units can be zoned or operate on individual thermostats.

Instead of replacing or using a weak furnace or running extra duct work consider flat panel heating technology; the warmth of the sun in a box. No emission, no forced air, no combustion, hypoallergenic, no maintenance, solid and durable, American made, and less expensive operating costs than other heating systems, the CeramiCircuit ™ line is tailor made for residential use.

Source by Kevin L Owens

May 14, 2017 0 comment
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Introduction

Some leaderships have been characterized as good and have been used as challenges for others to emulate. This description however raises an obvious question: upon what criteria were these leadership characterized as good? It is certain that some leaders, whose leadership does not fall within this category, have good qualities that others can emulate. For this reason it is important not only to know that a leadership has been characterized as good but also to know the characteristics that qualifies it as good. According to Anthony D’souza, leadership involves an inter-relationship between three elements:

(a) The quality skills and needs of the followers

(b) The need and expectations of the group

(c) The demands or requirements of the situation.1

It can be observed from what D’souza has said that the first element deals with the personality of the leader; the second, his followers and the third, the task to be accomplished.

On the basis of what has been said the characteristics of good leadership will be identified under the following headings:-

(a) The personal characteristics of the leader

(b) The characteristics of the followers

(c) The leader’s task or mission. Selected leaders in the Bible, whose leaderships

have been classified as good will form the basis of this presentation.

(a) The Personal Characteristics of the Leader

It can be observed from scriptures that God was very selective in choosing leaders for specific tasks. God specifically chose Nehemiah to spearhead the rebuilding of the Jerusalem wall; Moses to bring the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt; Paul, to pioneer missionary work to the Gentiles and David, whose kinship would have a lasting dynasty, to replace Saul. These men certainly had qualities that were essential for good leadership. God recognized these qualities in them as potentials when He chose them.

In this section some of the qualities of leaders mentioned above will be discussed in a more general way. The goal is to show that it has been recognized that the good personal qualities of leaders, when applied to leadership are characteristics of good leadership.

Nehemiah

In reflecting on the book of Nehemiah, John White said that “the book of Nehemiah serves primarily to unfold for us part of God’s on-going plan for his people. But always it is the man, his character and his leadership that holds my interest”.2 Two important things stand out from John White’s evaluative statement about Nehemiah’s leadership that are characteristic of good leadership. The first is the character and conduct of Nehemiah himself as a leader and the second, is his leadership ability. White further commended that probably one of the reasons why Nehemiah was chosen as a cupbearer was because of a well-trained personal quality like that of a stable character. Such well-trained stable character was not just the effort of Nehemiah alone. This can be seen in the following statement – “God used Nehemiah’s active prayer life to mold him into a godly leader”.3 As a godly leader, Nehemiah was dependent upon God from whom he received his personal support and encouragement, which motivated him enough to succeed. Nehemiah achieved his ministry goal and his leadership has been characterized as good. His good character and conduct and his demonstration of leadership abilities were personal characteristics of his leadership, which made him succeed.

Moses

Moses’ childhood training as an adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter was tailored towards leadership. The incidence, which led to his escape from Egypt, revealed that he recognized his leadership qualities before God called him to leadership. However, it took 40 years from the time of his escape from Egypt, before God called him to leadership. Joyce Peel observed that Moses learns how to be a shepherd. Long years of looking after sheep taught him the patience he was to need as leader of the cantankerous children of Israel.4 This observation by Joyce Peel shows that the personal quality of patience in Moses’ life was a characteristic of his good leadership. This quality was made evident in the life of Moses through the great challenges he faced as a leader over Israel. One example was when he came down from Mount Sinai and found the people worshiping the golden calf. He smashed the tablet inscribed with God’s commandment, and, with a rousing cry, ‘who is on the Lord’s side?’, summons the faithful Levites to a massacre.5 The next day he reproaches the people and then brokenhearted, goes back up the mountain to plead for their forgiveness.6

Patience was not the only personal quality that Moses had. But it has been used to show that good personal qualities, when applied to leadership, bring about positive results. Therefore, good personal qualities are characteristics of good leadership.

Paul

Paul made great achievements in the ministry God called him to. Achievements should however be seen as pointers to personal abilities or qualities that a leader has that made him to succeed. What then were those qualities in Paul that made him to succeed? First it would be important to look at some of the achievements that Paul made. He made remarkable impact in his missionary work and also in his writing. John Stott observed that thirteen letters ascribed to Paul in our New Testament form almost exactly one quarter of the whole New Testament. It was the rediscovery of the theology of Paul which led to the reformation of the sixteenth century, that theological revolution which prompted an upheaval within the Roman Catholic Church and led to the birth of all the present day Protestant Churches.7 Paul’s educational background gave him this advantage. It should not go unnoticed that this great apostle used all that he had personally achieved in his formative years in his leadership role. Making use of his personal qualities in bringing about positive results in his leadership was a characteristic of Paul’s good leadership.

David

According to Ted W. Engstrom, David the second king of Israel was a striking contrast to Saul, the first king.8 This was because of his noble, generous and admirable qualities he demonstrated in his leadership. This comparison indicates that David’s leadership was not only better than Saul’s but his leadership can be characterized as good. John C. Maxwell also compared the two leaders. In answer to a question, which he posed – ‘Why did Saul fail as Israel’s king while David, who appeared to be weaker succeed?’ he said that it was because of David’s attitude. Unlike Saul, David tried to become a better leader.9 It is clear from these two authors that David’s personal qualities, especially that of his attitude to always be a better leader were characteristics of his good leadership. Having the qualification or qualities is one thing, but applying them in one’s leadership role is quite another. David applied his leadership qualities in leading and made an impact as a leader.

The Characteristics of the Followers

Some of the characteristics of good leadership can be identified with the followers. Before identifying these characteristics, it would be helpful to examine some definitions of leadership, to be reminded of the relationship between leaders and followers. According to Oswald Sanders, leadership is influence. It is the ability of one person to influence others to follow his or her lead. Ted W. Enngstrom defines leadership with just two words – ‘leaders lead’. Myron Rush also gave a definition of leadership and his definition of leadership as ‘leader reproducing himself on the followers’. These definitions point to the relationship between leaders and followers but most significantly, what they considered to be the goal of the relationship. Oswald Sanders and Engstrom focus on the aspect of following. This focus identifies one of the characteristics of a good leadership – willing followers. If one gives consideration to D’souza’s point cited in the introduction, that one of the elements of leadership is ‘the needs and expectations of the group’, it follows that one reason why people will willingly follow their leader is because their needs and expectations are met. Another characteristic can be identified from Myron Rush’s definition – making leader out of followers, there is a guarantee of the continuity of that ministry. The four leaders, Nehemiah, Moses, Paul and David, whose leaderships have been classified as good, will now be used as test case to identify the two characteristics.

Nehemiah

When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem from Susa, he first personally assessed the situation of Jerusalem’s destruction. Afterwards he called the people and shared his vision. The Bible stated that the people responded to Nehemiah (see Neh. 2:8). This shows clearly that from the start of his mission Nehemiah had willing followers. They were willing to follow because they realize that the vision was good and that some of their needs as a community will be met. Maxwell noted that the wall of Jerusalem was rebuilt because of Nehemiah’s ability to work with people and lead them where they need to go.10 This shows that Nehemiah had willing followers.

In addition Nehemiah gave recognition to subordinate leaders as he delegated responsibilities to them. This, as he said, opens the leadership potentials for others.11 Therefore one can rightly say that Nehemiah not only had willing followers but also leaders were reproduced under his ministry.

Moses

When Moses returned to Egypt to set the Israelites free, they were at first excited. But when Moses made their situation worse they were no longer excited about freedom. However, by the end of the ninth plague they had realized that Moses was God’s servant sent to deliver them. They followed Moses’ instructions in observing the Passover and then willingly followed him as he led them out of Egypt.

There is also scriptural evidence that leaders were produced under Moses’ leadership. One example is that of Joshua, who replaced him. Joshua who had been the personal assistant of Moses was mentored by Moses to become a leader. Moses’ leadership therefore had the characteristics of willing followers and that of reproducing leaders.

Paul

Even when he was “Paul the aged”, he remained the model and leader of a group of dynamic young men. The affection he kindled in his followers’ heart was mirrored in the tears that flowed when he told them they would see him no more (Acts 20: 36-38).12 Sanders revealed in the passage cited above that the apostle Paul’s leadership had the characteristics of willing followers. His ministry had great impact in the lives of many, who were also not willing to exchange his leadership for another.

Like the Lord Jesus, Paul invested his life on a few people because he expected much from them. These were the people he took on his missionary journeys. Two of the people, Timothy and Titus became leaders of local Churches. Therefore, like Moses, Paul’s leadership had the characteristics of willing followers and that of producing leaders.

David

David rose to fame when he killed Goliath, the Philistine giant. Eugene H. Merrill, commenting on David’s victory reserved that with his rising popularity among the people came a deterioration of his relationship with Saul, for the king became insanely jealous of Israel’s new hero.13 It is obvious that David had a large following. People followed him because of the potential they saw in him. They recognized him as a great leader, even before official recognition was given to him.

David ruled Israel for approximately 40 years and by the time he was stepping down as king, Solomon, his son had already been groomed for that position. So, like Nehemiah, Moses and Paul, David’s leadership was characterized by willing followers and the producing of leaders.

(c) The leader’s task or commission

It can be observed from scripture that God always give a specific task or mission to every person he calls to leadership. Some of the characteristics of good leadership can be identified in the way the leaders set out to accomplish their task or mission. There are two things that are of primary importance to how a leader accomplishes his task. These are his vision and his style of leadership. A leader’s vision and style of leadership can be characteristics of both good and bad leadership. However, in this section the purpose is to shoe how these two characteristics can be characteristics of good leadership.

According to John Haggai, a vision is important because it is a key factor in successful leadership.14 A leader can have a good vision and yet his vision does not contribute in any way to make his leadership good. Haggai points out what a leader needs to do to make his vision a contributing characteristic to good leadership. First, he says that both leaders and followers must grasp the vision. It is the leader’s responsibility to help the followers understand the vision and accept it. Second, both leader and followers must commit themselves to act on the vision. This action involves designing a goal program to fulfill the vision. In this way both the leader and followers are prepared to face difficulties and eliminate obstacles. It is in this way that a vision can be a characteristic of good leadership.15

The other aspects mentioned that can be a characteristic of a good leadership is the style of leadership. Leadership styles have been given different classification by authors. Anthony D’souza classified leadership styles in a continuum in which one end is described as task-oriented and the other as relationship-oriented.16 Myron Rush also agreed with D’souza that leadership styles can be seen in a continuum, but he used different descriptive terms for the different styles within the continuum.17 The four styles used within Rush’s continuum are: dictatorial, authoritative, consultative and participative. These authors argument about styles was not to point out the best but rather to show the importance of all of them. The point that they were making was that a good leadership had the characteristics of the different leadership styles. The leader must be flexible to the changing situations. When he is able to adjust his leadership styles to changing situations, then his leadership styles… become characteristics of good leadership. Myron Rush gave examples of situations where particular leadership styles are appropriate. He said, dictatorial leadership style is appropriate in an emergency or when people’s lives, are at stake; consultative style in conducting on-going planning for the department or organization; authoritative style when employees constantly misuse authority and participative style as people become competent in performing their routine responsibilities.18

The four leaders mentioned in this paper, whose leaderships have been classified as good, will now be used as test cases to determine whether the points mentioned here are characteristics of their leaderships.

Nehemiah

Joyce Peel, commenting on Nehemiah’s task of building the walls of Jerusalem said that a dispirited nation needs an inspired leader who can unite and galvanize his people into action. Such a man was Nehemiah.19 These words not only revealed that Nehemiah had a clear vision of his task but also was able to make his followers understand the vision and commit themselves to act on it. This was just one reason why they were able to rebuild the walls in fifty-two days. Many Jews lamented over the ruins of Jerusalem city wall, but it took the vision of one man, who united the people and gave them hope to change the situation. Engstrom also pointed to the fact that the people caught Nehemiah’s vision and acted upon it, when he noted: “One has only to read the Book of Nehemiah to discover the importance of people at work. The leaders in building the temple and city walls never lost sight of the total goal and overall picture. They were able to keep this focus by using all the people as well as experts who were trained to do specific work”.20 Nehemiah’s leadership had the characteristic of a clear vision which was actively pursued by himself and his followers.

It can be observed from the book of Nehemiah, that Nehemiah used the consultative style of leadership when he got to Jerusalem to begin the work. However in the last few chapters of the book, when things were going wrong, his style of leadership changed to an authoritative one. Therefore it can be said that Nehemiah’s leadership had the characteristics of a vision and a changing style of leadership.

Moses

Moses has a clear vision when he returned to Egypt to lead the children of Israel out of bondage. The Israelites wanted to be free, but they doubted the possibility of Moses setting them free. However, when they became certain that Moses was God’s servant who will set them free from bondage, they obeyed his instructions and later walked out of Egypt following him.

The biblical records also show that Moses varied his leadership styles. Before Jethro came to visit him, he carried a heavy load of work all by himself. Myron Rush pointed out that it was an authoritative style of leadership because Moses had to make every decision.21 After his encounter with Jethro his style of leadership changed to more of a consultative one.

Paul

Paul’s vision was not only clear to him but also to his followers. Since his Damascus road experience, he knew he has been called by God to be a missionary.

Sanders observed that Paul was a missionary trail-blazer, leaving behind him a string of new Churches. It is a significant face that the greatest missionary advances of the last fifty years have followed the rediscovery or re-emphasis of Paul’s missionary principles.22 It is because Paul’s vision and principle of accomplishing that vision was so clear that long after he has gone people still followed his steps.

It can also be seen from the Acts narrative that Paul varied his leadership styles. For example, in the contention between himself and Barnabas over John Mark, Paul displayed an authoritative style of leadership. Most times he is also authoritative when dealing with issues in the Church. At other times he demonstrated a consultative style of leadership – in the issue that lead to the Jerusalem council. It can be seen that Paul’s leadership was characteristic of a clear vision and changing leadership styles.

David

Two things are very clear in scripture about David. The first is his vision for Israel and the second his vision for God. David was a king of war and he led his army in battle against Israel’s enemies and took the land God gave to them. He also lived his life in devotion to God. He had a vision to build a dwelling place for the Lord. Although God denied him this privilege, he made great preparations for this temple, which was later built by his son Solomon.

It is evident in scripture that David changed his leadership styles in accordance with changing situations. He displayed an authoritative leadership style when he led his men in battle. For example in the situation when Nabal refused to reward him and his men with food supply for protecting his servants and sheep in the fields. At other times he demonstrated a consultative style of leadership. When the biblical records are examined, one could clearly see that David’s leadership show characteristics of a clear vision and a changing style of leadership.

Conclusion

In this article some of the characteristics of good leadership have been identified. This was done under the following headings: (a) the personal characteristics of the leader, the characteristics of the followers and the leader’s task or commission. These divisions were based on the findings of Anthony D’souza, which revealed that leadership involves an inter-relationship between three elements – the leader, the followers and the task to be accomplished. Six characteristics of good leadership were identified and they are as follows:

a) The personal qualities of the leader, which give him his leadership ability.

b) The leaders conduct or character which is formed by the godly life he is living.

c) The willingness of the people to follow without coercing.

d) The reproducing of leaders from the followers.

e) The clear vision of the leader, which eventually becomes the people’s vision and

focus in the ministry.

f) The variations in the style of leadership to meet different leadership situations.

Six leaders, whose leaderships have been characterized as good, were used as test cases to see whether the qualities mentioned can be found in their leadership. It was proved that these characteristics were evident in each of their leadership. There are many more qualification of good leadership, but it is primary importance to have a balance in the three major areas identified. An individual can have all the good qualities of leadership and yet his leadership may not be good because of his style of leadership. Also, the people may not follow the leader because his vision is not clear to them. Good leadership does not only depend on the leader or on the follower or the style of leadership but on all three of these qualities. When there is a balance in these three areas, leadership becomes exceptional and that was the kind of leadership Nehemiah, Moses, Paul and David portrayed.

END NOTES

1. Anthony D’souze, Being A Leader (Achimota: African Christian Press, 1990),

p 25.

2. John White, Excellence In Leadership: the Pattern of Nehemiah (Leicester:

Intervarsity Press, 1986), p 10-11.

3. Ibid, p 14.

4. Joyce Peel, A Journey Through The Old Testament: The Story of God’s

Relationship With Man Woman and the World (Oxford: The Bible Reading

Fellowship, 1993), p 35.

5. Ibid, p 41.

6. Ibid. p 41.

7. John Stott, Men With A Message: An Introduction To New Testament And Its

Writers (Suffolk: Evangelical Literature Trust, 1996), P 86.

8. Ted W. Engstrom, The Making of A Christian Leader (Michigan: Zondervan

Publishing House, 1976), p 30.

9. John C Maxwell, The 21 Most Powerful Minutes In A Leader’s Day; Revitalize Your

Spirit an Empower Your Leadership (Nashville: Thomas Nelson’s Publisher, 2000), p 4.

10. John C Maxwell, The 21 Most Powerful Minutes In A Leader’s Day: Revitalize Your

Spirit and Empower Your Leadership (Nashville: Thomas Nelsons Publishers, 2000),

P 68.

11. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), p 166.

12. Oswald Sanders, Paul the Leader: A Vision For Christian Leadership Today (Glasgow:

Kingsway Publication Ltd., 1983), p 42.

13. Eugene H Merrill, I Samuel: The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Colorado: Chariot

Victor Publishing, 1985), p 449.

14. John Haggai, Lead On! Leadership That Endures In A Changing World (London: Word

Publishing, 1986), p 16.

15. Ibid. p 17.

16. Anthony D’souza, Being A Leader (Achimota: African Christian Press, 1990), p 36

17. Myron Rush; Management: A Biblical Perspective (Illinois: Victor Books, 1996), p 219.

18. Myron Rush, Management: A Biblical Approach (Illinios: Victor Books, 1983), p 226.

19. Joyce Peel, Journey Through the Old Testament: The Story of God’s Relationship with

Man. Woman and the World (oxford: The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1993), p 141.

20. Ted W Engstrom, The Making of A Christian Leader: How To Develop Management

And Human Relations Skills (Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), p

21. Myron Rush, Management: A Biblical Perspective (Illinois: Victor Books, 1976), p 220.

22. Oswald Sanders, Paul: A Vision For Christian Leadership Today (Glasgow: Kingsway

Publication Ltd, 1983), p 967.

END NOTE

1. Anthony D’souza, Being A Leader (Achimota: African Christian Press, 1990),

p 25.

2. John White, Excellence In Leadership: the Pattern of Nehemiah (Leicester:

Intervarsity Press, 1986), p 10-11.

3. Ibid. p 14.

4. Joyce Peel, A Journey Through The Old Testament: The Story of God’s

Relationship With Man Woman and the World (Oxford: The Bible Reading

Fellowship, 1993), p 35.

Source by Leopold A. Foullah

May 14, 2017 0 comment
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Every teacher has a responsibility to provide a healthy learning environment for his or her students. Over the years, volumes of research have been conducted to help teachers determine what works best for the students. There is a wealth of methods and techniques that, through research, have been proven to improve the quality of the learning environment. Many different aspects of the learning environment should be considered.

A positive learning environment is one in which school staff, students, and parents build safe and peaceful environments where people feel accepted and respected and where learning is the main focus (Stratman, n.d.). Therefore, a positive school climate exists when all students feel comfortable, wanted, valued, accepted, and secure in an environment where they can interact with caring people they trust. A positive school climate affects everyone associated with the school, being the students, staff, parents, and the community. It is the belief system or culture that underlies the day-to-day operation of a school. “Improved school climate is a goal to pursue. Educators need to constantly work toward improving their school climate, culture, and conditions so that student learning is improved” (Noonan, 2004 p.64). How Teachers Can Set the Tone for a Positive Learning Environment

There are many things a teacher can do to make his or her classroom a safe and positive place for students to learn. First and foremost, a teacher needs to be enthusiastic about her or himself. They must come in with an energetic attitude. They must be positive because it radiates. How the teacher feels and appears it will affect the classroom. The teacher is the facilitator, the teacher sets an example, and the teacher is the role model. Attitude goes a long way.

When teachers come to work stressed-out, it can be damaging to the students. A study conducted by Yoon (2002) investigated whether or not teacher stress, negative affect, and self-efficacy would predict the quality of student-teacher relationships. Findings suggested, “negative teacher-student relationships were predicted by teacher stress. Significant correlations were found among negative affect, teacher stress and negative relationships”(p.486).

The teacher should also share with the students the importance of an education and the importance of being independent. So if they see a teacher enthused about learning and ideas are shared, then the students will feel the same as well. Teachers can also help create a positive environment by simply caring for the students and showing each of them that they are special. Furthermore, they should be taught to respect and care for each other.

Teachers should regularly conduct research to stay up-to-date on the best practices and methods to use in creating a positive learning environment. Freda Glatt, a retired teacher who firmly believes in the benefits of a positive learning environment has shared some tips on creating a positive learning environment through the Sandral Sensations website (2003):

Make sure each child knows that he is important to you as an individual. Give eye contact and a pleasant greeting to every child each morning. Look and sound enthusiastic when a child makes progress on a skill he is finding difficult. Anytime is a good time for a smile.

Teach students to help rather than to laugh. It takes a lot of bravery to participate when you are unsure of yourself. Bring that to your class’ attention by doing some role-playing. Ask how they felt when their classmates laughed at them. Remind your pupils that everyone is human and makes mistakes…but that it is okay and expected. You do not want them to fear being ridiculed if they ask a question or answer incorrectly.

Take note of your students’ strengths and let them help you throughout the year. Make a positive statement before giving a correction. Your reaction when a child gets an answer wrong is also important. “A positive statement, followed by a negative one, helps to soften the blow and you remind students that you care” (Burnett, 1999, p.3).

George Stratman of the San Diego County Office of Education (n.d.) has created a useful list of “10 Subtle Ways to Create a Positive Learning Environment”, which can be a useful guide of elementary school teachers:

1. Begin your week by “nesting.” Students need time upon arrival to become familiar with and comfortable in their new surroundings. Take time during your first class to discuss the week and what they will be doing and to answer questions they may have.

2. Use the students’ names. They will feel that you know them and care about them.

3. Catch them being good. Praise the group and individuals when they do well. (Be careful not to over praise an individual. Telling the other students that they should behave “just like Suzy” can be counterproductive–and not necessarily appreciated by Suzy.)

4. Dignify wrong answers. If a child gives a wrong answer, give him or her credit for trying, and if possible, relate their answer to the subject matter. For example, if you are asking the students for an example of a decomposer and a student answers “manzanita,” you could respond by saying, “the manzanita is a vital part of this ecosystem, so you’re on the right track. However, I’m looking for a living organism that would help break down the manzanita into soil after it dies.”

5. Give students a second chance to answer correctly. You could follow-up on the situation above by giving all the students an opportunity to share with their neighbors some examples of decomposers. Once it is clear that everyone has an answer, tell the student (above) that you will give him/her another opportunity and then, after you’ve taken an answer or two from other students, call on that student again.

6. Don’t “zap” students. If a student is misbehaving, try and redirect the behavior in subtle ways such as moving closer to that individual, utilizing his or her name in a sentence during instruction (such as “let’s say we were walking on the trail and Johnny came across a deer track…”), or a gentle hand on the shoulder. If you must address the child directly and aggressively, pull him/her away from the group. If you overtly discipline a child in front of the group, others may be afraid to participate for fear of the same treatment.

7. Phrase your questions in a manner that is non-threatening. It is better to ask, “who would like to share with the group…” than to ask “who knows the answer to…” as the latter implies that if you don’t raise your hand, you don’t know.

8. Allow for thinking time. After you ask a question or give instructions give the students time to process. If you give instructions and ask for questions but do not provide wait time, children who process slower than others may not understand and will feel lost once the activity starts. Students who are not given adequate time to consider when answering a question will similarly feel left out.

9. Don’t repeat answers. When a student makes a comment, let his/her comment stand on its own. If you repeat the answer, the students will be trained to listen only to the teacher and you will steal some of the “thunder” away from the student. If you think the others did not hear, have the student repeat the answer. (Note: this technique may not work when addressing 200 people, but is very effective with a smaller group.)

10. Give the students choices. Make sure the choices you give are acceptable to you. For instance, you can say “today we are going to climb ‘Daredevil Hill,’ would you like to do that before or after lunch?” Giving some choice in activities, or at least the order, gives the students some control and buy-in for their week.

How Parents Can Set the Tone for a Positive Learning Environment:

Parents can also play a part in creating a positive learning environment (Muijs, 2004). Teachers should expect parents to work with their child and school personnel to support the learning of their child and the learning environment of the school. The Canadian Education Act 1997) asserts certain expectations for parents. These are to: “meet the basic needs of their child; ensure their child attends school; encourage their child to complete assigned homework; attend to their child’s conduct while the child is at school and on the way to and from school; communicate reasonably with school personnel.” (Canadian Education Act, 1997, p.1).

Just as the teacher’s attitude plays a role in establishing the positive environment, the parents’ attitudes also take effect (Ajzen, 1988, p.10). Parents can help by sending the child off to school on a positive note. If a parent smiles as he or she wishes the child a nice day and says “I love you”, the child is already approaching the day with a positive outlook and will be more receptive to learning (Ajzen, 1988, p.10).

In conclusion, with the support and dedication of the teachers, parents, and administration, any learning environment can and should be transformed into a positive learning environment. Clearly, everyone has a different role to play and a responsibility to fulfill in order to maintain the positive environment. There are many benefits to maintaining a positive learning environment. “Positive learning environments in schools will maximize the learning of every student; Help children and youth become full participating citizens of society; Help to build a sense of community; Lead to cost savings and economic benefits as prevention is less expensive than incarceration” (Positive Learning Environments in Schools, 2005).

Reference

Ajzen, I. (1988). Attitudes, personality, & behavior. Chicago: The Dorsey Press.

Burnett, P. (1999). The impact of teachers’ praise on students’ self-talk and self-concepts. New South Wales, Aus: Teaching and Teacher Education. Retrieved September 15, 2005, from ERIC database.

Canadian Education Act.(1997) Retrieved Sep. 14, 2005, from
http://www.gnb.ca/acts/acts/e-01-12.htm.

DiGiulio, R. (2001). Educate, medicate, or litigate? what teachers, parents, and administrators must do about student behavior.. California, US: Educational Management. Retrieved September 15, 2005, from ERIC database.

Doctor, S. (1997). Creating a positive school climate. Towards Inclusion: Tapping Hidden Strengths, 3. Retrieved Sep 14, 2005, from
http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/ks4/specedu/fas/pdf/3.pdf.

Glatt, F. J. (2003). Retrieved Sep. 14, 2005, from Reading is FUNdamental Web site: http://www.sandralreading.com.

Johnson, C., Templeton, R., & Guofang, W. (2000). Pathways to peace: promoting non-violent learning environments.. Chicago: Elementary and Early Childhood Education. Retrieved September 16, 2005, from ERIC database.

Muijs, D., Harris A., Chapman C., and Stoll, L. (2004). Improving schools in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas–a review of research evidence. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 15(2), 149-175.

Source by Rebecca Schauffele

May 14, 2017 0 comment
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