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Future chemistry faculty will have to be twice as smart, work with twice the efficiency, and reach the correct positions of influence if they want this type of unhealthy cultural attitudes to finally be put to rest.
Update 2: The underlying macroeconomic cause for why professors can get away with this behavior. Update 3: This story has really struck a cord, thank you for sharing this link and supplying our first 20,000 visitor day!
From now on, I or someone designated by me will take attendance at group meetings starting at 9:10 am.
I wonder whether you would think it fair to be judged on the basis of a letter 14 years old, especially when the comments and rash judgments are made without knowledge of the context or the circumstances surrounding the individuals involved. Update 6: Comparatively tame letters from Paul Gassman and Albert Meyers, but they have some good information in them about standard expectations.
For those who have no idea what salary levels are – the current Chemistry graduate student salary at a NY State university is around $24K per year. Postdoc salaries are highly variable – the worst I heard was an offer for $28K a year at a major university in Texas (2006). You have to be passionate about what you are doing or you are not going to put up with this. Postdoc pay and benefits in industry, IME, range from the paltry (with companies that are in the game for cheap labor) to quite generous. Well, slavery was not surprising and very common before, but it doesn’t mean that slavery is justified because it was common. I have friends who work for Lucasfilm, and except for movie crunch times, they lead pretty reasonable lives.
Another trend in graduate schools that I find disturbing is that 80 percent of graduate students in United States schools are not citizens of the US. At the same time, trough this practice, the USA is taking the best and brightest of other countries for its own benefit.
More like they’ll work for less and be more compliant, saving the company money which removes it from the economy. Look at the people that has made great things for America, from Tesla and Einstein to Linus, Wozniak and Sergey Brin, and you will a significant part of them are immigrants.
Some people think attracting the best people from around the world and create wealth inside is good for a country, better than having them directly compete with them. Foreign people in the USA don’t not like being discriminated against for their origins any more we folks from the United states. The pay in graduate school is so low and the expected years as a postdoc made me abandon my PhD. I got my master’s degree 25 years ago and when my job ended due to end of contracts I tried to go back too school. With too many PhD.s for the market to bear the truly economic thing to do is END ALL GOVERNMENT GRANTS FOR RESEARCH. No its because the corporations that own the laws want cheap labor so they demand more visas from their bought and paid for government. I did my MS in the US and headed back to India after I found the H1B process too difficult and asinine to navigate. US universities are using foreign grad students because there are so few domestic students going for PhDs in these fields.
When I went to FAU in 2003, I got 16 grants a year as a teaching assistant, and I had to pay my own insurance mandated by the school (which did not cover anything -hence the increasing debt on my credit cards), and tuition fees. Not to mention the fact that American science was always depending on foreigners – starting from the nuclear power to the space race and beyond. If being a beggar a skill for a high salary then no none will produce anything and the whole system collapses. I have seen this on the webs now and again, since 1996 (_wink_), and it never ceases to make me smile. A PhD these days is not a ticket to a good career, young people must know that before entering into a long period of abuse followed by a much longer period of anxiety (poor job market for science these days, you know). As a software developer, I’m familiar with an environment that is results-oriented, and where plenty of hours in a week get spent to achieve results when important deadlines loom. Not to be a downer, but do you really think, the word ‘currently’ should be used in that sentence when the letter is from 1996? What is meant by evenings and weekends is you (being a recent grad student) only need to be in 8 instead of 14 hours! No, it is evidence of both a remarkable work ethic and being able to do really impressive science.
The most interesting point: _every_ scientific investment of effective work loads proofs the author of the letter totally wrong. Classroom behavior management, as I'm sure you will agree, is a constant challenge for ALL of us. If you have taken the time and effort to create a plan for classroom management, to establish effective classroom routines, and to provide a strategy for motivating students, you have completed the most critical steps to ensure your success.
CHAMPs provides highly-focused, temporary, beha-vioral expectations for specific classroom initiatives.
For complete details about CHAMPs (and to get 10 of the classroom signs associated with it for free), just follow this link or the one shown in the small slide show above. No matter what strategies you have put in place, however, Jeremiah will inevitably show up in your classroom.
What follows on this page are strategies that I have found to be effective in dealing with classroom behavior management, or more specifically, classroom misbehavior management.
I'm not suggesting that these strategies will ensure that you will NOT have student behavioral problems.
One of the most common ways to effectively to deal with classroom behavior management issues is to implement a progressive discipline plan.
For typical classroom situations, the following is an effective list of 10 progressive discipline steps that can be implemented.
Redirect student behavior by verbally or non-verbally pointing out to the student what he or she should be doing.
I have found that the best way to carry out this step is to schedule a quick meeting after class with the student, before he or she goes to the next class. This often works quite well, particularly if neighboring students seem to be encouraging the misbehavior. The front row, closest to the teacher, is a good spot for relocation, although I have used seats in the back row for attention-seeking students on occasion. Use this opportunity to express your concerns and look for any input or behavior strategies that may be working in their other classes. I've always found it a good practice to notify the partnering teacher that you are sending the student.
Always begin your call on a positive note by noting ways that the student is being successful. Make sure to take notes, provide contact information, and to express your eagerness to partner with the parent throughout the process.
Detentions can be served before or after school, or if the administration allows, during lunch. Detention can be effective, particularly if the student must complete a task that he or she would not normally undertake.
Depending on your situation, you may be able to send the offending student directly to the guidance office at the time of the infraction.
If possible, provide your written documentation of the behavior interventions that you have taken for the guidance counselor's reference. Trust that the administrator will make the right decision for the student based on the documentation that you have provided. I have also found that some of the following techniques can be used to effectively enhance classroom behavior management. We required each student to copy into their planners the daily class schedule and homework assignments for each class. Not only did this help them become more organized and focused on the tasks at hand, it also came in handy for communicating with parents.
For example, if parents were concerned about whether their student was handing in homework, they could request that the student have the hello teacher initial their planners.
Additionally, if students were misbehaving in class, parents could request that teachers indicate that in their planners.
Developing and implementing a Student Behavior Contract is something else that I think you will find to be very useful for enhancing classroom behavior management.
The primary purpose of a Student Behavior Contract is for students to be held accountable for their behavior while allowing the teacher and parents to maintain a reasonable amount of control. It can act as a basic agreement that may allow you to work toward a resolution for problem behaviors.
You, as the teacher, should work closely with the parents to specifically identify what the expectation is for each behavior.
The rationale behind providing consequences should be primarily to offer an unpleasant learning experience so that the student will learn to correct his or her behavior and not repeat the offending actions. For most students, a consequence that consists of weeks of grounding on a first offense is too long and will cause further resentment rather than providing the intended learning experience.
What follows are samples of the documents that are included in the Discipline Packet along with a brief description for each. I have used the following writing assignments for students exhibiting specific behavioral patterns. Individualized behavior contracts are very effective with kids, particularly if parents and administrators participate in the development and implementation process.


Because behavioral problems can cause students to struggle to complete class assignments and to make significant progress in achieving passing grades, the following grade recovery letter to parents is an excellent starting point.
If you teach in a school that does not offer summer classes for the purpose of grade recovery, creating a grade recovery packet is a viable option.
All of the above classroom behavior management documents, along with a clickable table of contents are in PDF file format. The ideas presented here, in my opinion, will assist you greatly in dealing with students who insist upon wreaking havoc in your classroom. Teaching software: Talking avatars teach 30 language arts mini-lessons via digital projector or SMART Board while you relax, 20 writing tutorials, 60 multimedia warm ups .
Free download of middle school English warm up activities for display via digital projector, SMART Board, or the classroom TV.
Talking avatars teach 30 language arts mini-lessons via digital projector or smart board while YOU relax. A comprehensive strategy for motivating students: enhance classroom participation, teamwork, individual effort, and more.
Teaching Strategies: Step by step examples for planning, implementing, and evaluating inductive and deductive activities that really work with kids .
Teaching methods: The deductive approach is a great way to deliver concepts quickly and efficiently.
These inductive teaching methods are guaranteed to increase student motivation and participation.
Classroom Management: Establishing classroom routines, providing warm up activities, structuring instructional time, the "Going to the Movies" approach, setting expectations, and . Organizing for effective classroom management: Use these reliable strategies to greatly improve discipline and order. Classroom routines: Controlling traffic, preparing students for instruction, obtaining materials, managing the pencil sharpener, maximizing instructional time, more . CHAMPs Classroom Management: How to develop strategies for multiple instructional approaches, tips on how to implement strategies, examples of CHAMPs strategies, and .
Persuasive and expository essay writing prompts, reader response questions and statements, and journal writing prompts for every day of the school year.
Journal Writing Prompts: These high-interest prompts will encourage kids to describe, explain, persuade, and narrate every day of the school year . Reader Response Questions: These prompts give students focus and purpose as they respond in writing to fiction and nonfiction they have read .
Essay Writing Prompts: Over two and a half school years' worth of prompts for persuasive and expository compositions. Ideas for first year teachers: Establishing connections with kids, showcasing relevance, managing the classroom, using classroom routines, communicating with parents, and . Classroom Libraries: Everything from acquiring and organizing books to establishing procedures. These free online teacher resources offer a wide variety of useful tools: activities, incentives, reference resources, downloadables, lesson plans, and more . Bulletin Boards: All you need is card stock paper for this pile of ready-to-use, fully-customizable signs and posters. Now, whether you’ve got your ideal client pinpointed, or you are still in the process of figuring it all out, it helps to have a simple guide that you can use to find more awesome clients while minimizing your exposure to problem clients and I’ve got just the guide to share with you below. Back in 2006, my first business was just getting off the ground when I was faced with a difficult decision. You see, after months of 80-hour work weeks, my business had grown to ~$4,000 per month, but I was utterly miserable. The only problem was that this handful of customers also made up the majority of my income which left me with a difficult choice. As fun as firing problem clients may be, I was now faced with the issue of replacing my lost income and replacing it fast.
I decided that it was time to get serious about which customers I wanted to serve and which ones I didn’t. I started with a simple observation: I wanted more customers who were focused on results instead of price.
This meant that I would need to completely rethink my marketing strategy and focus on how my customers perceived me. After a complete overhaul of my website, new marketing material, and a 400 percent price increase, my business was finally on the right track. But I really wished there was a simple guide that I could have used then to help me figure it all out.
When thinking about your clients, I find it’s best to think about them in these four major categories. Price Shoppers: These clients are focused on how they can get the best deal so they will probably try to haggle with you. As you look through the archetypes above, my general advice is that you should tailor your business and marketing approach to serve the Value Shoppers. In my experience, Value Shoppers are the easiest to serve, cause the least amount of hassles, and truly value the work you do for them. There are only a few cases where you’d explicitly want to target the other archetypes, but that is outside of the scope of this guide. Here are my top three rules to get you set on the right path towards bringing more Value Shoppers into your business. When I talk with most entrepreneurs, my typical advice is that they should raise their prices.
I’ve always found this pushback to be so interesting mostly because I was the same way when I started out. When evaluating the value of a product or service, we will initially place much more emphasis on the first price we are exposed to.
This is why, when you put a $3,000 pair of shoes next to a $300 pair of shoes, the $300 pair seems much more reasonable. Do yourself a favor and read the Wikipedia entry of anchoring[6] then detach yourself from the emotional worry of raising your prices and try it out for a month.
Practical Tip: If you aren’t willing to raise your price, at least try to use anchoring to your advantage. In my email marketing business, I found that three of my former problem customers were on a custom agreement where I had agreed to match my competitor’s price. After firing these customers, I began to implement a rule to never price match ever again and you should do the same.
Price matching is a sign that you don’t value your work and you (desperately) need their business.
Instead of matching prices, I’d suggest offering a discount if they agree to pay a large amount in advance. If they still ask you if you’ll match their price, explain to them that you’d have to cut corners on their project in order to meet that price and that isn’t something that you are willing to do.
If I matched prices, I would have to cut corners, and that would take away from getting you the best results. Also, it is worth your time to make sure you have a credible website and an excellent contact form to stand out from the crowd. There is a huge difference between being perceived as “low cost” and “cost effective.” Make sure that your language matches the type of customers you want. By focusing on the stories of your other clients along with the proof that you actually got them such results, you can easily share your success stories without feeling like you are bragging.
Just as you are shopping for the right [thing that you do], I’m also shopping for the right clients and projects. Focus on getting your messaging and marketing right because doing so is half the battle to attracting the right customers into your business.
References and FootnotesHere is the "It's not you, it's me" email I used to fire my clients. Your article is BRILLIANT and super spot on man, thanks a lot as you have provided me a lot of value here since I’ve been dealing with problem clients myself for a while. I already knew about raising prices and what that implied (in the client’s mind and pre-qualifying) but I still picked up a few good extra tips I never heard before so thanks again man, really thankful! Hey Nick – where is that interview that you mentioned you were doing with a friend about how you tailored his customer funnel so the ideal customers would not only get value, but the bad customers wouldn’t make it through? It’s great (minus my whacky audio) and more than a few people have pointed to this interview as their catalyst to take their business up a notch.
I had several light bulb moments reading this and wanted to share that I came to a point in my own business where I had to face the fact that I had allowed the bargain hunters and irrationally free peeps to happen. Good on you for drawing the line, from now make sure you have a simple system to vet the future clients. I have a lot of friends, and I pass projects to them, when I think that they are better in solving this special problem. I’m avoiding consumers, small business, and enterprise, but prefer medium size companies, where the boss is able to decide for himself when an engineer tells him, and a few hours of work could be worth $100k. Joining the BNI exposed me to value shoppers and the lack of shock at a rather large quote was refreshing. Luckily for me I have the interest of a person who is most likely a “give me results” type of person, on the top of their game. I’ll be sharing this with my group of virtual assistants who recently signed up for a webinar I did on the same topic, they need to read this!
I love how this ( and all of your information and insights) can easily pertain to any industry! I have a situation that , as observant as I think I am, I have never been able to assign a reason for.


That said if someone wants a price break and you feel included to give it to them don’t, instead consider offering more value of what you are offering at that price.
For my middle level training course, I only want certain people, so I was thinking of making a quiz that would qualify out the ones that are not suitable?
Learn these tiny tweaks to price, position, and promote your freelance consulting business. Indeed how does anyone out who is so quick to pass judgement and who is coming to conclusions know that it is not part of a 14-year old joke (or satire as you state) that backfired? I don’t think this is a bad thing, taking into account that we make more money than the average citizen, we work long hours doing things we enjoy, we travel a lot and take time off as often as we need. A few years back, when I was a grad student at Scripps, James Watson (as in Watson and Crick) gave a talk there. Basically, the larger the company, the better the pay and benefits, just like for any other staff position.
I haven’t asked much, but from what little I know, I gather Lucasfilm is savvy enough to not want to burn out their people. Many are internationals, true, and many of them will end up staying in the USA contributing to USA science and economy.
I’m a foreigner that found disturbing the amount of other foreigners studying graduate programs here in the US in comparison to US citizens, so I agree with your first point of view.
The job prospects for any PhD have significantly declined, further more PhD’s are being minted than ever before. Running around for a job with an artifiicial deadline to find one by, the whole thing was demeaning and incredibly frustrating.
Look into a regular lab and you will probably find more foreigners (mainly Asians and Europeans) doing the job that Americans don’t want to do because tuitions are are high and the post-doc salary is not worth mentioning.
And grad students are needed to do the work in the lab, and to teach the undergrads in the teaching labs. The current academic culture needs to change (much like many corporate cultures!) but their size, tradition and momentum dictate that change will come slowly and incrementally. Factor, create immediate opportunity for success, establish the tone, provide motivation, describe expectations, and .
It was time for me to tailor my marketing and communication strategies to attract the type of customers that I wanted in my business.
And so, to help fill that void for other entrepreneurs, I’ve decided to create this guide.
High maintenance, demanding, but, most importantly, they are focused on how they could get the same results for FREE if they weren’t using you. I’m sure there will be a lot of pushbacks from some of these, but my suggestion is to test them out before anything. But, after raising my prices 400 percent, I found that, while higher prices do mean fewer customers, generally, they are more profitable and enjoyable.
For example, on your customer inquiry form, use a price drop-down to let clients set their preferred budget.
That said, if you know just how valuable [thing that you do] can be for your business and want outstanding results, I’d love to talk with you. There is nothing better than the moment when I see my client’s face as they are blown away by the results my business has delivered. If there is a mutual fit, I’m excited to see your face when you see the results I can bring to your business. If you’ve got bad messaging — or worse, no messaging at all — then you’re going to get less than ideal clients.
By not realizing just how valuable my time was and trusting in the wonderful service I offer, I allowed it to happen. I have had several problem clients much like what you have described, and as a web designer, i find that it is indeed the bargain hunters or freebie hunters that are the most painful. This means that customers who pay within 7 days get a 2% discount and 30 days for invoice price. It helps to pass projects to friends or to decline them, if you have a large pile of semi passive income by maintenance contracts and dont need to worry about money.
It is more enjoyable and while we still get inquiries from the bargain hunters there’s more value shoppers. I am getting a job for boot strapping income right now and I have just run into two of these personalities. She wants me to provide counseling and supervisory services for her traumatic brain injury housing and treatment facilities. I was in almost the exact same boat and I had to do the same thing you did… fire a lot of clients, raise my rates and start again. I am a landscape architect and though this last season far exceeded my expectations, at the end of it, my hired help made more money than I did!
My general advice is to NEVER discount unless it is in YOUR best interest (which there are very few times it is). They would have had no case, but that’s just to illustrate how intense the problem had become because of their irrational expectations.
Get publishable stuff soon and set a pipeline of papers and your advisor will be happy, even if you are at the beach.
Grad students make considerably less money than the average (working) citizen, and postdocs usually make average at best.
The faculty didn’t seem to care about the subject nearly as much as their personal prestige and the number of publications on their CVs, which made it difficult to muster the enthusiasm necessary to spend every waking moment studying. To maximize productivity, people have to love their jobs, and letters like this are not the kind of thing that creates love. It’s going to get its ass kicked in the competition for prestige, funding and, ironically, students and postdocs as well. For most Americans the pay when one finally does finish the long hours and the many years of postdocing does not make reasonable compensation for the effort.
Many of those foreigners earned their PhD degree in their home country and work in the US for cheap labor and the US government hasn’t spent a penny on them. These customers should make up the bulk of your business because, generally, they respect both your time and theirs.
These clients can be extremely lucrative because results trump all other concerns, but they can be very demanding.
Strategically set your lowest price to weed out “cost-focused” customers and make sure to include budgets much higher than what most people spend. Basically in this specific email it was actually a semi-passive aggressive move because the competitor I recommended was the only other provider in town and had much higher rates with sub par results. My first client was one such person who required almost weekly maintenance and expected that this would come as part of the design price, after a few weeks, i told him that this would either become a paid role or he would have to find another maintainer. I might still take a small part of the project, just to keep my foot in the door of the customer and to control that my friend is doing good work, so the customer will ask me again, even if the next project is again outside of my topic.
In the future, I’m going to share how you can build a few more hurdles to vet your clients even more (without making them feel like you are vetting them). One of the jobs is for neuropsychological testing and the guy is definitely a “bargain hunter”. I generally have the upper crust of clients, but have to take those steps that will ensure that I make a better profit. I quickly went over that person’s head and sent the termination letter directly to the CEO of their company.
The frequency of vacation, time taken off and other non-lab activities is bordering on the ridiculous. In fact I would NEVER recover the money lost to schools during my PhD compared to the money I could make as a call center representative. All the stories I read about H1B and student visas from countries like India and China is that the migrants are returning to their home countries for work. So if you want Americans doing the job, you should write NIH a letter suggesting to increase our salary to 100K, so it becomes more attractive for american students. This will help set the expectation that you are competent when it comes to playing at a high level. Thankfully, I was able to keep friendly terms with that CEO because of how I handled the situation. However, even in cases where co-parents do share legal custody, it's a good idea to have a notarized, signed medical release form on hand.
In case you forgot, the standard amount of time you are supposed to take is 2 weeks a year total, including Christmas.
It has improved, but given that the expectations are 60-80 hours a week minimum – you do the math.
I still have my credit cards to pay back -because, you know, as a non-American, I was not able to get a student loan. I just hired a web designer to buff up my website and will continue to increase my business by increasing my confidence in my talents and services.
I also want to say that the average lab citizenship and community spirit of keeping the lab in functioning order is at an all-time low. Few people seem to care about fixing broken equipment and making sure things in the lab run smoothly. If the lab were extremely productive and everyone was totally focused on their work, I might understand the slovenliness but productivity is abysmal and if we continue along this path we will surely reach mediocrity in no time.



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