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Current Events In Education

A Chemistry Tutor Can Aid A Student’s Progress

Students come across many difficulties on a daily basis while trying to comprehend all of the information that is thrown at them. This is no more so true than in the field of chemistry. Many students are taking their first steps into an advanced science class and can get instantly lost without someone to lend a hand. A chemistry tutor can be that helping hand and help your child to more easily digest the information and retain it in a way that it will make sense to your child.
Up until this point in your child’s academic life science was just a general class where most things were just pretty much glossed over without going into any great detail. Chemistry changes that. For almost every student that needs to take any type of advanced science classes chemistry is going to be the first stop along that path. Brand new subjects can be overwhelming for anyone and a chemistry tutor will be able to make it seem much less daunting of a task.
So how exactly do you figure out if your child is going to need a chemistry tutor?
1. The first place to look is of course the most obvious, your child’s report card. Falling grades in chemistry or a chemistry grade that seems to be consistently lower than the grades he gets in other classes should be taken as a sign that he needs some help.
2. Does he rush to get all of his other homework done on Friday right after school but his chemistry book stays closed on his desk all weekend? Let’s be honest, no kid likes homework. But if he is consistently avoiding homework in one subject then he is most definitely having a problem in that subject and could benefit from a chemistry tutor.
3. Almost as obvious as a bad report card is a note from his teacher. If you get a note from his teacher telling you that he is having problems in chemistry class or requesting you to come in and meet with the teacher then you need to take the situation very seriously. His chemistry teacher may come right out and suggest that you get him a tutor and may even be able to suggest someone.
4. Is your child home schooled? Many parents are home schooling their children these days but as the children get older and the subjects they need to be taught get more and more complicated many parents are finding themselves trying to teach something that they don’t understand themselves. A chemistry tutor would be a very good solution to this problem.
5. Grades in advanced classes like chemistry are an important consideration when it comes time to get into college. If your child has aspirations of going to a selective university with tough admission standards it may be of use to hire a chemistry tutor to help him improve his grades even if they are already good. Even students at the top of their class can find ways to improve their grades and themselves with help from the right chemistry tutor.…

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Education For All

Marketing the Professional $40-$55 an Hour Tutor

One of the most critical considerations if you’re going to charge a rate of $40-$55 an hour as a tutor is the marketing plan. How will you let everyone know about your great tutoring service? Well, let me show you.
Why do we market?
Simple answer to a simple question: We market so that people know about our business and use our services.
Who do we tutor?
The conventional target market for a tutoring service is the following: K-12 private and public school students. However, this is not the only market that needs tutoring. Do you have a large college population in your region? You may want to market your services to them as well.
What do we tutor?
You can tutor Math, Science, English, History, Foreign Language, Standardized Test Preparation, etc-anything and everything that a student could potentially need help in. There are a host of Standardized Tests aside from the ACT/SAT including: GMAT, GRE, LSAT, GED, TOEFL, AP, etc.
How do we Market to our Chosen Demographic?
Once you have pinpointed your target market, it’s time to consider how to reach that demographic. There are an assortment of marketing methods that you need to be aware of in considering how to reach your demographic. Here are four good mediums for marketing your service:
#1: Newspaper AD–Have a well-developed, professional banner ad in your local newspaper advertising your tutoring service. Run this ad on a consistent basis for 6 months to a year tracking how many customers have called you from looking at your newspaper ad.
#2: Direct Mailing–A direct mail-out is a fast and inexpensive way to reach your target audience. Call a direct mailing house to do a search for all homes with high school age students in your zip code. Then do a mail out. If it’s ACT/SAT time of the year, make ACT/SAT preparation your top priority in your mail out.
#3: Brochures–Leave professional brochures at your pediatrician’s office, dentist’s office, toy store, etc., anywhere and everywhere where moms and dads of school age children congregate. Of course, you must ask the owners of these facilities permission to leave the brochures before doing so.
#4: Give Speeches-PTA groups, Churches, and business groups always welcome guest speakers. Faculty in-service meetings are also a good place to give a guest lecture.
I hope this has been a helpful article on how to market yourself as a professional $40-$55 an hour tutor. Good luck!…

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General Article

Mental Health, Continuing Education, and the X-Men

Mental Health, Continuing Education, and the X-Men

Professor Xavier is the professor and head of the Xavier Institute, a home and training center for many of the X-Men that were once runaways or abandoned by their families. As he is an expert in mental health, continuing education standards of these runaways while helping them harness and control their mutant powers in an ethical way was the reason for establish the Xavier Institute. As a result, veteran X-Men have been supervised and trained at the facility, going on to battle villains and make the world a place in which mutants and humans can coexist. Some of these included Cyclops, Jean Grey, Rogue, Storm, Jubilee, Gambit, Beast, and Wolverine.

With extremely powerful telepath that can read minds, control others, and influence decisions by other people; as a long time scientist, he is also an expert in mental health. Continuing education standards in the Institute was his top priority, often staying behind while younger trainees were sent out to battle Magneto and other Sentinel robots. A large part of this reason is that professor X is a paraplegic, bound to a hovering “wheelchair”. In the films, Professor X is portrayed by Patrick Stewart, which has an uncannily similar look to Professor X’s original drawing that stayed consistent throughout the years.

As proponent of the development of mental health, continuing education for his mutant students was a large concern for the good professor. Often compared with Dr. Martin Luther King in personality and philosophy, Professor X attempted many different methods to find the underclass of mutants and offer his assistance in any way possible. While many turned him down for a life of crime or even to join up with Magneto, Professor X constantly used a telepathic device called Cerebro which allowed him to find the location of strays, dropouts, and undisciplined mutant youth around the world. After locating them, teams of X-Men would often approach them, offering a safe home for education and training at the Xavier Institute.

Beast, a professor and long-time friend of Professor X, often taught educational courses to new recruits at the Xavier Institute. Aside from this, Beast was also tasked by the professor to develop various technologies that would help young students harness and protect themselves from their often-unruly mutant powers that could cause harm to themselves or others. A good example of this was the development of a shielded gauntlet he invented for Surge, a young mutant who could not initially control large electronic blasts that she absorbed from various sources.

The Xavier Institute is extremely important to the X-Men series. Scenes often take place within the institute, either in the classrooms or training center, and were even featured as a setting in many of the films. Absolutely essential to the much of the settings of the X-Men Universe since the 1960s, the world of the X-Men we all love could never have been fully understood without the foundation of the Xavier Institute.…

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General Article

Continuing Education Requirements for Structural Engineers in Illinois

Continuing Education Requirements for Structural Engineers in Illinois

Illinois requires continuing education to help safeguard life, health, and property, and to promote public welfare. To demonstrate continuing professional competency, the licensed engineer must earn 30 Professional Development Hours (PDH) per renewal period, which is two years in the state of Illinois.

Continuing professional activities which satisfy the professional development requirements are as follows (provided these activities are relevant to the practice of structural engineering): university sponsored courses, self administered courses (such as videotaped courses, or correspondence courses), seminars, in-house programs, teaching, authoring published papers, receiving US patents, and active participation on a committee or holding office in a professional or technical society.

The board does not pre-approve any Continuing Professional Competency activities. It is the responsibility of each licensee to determine if the claimed PDH meets these requirements.

The above listed activities are limited as follows. The licensee can claim a maximum of 2 PDH’s per committee membership or office held in a professional society up to a maximum of 10 PDH’s per renewal period. A maximum of 10 PDH’s per renewal period may be earned from completion of self-administered courses, provided each self-administered course includes an exam graded by the sponsor. A maximum of 10 PDH’s per renewal period may be claimed for in-house courses.

This is slightly different than the continuing education requirements for professional engineers in Illinois, as professional engineers aren’t limited to 10 PDH’s in the in-house and self administered course categories. Professional engineers are limited to a maximum of 8 PDH’s for participation in technical societies.

Continuing Professional Competency activities must meet general criteria to be deemed acceptable by the board in the event of an audit. The activity must contribute to the advancement, extension or enhancement of the professional skills and/or scientific knowledge of the licensee in practice of structural engineering. It must foster the enhancement of general or specialized practice and values of structural engineering, related sciences and engineering ethics. Finally, it must be developed and presented by persons with education and/or experience in the subject matter of the program.

Illinois allows licensees exemptions from the continuing education requirements under four specific circumstances. First, A non-career military licensee serving on active duty during a substantial part of the renewal period is exempt. Second, A licensee who has experienced serious illness or injury of a nature and duration which has prohibited completing the continuing professional competency requirements verified by a letter from a physician to the board is exempt. Third, A licensee with a physical inability to travel to the sites of approved programs documented by a currently licensed physician is exempt. Finally, Any other similar extenuating circumstance my be grounds for exemption. The board must be notified that the licensee plans to claim an exemption prior to license renewal.

The statutes provided by Illinois concerning continuing education requirements for structural engineers are confusing, but follow these three simple rules and you’ll pass an audit with flying colors. First, keep careful documentation of all of the activities you complete, and maintain your records for a minimum of four years. Second, do not claim more than 10 hours of in-house training, 10 hours of self administered courses, or 10 hours of technical society involvement in any given renewal period. Third, take advantage of continuing education. No matter which way you look at it, you have to complete 30 hours every two years. I’d recommend taking quality seminars provided by AISC, SEAOI, ACI, or any other reputable society to ensure you’re on top of the latest developments and trends in structural engineering.…

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General Article

The Smart Tax Professional: Advising Clients on How to Make the Most of Tax Refunds

The Smart Tax Professional: Advising Clients on How to Make the Most of Tax Refunds

Helping people invest in their futures by putting their federal tax return to work for them is one way for CPA, enrolled agents and other tax professionals to retrain clients and build a strong, competitive tax business. According the IRS, the average tax refund in 2010 was just over $3,000. That figure was up over 5% from 2009, due in large measure to a host of tax credits associated with he $800 billion government stimulus, and most people used their refunds to either pay down debt or to save.

What about this year? Well, let’s say that trend will taper off. The National Retail Federation recently surveyed 10,000 consumers and found that while the majority will still opt to save or lower debt with their refunds, the percentage of those choosing to spend their refund check this year surged 12.5%. A whopping 14% of Americans will invest their refund on a big-ticket item like plasma TBW, a luxury vacation or that insanely expensive sofa from Restoration Hardware. While these purchases may be cool, and are also a sure way to spruce up a home or give someone a much-needed and deserved break, there are better ways for people to spend their cash.

This is something that tax professionals like the CPA, the IRS enrolled agent and registered tax agent understand and encounter in their tax continuing education Tax CPE courses required for their professional certification typically cover top investment strategies for taxpayers, including how to leverage tax refunds as a way for building toward the future.

Below are seven suggestions in this respect that tax professionals should pass on to their clients when delivering the good news about an impending federal tax refund.

Financial Literary Training

These are financial courses — usually free or very low cost — that help can help taxpayers learn more about managing money, budgeting, checking and savings accounts, etc. Several courses are available, such as FDIC Money Smart, a financial education program through the federal government. Tax professionals looking to build a productive relationship with clients would be well served to encourage this important step.

High-Yielding Savings/Checking Accounts

Most financial organizations, such as banks or credit unions, offer savings or checking accounts. Encourage clients to place their new-found cash into a high-yielding savings/checking accounts where they can better interest, though this may sometimes require them to look beyond traditional brick and mortar institutions. Additionally, opening a savings or checking account allows other financial options? direct deposit and purchasing U.S. Series I savings bonds.

Individual Development Accounts

An IDA is a special savings account that has a matching funds aspect. Each time a person adds to the savings, they match the deposit.

Home Ownership Programs

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has programs available for low- to moderate-income individuals and families to make affordable housing a reality. Coupled with the tax benefits of the first-time homebuyer credit, using a tax refund to purchase a home could be a home run.

US Savings Bonds

Buying a US savings bond can be a valuable asset building option. Starting a savings program can provide many benefits, such as saving for a down payment on a home, higher education or buying a reliable car.

Split Refunds

This option allows taxpayers to split a refund into as many as three accounts. For example, they could deposit a portion of the refund into a checking account, some into an IRA account, and then buy savings bonds with the remaining amount.


Tax professionals should consider encouraging taxpayers with refunds to explore the following investing opportunities:

Contribute to an IRA. If a taxpayer qualifies for a tax-deductible IRA, they have until April 15th to contribute and claim the contribution for your current tax return. Alternatively, they could opt to put the tax refund into an IRA for the following tax year.

Open a Roth IRA. Even though taxpayers cannot deduct the contribution from their taxes, the Roth IRA provides a tax-free way to save for retirement.

Contribute to a 529 Plan. Not only will taxpayers be investing in their children’s college future by doing this, but many states offer plans with tax advantages, such as upfront deduction for contributions and income exemption on withdrawals.

Purchase CD’s. This option will allow taxpayers to establish a CD ladder for continued returns.

As competition among tax professionals grows, advising taxpayers on how to wisely invest their tax returns will help set you apart from the pack.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure

Pursuant to the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service Circular 230, we inform you that, to the extent any advice relating to a Federal tax issue is contained in this communication, including in any attachments, it was not written …

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Primary Education

All About Soccer Drills

As we all know, soccer is the most popular sport in the world. Millions of people from all walks of life enjoy watching it because it is exciting. To master all skills of the game, it takes some effort and dedication from a player. There are a few drills that anyone can use to improve on his/her soccer skills. In fact, most of them are tailored with the amateur in mind.
Controlling the ball
To do this, one needs to have a partner and if not, a rebound board. Having control of the ball is very important because once one is able to take full control of the ball; he/she can be able to learn the next move. The player learning ball control spends time kicking the ball off the rebound board and trying as much as he/she can to control it when it comes back. The secret is using just one touch to kill the speed. Once one is able to control the ball effectively with the feet, it will also be possible to control it with other parts of the body like the chest and also the knees.
Passing the ball
This is another very important drill that each and every football player should know. This should be done by standing ten feet apart and trying to pass the ball to the next person. Once the ball arrives at one player, he/she should try to pass it to the next person as fast as possible. With more progress, the players can move further apart and continue with the drill until they become efficient. Both passing and controlling the ball are fundamentals and therefore each soccer player should be good at them.
Heading the ball
This drill requires two players and one ball. One player throws the ball into the air to the other player who heads it back. Both players should take chances to practice so that they both become good at it.
Dribbling the ball
This drill needs a few cones and a ball and it can be done by as many players as possible. The cones should be set out in a straight line approximately 4 or 5 feet apart. The players should take turns running with the ball between the cones and at the same time keeping the ball really close to the feet and under control. The players should increase on the speed so as to be able to perfect their dribbling skills because they are important when tackling opposition.
Once the players have perfected dribbling between the cones, it is important to set small opposition teams so as to be able to know how to get past another player. One player takes on a defender’s role and tries to stop the other. An area should be marked in which the players must remain. Any coach watching should from that point will get an idea of who are his/her best strikers and defenders too. The above drills are in most cases used on players who are beginning to play soccer. However, even advanced players in the game still use them for regular practice.…

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General Article

Tax Considerations for Small Businesses: To Barter or Not to Barter

Tax Considerations for Small Businesses: To Barter or Not to Barter

Barters and trades of goods and services represent an increasingly significant percentage of our economy, especially among small businesses, many of which have turns to one of the oldest forms of commerce in hopes of weathering the recession. One obvious reason is that bartering allows an individual to exchange goods or services for something you that they need, but can’t pay for. But it also allows them to get rid of extra inventory or take advantage of “down time” in exchange for reducing their cash outlay for business expenses. In this economy, bartering is a smart move.

However, as the IRS has warned recently, bartering is still considered business and is therefore taxable activity:

“The fair market value of property or services received through barter is taxable income. Bartering is the trading of one product or service for another. Usually there is no exchange of cash. However, the fair market value of the goods and services exchanged must be reported as income by both parties.”

This rule covers a variety of “transactions” that many, including savvy business owners, might not think twice about: the local barber trading a haircut for a free meal at a friend’s mom and pop restaurant; an artist offering up a painting in exchange for a month’s worth of dog walking? Again, this exchange is considered generated reportable income – for both parties in the barter transaction.

In an effort to help those who fall into this category, the IRS has highlighted the following four facts about bartering that small business owners understand come tax time:

Barter Exchange

According to the IRS, a barter exchange functions primarily as “the organizer of a marketplace where members buy and sell products and services among themselves.” Applying equally to products produced and sold from a physical space or through the Web, this exchange is bound to the rules governing Form 1099-B, Proceeds from Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions, meaning it must be submitted annually to a barter’s clients or members as well as to the IRS.

Barter Income

In an effort to eliminate any confusion over what is meant by barter income for tax purposes, the IRS has stated, “barter dollars or trade dollars are identical to real dollars for tax reporting.” In other words, the income from this activity should be recorded in the same manner as other forms of income — on the appropriate tax return for the barter’s particular type of business. Generally, this number should correlate to the fair market value of the product or service. A good rule of thumb: It’s the price that a “willing buyer” would pay for the goods or services from a “willing seller.” In other words, what would the cost of that piece of art be on the open market? How much would you normally charge to do cut someone’s hair? Those answers determine the fair market value of the transaction.


Another given is that the bartering income is taxable in the year that it was actually performed. The IRS is also careful to point out that bartering may yield certain liabilities for income tax, self-employment tax, employment tax, or excise tax. A small business that barters barter may incur ordinary business income, capital gains or capital losses, or you may have a nondeductible personal loss.


The reporting requirements for transactions that fall within the category of bartering can hinge on what kind of bartering activity has taken place. Generally, this type of business income on Form 1040, Schedule C Profit or Loss from Business, or other business returns such as Form 1065 for Partnerships, Form 1120 for Corporations, or Form 1120-S for Small Corporations.

Record Keeping

The bottom line is that, whether or not tangible money changes hands, a small businesses that barter must treat this activity as they would any other business transaction. That means they must also maintain good records of all bartering transaction — both what is bartered away and what is received.

When to Consult a Tax Professional

Businesses that regularly barter should consider consulting a CPA, IRS enrolled agent or other registered tax agent to learn more about the tax requirements, especially when they are uncertain about reporting requirements or how to best value their services. CPAs and enrolled agents can often help small businesses barter in ways that are beneficial from a taxation point of view, and that are also likely to help them avoid audits from the IRS. Because of their increasing popularity, topics such bartering are routinely covered in tax continuing education courses that tax professional are required to take on an ongoing basis. These tax CPE courses are designed to give tax professionals the latest information on how to best to help taxpayers barter in accordance …