Four Strategies Every Online Educator Needs for a Work-Life Balance

Online educators have been implementing the work-at-home model long before there was the 2020 crisis. Some referred to it as “teaching in your pajamas” – because of the nature of the job, which often meant for many, working a full-time position during the day while teaching as an adjunct during the evening hours. Those who are in a full-time position may still find themselves working during both daytime and evening hours, simply due to the needs of the learners and the requirements of classroom management. I’ve been in both roles over the past 15 years, and my ability to balance a professional and personal life has come about through time and practice.

While the roles may have a slight variation from one online school to the next, the requirements are generally the same. To be successful in this role, you must decide to allocate enough time to complete your tasks, even if it takes away time from your personal life. I say this not to demean the position in any manner, rather it is said because teaching is not a position in which you can easily clock in and out from or establish strict hours for completing daily tasks. There are certain tasks, such as feedback and class discussions, which you can estimate time commitments to some degree. However, the time needed to be engaged with learners cannot be accurately estimated. From my personal perspective, I would rather be available, highly engaged, responsible, and easily available for learners, even if this means I am taking more time than it seems I should be allocating for that particular day. In fact, I do not even think about time as a factor each day. Instead, I developed strategies to help ensure I am balancing time effectively.

What Does Your School Require?

As an adjunct, there are typically specific due dates that are contractual in nature. These due dates are related to feedback and class discussions. This can create a sense of pressure each week, trying to meet those required deadlines. What you want to be certain you are aware of is the exact nature of your contractual requirements. There may be a Faculty Handbook, a teaching contract, or other similar type of document. I recommend you review these documents, along with school policies at the start of each term, to make certain you are well aware of what your school requires. There is often an unstated rule about those adjuncts who are not meeting the requirements and an inability to continue receiving new contracts or additional course assignments. More importantly, depending upon the severity of the requirements not met, failure to meet a contractual requirement could result in termination.

Are You Taking on Too Much?

I know of many adjuncts who are teaching for multiple institutions at the same time. As a faculty development specialist, I interacted with faculty who were teaching at five or six institutions at time. I cannot imagine trying to balance that many classes, at multiple institutions, all at the same time. What would make this even more complex would be also working full-time; however, I did not ask for personal details. There is a common understanding in this industry that many part-time adjuncts earn a living this manner, by teaching at multiple institutions, and I understand why. The competition for positions now is higher than ever. This wasn’t the case when I started in 2005 as the number of positions greatly outweighed the number of available faculty. If you are teaching multiple classes for multiple schools, you must be especially careful about how you are balancing your personal and professional lives.

Then there is a completely opposite syndrome, those who intentionally take on too much and are not concerned about the quality of the tasks they complete. A couple of years ago I had a contract with a specialty online school to create their very first Faculty Development Center. Once I had it developed and launched, I began online training. As part of this project I created the first set of Faculty Standards and reviewed faculty classes. What I found was a common problem within the industry, faculty who teach to earn a paycheck. There were participation posts with comments such as “I agree” and feedback for written papers which included “Good job”. Unfortunately for the school, there were no standards previously in place, and quality control was never measured.

How to Define a Work-Life Balance

The tasks required for an online educator are not easily calculated, as to creating a time management plan. Therefore, when attempting to set up personal and professional time, it may not be easy to state which day or days to allocate for each one. There is another approach required and the following four strategies can help you adapt your unique position to find a sense of balance, which in turn will help you feel better prepared to complete your tasks, when you are required to do so. No one can function effectively at a non-stop pace. Everyone needs a break and this plan will help get you started.

Four Strategies Every Online Educator Needs for a Work-Life Balance

These strategies are meant to help you find a sense of stability with your schedule. Start with the first strategy as it provides a purpose statement for your entire plan and will create a vision to sustain the balance you are seeking.

Strategy #1: Create a Professional Practice Philosophy Statement

As an online educator, you likely have a personal philosophy statement developed already. This statement is something different. This is a statement you are going to develop for you and you alone. It is a reconciliation, so to speak, in which you decide how much time you are willing to spend on your career each week. It is not meant to be shown to anyone, which means you are not going to be judged for your answer. You decide, and you determine now, what your limits for this job will be each week. Developing this type of boundary is important for establishing a balancing statement.

Strategy #2: Create Your Schedule, One Week at a Time

Now that you have your Professional Practice Philosophy Statement, and you understand your professional time limit per week, you can create a schedule. What you will need next is a list of the contractual or required faculty duties for the week. Take the list and map it out for the week. You can allocate more time for significant tasks, such as feedback, and break down a task like that over several days. You may also need time for discussions throughout the week, along with classroom management. While this strategy may seem fairly obvious, the simple act of completing it, with a time limit having been established, can be very productive from a mindset point-of-view.

Strategy #3: Stick to the Plan, When It’s a Valid Plan

Now that you have a plan in place, you will find yourself more willing to stick to it. Now you will likely complete tasks on time as you know the deadlines established for yourself. More importantly, you understand why this plan was completed, and it was for your well-being, to ensure there is time leftover each week for your personal life. Now I would make a caution about this as well. If you decided to only allocate 10 hours, when the expectation is to spend 30 hours a week for your work as an adjunct, then a realistic plan has not been created and a disservice has been given both to the learners and your school. In addition, if there are valid reasons why you need to spend extra time on a specific day, then you should consider why that extra time would be a good investment in your career. In other words, always weigh the benefits of exceeding your daily plan when there is a legitimate reason.

Strategy #4: Learn to Unplug When It’s Time

This is perhaps one of the most challenging strategies for anyone who is an online educator, learning to unplug from technology. Even if you turn off the computer or laptop, it may still be possible to access the classroom and/or email from a mobile device, such as a phone. But at the end of a work day, you need your downtime. You have got to allow yourself some time to rest and recharge, for the sake of your well-being and mental health. This is also true for the personal time you’ve designated in your time plan. I cannot state I have always allowed full days off in my weekly plan; however, I at least allow blocks of time to stop and enjoy time with my family. Perhaps I’ll take my spouse to a movie, or take my family out to eat. The point is I understand why I’m working, based upon my own Professional Practice Philosophy Statement, and I know when I need to unplug. You need to do this as well, so you can come back to the computer or laptop refreshed.

This is an Art, Not a Science

Learning how to balance your daily and weekly tasks is an art, more than it is an exact science, and it will take some time and practice. If you have not been a remote employee before, this will require a new mindset. The best advice I can offer is to make certain you have a designated space to perform your teaching duties. I have my own home-based office, my command center, and when I step into this office, I know I’m there to teach. It is a place which allows me to easily become focused on the task at hand as it is distraction-free, and once I leave the office at the end of the day, I know it is time for me to begin to start my downtime. Was I able to become this well-disciplined right away? It did take time and practice as I had to learn how to rely upon myself, rather than arrive at my place of employment and later clock-out at a particular time, knowing my day was completed.

When I first began teaching online, I checked my online classes all the time, then I gradually developed a rhythm. Now I know how to use alerts and respond in a timely manner, and I have a feel for how to manage the many responsibilities of an online class. Over time you will develop this type of innate sense as well. Most important of all, I keep in mind every day why I teach, which is more important to me than anything else. In a learner-centered environment, an educator must be acutely aware of the needs of their learners and ready to action. Therefore, my form of balance is unique, similar to the type of environment I teach in. The more dedicated you are for the learners you teach, the more likely you may need to adapt the strategies I’ve described as well. Instead of creating a Work-Life Balance, perhaps you will create an Educator-Learner Balance. Always take care of your learners and yourself.

Negotiate the Best Auto Purchase

The first thing to keep in mind if you plan on financing your new automobile is that the dealer’s offer is not necessarily the best loan available. If you establish direct contact with lenders, especially via the Internet that is where you will find the lowest rates.

Buying a car is one of the most expensive purchases you will make, second to a home. To get the best deal possible, it requires research and a willingness to negotiate with the dealer. Being prepared will help you choose the right auto loan and save a lot of money.

Know Your Options

It is never a good idea to walk in and expect to buy a car without having any reasonable quotes that can compete with the dealer’s financing option. Take into account the annual percentage rate and the length of the loan; don t focus only on the monthly payment.

After you have negotiated the price of your auto purchase, that plus the APR and the length of the loan will be your total amount paid.

Some dealers might present very low financing rates for certain makes or models of cars, but ultimately won’t negotiate on their price. Any changes made with these variables can yield savings of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

You might be required to make a large down payment to qualify for any special rates. Occasionally it is more affordable to pay a higher finance charge on a car that might be lower in price, but will ultimately require a smaller down payment.

Trading in Your Old Car

When it comes time to talk about trading in your old car, keep the negotiations separate from your new purchase. Hold off any discussion about your trade-in until the end, after you feel you have reached the best possible price for your new car.

Do the research beforehand and know the value of the car you are using as your trade. Research can be attained from many reputable sources (books, magazines, newspapers and the Internet) and can provide you with the worth of your vehicle.

Come prepared with your information and use that in your transaction with the dealer. Ultimately, any prior research done will help get you the best possible price for your trade in. Although to get the most money for your old car, you would probably have to sell the car yourself.

Credit Insurance

You might come across certain lenders and dealers that will ask you to purchase credit insurance. This would serve as payment towards your loan in the event of death or disablement. Take into consideration the cost of credit insurance and whether or not it is beneficial to you.
Review your current policy to prevent the duplication of any benefits. This type of insurance is not a requirement by federal law. If the dealer requires you to purchase this, it must show in the APR and not be included as an extra charge to you.

If you have any questions regarding credit insurance check with the State Consumer Protection Agency or your state’s Insurance Commissioner.

Service Contracts

In the event of any problems with your new car, service contracts can be purchased to provide repairs as necessary. Manufacturers, dealers or independent companies make these contacts available, but may not offer any additional coverage past the manufacturer’s warranty.

A warranty is included in the total purchasing cost of a new car, while the service contract is not. This contract works in the dealer’s favor, so be cautious when you are presented with one.

Before agreeing to this additional contract, consider if it is right for you. Find out the difference between the coverage that is included your warranty and what is covered in the service contract. Is routine maintenance covered and are the repairs? Who covers the cost of labor and parts?

In the event of an accident, where are the repairs made and is the consumer able to pick the location? Finally, how long does the service contract last and are there any refund policies or options to cancel at any time?

Consider the terms of the new car loan and figure out if it is affordable before signing any contracts and driving away in a new vehicle. Remember that experienced sellers will usually mark up their asking price a few hundred dollars more than they are willing to get for the vehicle.

Make sure to keep your finances in mind and negotiate the best possible financing for your new automobile loan.

Pay Per Click Success Secrets – 7 Tips To Write Successful Advertisement in PPC Advertising Campaign

The top success tip of writing the advertisement is to grab the viewer’s attention as much as possible. You will discover and learn great tips and inside secrets on writing the successful advertisements in PPC. It is obviously that those tips will help you to write better or even highly successful advertisement in PPC online advertising.1. Write to Your Targeted Audience.The first step of writing the highly successful advertisement is to write your own advertisements directly to your targeted audience. With the better understanding in your market and audience, it is easier to write your advertisements directly to your targeted audience. It is obviously that your advertisements will not success if they can not lead directly to the targeted audience.The real secrets of PPC online advertising are to: (1) identify the small group of people in the market and (2) research effectively and get better understand people in the market.2. Address the Benefits Rather Than Features.There is no doubt that you have to identify the benefits of your products or services, rather than the features of products. It has proven that benefits can lead you to sale, but features can not. It means benefits can sell your products to your potential customers whereas the features only tell your products to them!The real secrets of PPC online advertising are to: (1) list down all possible benefits of your products and (2) emphasize your benefits into your advertisement.3. Insert Your Niche Keywords into Your Advertisement.Inserting your keywords into your advertisement is very powerful and attractive approach. It has proven that if you insert your keywords into the advertisement, the opportunities to increase the click through rate (or CTR) will be opened and grown. With those keywords, it is easier to grab the viewers’ attention.The real secrets of PPC online advertising are to: (1) insert your keywords into the first line of your advertisement in PPC and (2) insert those keywords as much as possible into the advertisement.4. Include a Strong and Solid “Call to Action” Phrase.Another powerful tip is to include a strong and solid “call to action” phrase into your advertisement. For example, you include: “Sign up”, “Register now”, and “Save on”. Otherwise, the prohibited phrase could be: “Click here”, “Visit here”, “Come see” and “Press here”.The real secrets of PPC online advertising are to: (1) include your “call to action” phrase into your advertisement always and (2) do not include the prohibited phrase or break any PPC search engines’ term and use of condition.5. Use the relevancy display URLs.It is great idea to include the relevancy display URLs into your advertisement. Obviously, the more relevancy display URLs are, the more opportunities for people to click on and visit are! You have to use the relevancy and active display URLs.The real secrets of PPC online advertising are to: (1) embed your keywords into your URLs and (2) use the existing and workable URLs only.6. Use Proper Grammar and Correct Spelling.Obviously, you have to use the proper grammar and correct spelling in your advertisement. Without them, your advertisement will look non-professional advertisement.The real secret of PPC online advertising in this tip is to ensure that your advertisements look professional. It is a great idea to review and ensure that you use the proper grammar and correct spelling before submitting your advertisement.7. Ensure that Your Advertisement is Easy to Understand and Straight Forward.The last tip to write the highly successful advertisement is to write your easy-to-understand advertisement. You have to keep your advertisement short, clear and direct to the point. You have a limited space to write your own advertisement. Thus, it is a great idea to keep your advertisement clear, complete and concise.The real secrets of PPC online advertising are to: (1) get better understanding about the products or services you are trying to write ads and (2) keep your advertisements clear, complete and concise.Finally, writing the highly successful advertisements is one of the most significant components for your online business in PPC online advertising. With the highly successful advertisements, the opportunities to increase the CTR in PPC online advertising will open and increase. The real secrets of writing the successful advertisements are: (1) write direct to your targeted audience (2) address the benefits of your products (3) insert your keywords in the first line of advertisement (4) insert a strong “call to action” phrase (5) use the relevancy display URLs (6) use the proper grammar and correct spelling and (7) keep your advertisements clear, complete and concise. Apart from these great tips, all you have to do next is to monitor, track and evaluate your advertisements for improvement in the future.

Playing Online Poker For a Living – 4 Simple Tips That Can Help You Play Cards For a Living

Card game addicts can soon start dealing out cards no matter where they are, before you could even say “Indiana Jones”. These people love this game, and no matter what, they will always find a plain simple excuse to play it. Some play online for a livingIf you are quite in their league too, it is no wonder if your fingers itch all the time to try out your luck and fortune at the card games. Well, the solution to itching fingers is only a few clicks away. You can find many web sites where you can play poker online and also win money if you are a host to good fortune and tricky skills.Card players find it easy to play card games online, since here, the ambience is quite relaxed and quiet. You never know with whom you are playing. It could be an old man or woman, or a child as well! But one thing is for sure- here no one will be able to peep and have a look as to whether you have a winning hand or not. Here, no one is there to rush you, no one to call the shots but you. But even though this seems as if the rules here are quite easy and relaxed, actually, they are not. You have to abide by certain laws which if you neglect, will result in your disqualification.o Before you start to play, you must try to decide if you are willing to play poker for your entire income. To do this, you will have to look back at the games that you played in the past, and how you handled your bankroll after a big win. Did you jump into the stakes or invest your winnings?o Then again, if you had never the chance to see so much money while playing poker, but lost about ten tournaments in a row, you have to remember what your action was. Did you move down or up in stakes? These reactions of yours are necessary to judge whether you will be able to make a living on poker.o The main trick is not how much money you win, but how you win it. When you do not have a winning hand, you have to see that you lose very little of cash. But when you have the best hand, you have to try to call the right shots at the right time to milk in a lot of money out of your opponent’s pockets. To maneuver the game carefully you have to assess the situation accurately and rely on your gut instincts.o Another key skill that you need to hone is patience. You might be able to rely on your instincts, and make quite sharp decisions at the crucial moments in the game; you might be able to calculate thoroughly the result of every move of every player around the table; you might be able to tighten your purse strings when you have no winning hand, and get the best odds to win the most when you turn out to be the lucky one, but there is still a chance that someone might come about and upset your plan and shatter it to rubbles. During these times, it is necessary that you do not lose your head, but start to build another plan, so as to win back what you have lost.These rules will help you to get to the very peak where you can earn a lot of money, and there will be no stopping you as well. Remember, rules are important in a game, so that you do not get disqualified, and you can always use them to your advantage.