Self Employment

Work at Home? Good and Bad

The dream has become a reality. You are working at home! Yeah!  The refrigerator is right there; all those little jobs are going to get down.  Plus, a paycheck, no matter where you are during the day. Want to go on a trip? Just pack your bags, grab your laptop and materials, and you are off?  Right?  RIGHT?

Not entirely, the reality of the situation is that you must keep yourself disciplined so that the work gets done and income is generated, but this isn’t always easy.  Not by a long shot.  So, the key is keeping yourself disciplined. A skill that God gave each of us when we were conceived.  Depending on your Bible that disciplined is synonymous with self-control.  How do you do that?  You work on this skill every day.  

Working at home is not like working for someone else or working in an employers’ building. You are in your home; your work is laid out for you, and you are not sleeping late. However, your family is there, the dog, the laundry, the home phone, in my case your husband who is also self-employed. Then there are all those chores that need to be done. In addition, not one person is around to keep you from getting up and going anywhere including the store or coffee shop. If you are sitting down at your computer, no one is keeping you from turning on your iPad which doubles as a TV or surfing the internet.  Again, DISCIPLINE, DISCIPLIne, DISCIPLine, DISCipline, Discipline, discipline, and more DISCIPLINE is the key.

There are many blogs, articles, and books that tell you how to overcome all the distractions and attain the discipline that you need to make working at home successful. I will say that I agree with their recommendation, they authors seem to know that they are talking about. The books are accommodating and are full of good advice.  However, there are some things that you need to do to successfully work at home. I have listed five items.

  1.  Planner

Find a planner that you like that has the timeline (or close to it) that works for you.  In my case, I use Michael Hyatt’s Full Focused Planner.  Each day has two pages, one for the day’s to do’s list, priority items, and timeline.  In the beginning of the planner, there is a place for the annual goals, an ideal week, monthly calendar, quarterly items, daily rituals, and daily routines. At the end of week there is a reflective week worksheet that will provide reflection and review of the week. I combine this planner with Fly Lady’s website which helps me set up my work life and personal life.  You may have to go through a couple of different planners or make your own before you find one that is companionable to your life. However the point is the planner must work with your life and help you, if it doesn’t get rid of it or modify to suit your needs. 

There is an old saying that “when men (and women) plan God laughs”. Make sure you bring him into your plan because I can tell you from personal experience that if you don’t, your week will fall apart.

2. Know You Don’t Work 8-5 All the Time

Just remember. There are times when you need privacy and quiet, but you know you won’t get at your home. This mean you will have to be creative with your time in order to finish your work.

This week is a good example. The week was completely planned out, mainly because I am looking for more work and need to find it NOW.

  It snowed! 

It is May, and it snowed. undefined

Plus I had promised to provide material for a writing event. It’s hard for me to work when my husband is home because he can’t stand not working.  He is self-employed and has a lawn, landscaping, and snow removal business, and once the snow is removed, he has nothing to do and is exhausted. Not to mention, my daughter is having issues with her work and on and on.  I just decided I needed to schedule events early in the morning (and I do mean right after midnight.) until everyone could get back on their regular schedule.  The people whom I met with didn’t mind because this time fit into their regular working hours, but when they found out it was between 2:00 to 3:00 am for me, they were a bit surprised. I usually will split the differences in the time zone.  

3. Have a Bolt Hole!

A bolt hole is a place you can go to and work without interruption.  

I have two places I can go to work, three if it is necessary. The library; if I know in advance, I can reserve a room with a white board for an hour or, so.   If I don’t have advance notice, they have quiet study areas in which I can set up my stuff and get to work: the local coffee place, either Starbucks or another coffee shop.  If necessary, the site where I exercise at has a vending area with tables and chair, it also a section with table and chairs.  I will work there if necessary.

Most important to me, all three places have internet!

Remember, the internet will go down. The appliances need to be fixed.  Everyone at home decides you need to help them. Since you work at home, your neighbors ask you to watch for deliveries. The dog needs to be walked and go outside. There is no quiet in your home period. Whatever it is, something has happened that requires YOUR attention, and you can’t shut out the rest of the household. Have a bolt hole!

4. Child and Elderly Care

My suggestion is that it is good to have more than one place that meets your requirements in order for you to complete your work.  Most importantly, please plan so that you know that you have what you need when you leave.  Deadlines don’t move, and work does need to get completed. Remember that the materials that are left at the house will not drive themselves to your current location.  There will be days that you need to leave your home office and work.  That is why you need to plan the day, so you already know what you need to bring with you.

If you have children who are home, they do need to be taken care of during the day.  It is essential that you have a way to do this when you are at home and still complete your work.  I know that there will be times that the children will sit on your lap as you work.  Caring for your children or elderly is not something that will be convenient to do all the time. It makes concentrating on your work very hard.  Have a plan in place.

If it is possible to hire someone; however, I have co-workers who work from 2:00 am, and it’s hard to find daycare. Perhaps you can rearrange your child’s schedule so that they now sleep or otherwise occupied during your work hours.   If they go to school, after-school care may be an option, afternoon babysitter or nanny, someone to care for children.  If you work for a company, they may require that you provide a plan that shows that your children will be cared for while you can work.

5. Enforce Boundaries

Remember you are working at home and the paycheck is important.  At least I find them important!  I work as an online ESL teacher, and I need my computer, stable internet, and headphones at the very least to do my job.  Besides, I have props and other items I use, so it is not convenient for me to leave my office; however, I do have a large packed suitcase that contains everything I need. I have this because my husband and I like to travel, and we have a cabin we go to on the weekend. My husband down to the dog know that if my computer top is up and I have my headphones on, I am working and cannot be interrupted.

The Full Focused Planner has a section for daily rituals, and the Fly Lady website provides you with suggestions on how to set up your day. Both products encourage individuals to make sure that individuals develop a morning ritual, workday startup ritual, in addition to workday shutdown ritual and evening ritual on each of the pages for each day. The two products I mentions provide assistance in developing these rituals, which I find that very helpful.

The rituals and routines provide times when you can do your laundry, plan meals or other household tasks. These rituals help make sure that you get the work done that you need to get done.

When I am typing on the computer and writing, developing content, or working on projects, my family know that I am working.  My daughter has a habit of coming up to me and start talking, although it also took an unyielding voice and steely eyes looking directly at her, I told her “are you dying, bleeding or need to go to the hospital, unless you are not, wait until I am done working or at least say excuse me.”  I have had to do this more than once and she still does it.  Also, since she works nights and is often alone, consequently she would call me during her shift.  Her brother used to do the same thing.  In today’s world of cell phones, mine doubles as alarm clock plus emergencies.  I go to bed very early so I can get six-plus hours of sleep at night before my classes start. They would call me to talk.  I love my children, but I had to tell them they needed to call when I was not sleeping because I need my sleep.  Again, if it wasn’t an emergency, I need my rest.  It took a while, and finally, I didn’t answer their calls, and they stopped calling, they texted, and I would answer their texts during my free time the next day.

Enforce your boundaries and keep work hours!

IN CONCLUSION!

Most people who are working at home are doing the type of work that they love.  Yes, you can set your hours and determine how much work you need to complete. I like working at home, there is a lot more flexibility, and when I follow my advice, a great deal of work is completed. 

Set up your day so that you get the most done during your work time.  Also remember, there is a reason that most businesses give their employees sick time, personal days, and vacation time.  Just because you are working at home, this doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve the same privileges.  The difference is that you have a bit more flexibility to determine when, where, and how to take this time.

FINALLY,

Enjoy your life!!

Disclaimer:  This is not a sponsored post. I receive no income from the products mentioned in this post.

Let’s Salute the Week!

This past week has been productive, Yeah!

Sunday is a time to worship with my church community and make sure that I have listed all of my praises for the week.  I am grateful I have a job, I am grateful the internet is working.  I also realized that I need to pay more attention to the details of what I want to accomplish.  I am grateful for that realization.

gratitude

This is section for all the problems for the year, believe me they have been some doozies.  However, I realized that I must be close to something in my writing/brand for the devil to be bringing out some negative forces.  I mean, we currently don’t have internet, but I am writing this post so that it is ready to process tomorrow.  The internet will either come on sometime today or it won’t.  If not, I will use my work internet or I will hope on the libraries internet.  One way or another I will get it posted.

Also, I will be upgrading to a new plan this week so that I can post a video on the blog.There will be some practice shots, so my regular followers can look for them on Wednesday, when the technician comes in to check on the internet.  I am really gmy-videooing to enhance it.  The book reviews I did and will complete are going to be posted within the iMovie and posted as a video at the beginning of Mystery Thriller Week.  I completed this process for a project during the time I was at school completing my Specialist degree in Educational Technology.  Look for that on February 12, 2017.

Finally, this week should be a relatively good week, now that I know it is the spiritual forces that are trying to get on my nerves.  I won’t let it bother me, whether it happens or not, well that remains to be seen.

We will all have a great week!!!

Technology Tuesday

Educational technology as technological tools and media that assist in the communication of knowledge, and its development and exchange for information. This is how I reference educational technology.

There are several kinds of technological tools that teachers can use as part of their everyday use in order to complete their own work and teach their students.

  1. Laptop

It wasn’t many years ago that it was considered a a real perk to get a laptop when you were hired by a school/school district. However, today, it is an essential tool in a teachers tool bag. Recently my laptop wasn’t damaged and had to be replaced.  I was without it for almost two weeks. I had to use my personal laptop just to keep up.  The biggest problem was that I had to use the guest wifi service.

2. Cell phone

There are many businesses that issue their employee a cell phone. The upper management in a school district will have a cell phone issued to them and paid for by the school.  However, there are some individuals who are told when they are hired that they need to provide a cell phone number.  It is their personal cell phone, but it is necessary  piece of equipment.  I use mine to record, take pictures, check my email and sometimes to complete work.  My cell phone is in some ways a small tablet.

3.  A tablet

I have a mini iPad that I sue in place of my laptop when I am walking around the area, but need to stay in touch. In some cases, I use to take pictures.  The best part is the apps on the iPad.  I can keep my material and information separate.

4. Promethean Board/Smart Board

I put these two items together.  I like the use of the device and also to include the student in the lessons.  However, I was told by out IT person that the Smart boards will be gone next year and will not be replaced.

5. Docu Camera

These are wonderful and I still know some individual who call this item an overhead.  It is really kind of cool.  However, it is interesting to me, how many teachers sit at their desk, with the doc camera, laptop and cell phone.  They teach on a regular basis in this manner, but their are very effective teachers.  The doc camera is also good to use for presentations and meetings.

6. Swipe Key

The swipe key is similar to the hotel keep that many travelers use. Not only do individuals get into the school, but can work in their classrooms whenever their want to .

7. Google Docs

The last two years, I have been using Google docs instead of of pages or word.  Google docs have the same features that the previous two items  I listed. The Google Docs have spreadsheet feature, powerpoint feature and word document feature.  Thee items can be shared with others on a regular basis.

There are many more, but these are the  main forms of technology that I use in my day to day teaching world.

In Recognition of Week 32

“Be grateful for the tiny details of your life and make room for unexpected and beautiful blessings.”

This past week was the first full week of training, getting to know new co workers and learning new lessons. Each day was solid  and exciting day.  Some of the people I have not seen for over a year, some I worked with in my previous school district and some are new and nice people.

It has been an educational week.  I have learned that leaving a different school district doens’t have to be detailed and told in a negative way.  It can be done in  pleasant, postive and happy manner. bus[1]

Week of Training:

  • New ways to use technology with the students and and to help with the massive amount of paperwork.
  • All of the things a special educator needs to do in the first 30 days of school.  Not the first 30 days when the students arrive, but when the teachers start back to school.
  • The various items, school structure and routines, methods of communications and various types of curriculum.

Getting to Know New/Old Co Workers:

  • Are you sharing a room with another person?
  • Did you move into a new position, but at the same school or are you at a different school?
  • New/Old?

Learning New Lessons:

  • What wonderful things? What problems?  What are you going to do this year to make it a better year?
  • Relationship with the students this year?

In Preperation of Week 33

This week we are supposed to get the technology for classroom, student list and a variety of other things that I am not sure of, but it should be very interesting.

I am looking forward to using some new types of technology (websites, use of software, technology) this week because i want to get my room together, rituals and routinesthe_ultimate_transformer_by_handdrawndragonestablished so that Week 34 will be a GREAT  start to the first week of school.

  • Morning Meeting
    • https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/our-hopes-and-dreams-for-school/
    • GoogleDocs
      • a place to keep track of your lessons and what skills, etc. to introduce daily
    • Mobile Apps
      • Random selector
      • iTouchLearn Life Skills
  • All About Me
    • Wordle
      • http://www.wordle.net/
    • Pixie by Tech$Learning
      • http://web.tech4learning.com/blog-0/bid/100546/8-first-projects-to-get-students-using-technology (Paid)
  • Reading
    • SmartBoard:  http://eduscapes.com/sessions/smartboard/
  • Math
    • SmartBoard: http://eduscapes.com/sessions/smartboard/
  • Writing
    • SmartBoard: http://eduscapes.com/sessions/smartboard/
  • Rituals and Routine
    • http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/free-resources/routines-and-procedures/class-meetings

The above activities are all related to technology can be used in the classroom.  I have skipped over the history of our schools for today. I am very excited to show you these items and how to use them in the classroom.  I will be preseting information and technology at the same time.  The historical apsect of your own school equally important.

 

 

The Reader

I know that I don’t have a lot of followers.  People who regularly read my blog and comment on it.  I would like that, I really world, but I like to write.  When I was younger I used to read the columns in the paper.  Someday, I told myself, someday I would write a column and just like Erma Bombeck, people all of over the world would read my columns.  then they would read my books, they would read for advice on how to use technology in the classroom for children who needed extra help.  We all that assertive technology.  Readers would read about how to use technology to enhance their lessons and come back for more.  It would happen.

Really, it will happen.

Today I want to talk about my passions, I like to read (A LOT), I like to write, I like to read and write mysteries (women’s fiction, spiritual, devotions, children’s non fiction, children’s non fiction historical, professional books, cozy, series, some thrillers and futuristic I johnny-automatic-man-using-binoculars-2like to use different types of technology and I like to teach.  IN addition, I will show you curriculum that I like to design using technology, modifies for students with disabilities and items that special educators may find interesting.

Some people might say those are a  lot of passions, but I believe that God gave me all of those passions.  Now he is reminding me that I need to discipline myself and share my passions with other people. Also, safe to say I won’t be writing about all of them everyday, just some of them everyday.

He gave me a job as a special educator and special education coordinator where I currently teach at on a daily basis. Since I like to learn I will share what I learn with you and what I have already learned and how I use them.

He has reminded me of the path I want to take with my education.

He has reminded me how much I liked technology when I was a child.  A student in school I would help all of my teachers with their technology.  Only then we called it audio visual equipment.

As you read my blog, I will write about all of the above items.  I would like you to comment and let me know what you think. 

Time to Change

It’s time to stop feeling sorry for myself!

Romans 8:28:     We know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

         Since moving to Colorado I have worked in five separate school districts in 16 years. Not that this is unusual for a teacher. I know teachers who have taught in more districts.  I have also known teachers who have stayed in the same position, same school, same district for 30 plus years.

I have learned:

  1. Good teachers burn out and become bad teachers;Burn-Out-626x424
  2. Schools change; administrators micromanage and it became hard to teach.

school_leadership3. Teachers who can’t work in the new school climate don’t last

4.Teachers learn in different ways.the_ultimate_transformer_by_handdrawndragon

5. Teaching is hard for introverts.

The above five things cause teachers to lose their confidence, their nerve and learn to doubt themselves. When a teacher finds themselves in one of the above scenarios, the best thing to do is move out of the classroom.  If they don’t move out, they will be forced out of the classroom, regardless. The worst solution is to find a new classroom to teach in, the best solution is to find another area in education to work.

This is a great solution but it is a difficult one to follow through on, because bills need to be paid and spouses/partners aren’t always understanding. The biggest issue is the following question: “I’m a teacher, don’t teachers belong in the classroom?”

Not always. A teacher has knowledge to share and it’s up to her find a way to share it AND there are other ways to share this information.

Stay tuned!!!johnny-automatic-man-using-binoculars-2

Netgalley Reviews

This is the website where I receive e-books for the privilege of reviewing them for more badges. I am not being sarcastic, I have really received some good books. I have also become acquainted with some new authors. These authors have also been really nice about contacting me. The publishers have had their marketing directors email me directly so that I can receive advanced news of advanced copies.

Now I realize how well they have held up their end and this is the year that I am a woman of integrity. I will get through these book and raise my book review rate to 80%,

Thanks Netgalley for all of the great books! I will become a great reviewer.

since 2012
since 2012

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