Elementary School Teachers, Counselors, and Career Education

As teachers and counselors, you know that the elementary school years are important. During the elementary school years, your students build visions of what they desire to do in their lives as they contribute to the workforce. With your help, your students remain open to new career ideas and possibilities. As you work with your students, your students do not make premature career choices or career preparations. For your students, elementary school is a time to build awareness.

As elementary school teachers and counselors, you use career education to promote self-worth, skill development, and decision making strategies. Your activities are designed to build self, family, school, community, and career awareness. You use age-appropriate materials that match your students’ developmental levels. These activities expose your students to a variety of different jobs, career information sources, and the reasons why people work.

When you prepare to develop age-appropriate materials products, tests and tools, you use career models like the National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG). The National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG) have domains, goals, and indicators. Each domain represents a developmental area. Under each domain, there are goals or competencies. For each goal, indicators highlight the knowledge and skills needed to achieve the goal. The National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG) prepares you to make materials that are suitable for your students.

As a elementary school counselors and teachers, you create individual career plans and portfolios. Individual career plans (ICP) –

  • Develop self-awareness
  • Identify initial career goals and educational plans
  • Increase employability and decision making skills

Individual career portfolios summarize career awareness activities and experiences that occur during the school year. In addition to individual career plans and portfolios, you use a variety of resources –

    Career days

  • Career fairs
  • Community speakers
  • Field trips
  • Information interviewing
  • Literary works
  • Mentors
  • Collages, murals
  • Educational games
  • Job shadowing
  • Dramatic presentations

All of the career activities and tools combine academic work with career pathways. Career activities serve as foundations for future skills. As teachers and counselors, you help students build connections between academics and real life situations. You use career education activities to stress the importance of language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science.

You show students that Language Arts have many uses in the work force:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening skills

You provide examples that show how people solve problems when they use Mathematics. Different types of Mathematics include:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division

In Social Studies, your students learn how skills that are necessary to be successful in the global marketplace. In Social Studies, your students learn about –

  • Countries
  • Languages
  • Cultures

Your students learn the importance of Science gaining skills to solve problems. You show your students how applications of Science are used in different industries, such as –

  • Food
  • Media
  • Agriculture
  • Automotive industry

The connections between academics and real life situations reinforce, develop, and expand previously learned skills. In summary, as a elementary school teachers and counselors, you help students:

  • Know and value self
  • Build self-esteem and confidence
  • Learn and apply the academic material
  • Identify interests and build relationships between the school environment and the work force
  • Build academic, communication, problem solving, and social skills
  • Increase awareness of the need for future jobs skills
  • See the connections between learning in school, academic skills, job related skills, and careers
  • See career possibilities
  • See themselves as a future contributor to the job force
  • Receive empowerment
  • Build self-determination

As counselors and teachers, you build self-awareness, family awareness, school awareness, community awareness, career/ work awareness, attitude development, skill development, decision making strategies, and self-worth. You use age-appropriate materials that match the developmental levels of the students. Examples of activities include individual career plans (ICP), individual career portfolios, career days, career fairs, field trips, information interviewing, and library book reports.

After completing career education activities, your students are prone to get higher grades, academic achievement, school involvement, and interpersonal skills. In addition, your students are more adept to complete more complex courses and have higher graduation rates from high school. As your students get older, they will achieve their career visions and goals.

References

1. American Counseling Association, Office of Public Policy and Legislation. (2007). Effectiveness of School Counseling. Alexandria, VA: Author.

2. Angel, N. Faye; Mooney, Marianne. (1996, December). Work-in-Progress: Career and Work Education for Elementary Students. (ED404516). Cincinnati, OH: Paper presented at the American Vocational Association Convention.

3. Benning, Cathleen; Bergt, Richard; Sausaman, Pamela. (2003, May). Improving Student Awareness of Careers through a Variety of Strategies. Thesis: Action Research Project. (ED481018). Chicago, Illinois: Saint Xavier University.

4. Career Tec. (2000). K-12 Career Awareness & Development Sequence [with Appendices, Executive and Implementation Guide]. (ED450219) .Springfield, Il: Author.

5. Carey, John. (2003, January). What are the Expected Benefits Associated with Implementing a Comprehensive Guidance Program. School counseling Research Brief 1.1. Amherst, MA: Fredrickson Center for School Counseling Outcome Research.

6. Dare, Donna E.; Maddy-Bernstein, Carolyn. (1999, September). Career Guidance Resource Guide for Elementary and Middle/Junior High School Educators. (ED434216). Berkeley, CA: National Center for Research in Vocational Education.

7. DuVall, Patricia. (1995).Let’s Get Serious about Career Education for Elementary Students. AACE Bonus Briefs. (ED386603). Hermosa Beach, CA: AACE Bonus Briefs.

8. Ediger, Marlow. (2000, July). Vocational Education in the Elementary School. (ED442979) Opinion Papers

9. Gerver, Miriam, Shanley, Judy, O Cummings, Mindee. (2/14/02). Answering the Question EMSTAC Extra Elementary and Middle Schools. Washington, DC: Technical Assistance Center, (EMSTAC).

10. Hurley, Dan, Ed.; Thorp, Jim, Ed. (2002, May). Decisions without Direction: Career Guidance and Decision-Making among American Youth. (ED465895). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Ferris State University Career Institute for Education and Workforce Development.

11. Maddy-Bernstein, Carolyn; Dare, Donna E. (1997,December).Career Guidance for Elementary and Middle School Students. Office of Student Services Brief, v9 n1. (ED415353). Berkeley, CA: National Center for Research in Vocational Education.

12. Ohio Department of Education, Division of Vocational and Career Education, Ohio Career Development Blueprint, Individual Career Plan, K to 5 (ED449322). Columbus, Ohio, 2000

13. Splete, Howard; Stewart, Amy. (1990). Competency-Based Career Development Strategies and the National Career Development Guidelines. Information Series No. 345. (ED327739). Columbus, Ohio: ERIC Clearinghouse on Education and Training for Employment & Ohio State University

14. U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education. (1994, 2004). National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG). Washington, DC: Author.

Personal Skills & Technology – A Perfect Partnership to Assist Special Needs People in the Workforce

Science and technology continue to produce a wealth of creative assistive devices, specialized products and unique services that make work and life easier for all people, especially the challenged. As a result, a previously somewhat marginalized group of the workforce is now able to operate on an almost equal footing with the rest of the working population. Combine enhanced personal skills with the assistive devices and the combination is very powerful.

It is now possible for many disabled and challenged people to enter the workforce and do almost anything that a “normal” person does. There is a growing number of employees who have learning disabilities, reactions, syndromes, and other physical and mental challenges but their assistive devices allow them to operate at a high level despite their difficulties. Assistive technology allows them to put more time and energy into thinking and producing instead of just surviving.

Businesses and corporations often choose to have employees engage in staff development. However, learning must be selected carefully because so much of current knowledge, facts, methods and processes is outdated and obsolete. The best choice for staff development is personal skills training. This is especially true for those employees with physical and mental challenges.

The workforce can conceivably expand dramatically if a difficult question is posed, “How can special needs people be helped to better fit into the whole scheme of things?” There is a positive answer.

Skills are more valuable than ever in the struggle to get people to work more efficiently, rebuild and revamp our economies, and save the planet in general. Skills don’t get old and obsolete. Advanced technology and personal skills become perfect partners in helping special needs people contribute positively despite challenges.

For challenged and disabled people, emphasis should be on determining and strengthening their skill set. Assistive devices can then be used to help the skills grow.

Analytical skills, creativity and problem-solving are strongly empowering and are prized abilities in all areas of the workforce. Having a head full of facts and figures has become of lesser value. Knowing “how to” do things is more important. The above skills are not just for able people. They can be taught to anybody at any age and at almost any ability. The difference between being able or disabled is far less when assistive devices are employed.

Personal skills training produces competency and helps people become independent, self-directed learners. When processing skills are strengthened and applied to knowledge and facts, the result is better products and outcomes. Assistive technology enables and extends the expression of learned skills. It can greatly increase speed of acquisition, expression in various media forms, and ultimately the value of outcomes or products.

Educators are vital in discovering and nurturing physical and intellectual skill sets of young children. Special education students learn to use learned skills and technology to achieve many more goals and compete more effectively for their place in the upcoming “new” revamped world. With assistive devices, more can dream of becoming proud, full-fledged, viable members of the workforce. Assistive devices give the most severely challenged people increased mobility and more ways to communicate their ideas more effectively.

The following are some of the personal skills that every person – challenged or not – needs to ensure he/she can survive and thrive in the future. Technology can assist at all stages to ensure the learning is maximized.

Innovation Skills
How to: invent new products/services. Canada needs to continue to be a breeding ground for innovative and valuable new inventions and ideas. Anybody can be an inventor of assistive devices or other useful products or services!

Communication Skills
How to: speak/present professionally, write effectively, read/use body language. We truly do live in a global village and should be prepared to interface with others anywhere in the world. Properly selected assistive devices allow disabled and challenged workers to do the above.

Higher-Level Thinking Skills
How to: analyze, problem-solve, assess little ideas to find the hidden BIG ones, think in an enhanced way, think logically, use inductive/deductive thinking methods. These personal skills are not limited to any particular segment of society.

Self-Awareness Skills
“How to: increase levels of perception, relax, de-stress, self-motivate, re-energize, recognize success, keep up the spirits despite intense challenges and competition. All people need to know themselves better in order to be the best they can be. These personal skills can be learned by all people including many who are challenged and disabled.

Leadership Skills
How to: be a leader, develop teams and think tanks, achieve win-win outcomes, handle criticism, improve emotional maturity, determine levels of success. Disabilities and challenges do not have the limitations anymore. Assistive devices help many more people participate effectively in society in leadership roles.

The world is changing dramatically. A very positive aspect is that new technology and assistive devices enhance inclusiveness because they allow almost anybody to be more expressive and therefore more productive. The new Age of Creativity demands people be producers of new learning, not just consumers. Skills training and advanced assistive technology, create a great partnership that helps challenged and disabled people strive, survive and thrive.

Foreign Language Software – Use It And Other Tools When Learning A New Language

Learning a new language can sometimes be tough especially if are required to learn it because of school or work. Those who learn a new language on their own accord find the process much easier. So the first trick in learning a new language is having a positive attitude about it.

I always say tell people who are interested in learning a new language to always start by getting a good teacher or attending a language class. This is because having a good foundation is always important in learning anything.

However, if for some reason you are not able to get a language tutor or attend classes, there are still many tools you can use to learn a language.

Watch Foreign Movies

Watching foreign movies or soap operas are a great way to kick off learning a new language. I actually know someone who picked up Mandarin by just watching Mandarin soap operas with English subtitles while she worked on Singapore for two years. Although she can now speak Mandarin, she is unable to read or write it.

You should start with foreign movies because it will help you familiarize yourself with the new language. This might be a stretch but think of it as getting used to a new accent.

In addition, watching movies is fun and when you do something that is fun, it does not seem like a chore. And this helps the learning process greatly.

Foreign Language Software

The next tool you should get is good foreign language software. The latest foreign language software is quite advanced. There are even some that are utilize the cloud or internet databases to recognize speech.

Although not yet perfect, this feature can help you improve your language skills to a certain extent. When you do not have a human teacher, this could be the next best thing.

Most foreign language software also come with fun and interactive games which not only help you speak, but also read and write in a new language.

Play Language Learning Games

It is more fun learning in a group and a great way to get people to participate in a group is by playing games. There are so many types of language games available. There are board games, card games and, of course, the foreign language software based games as mentioned earlier.

These games address basic everyday words and phrases you would probably use in your daily life. They would also help build you vocabulary and verb conjugation over time.

Read Foreign Books

Once you have got the basics covered, try reading elementary foreign books. Elementary foreign books are easily available on the internet and are quite affordable.

You can move on from elementary curriculum to coffee table foreign books once your reading improves. Be sure to have a dictionary near you as you are bound to come across new words.

Advance Your Teaching Career With An Online Master Degree in Education

The demand for qualified educators has increased rapidly and this trend is not likely to change anytime in the near future. If you choose teaching as your career, you are in the right path because education is an extremely rewarding field with a 2 digits projection growth toward year 2012. Whether you are interested to be a college professor, a high school teacher, a special education instructor or a corporate trainer, you are sure to find a career with a master degree in education.

If you have involved in teaching field for years and you are hoping to advance your career in the education leadership, an advanced degree is a necessity. In fact, many school districts have requested their educational staffs to take graduate-level courses in order to refine and improve their instructional strategies. Hence, you should upgrade your degree to a master degree level if you want to move your career into a higher level.

Many online and traditional universities are offering online master degrees in education that enable you to earn a master education degree from your comfort home while maintaining your current living style. Getting an online master degree in education is convenient and flexible, just one thing to be aware of: Diploma Mills. You need to be very careful in searching and selecting your online master education degree program, make sure you choose the online master degree in education from a prestige and reputable online university to ensure the master degree can helps you to advance your teaching career to next level.

Here are a few online universities that are famous in providing online master education degrees and their degrees are widely accepted in the job market:

American InterContinental University Online (AIU)


AIU online provides master of education degree with concentration in Leadership of Educational Organizations. If you are interested to advance your teaching career to a management position, master of education degree in leadership prepares you with the necessary skills and knowledge for the position.

Western Governors University (WGU)

If you are planning to advance your teaching career that focus on K6 to grade 12, then one of WGU online master of education degrees can be your option. WGU offers various master degrees in education and teaching fields that focus on the education, assessment and evaluation for students in K6 to grade 12.

Grand Canyon University Online (GCU)

Master of Education degrees from GCU can help you to advance your teaching career if you want to make a success career in elementary education. GCU does offer master degree in Curriculum and Instruction that specialized in Reading and Education Technology, so if you need the skills and knowledge in these areas, these degrees may be your option.

Besides the above online universities that offer online master education degrees, there are still many online master education programs available for your selection. Many online master education degrees carry the same title but their courses offered in each program might be different; hence, it is your responsibility to review and ensure the courses of the degree are meeting your teaching career goal.

In Summary

Educational field is a booming sector with a good projection increment in the job demands. You are in the right path if you choose to involve in teaching career, but you must get ready yourself to face the boom, and an online master education degree can equip you to face the challenge in your teaching career and help you to advance your teaching career to a higher level.

Parents of Special Needs Children Need to Advocate for Their Child’s Rights

Children with special needs face unique and difficult challenges on a daily basis. Your child’s rights are protected under federal and state laws. I recommend you get copies of all the federal, state and local laws that apply to special needs children. All children, but especially children with special needs, need advocacy. Remember, under the laws our children are afforded the right to a free and appropriate public education. Appropriate meaning you can not always put a child with a disability in a main stream classroom. With the state of the economy the school system is cutting back and getting services for your child keeps getting harder and harder. Special needs kids need an education plan tailored to them.

As parents, you must advocate for your child’s rights in the public school system. There are several online sources the National Center for learning Disabilities website, it explains your child’s rights. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA.gov) is a good source. On both websites you can learn more about the Individual with Disabilities Act (IDEA). You probably have more rights than you realize. The more information you have the more services you will b able to advocate for.

Adding further wood to the fire, special education law is extremely complicated and confusing. A lot of parents get discouraged by all the information out there but there are offices that can help you. Most counties have a disabilities services office. You should be able to find more information about your child’s rights, workshops that you can go too. In some instants they can assign you a case worker to help you advocate for your child. You will hit a lot of roadblocks before you reach the right people to talk to. Keep asking questions and you will persevere.

It has been my own experience in advocating for my child that knowledge is power. If you don’t know the laws and what your child is entitled to, how are you going to convince the public school system to pay for extra services? It is cheaper for them to tell you no, they have thousands of kids to worry about. Don’t take no for an answer, make the school district show you why they can not provide a service. In the same aspect, you need to be able to show why your child needs a specific service. The only person that will be concerned about your child is you. The squeaky wheel gets the oil!

The 3 Most Important Web Languages to Learn

I have often been asked which web languages someone with no prior experience in coding, scripting, or programming should learn, and in what order. So I’ll start by giving the three most important web languages in use today, and then go on and introduce other languages that would be helpful to know once you have the basics down.

1. (X)HTML. HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the primary markup language of the web, and is used to build and structure web pages. Everything you see that is not styling or animation is primarily built using HTML. I’m referring here specifically to text, tables, and forms.

There are several forms HTML can commonly take: HTML 4.01 Strict or Transitional, XHTML 1.0 Strict or Transitional, and HTML 5. XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language) is really just the union of HTML and XML, and is very similar in its markup to HTML, but is designed with XML’s extensibility (and strictness) in mind. As a small example, while an HTML 4.01 image or break tag would not need a trailing slash, an XHTML image or break tag would need a space and trailing slash before the tag is closed. This is because in XHTML, every tag that is opened must be closed, even if it is an empty tag.

The difference between using Transitional or Strict for both HTML and XHTML depends largely on how well you write your code. If it is written using strict rules (and no legacy HTML from the olden days) and validates under this configuration, then it can be Strict, and will be more compliant and standardized. Otherwise, if it’s imperfect or contains some legacy HTML, it would be Transitional, so it can still be validated and the browser can know how to handle it.

At some point in the evolution of these web markup languages, there was a question of what form the future would take: XHTML 2.0 or HTML5. HTML5 was being developed by individuals from Apple, Opera, and Mozilla, while XHTML 2.0 was being developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Somewhere along the way, HTML5 won out on being the next standard for the web. Today, HTML5 is not yet fully compliant (not until about 2014), but it is where the web is heading.

So with all these choices for HTML, what should you choose to learn first? I would suggest learning either (or both) HTML 4.01 or XHTML 1.0 first, and then go on to HTML5 if you want all the exciting new features it has. Be warned, however, that HTML5 is not fully compliant, and older browsers, especially Internet Explorer, don’t like it.

2. CSS. CSS (cascading style sheet) is a style sheet language that gives an HTML document good looks. It defines the presentation of a web page. When we refer to CSS, we’re referring to colors, background images, text fonts and sizes, and element positioning and size. Well-written web pages use HTML for structure and content only, and CSS for presentation. It allows different stylesheets to be used on the same web page for different reasons: accessibility (screenreaders), mobile devices, print media, and many other reasons. One web page can look very different depending on which stylesheet is used. Have a look at CSS Zen Garden to see this aspect of CSS in action; the HTML remains the same but the design changes depending on the stylesheet selected.

Like HTML, there are a couple of different forms (called levels) CSS can take: CSS2 (and 2.1) and CSS3. Both are very similar at the core, but CSS3 goes hand-in-hand with HTML5. Thus, though it has some great new features (like rounded corners, gradients, and shadows), some of these features are not fully compliant. Therefore, choosing what to learn in CSS is less about choosing a level and more about choosing rules and properties that are compliant to the browsers of your target audience, and Internet Explorer or older browsers are usually a large part of that audience.

3. And now we get to #3, where I must ask you why you want to learn these web languages. The third web language to learn depends on whether you want to build dynamic web pages and web applications (and become a web developer) or whether you want to design web sites (and become a web designer). Whichever path you choose, you’ll need HTML and CSS. If you wish to be a designer, and put web development on the back burner for now, I would suggest moving on to JavaScript/jQuery. But if you wish to develop dynamic sites, I would suggest going on to PHP and catching up with JavaScript/jQuery later; just know that if you go the PHP route, you will probably want to get around to JavaScript/JQuery at some point. So on to #3.

3a. JavaScript/jQuery. JavaScript is a client-side scripting language that allows animations and user interaction with the web page. Think gallery slideshows, form validation, annoying popups, tabs, tooltips, etc. You need HTML and CSS for all this, of course, but JavaScript gives it life.

JQuery, on the other hand, is not a language, but rather a JavaScript library. It’s simply a way to simplify client-side scripting. What would take JavaScript lines and lines of code, jQuery does in a few lines of code. Their motto, “Write Less, Do More”, is very true. Depending on how much you want to do or how thoroughly you want to understand JavaScript, you could easily learn just jQuery and forget all about JavaScript. There are also many tools and plugins for jQuery that simplifies the process even more, and makes learning a whole new language a less daunting experience.

3b. PHP/MySQL. When you get into PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, originally stood for Personal Home Page), you’re no longer writing client-side code; you are now writing server-side code. PHP is a server-side scripting language that allows a user to no longer just interact with the web page, but now allows him or her to interact with the server. Coupled with MySQL, PHP allows communication with a database, where records can be created, stored, and retrieved. PHP is embedded in documents with a.php extension, but is used within HTML. So even though a file may have a.php extension, it could still work like an HTML page without PHP, or it could be used as an HTML page with embedded PHP.

Like HTML and CSS, there are different versions of PHP. Which version you choose to use depends mostly on which version the server supports. PHP5 is currently the best version, though some code that was allowed in older versions is not allowed in PHP4 or PHP5, though it’s just as well since most of these codes were security weaknesses.

There are also a couple of different ways of programming PHP: OOP (object-oriented programming) and procedural. OOP programming (introduced in PHP3 and improved in PHP4 and further changed in PHP5) borrows object-oriented methods used by other programming languages (like Java, Perl, and C++) and uses them in PHP, and helps to cut down on the amount of code used (by making code reusable). Procedural programming is mostly old-school since it is less efficient, but it may be a little easier for beginners to understand.

And what’s next? If you took the route of JavaScript/jQuery, the next language to learn would be PHP; and if you took the route of PHP, the next language to learn would be JavaScript/jQuery. After you have all of these languages under your belt, then it would be time to fuse JavaScript/jQuery and PHP with AJAX (Asynchonous JavaScript and XML). AJAX is not a language, but rather a set of technologies or methods that use JavaScript to interact with PHP, allowing a user to interact with a web server without using page reloads. AJAX is used in searching (such as when a list of suggestions appear when you’re typing), forms (again, suggestions, or checking with the server if a username is taken, or populating a dropdown list depending on previous user choices), and many other applications. It’s simply a really cool way to bring all of these languages together to create a dynamic, user-friendly application.

So those are my suggestions as to which web languages to learn when starting out, and in which order. It may seem like a lot, and for some people it may seem like too much, but I have found that learning a web language is just like learning a foreign language. Fluency comes with practice and usage, and the more languages you know, the easier it is to learn another one.

Improve Your Career Credential With A Career Related Degree

Most students are getting a general degree to start their career after college graduation. Although many job vacancies do accept degrees without any specialization or degree that is not related to their career fields, they will loss their advantage when comes to job promotion or career advancement in the future.

The job market is so competitive and you must out perform other job candidates in order for you to move your career to next higher level. It will be your wise decision to improve your job credential with a career field related degree if you want to achieve the highest level in your dream career. Today, with the available of online education, you can get a degree just with a click away while continue with your career; online education allows you to focus on both career and study as long as you do some time management to divide your time between these two important tasks.

It is common for students to start their first job with a general degree or get a job that is no related with their degree. For example, you may get a job at hotel as an officer or executive with your art degree. But, in the process of climbing up your career ladder, you will need to compete with your colleagues and out perform them if you want to successfully get promoted to a higher job position. Working experience, job performance, skills and knowledge are among the importance factors which will be reviewed by your boss in selecting the best candidate for the job promotion opportunity. You will lose your advantage if your competitors have a related degree with a strong education background and equivalent job performance.

The internet can be the best channel for working adults to earn their career credential without the need to give up their existing job. If you need a career related degree to help in your career path, you should use the advantage of online channel to earn a degree to support your dream career while maintaining your current lifestyle. Today, online degree programs cover almost any field that is available in the job market. You should find one that best fit your need.

Selecting an online degree program is easy with the available of internet, but you may required to spend some time if you want to choose the best degree program that covers the most courses in related to your career needs. Before you make up your decision, try to request as much information as possible from online universities or campus-based colleges that provide online courses to send you their details information about their degree programs. In most cases, information request from universities are free of charge, what you need to do is simply fill-up a request form from their website and those information will be sent to your email inbox within minutes.

Once you get all the necessary information from your preferred universities, you next step is carefully review the courses from each program to select one with courses that best meet your career needs. Depending on your pace of study and the credit hours required to complete your degree program, you could earn a degree from a few weeks to 1 or 2 years. By improving your career credential with a career related degree, you are putting yourself in the competitive edge to get the highest success in your career.

New York City – Pursue a Future in Teacher Education Colleges

Nowadays, the New York City board of education is providing high incentives for in-state and out-of-state elementary education teachers such as offering free college degrees in education. State education standards have gone up and literacy rates have been fluctuating but education colleges applicant rates have been rising. Educators and administrators have come to realize that the gaps in literacy must be closed in the early elementary school years.

In recent years, the Board of Education has gone as far as to provide qualifying scholarships and housing benefits for prospective preservice and new teachers to teach at low-performing elementary schools.

So, which college degree education program will you apply for once you have been accepted? In the last ten years, teacher colleges have seen a rising number of student applicants for both undergraduate and graduate education degrees in New York City alone.

Here are a just few of accredited college degrees in New York City which have maintained throughout the years, a reputable name.

Early Childhood Education Colleges

Located on the upper west side, near Columbia University, the Bank Street College of Education has a diversified early childhood education program. There are numerous college education edgrees ranging from early childhood, to literacy, to teaching English as a second language – all under the umbrella framework of early childhood education. The college also has a rich source of teaching resources of ideas for professional development in education on a variety of topics such as literacy or becoming a tutor or volunteer. You do not need to sign up or register to gain access to these free resources.

The Hunter College of Education

This is another excellent pick for those seeking a college teaching degree in early education. However, college teaching degree also include adolescent education and childhood, literacy, TESOL, special education, gifted students and counseling ranging from the undergraduate to graduate level programs. the City Universities and colleges offer top college degrees in education, so it is well worth the research and financial aid is available for those who qualify.

Queens College of Education

The Princeton Review has rated Queens College as one of America’s best colleges for undergraduate education.It prepares prospective undergraduate and graduate students for the initial New York State initial certification in childhood education for grades 1-6 and early childhood education.

Columbia Teacher College offers graduate programs in teacher education.

Over to You

Narrowing your search by state is the first step to deciding what early childhood education or elementary program you want to pursue. Some have much more specialized fields of education study than others. It is best to know what area of education you wish to study before investing in one of the New York City college education degrees.

Language Translations for Real Life Series Expats Have Translation Needs Too!

When people think about translation services, the first thing that usually comes to mind is global businesses and brands that have conquered the international landscape. No matter where you go in the world, I bet you will find at least 10 people with an iPhone – with displays in the local language. Or if you’re thirsty, you can rest assured that a Coke can be found in a localized can or bottle. That’s a good thing for tourists and travelers who seek comfort in the familiarity of home brands abroad. But what about the person who just lives in this world… not a tourist nor a traveler, but an expat or an immigrant living in another country?

Of course, if you were born and raised in the same place, where your parents lived, and your great-grandparents lived, and your entire family tree is rooted, and you never meet anyone from anywhere else, and all of life’s adventures were right there, maybe language wouldn’t matter…

Let me tell you about a story about a young girl, who led that life, in the same place in a small village, where her family tree was deeply rooted for generations. One day as she was walking home from school, through an Asian countryside, and she saw an old monk under a tree. The old monk beckoned her to join him under that tree…

Being a girl raised to respect elders, she obediently kneeled beside him under the tree. He told her to pull out her palm, and he began to read her life lines. He told her a story about her future, that she would one day move far away across a big ocean and settle in a foreign land, marry a foreign man, and raise a foreign family… and embrace a new life. Well, needless to say, the young girl was shocked, never having fathomed a life outside her village, she thanked the old monk and continued on her journey home.

Ten years later, that girl grew up, and married a man, and shortly later found herself on a plane to a foreign land, as the old saw predicted. Upon her arrival to her new home, she realized that not only could she not speak the local language, but the locals couldn’t understand her either. How was she to make a life without any English skills in America?

Fast forward thirty-five years ahead, and she is bidding her daughter farewell, as her only child boards an airplane to cross yet another ocean to another land with her foreign husband to embrace a new life in a new country, where she also cannot speak the local language.

The life of an expat is less about expatriating from your home, but more about embracing another. It’s about learning to conquer language barriers to achieve basic needs like making friends, buying food, returning merchandise, consulting with a doctor, talking to you child’s school teacher… It’s about ordering dinner at a restaurant, and hoping that you didn’t accidentally order bull testicles.

One tends to see the value of translating from one language into a local language, or translating for a tourist market, but how about translating in a local market for a person who simply doesn’t speak the language but lives there – an expat?

In the 2000 census, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that over 47 million people (18 percent) reported that a language other than English is spoken at home. Spanish is perhaps the non-English language most commonly spoken at home with 35 million speakers. Chinese (2 million) is the second most widely non-English spoken language at home. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, California has the highest percentage of non-English speakers around 40 percent. New Mexico is a close second, followed by Texas, New York and Hawaii.

Sure, many of these people can understand or speak some English, but life would be much easier to embrace if one had confidence, that he/she really understood the “fine print” when purchasing a product, or that you truly can communicate with doctors and teachers about personal issues.

There’s a reason that the State of California’s DMV provides driver license exams in several languages. Besides English, the written driver license exam is also available in Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, Croatian, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Persian/Farsi, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, Thai, Tongan, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

The Social Security Administration provides its official website in 15 foreign languages. The U.S. government appreciates the importance to communicating to its residents and constituents in foreign languages.

Don’t underestimate the growing international demographics at home. In order to be recognized by the global community, make sure you are meeting the needs of your local community. If you want to engage your customers or constituents, then break down the language barriers, including those that may even be in your own backyard. Many people expatriate to the great melting pot, not to leave their own culture behind, but to embrace a new one.

For many people, no matter where they live, and no matter which language(s) one learns to live with, it’s always comforting to be able to at least conduct some basic life feats in their mother tongue. Even if it’s just getting directions from Google Maps in your own language to get to the DMV for a CA driver’s exam in your own language! Passing it is tough, but that’s another story…

Nursing Career Salary – Four Things That Affect It

A nursing career salary can vary depending on several variables. Whether you are starting a new career or an experienced nurse you need to give some thought to what your salary is and where you would like it to be.

What are the things you need to consider?

Let’s start from the beginning- education. Are you or do you wish to be an LPN, RN or perhaps a Nurse Practitioner? Your level of education will impact what level you reach in your career and with that affect your salary.

Now, what about your experience? Are you just starting our or do you have 15 years of on the job training? You are going to command a higher relative salary as you gain in experience. I say relative because someone with 15 years on the job in one specialty may not make as much as another with 5 years in a higher paying specialty.

So, lets talk about specialties. There are way too many to list them all here, but your nursing career salary can be dramatically different depending on your specialty. If you are just starting as a nurse, or even if you have been one for some time, you should do a little research on what specialties interest you and what the paycheck benefits are for each of them. You might be surprised to find that something you like can pay you 25% more than what you currently bring home!

Geography. Yes this is a big one too. Where do you live? If you live in a predominantly rural setting, your bring home pay may be less than someone in a more metropolitan area. However you also need to consider the cost of living in those areas. The two components combined will impact the affect that your salary has. If you live in a high compensation but low cost of living area you get more bang for your buck!