The rapid pace of technological and social change affects not only social institutions, but the professions of the populace as well. Throughout the 20th century, all sorts of professionals used every available means – reading journals, attending seminars, taking correspondence courses – to stay abreast of progress in their professions. For the teacher, as well, the Continuing Education Unit (CEU), now available through online courses, represents the attainment of state-of-the-art skills.For the most part, public school teachers in the “K-12” (kindergarten through 12th grade) classrooms leave it a few chosen representatives to battle with politicians, school boards and budgets. Most of them give their full attention to their students, since there are many educators who really do consider what they do a calling, or a cause, as much as a career. The availability of online colleges with courses that earn the Continuing Education Unit is, for a teacher, a great time-saver as well as a way to be more effective in the classroom.New specialties = new opportunitiesIn addition to perfecting skills they already possess, Internet training and education can give a teacher a path to new specialties that, in turn, afford them new opportunities in their profession. The continuing education unit, then, also represents change and progress for the teacher who is motivated to go online and work toward a new or upgraded credential, perhaps in an entirely new discipline.Many special education teachers start out in regular classrooms, according to the National Education Association, and then decide to specialize. Depending on precisely what they want to teach, they may then be required to meet a “state standard of evaluation covering multiple subjects, not later than two years after the date of employment.” Obviously, to get the training and testing done within this timeframe makes the online continuing education unit a very good choice for a teacher with a busy schedule.Clearly, online colleges and training programs are not just making money for their owners, but providing a real public service to some of the most motivated public servants – teachers. For a teacher dedicated to his or her profession, going online to earn just the kind of continuing education unit needed for career advancement or specialization is both convenient and socially beneficial.
How to write a mission statement. Sadly it is the easiest part of a business plan, but one of the most overlooked – And dreaded. Most people will skip creating a mission statement completely, or put it off for so long that they just forget to put it back on their “To Do” list. Let me help you understand how you can shoot yourself in the foot by not having a mission statement.A mission statement gives your clients a point of reference about what your company values and commitment levels are. It helps people understand how you perform based on a set of assumptions about your business that you help them with by creating something they can refer to for insight about whether or not you are the kind of business or person that they want to do business with.The second major part of a mission statement is that it gives you, the business owner, a list of goals that you can either stick to or update and modify as you go. If you are truly interested in keeping your customers and building your customer list then a mission statement gives you a brief step by step outline of what your goals are and how you intend to achieve them.Once you have this piece of information in place you can send out questionnaires (either by email or Twitter, or post to your Facebook profile, your blog, website, or simply send to only your customers by snail mail… ) to your lists and ask people these fundamental questions that will have your cash register making that happy KACHING sound.Here are those questions you want to ask:Based on our mission statement, how is our product (our company) performing for your needs?What can we do to improve?What products or services do you want and/or need that we can help you with?On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best, how are we meeting the goals outlined in our mission statement?What can we do better or to improve?Use your new customer recommendations to build your next product and/or list of new services.And, that is why a mission statement is important. It gives you credibility and establishes you as an expert in your field. It shows that you care about your customers problems and that you actively seek solutions to help them. KACHING.Imagine that by creating a dynamic mission statement and using it to get client feedback that you could exchange and increase your client hit list for a client conversion list that increased your bottom line 2 percent a month – Would you like that?Here’s how to write a mission statement:1 – Grab your business plan and read it again.2 – Take from your business plan any goals/objectives you outlined and jot them down on a separate piece of paper.3 – Make note of the niche you occupy and be sure to mention that clearly.4 – Use all of this information – spectrum and variety of your products offered, any pricing details that are noteworthy – special membership options for discounts,… – what you strive for in your company and/or product quality and service, what your position is in the marketplace, your growth ideals, special methods in technology that make you excel or take special care with your customers and/or their privacy (confidentiality), how you feel about your customer, supplier, competitor, employee relations, plus a bit about the community you serve (for instance do you donate a percentage of your profit to any cause – are you green in a special way,… ).5 – Keep it short – Do you struggle for words with impact? Need some extra help? Go online and take a peek at other mission statements that you feel excited about. Don’t be a copy cat, though. Remember that your business is unique and that you are offering your customers something special – that no other business has – That something special is You and how you feel about what you have to offer. Insincerity and lack of passion will be noticed by anyone reading your words, so write your mission statement well.Still stuck? Then fill in these questions to help you get started -Why are you in business?My customers are the people who ____________ (?)My business image is to convey a ___________________(?)The nature and scope of my products works to _______________(?)I/We are conscientious of the level of service I/We provide because _________ (?)Our leadership is based on my ________________- and our employees ______ (?)Every one of us is involved in ______________(?)We and our suppliers enjoy a mutual partnership based on past success that _______(?)We are different from our competitors because we ___________(?)Our goals are examined on a regular basis and we make informed improvements to _____(?) based on
what becomes available in the marketplace. We are constantly improving ______________(?)In understanding our philosophy we strive to convey a deep __________(?) to our customers, based on our _______________(?)6 – Get a reality check from a friend or partner to see if your statement makes sense, is readable, completely sincere. Don’t sound like a dictionary. Let other people read it first for a second opinion, before you publish it for additional insight, perspective or points that you may have missed.7 – Take the time you need to write a mission statement correctly. Next to your financial statement, it is one of the most important pieces of information you can have about your business for your customers. Every word will count on your mission statement so make them ALL count. Design your mission statement for the audience you have in mind – Your niche customers, because nothing else will make sense. Engage your (targeted) audience.8 – Put that bit of information out where people can see it instead of your corporate notebook where only your CPA gets to look at it. Use it wisely. Post it absolutely everywhere!Mission Statement Examples:1 – A restaurant – Excellent Example -“Our vision is to be the world’s best restaurant experience. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness, and value, so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile.”2 – Popular Computer Company-Poor Example:”______ mission is to be the most successful computer company in the world at delivering the best customer experience in markets we serve.”- Boring. Says nothing, defines nothing, addresses no one in particular, and more than likely, will not inspire ANYONE to read it, let alone take it seriously.Now, just imagine the positive response you’ll get by having taken the time to write a thoughtful mission statement. Can you hear it yet? You will… KACHING!