professional development

This month, SmartBlog on Education is exploring classroom design and management — just in time for the new school year. In this blog post, educator Cheryl Mizerny shares strategies used by master teachers to help engage and motivate students.

William Glasser said, “Effective teaching may be the hardest job there is.” I tend to agree with him. How else can we explain the sheer volume of books, websites, blogs, courses and consulting firms expressly devoted to the art and science of teaching? In fact, one of the things I am most proud of about my chosen profession is that teachers, as a whole, are already doing a pretty great job, yet most of us explore how to do even better.

One of the ways in which many teachers would like to improve is in their ability to reach and motivate all of their students. While it’s true that there are those who seem to be natural-born teachers, it is possible to learn some of their secrets to keep every student in your classroom engaged and invested in their learning.…

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“[Y]ou must know what you want to achieve, be certain of your aims, and have these goals constantly in mind… You must educate your (people) … And since the world never stops for a moment… you must constantly reassess chosen policies towards the achievement of your aims.” ~ David Ben-Gurion, first prime minister of Israel

Much has been written about how 21st century leaders differ from their 20th century counterparts. Today’s leaders must guide complex organizations that are more virtual and multinational in nature than ever before. They must nimbly navigate through a fast-paced marketplace that is in continuous flux and determine the proper course forward from a myriad of options. They also need to recruit and retain a millennial workforce that has different interests, needs, and working habits than their elders.

In such a demanding business environment, leaders would be wise to develop a strong learning environment at the workplace.…

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Menu boards are critical to many restaurant and foodservice operations: customers can’t order what they can’t see. And yet, we rarely consider their impact on the bottom line. Does the type of menu board matter — a digital board vs. a chalkboard? Do consumers really want photos? Have calorie counts had an impact?

To understand menu boards, Datassential surveyed over 1,500 consumers and 350 operators for our brand new Menu Board Keynote Report. What are the issues both consumers and operators have with menu boards? Which innovations do consumers find most useful? What can operators do to create a menu board that will bump up the check average?

Some of the results surprised us. One-third of consumers said they ordered the cheapest item on the board because it was the easiest to find. The same percentage said menu boards are generally placed too high up, making them difficult to read. And only 32% of operators say that every item available is represented on the menu board.…

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This post is adapted from “All Hands on Deck:: Navigating Your Team Through Crises, Getting Your Organization Unstuck and Emerging Victorious (Career Press, 2015) by Peter Boni, managing principal, Kedgeway,Inc., and former CEO of Safeguard Scientifics.

So here you are, brand new in a role or considering taking one to reposition an organization or department. It has run aground, faces critical issues, and isn’t performing up to its potential. The task is lonely, daunting, complete with skeptical eyes staring at you. Hopeful eyes are staring, too.

Can you be the catalyst to lead the organization, department, or team past its current issues? Can you get the ship off the bottom to sail safely once again? If so, where do you start? Before you can hatch a plan, you must ask questions and listen; then ask for help.

Ask Questions and Listen; Then Ask for Help

Success stories generally start with the practice of fundamentals.…

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Wine lovers may pay more attention to variety, vintage and what color goes with which dish, but some are also giving more thought to where and how the grapes were grown. Sustainable agriculture doesn’t have a fixed definition in the way “organic” has had since federal organic standards were finalized in 2000, but a growing number of consumers are seeking sustainably produced wine, and third-party certification programs are infusing the term with more meaning.

The wine industry has been open to collaborating on sustainability issues, perhaps more so than other agricultural sectors that haven’t had to band together as much in the past, said Executive Director Allison Jordan of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, an educational program formed by the Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers that launched a statewide sustainability certification program in 2010.

Last year, the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission committed to becoming the country’s first 100% sustainable wine producing county by 2019.…

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