Become a Master of History This Year: ResponsiveEd’s John Heitzenrater Tells You How

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As the school year begins for students attending ResponsiveEd schools, parents may be curious about what they can do to encourage learning and inquiry in their students. It’s time for a history lesson that starts with ideas for parents and students to incorporate during the coming year to ensure success in their studies.

While it is sometimes difficult for students to see the big picture in the details, no historical study can take place without learning the details. When students get bogged down from memorizing dates and names, encourage them to make a game out of it. The use of music and songs can be beneficial when learning chronological events, much in the same way music and songs can help students remember grammar and languages.

Encourage students to narrate what they are learning in class. While they may forget particulars, especially as they are learning, they will remember the stories they are hearing. Encourage them to share their knowledge with you. Who knows, they may be able to enlighten you.

Encourage wonder and imagination with your students. We should treat history like a great mystery that needs Sherlock Holmes (the parent/teacher) and Watson (the student) to solve it. Every student’s contribution is essential if the mystery is going to be solved.

Focus on subject mastery. The goal of history instruction is to make future historians, i.e. students who love a good story and can understand how on Earth we arrived at where we are today. Students who master history will be the students who make history. Let’s encourage them in their quest!

5 Jobs in Architecture and Construction

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Career and Technical Education (CTE) cluster in health science is offered at select Premier High Schools. There are a range of job opportunities in health science, while some require education beyond college, many occupations are open to those with certification or some college.

Below, we provide information about a few of the occupations within health science taken from the Texas Workforce Commission. When looking at a job it is important to understand that the required education level demanded for the role and the number of openings will determine the wage and eligibility. Growth in an industry often means there are more opportunities for students. The number of openings can determine the wage. Even if a job does not require extensive education, but has few openings, the job can be more competitive and pay a higher wage. For more information, visit Achieve Texas’ Health Science Magazine.

Below is a sampling of jobs in the area of health science.

Psychiatric Technician

  • Job Description: Care for mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed individuals, following physician instructions and hospital procedures. Monitor patients’
    physical and emotional well-being and report to medical staff.
  • Growth: 22%
  • Average Wage: $27,134
  • Openings: 100
  • Education: Requires moderate-term on-the-job training. Most employees have some college.

Massage Therapist

  • Job Description: Massage customers for health or restorative purposes.
  • Growth: 23%
  • Average Wage: $36,694
  • Openings: 300
  • Education: Requires a postsecondary certification. Most employees have some college.

Medical Records and Health Information Technician

  • Job Description: Compile, process, and maintain medical records of hospital and clinic patients in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, ethical, legal, and regulatory requirements of the health care system.
  • Growth: 30%
  • Average Wage: $37,020
  • Openings: 920
  • Education: Requires an associate’s degree. Most employees have some college.

Physical Therapist

  • Job Description: Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and decrease or prevent complications among patients suffering from disease or injury.
  • Growth: 32%
  • Average Wage: $90,897
  • Openings: 660
  • Education: Requires a master’s degree.

Dentist, General

  • Job Description: Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, and manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
  • Growth: 13%
  • Average Wage: $186,517
  • Openings: 340
  • Education: Requires doctoral/first professional degree.

The information provided about a sampling of occupations within health science is taken from the Texas Workforce Commission and provides averages that can vary with location and time spent working. For more information, visit Achieve Texas’ Health Science Magazine. While only five occupations are highlighted here, students can find more information at America’s Career InfoNetCompetency Model ClearinghouseOccupational Information Network, and the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Five Helpful Career Resources

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Finding your perfect job can require extensive research. Texas Career Check provides helpful information for students starting their search. Take a moment to look over some of these resources and see if there are any careers that interest you.

  1. Occupation Information This website provides information on more than 1,000 jobs. In addition to job descriptions, annual wages, job growth rate and education level, this site provides informational videos, information by region, certification opportunities and many other resources.
  2. Occupation Trends This resource provides a list of the top 25 occupations making above the Texas median wage of $34,550, ranked by highest projected number of jobs added due to growth for the period 2014 – 2024. Students can sort jobs based on the their region in Texas and see the best projected jobs, salary and projected annual openings.
  3. Occupation Comparison Report Students can see a side-by-side comparison of thousands of different jobs based on wages, education level, job description, special skills, labor market information and academic strengths necessary.
  4. Interest Profile If students are not sure what career they might be interested in, this resource provides a list of questions that give a better sense of career areas they might be interested in or best suited for.
  5. Pop-a-Job Have fun playing this game and exploring new jobs you might not have heard about before.

How to Act in your First Interview (Part 2)

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You know how to prepare for your interview, but you aren’t sure what the interviewer is looking for. On the day of your interview, there are a couple of things that will help you look your best.

You know about the company, you know about the job, you have prepared for the interview, now what?

How about dress for success. It’s important to look as professional as you can for the job in which you are applying, but not all jobs are equal and require the same clothes. So what do you wear?  A good general rule to follow is to dress one step up from the role you are applying for.  For example, if you are applying to be a waiter or waitress, you should dress business casual for the interview. It would not be appropriate or necessary for you to wear a suit. If you were applying for a position in an office that normally would require business casual, then take it up one step and wear a suit. Simple plan really, and don’t over think it.

Another question that gets asked, “What should I bring with me?” All you should have is extra copies of your resume. They will likely already have this, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

One of the very first things they will notice about you is your punctuality.

I have been interviewing people for a very long time now and I can tell you first hand, the easiest way to not get the job is to be late for the interview. This tells the company that you are not serious about preparing and that you don’t value their time. It’s not important to arrive exactly on time to the parking lot, only to the interview. So get there early and sit in your car, (or your ride’s car) and go over your interview questions and answers. When it’s about time, head on in. I think 10 minutes early is the best amount of time to arrive. If you have never been to the location before, make sure you know where it is. This may mean going the day before to scope it out. Also, if your interview is first thing in the morning or at the end of the day, don’t underestimate rush hour traffic, it can double your drive time. If the unthinkable happens, and you get a flat tire, make sure you have their phone number so you can call well ahead of time to let them know. Remember, you want them to know you value their time.

You will only ever get one first impression with anyone, so make it count.

First thing of course, is you being on time. Next will be the introduction.  When they come out to greet you, or you are led away to the meeting place, make sure you are standing to firmly shake their hand and look them in the eye. Anything else would give a less than favorable impression. When seated in the interview, be conscious of your body language. Communication takes on all forms and if you realize it or not, your body language is communicating for you too. Building rapport with the interviewer will help them remember you. Overall, be friendly and smile, it will even help you feel more at ease. Your body should show that you are relaxed and friendly, so sit up straight, face them, and maintain eye contact.

A last item to remember is that if you know anyone else that works there, don’t be afraid to speak up and tell your interviewer about it.

Showing that you already have friends that work there will ease the hiring manager’s mind that you can fit in on the team. Also, it gives the manager an opportunity to ask them about your work ethic, skills, and personality. You can never have too many friends when it comes to making a good impression.

During the interview, try and remember these seven simple tips for success. Even if you do not have the experience or skills to perform the job on day one, you can always control these in the interview:

  1. Stay cool and collected – Being visibly too jittery or nervous is a symptom of being unprepared.
  2. Be confident – It’s better to not know the answer confidently, than to know the answer timidly in an interview.
  3. Be honest – Honesty will demonstrate you have a good sense of integrity, something every manager wants.
  4. Be flexible – Managers need people that can be available to help whenever and wherever.
  5. Make eye contact and avoid distractions – A sign of an engaged participant is strong eye contact, and for goodness sake, keep that phone in the car!
  6. Listen and take notes – A sign of a good future employee is one that can take directions, learn from them, and act on them.
  7. Thank the interviewer – Their time is as valuable to them as yours is to you and you should be appreciative of it.

Enjoy this experience, it only happens once!

How to Prepare for your First Interview (Part 1)

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There is a lot that can go into preparing for your first interview and quite honestly, this can seem a bit overwhelming. What should I do, what should I say, do I arrive early, and am I supposed to “act like myself?” All are good questions, and there are perfectly good answers too! The best way to prepare for something like this is with small steps. When eating an elephant, take one bite a time right. Remember, it’s perfectly normal to be a little nervous, that’s how you grow and become better in life.

Okay, so you’ve found the perfect job, applied and have been invited in for an interview, what now?  

The first step: Do a little research into the company. You want to know who they are and what they are about so you will be more prepared to answer questions like “tell me why you want to work here?” It is also helpful to know the types of customers you might interact with, or how long the company has been operating in your area.

The second step: Learn more about the job. You may find, after digging a little deeper, that there are other aspects you were not aware of. Find out as much as you can to avoid surprises in the interview. Do you know someone who has worked in a similar position before, or even at the same company? Ask them, chances are they can tell you about the interview process and what you need to know for your interview.

Do you have your resume prepared yet?

Everyone needs a resume for an interview. I’m sure you’re telling yourself, “I’ve never had a job! What could I possibly put on a resume?” In its basic and most simple form, a resume is just a story about yourself that you can use to tell an employer who you are. On a resume for a first job, include activities you participated in or clubs you’ve belonged to in school. It could also include what your interests are or where you plan on going to college.

Are you active in your community? Highlight any volunteer work you have done, or even projects you have completed in school. The hiring manager is just trying to determine if you can fit in with other people that work there or if you have demonstrated in the past that you have performed a similar job. For example, if you are applying for a customer service position, what have you done in your past that lets them know you can be friendly?

Practice your interviewing skills.

Practice makes perfect is something I’m sure you’ve heard before. Have a friend or family member ask you sample interview questions so you can perfect your answers. Remember though, as much as you practice, you will be asked a question you have not prepared for. That’s ok, just think about it and answer as best you can.  This is not a timed event, the interviewer just wants to get a good idea of who you are. Don’t be afraid to tell them you don’t know the answer to something, it’s better to be authentic and truthful than to make something up.

Typically, towards the end of the interview, they will give you a chance to ask them questions. Make sure you have a few questions for them too. They are looking to see if you prepared, which is something almost every first time interviewee forgets. This is a two-way street, you want to make sure that it’s a good fit for you too, so have a question ready that you would like answered. For example, “Why do employees like working here?”

The Benefits of a High School Diploma Through Virtual Learning

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GED vs High School - ResponsiveEd

It’s common for parents, employers and students to have questions about the differences between a traditional high school diploma and a General Educational Development (GED®) diploma. The primary difference is the former is obtained by graduating high school, and the latter by passing a test that displays high school knowledge equivalency. In terms of employment opportunities however, the differences are more notable. A person choosing between a traditional educational experience and earning their GED should have a full understanding of what’s at stake before deciding. Plus, with today’s virtual learning opportunities, there are more options available than ever before. Here’s a deeper look into the advantage of earning a traditional diploma and the option of virtual learning. Read More

iSchool Virtual Academy Information Session, July 24th and 26th

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Discover how iSchool Virtual Academy provides an option that can make all the difference in your child’s life.

Come visit with our principal and staff at the ResponsiveEd Headquarters from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on July 24th
and at Lonestar College Campus in the The Woodlands on July 26th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

You and your family can get any questions answered, gain insight into our program and learn how to apply for the upcoming school year.