Category: Education

Creating a Recommendation Letter: Guide for Students

Student Guide for Creating a Recommendation Letter

Whether you are looking to get into college or obtain your first job, many people will ask you for recommendation letters throughout your search. Asking for a recommendation letter can be nerve-wracking, especially when you aren’t sure whom to ask and what to expect.

In this article, we will go over everything you need to remember when creating a recommendation letter.

What is a Student Recommendation Letter?

A student recommendation letter is a reference letter written on your behalf to explain to the other party why you are a good candidate for a college or a good fit for the job. It will explain your attributes and other unique things that will make you stand out from the crowd.

While you won’t be writing a student recommendation letter yourself, it’s still good to know what it should look like. You are encouraged to look for samples and take a peek at the recommendation letter template to see what should be included when you ask someone for a reference letter.

Who Do I Ask for Recommendations Letters?

Generally, recommendations letters cannot be written by someone who is related to you or someone that you have a close personal relationship. Recommendation letters need to be written by a professional who knows your work and can attest to your special qualities.

Students usually ask for recommendation letters from:

  • A former or current teacher
  • Principal of the school
  • Dean of the school
  • The school counselor or advisor
  • A former employer (if they have one)
  • Volunteer leader that has supervised them
  • Sports coach

These are just some of the possibilities.

Why Would I Need a Recommendation Letter?

There are many reasons why you might need a recommendation letter. Here are the most common situations. Although, you should always tell your teacher or the person you’re asking to write the letter why exactly you need it and who will be on the receiving end.

Internship Positions

Internships might take place the summer after you graduate or during your last year of high school. Internships will allow you to gain experience you might want for a future job. They also allow you to see what kind of skills you have and what duties you enjoy performing.

Many jobs don’t want to hire someone who has never had a job before, but they will hire someone who has done an internship. Try to get a letter of recommendation from a teacher who has experience in the same field as the internship.

For example, if you are applying for an internship in a medical laboratory, ask one of your science teachers for a letter of recommendation.

Scholarships and Grants

The faster college approaches, the more you probably realize that you need to start looking for scholarships or ways to fund your education. Most scholarships will ask for a letter of recommendation.

Getting a good letter of recommendation can secure your spot for college funding and help you cover some of the costs that come with education.

Your First Job

If you have already had a job, you might ask a previous employer for a reference. However, your first job can be hard to obtain since you don’t have work experience. Asking a teacher at school can be a great way to show an employer that you have desirable skills that would be beneficial in the workforce.

You can explain to the employer that you’ve never held a job, but you are a good student that has people who can back you up.

Further Education

If you have already attended college and have a degree, you might be thinking about working towards a master’s or high degree. When applying to these programs, you almost always have to submit several student recommendations from professors you worked with at the undergraduate level.

This is why it’s always a good idea to form relationships with the professors and attend their extra study sessions. Always ask for recommendation letters from a professor where you received a high grade and worked hard.

What Should Be Included in the Letter?

While you won’t be the one writing the letter, it’s essential to make sure the letter has all the components needed. Try asking for a letter from someone who has written one before so you can ensure that there are no missing details. Keep in mind that some teachers will send the letter of recommendation directly to the institution, which means you will never have a chance to look at it.

This is why it’s crucial to ask for letters from people you know and trust well. The following things should always be included in the letter.

Names of the teacher and the student

The professor should always introduce themselves and say where they work and what position they hold. The professor also needs to introduce the student they are writing about.

Student’s characteristics

This section will describe the potential and characteristics you hold that would make it beneficial for the receiver to have you working for them or attending their college. The receiver should have a good idea of what the student is like and what their personality is.

Desire to answer questions

The writer should include a short paragraph about how they are willing to answer questions and talk more and explain more if needed. This will make the receiver feel confident that they can call or email if they need to.

Signature

Recommendation letters should always be signed to show they’re official. It should also be dated. If there is an official stamp, the signer can also use their stamp to validate the letter.

Contact details

The contact details should always be included. This allows the professor to be reached if there are any questions or concerns. If there are no contact details, many people will not consider the letter to be valid.

Extra Things to Consider

While writing a letter of recommendation is usually pretty straightforward, there are some things to consider before writing or asking for a letter.

Some things should never be included in the letter:

  • Incorrect details about the student. If some things in the letter are not true, kindly ask the professor to change them.
  • A negative review. If you don’t think highly of the student who is asking you for a letter, simply tell them you don’t have time or can’t write a letter.
  • General language. Schools and employers can tell when the letter is too generic. Try to include specifics about the student to show you know who you’re talking about.

Some things to follow:

  • Write official and professional. Make sure the tone of the letter is professional and well-communicated.
  • Be ready for questions. Make sure the teacher or lecturer knows they might be contacted for questions.
  • Submit the letter in time. If the deadline is approaching and you haven’t received your letter of recommendation, remind the professor and request to send the letter soon.

In Conclusion

Letters of recommendations are a great way to show a potential employer or college admittee commission that you are prepared and ready for the tasks at hand. Just make sure your letter has all the things listed above.

Helping Kids Keep Up with Schoolwork While On Extended Vacations

Schoolwork While On Family Vacation

After all, vacations are meant to be relaxing and fun, and they should also be productive. If you’re the type of parent who doesn’t mind leaving their homework behind, then taking your child on vacation is a good idea too. It’s often better for your child to have some downtime while on vacation.

There are a few things you can do to help your child with schoolwork while on vacation. First, make sure you find out when your child is going to have the most free time and make plans accordingly. It’s best to begin doing schoolwork early in the morning or before the child goes to bed. You’ll also want to talk to the teacher about your plans, so he or she can help.

Second, make sure you’re keeping an eye on the deadline. You don’t want to miss out on an assignment or test. While it’s important to help your child with homework, he or she shouldn’t let it get in the way of having fun on vacation. Your child may be tempted to skip out on their homework on vacation, but you need to be sure it’s important to give them some encouragement to stay on task.

Family vacations are designed to be escapes from reality – a much-needed break from daily demands, deadlines, pressure, and routines. Sometimes, that trip to visit family or holiday getaway can’t wait until summer break. However, school-aged children have to maintain certain habits and disciplines even while on an extended vacation. Here are a few ways to help your child stay ahead of the game when it comes to homework, even while on vacation.

Keep Ahead of the Game

Schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher or teachers before you leave school. This way, you can give them specific dates and get all your questions answered. This step demonstrates the importance you and your child are putting on their school responsibilities. Get as many assignments as you can ahead of time, that way you can manage your child’s progress when you don’t have a high-speed Internet connection or access to email. Show appreciation to your child’s teachers for taking time to meet with you and work with you to stay ahead – it’s extra work for them and it helps for you to express your gratitude for their special accommodations.

Keep in Touch

It’s important to communicate to the teacher that you want to stay informed and up-to-date.  Take the opportunity when you have Internet access to email your child’s teacher or by logging on to Zoom for an online class or consultation. It will ensure your privacy and stable connection during the meeting. This way, you can stay in touch about assignments, special projects, grades, etc. Keeping good communication with teachers is a good way to become your child’s advocate when it comes to school.

Keep on Reading

Don’t forget to pack a school bag – including lots of books – for your child when preparing to leave on an extended trip. Pack their textbooks, reading assignments, notebooks, and binders so they will be prepared for any assignment they are given. This can be easy to overlook when preparing for a trip, but you must have the necessary tools to keep your child up-to-date with reading assignments and other tasks.

Keep a Schedule

Your child might be feeling overwhelmed when they’re not able to finish the work on vacation. You might be wondering how you can help them stay organized when you’re not around. Thankfully, there are many ways to help your child with schoolwork on vacations. Despite how busy you are, holiday homework can be a great time to help your child focus and learn.

We know you want to pack as much fun and adventure into your vacation as possible, but don’t neglect the necessary habit of keeping a daily homework schedule. Plan a time each day (before dinner, after dinner, etc.) when your child can tackle their homework and reading. Make sure you encourage their focus and best efforts. This can be hard with many other fun things to do, but keeping a strict schedule for homework will guarantee that they stay current with work and projects.

Keep Going

It can be difficult to force yourself back into the real world each day to keep your child on track with school, but short, daily periods of homework are certainly better than the pile of stress and make-up work that accumulates when you neglect schoolwork while on vacation. Encourage your child to keep up the good habits – and the good work – and he/she will benefit greatly.

Security and Safety Technologies that your Child’s School Should Have

School Safety and Security

COVID-19 is the latest in an ongoing series of events that has left most parents with unanswered questions about just how safe their children are when they’re in school.  This post will outline some of the security and safety technologies that schools should adopt to help provide a sense of peace within families.

The pandemic has left caused many parents to take a closer look about the safety of their children who may be at risk. Poor security measures can make any school unsafe, but it’s important for parents to know that there are things that can be done to keep safety and security central to the daily lives of their kids in school.

School Security

It’s not uncommon that parents feel like they don’t know what’s going on with their child all day. This can erode the trust between parents and their child’s teachers and administrators, making communication difficult. That’s why it’s vital that schools implement new security technologies to help build that trust back up.

One of the most important ways to do this is to improve communication, so parents can feel more at ease when they’re not around. One way schools can do this is by implementing an app where parents can see what their child is learning, when they are in school, and how they are being graded.

It might seem like a small thing, but schools can also start by implementing technologies that help secure entrances and exits in schools. For example, schools should have an access control system that requires identification in order to enter. This might sound mundane, but it goes a long way in increasing security for our kids.

Security Technology Recommendations

Both parents and children need to feel secure about their school.  There shouldn’t be unanswered questions about safety throughout the public school system. The first step for schools should be to adopt security technology that can help provide a sense of peace.

Security Cameras

Schools should have a security camera system that covers the entire building and grounds. This would allow the school to document all student and staff movements, and to manage data for all visitors.

Two-way Communication Systems

Additionally, schools should adopt a two-way communication system with remote, real-time video security capabilities to ensure that all security personnel can resolve security incidents quickly and at any point in time.

This system would allow the school to better understand the movement of staff and students and would also let them see what’s happening in various areas of the school at any given time.

Smart Door Locks

Schools need door locks that are quick and easy to install and use, as well as equipped with safety features. A wireless school door lock system offers remote unlock and lockdown capabilities controlled from any authorized personal device. When installing classroom and school door lock systems, it’s important to determine which type of credential and lock is best for each scenario.

For example, offices and storage closets should only be accessible by authorized staff, so a school door lock system that can be unlocked with a mobile or key card credentials is best. Similarly, science and computer labs with expensive equipment should have an access activity log in case an audit is needed.

COVID-19 has shown us that we can’t take security and safety for granted. Schools need to adopt these technologies to help instill a sense of calm in families and parents.

Playground Safety

With all the focus on keeping kids safe within the school, administrators should not neglect to think about proper measures for school playground safety.

Prevention is key

Parents want to know that their children are safe in school, and they should have that peace of mind. With the use of security cameras, emergency call buttons, and other safety technologies, schools can provide a sense of security that parents have been missing.

Prevention is key in any situation when it comes to improving safety. It’s a matter of implementing the right security and safety technologies in schools so that people can feel safe in their environment.

Prevention starts with the idea of security and safety technologies in schools. Schools can use a variety of technologies to protect their students. For example, a school might want to invest in security cameras for hallways and the perimeter of the building. They can also install emergency call buttons in classrooms and hallways. All these solutions would provide a sense of security for students and parents alike.

Prevention is about implementing the right security and safety technologies in schools. By doing so, we give our children a fighting chance at feeling safe and secure no matter what happens.

Final Thoughts

Your child’s school should be a place that fosters creativity, exploration, and inquisitiveness. Schools should be a place of happiness and safety. It’s time to stop wondering if your child’s school is safe and invest in the security and safety technologies that will make your family feel like they can breathe again. Your child deserves it.

Top Tips for Kids to Have Fun With Science

top-tips-for-kids-to-have-fun-with-science

Kids are full of natural curiosity. For them, discovering the world is a constant source of wonder and awe that entices them ever further down the path of knowledge. That virtuous circle makes scientific exploration particularly fun and engaging for them.

We can’t simply let learners run full-tilt into scientific study, though. There are a few measures we need to take so that kids get the maximum benefit while still keeping them – and everything else safe.

These tips will let your learners marvel at the natural world without you worrying about them getting bored or accidentally harming themselves.

1. Setting Up Safety Rules

Those of us with a taste for nostalgia remember well the mid-20th Century chemistry sets and science kits that were so popular in those days. The boxes most often included the words ‘fully tested’ and ‘safe’ but the pictures of budding scientists showed one glaring omission: any type of safety gear.

If you look at pictures of chemistry sets from the 1950s and later, they often feature boys with test tubes held at eye level, pouring something into them. Not one of those scientists was shown wearing splash goggles and, should a mentor or teacher feature in the design, he wasn’t shown wearing any either.

Thankfully, television science programs made up for that oversight by always insisting that everyone wear safety gear. You should do the same thing.

At the very least, you should have gloves on hand, as well as splash goggles and protective clothing. Also, you should have a hand-wash station nearby and conduct experiments in a well-ventilated space.

Finally, if your scientist is on the younger side, always supervise the experiments, especially if they involve chemical reactions or fire.

2. Awesome Science Experiments to Try at Home

Exciting science experiments don’t have to involve chemicals; there’s a whole range of demonstrations you could set up with ordinary household items.

Take the water glass experiment, for example. In your science study space, line your table with a waterproof cloth. Set up six to ten empty glasses, all the same size, and prepare a pitcher of water. You will also need various implements to tap each glass with: a pencil, a fork, a spoon and, if you have one, a nylon or silicone spatula.

While the glasses are empty, tap each implement against them and ask which ones render the clearest sounds. Eliminate those your student declares unfit for further experimentation.

Next, fill each glass with varying amounts of water. Have your scientists tap each one with the implement of their choice and comment on each glass’s sound, as well as how each sounds different from the others.

Note that the glasses should be made of glass; this experiment is far less satisfying when plastic cups are used.

Other fun experiments include the soap-and-pepper trick, the walking water experiment and the magic milk experiment.

Each time you conduct an experiment, ask your scientists what they predict the results will be before you tell them to put on their protective equipment and begin.

3. What Makes an Effective Science Lesson

Growing a lima bean sprout and turning a white carnation blue with a few drops of food coloring in its water are fun science activities but are they effective?

What can your scientists learn from such experiments? How do they learn from them?

Every time you launch such a learning session, you’re doing a lot of talking. You, the experiment leader, should narrate the experiment and ask open-end questions like “What do you think will happen?” and “What did you think about this experiment?”.

Likewise, your scientists should present their hypotheses, discuss their ideas and impressions and draw conclusions based on their observations.

The most important aspect of these experiments is not to observe phenomena but to learn how to think critically.

Sure, it’s a lot of fun to drop a Mento in a full cola bottle but fun is all that experiment is unless you and your scientists talk about what might happen and compare those ideas to what’s actually going on.

In short, effective science lessons are those that teach kids how to think critically and express their ideas.

4. Techniques to Make Science More Interactive Online

As we move ever deeper into the digital world, hands-on science experiments become more challenging. The pivot to online learning has spurred more creativity on teachers’ parts to keep their students engaged.

Experimentation has moved from teacher-centric to student-driven. Some teachers assign ongoing projects and task students to record their observations and conclusions; perhaps turning their written papers in as homework.

Such assignments might range from experiments in food decomposition to measuring the bounce height of different types of balls. You might task students with a bit of drain maintenance by pouring baking soda in the sink or shower, followed by vinegar. In cold weather, students may witness and record instances of static electricity and learn how friction generates heat.

hen possible, encourage students to record their experiments in a short video so they can show their work.

5. Using Technology to Make it Interesting

Kids love to play games. Luckily, there are plenty of science-based games online, many of them at no cost.

It’s not enough to direct your students to learning-games websites, though. You still have to take the lead, either by asking questions and leading discussions or by supervising gameplay. The younger the student, the more direction and input they will need from you.

Conclusion

The wealth of scientific experiments that can be safely conducted outside of the classroom makes learning about science even more fun and engaging. Still, no matter how keen your learners are to witness reactions and record impressions, make sure they follow all safety rules at all times, no exceptions allowed.

Making use of online tools to enrich students’ science education is the next, logical step to teaching science, at home or in the classroom. You only need to make sure that students’ screen time stays within healthy limits and don’t forget to discuss what they learned as they played.

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