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Education and Politics in Wisconsin

Sadly, Wisconsin is in a bind.

For years, I gave up pay raises and benefits to keep great insurance as a teacher. I willingly traded cash for the best health care for my family. In his first 45 days, our governor announced a bill for public employees to pay more toward their health care in order to balance the budget. Not OUR problem to solve, of course, but an equal opportunity for all Wisconsinites to help balance the budget was not an option. Unfortunately, we understood the dilemma.

Our unions conceded, knowing our public school funding is at an all-time low. Then came the catastrophic decision to end collective bargaining. As of June, I will have no contract, no consideration for 20 years of teaching in the same district, and no reason for my district NOT to cut me and hire a first-year teacher to save $20,000. All this including a file of wonderful evaluations and praise from students and parents that I hold dear.

Every person has an opinion. Wisconsin has successfully recalled their governor and will force another election. Not a proud moment in Wisconsin history. Many shake their heads and wonder what happened. Unions across the state are similarly impacted, except the police and fire unions. Hmmm.

Public supporters of the law say that THOSE teachers deserve it. THEY get paid too much anyway. THOSE teachers are awful, and then they identify one bad apple. THOSE teachers should have to pay like the rest of us. (Meaning those who did AND did not go to college.)

I am a professional. I have a bachelor’s degree in my field. I have a master’s degree in my field. I have 20 years experience in my field. I have to renew my license with college courses or a PDP every five years to stay current. I have to stay abreast of every change and new method in order to best meet my students’ needs. Yet, I chose a low-paying job because I love what I do. I really do.

Yet, this whole situation makes me feel ashamed to admit I’m an educator because (now) some people who pay taxes think they own a piece of the school system. It’s not OK to be treated as any other worker. The teaching profession is a licensed profession for a reason. Not many could (or would) do what I do. Trust me, parent volunteers rarely come back.

I implore the public to understand what it’s like to tackle today’s tasks. I am a parent and caregiver, as well as a teacher, most days. Honestly, I am. Some kids have so much baggage that my lesson on adjectives is unattainable. Students are in school eight hours a day. Some of my students don’t get eight hours with a parent throughout the whole work week. It’s sad, but completely true. A school is a multi-million dollar institution that holds our children’s future and skills in its hands.

Every person went to school, so they think they understand what it takes. Believe me, I went to college in the 80′s and 90′s for education and the world of education today is hardly the same I was trained for – good and bad.

Pursue an Online Medical Education and Become a Healthcare Expert!

The healthcare industry in India has witnessed rapid development over the past few decades. As a result of this, the industry is now capable of offering a plethora of employment as well as learning opportunities for aspiring students. The improved quality of medicines and healthcare advisors today, stand as testimony to the massive growth of the industry. For all those who wish to learn about the diverse elements of medicine, but have held back due to a lack of time, there is good news. You can now attain intensive training in the healthcare sector online. This means that you can now accomplish your dream of becoming a healthcare expert despite working fulltime.

Several top healthcare management institutes offer an online medical education these days. In keeping with the diverse needs of the industry of health, the courses offered ensure to cover all the aspects of this vast industry. Be it a diploma in hospital administration or an MBA in hospital management, a student of medicine can pursue an online learning course in any of the subjects of his choice. Post graduate programmes such as a Masters in Healthcare Administration or Masters in Hospital Administration are extremely beneficial for individuals who aspire to apply their honed management skills in the medical industry.

Clinical research as a subject and industry too has grown leaps and bounds over the recent past. It has emerged as a viable career option for individuals interested in studying medicine. Therefore, being a doctor is not the only profession that can be pursued within this discipline; there are several other prospective fields that can be considered as a commercial line of work by medical students. The study of new and old medicines and related treatments is an engaging subject, drawing many interested students to it. Online courses in clinical research offer a holistic approach towards training along with facilitating the accomplishment of a dream career in today’s leading Clinical Research Organizations. Courses on drug trials and clinical research are emerging as a popular choice among young students who wish to provide the society with more effective medical treatments and medicines through their perfected skills and profuse knowledge.

Quality management in healthcare is another extremely important skill and there exist several specialized educational courses for the same. However, for those Clinicians who may wish to build a career in a specific segment of healthcare like diabetes or primary care of the heart diseases, training in diabetic courses and cardio courses help cater to their determined objective. Be them not too popular courses for accidents and emergencies or fresh new fields such as Paramedics, the industry of healthcare now offers a wide spectrum of learning opportunities for aspiring medical students.

Online medical education has facilitated the relatively easy attainment of knowledge and professional training in any of the numerous fields of healthcare. Now, even if you are working full time or unable to attend college, you can acquire holistic training in your subject of interest. Enroll with a reputed institute that offers online medical education and accomplish your dream of becoming a healthcare expert!

Education Versus Training

Many people don’t understand the difference between education and training. Education is giving out information and communicating to your trainees. Training is about practice and building skills. Today’s younger generation of employees wants to be trained, not educated.

Problem is, if we don’t educate them before we train them, it could lead to problems. Think about how you learned to drive. You need knowledge of the laws and then the actual training of getting behind the wheel. Same can be said for learning about the birds and the bees–if the education part isn’t done effectively, the training could lead to undesirable results!

Mark Flores, director of ops for Chuck E. Cheese’s, uses the macaroni-and-cheese example to demonstrate the difference. We’ve all made mac & cheese plenty of times in our lives, but if we don’t follow the instructions exactly, we might get macaroni soup, crunchy macaroni, or something else other than what we intended. So how do we deliver education and training to ensure consistency?

Manuals. Boooooooooring! We do need documentation, but make it fun! Include tons of photos and minimal text so it’s more of a comic strip look. People are more likely to remember what they see versus what they read, so retention of information is better. Additionally, it’s easier to translate into other languages.

Videos. Better than reading for most employees, but they need to be short segments (3–5 minutes maximum) with tons of visual image changes. Our employees today are used to watching CNN with talking video, a crawler message along the bottom, and the weather forecast on the side–all while having four online chats with their friends. Long, drawn-out videos lose their attention quickly. Watch a segment and go practice what you learn. You can watch the next segment after that.

Online. Golden Corral, White Castle, Sea Island Shrimp House, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Chuck E. Cheese’s are all using or testing e-learning. Since it is self-paced, it goes at the speed of the learner. Be careful: As we’ve seen with e-books, it’s not too comfortable to read a book on a PC, so keep the text to a minimum. Review questions can be built in as a checkpoint for the learner to advance to the next section. Great way to replace video and print, but it’s still not “training.”

Tests. We all hate tests! To ensure consistency in tests, keep them simple and visual (use as many pictures as possible), and use multiple-choice, ordering, or true-false format to ensure consistency in grading. Most of our employees no longer take fill-in-the-blank or essay tests. Ensure they have the basics down. Do all your trainers actually grade tests the same way?

All the above forms of “training” are really just education, yet most managers think it’s training. We didn’t get our driver’s license after reading the book, watching the video, and passing a test–we had to demonstrate our skills to the authorities before we received permission to drive. Education is the necessary evil that must come first, though.

Do we follow the same format with our employees? Many companies do not–we just memorize a bunch of useless information the guest cares little about and then we’re ready. You need to be validated on the skills it takes to do the job and re-validated periodically in the future. Knowing the job and doing the job are two entirely different things–and the guest notices.

Skill Validation

Having the new employee demonstrate skills for a manager shows you two things: how good the trainer was, and that the employee can do the functions of the job. We all might think we have the same definition of “greet the guest” or “suggestive sell,” but when we see our employees in action, we find it’s all across the board. If we don’t coach them through the skill, they will simply do what they see at other restaurants (which often isn’t good). Conduct these validations every 90–180 days to keep standards top of mind.

People train people. Just because someone is a good employee doesn’t mean they will be a good trainer. The proper tools to educate will help, but the payoff is in the trainer demonstrating, coaching, and validating the skill of a new employee. To illustrate this point to your team, ask your trainers to train you on how to tie your shoes or put on a shirt. Act like you know nothing about it. Point being, it’s a simple task we can all do in our sleep–like ringing up orders or making burgers–but it’s incredibly hard to train someone else how to do it.

Macaroni and cheese anyone?