World’s Best Festivals One Shouldn’t Miss

Part of the fun of travel is the chance to participate in another way of life. There’s no better means of doing this than to get involved with one of the many colorful festivals taking place each year around the globe. Whichever continent you’re heading to, there’s sure to be something fantastic. Here, we look at five of the best.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival, Brazil
This needs no introduction. Attracting more than two million party-goers daily onto the streets of Rio de Janeiro, it runs for six days at the beginning of Lent. Rio’s samba schools are the driving force, and their colorful floats and dancers pack the streets for the main parade. However, the carnival also includes plenty of other festivities, in which anyone can join in and show off their samba moves.

Maralal Camel Derby, Kenya
If you find yourself in Kenya in August, you might want to head north to the small desert town of Maralal for its camel derby. Attracting participants and spectators from all over the world, competition is intense, although some riders show better control over their camels than others.

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MassKara Festival, Philippines
The Philippines is not yet a regular stop on the backpacker trail but you’ll be missing out if you don’t go. So much the better if you can time your visit around the MassKara festival. Held in Bacolod City and named for the smiling masks worn by participants, it includes a street dance competition, a beauty pageant and music. Characterized by the friendliness of its participants, it’s a popular festival so accommodation requires planning ahead. Luckily, real estate in the Philippines is booming, and you can easily find the best condos on Zipmatch, whether you want to rent or to buy.

The Venice Carnival, Italy
Dating back to the fourteenth century, Venice’s annual carnival is Europe’s oldest. Beginning after Christmas and running until the day before Lent, it attracts more than three million visitors annually. Many are tempted by the bright masks worn by carnival-goers, some of whom may be hoping to carry away the prize awarded to the most beautiful mask. Originally introduced to blur the distinction between the nobility in their fine clothes and ordinary people who could never hope to afford garments of the same quality, the masks remain popular today among Venetians and tourists alike.

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Holi, India
Marking the victory of good over evil, this Hindu festival of colors is celebrated in the north of India during the full moon in March. Unwary travelers venturing onto the streets can expect to return to their hostel or hotel with their clothes covered in brightly colored powder, or soaking wet from water balloons. However, this is still one of the best and most exuberant festivals in the world. People of all ages flock into the streets to perform religious rituals in front of huge bonfires, exchange greetings, dance and, yes, throw handfuls of colored powder around.

Looking to Break the Glass Ceiling? 8 Strategies for Successful Women

Do women really need to break the glass ceiling? Looking at the accomplishments of stalwarts like Mary Barra, Virginia Rometty, Indra Nooyi, Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel, Theresa May, and presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, it is evident that women are not just capable of ruling the top echelons of the business world. But, they are perfectly capable of running whole nations.

And, research has proved this for a fact. According to the results of a study published in the Harvard Business Review, the most successful venture capital investments are the ones that have at least one woman founder. In fact, such startups of the Silicon Valley performed up to 65% better than organizations with all men on their boards. Go figure.

And, there’s more! At least 50% of students entering college in the West are women. Once they leave college, they’re going to be standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. They’ll have similar qualifications, and they’ll be looking for the same career advancement opportunities and high salaries. Women will have fabulous, highly innovative ideas, and they’ll be ready to break the glass ceiling.

Are Women Likely to Have These Opportunities? In Today’s World? Maybe Not!

As Sarah Thebaud at the Princeton University found, women today still face bias because of their gender. They need to work a lot harder than their male peers, display higher performance levels, and come up with outstanding entrepreneurial concepts to be taken seriously. Raising funding for their ideas is a lot more difficult. It’s a fact that men with less innovative ideas find it much easier to get investments.

And, that’s not all. Women continue to be judged according to their appearance. A beautiful woman needs to play down her looks while an everyday woman might need to work on her looks to gain enough attention. Every woman executive needs to maintain a strong, reliable persona that is trustworthy, smart, dependable, and who knows her stuff. At the same time, she cannot seem too enthusiastic, or her male peers might feel threatened by her strength and resourcefulness. And, they’ll make it more difficult for her to break the glass ceiling.

Steven Applebaum from Concordia University reveals that the results of his research showed that only around 3% of the top executives of Fortune 500 companies are women. He says, “Women are still perceived as inferior leaders. This ill-conceived notion needs to change—and fast. At the current rate, we won’t see gender equality in the boardroom until 2081.”

So, How Can Women Break the Glass Ceiling?

Women need to maintain their composure and keep their heads down working with the team until the time comes when the team can no longer function without their exceptional ideas. That’s when the men have no choice but to invite them to step in and take charge.

Here are some other practical tips you might find useful when you’re looking to break the glass ceiling.

  1. Look for a company that welcomes innovation and is progressive in its work ethos. Functioning in such a work environment is essential for your personal growth as well. You’ll feel inspired and excel because your accomplishments will be recognized and lauded.
  2. Study the history of the company where you work. What are the key talents and skills that attract the most attention? Who were the people who got promotions? What did they achieve for the company to qualify? You’ll get a fair view of the areas where you need to perform better.
  3. Set goals for yourself and work out how you’re going to attain them. Take performance reviews seriously. Ask questions about what you need to do to develop your skills and capabilities. Look for a mentor within your company who can train and guide you on your performance in the organization.
  4. Consider getting continuing education credits to further your skills. Each new qualification will serve as another tool to help you break the glass ceiling.
  5. Build an extensive network of contacts, within and outside of your company. You’ll also need all the help you can from your peers. Make friends and make a conscious effort to keep in touch with them. You never know when you may need help with a project or to advance the interests of your company. That’s a sure shot strategy to get noticed and rise to the top.
  6. Build a stellar record. Take on all the challenging projects you can. Focus on the advancement of the company. Don’t hesitate to express your ideas and be assertive in the boardroom.
  7. No strategy works better than hard work and dedication. Keep adding accomplishments to your resume. You’ll learn and gain experience working at bigger and more advanced projects. Soon you’ll have an impressive list of completed projects that can help you break the glass ceiling.
  8. Take care of your health. In your race to get ahead in your career, don’t ignore your body. As long as you feel well, you can continue to achieve everything you want to. As you cross the age of 35, if you feel like your body is starting to slow down, get yourself tested and treat hormone imbalances. This is one issue that can get in the way of your performance levels by causing all kinds of health problems including fatigue, lack of concentration, poor memory, mental confusion, and others.

Can women break the glass ceiling? Absolutely! All it takes is resilience and hard work. And, the right moves. Soon you’ll be able to prove that you’re more than capable of running the company and making a roaring success of it.

Spring Break Preparedness 101: Don’t Forget Your Apps

Spring Break is just around the corner — and not a moment too soon. It’s usually right about now that you’re stuck in an academic maelstrom of assignments, essays, and midterms, and to top it all off you haven’t seen the sun in days. Any longer spent on campus and you might just lose your mind.

Thankfully, you’ve got your holiday in the sun or on the slopes on the horizon. As you get your travel documents in order and triple check your passport is valid, don’t forget about an essential globetrotting tool: your phone. Though you usually never second guess adding this device into your pocket, your smartphone is a vacation gadget no Spring Breaker should go without. Equipped with a few essential apps and accessories, it can take your holiday to a whole new level. Keep reading to learn the best apps for your upcoming trip — wherever it may be!

Google Translate

 

Resort life isn’t for everyone. For those of us who want to go off script and experience something unique on our travels, Google Translate may just be the most important app of them all. Google’s translation service has come a long way since its inception 10 years ago, with the most recent update to the app allowing for translations of real-time conversations. Just choose the language you wish you were fluent in and tap the microphone — that’s all there is to it. Imagine how handy this will be when you want to converse with local residents beyond the typical, “excuse me—where am I?”s.

Hotel Tonight

 

Hotel Tonight is one of those apps you hope you never have to use but should never get caught without. We don’t want to jinx your upcoming holiday, but sometimes our vacations don’t quite go according to plan. You can miss a connecting flight, get stuck somewhere, and need a place to stay; the Airbnb host can catfish you; your 5-star hostel ends up being invested with bedbugs. Whatever causes you to look for last-minute accommodations, Hotel Tonight’s got you. With a few swipes of your thumb, you can search through their deals on nearby hotels and find an affordable, clean, and reliable room in as little as 10 seconds.

Vinyl Skins

 

Taking that perfect selfie can take some work, especially when you’re trying to get the whole squad in the frame. You’ll need something to give you extra grip on your device, so you don’t accidentally take the last photo on that particular phone before dropping it to its death. Vinyl skins from a manufacturer like dbrand can add considerable traction to your phone. Whether it’s an iPhone, Pixel, or Samsung Galaxy S7, their vinyl skins will cover your device accurately with a snug fit—as long as you attach them properly. Be sure to learn how to apply dbrand skins before you attempt to put them on, and it’ll hug every curve and corner perfectly. As an added bonus, these Android and iPhone skins help prevent scratches and scrapes from taking a bite out of your smartphone, so it can survive your whole vacation damage-free.

Find My Friends

When the buddy system doesn’t work, Find My Friends will help you track down your lost travellers. This app is a great addition if you plan on breaking off from the main group throughout the vacation, or if your Spring Break takes you to an incredibly crowded beach. FMF links to everyone’s GPS, so you can always see their real-time location on a map. It may seem a little overboard, but you can never be too safe on a holiday abroad.

Trail Wallet

Sure, you may be able to escape campus for a week, but you’re still on a student’s budget. That means you have to be careful with the way you spend your money. Trail Wallet helps you stick under your spending limits by tracking your daily expenses. All you have to do is input your allowance and the app deducts your purchases from your total and sends you notifications when you get close to your max. We know, we know — you could very easily keep track of this on your own, but you’re on vacation! You don’t do math on vacation.

Back Up Battery

If you expect to use Google Translate and Find My Friends all day and all night, you can’t rely on your phone’s built-in battery. You’ll see the dreaded low battery message well before you plan on calling it a night. Without a backup, you’ll miss out on prime Snapchat opportunities, and your Trail Wallet budget will go right out the window. Do yourself a favour by getting an EasyAcc Power Bank. It’s a slim, relatively powerful external battery that can fit into most pockets, purses, or bags. Just plug in your phone as soon as you lose power, and you’ll never miss a shot.

Any kind of vacation that takes you far away from campus is going to be great, but you can make your Spring Break is even better with a few choice selections regarding your smartphone. Make sure you’re ready for the best vacation yet by investing in the above apps and accessories.

Of course, don’t feel left out if your broke student life means you’re making it a staycation this year. There’s always Netflix to binge, and now that you can download all of Iron Fist or the Santa Clarita Diet, you can even watch it while riding the bus to your parents’ house. And just like that, your phone is the MVP of your Spring Break — however you decide to celebrate it.

Do You Really Need to Manage Your Reputation

Have you ever wondered whether your business needs to be in touch with a reputation management firm? If you have wondered that, then it is likely that you need to get in touch with such a firm as soon as possible. Online reputation management was once something that only huge businesses had to get involved in, but it is now something for everybody. Without strategies in place, you simply cannot protect yourself from the inevitable complaints and bad reviews.

Reputation management has to be seen as part of your marketing and advertising campaign. You need to set aside a budget and create a detailed strategy, as well as an action plan and operating procedure, so that everybody in your organization knows how to behave online when they represent your company. Additionally, the strategy is about being proactive, so that you focus on building a positive reputation long before any negative comments start to appear.

So how do you know whether this is something you can do yourself, or whether you need professional help? The following questions may help you answer that.

  1. What Are Your Rankings?

If you don’t know what rankings are, you definitely need professional help. Essentially, if you do not rank on the first page of Google, you have a problem. You cannot expect your customers to go to the second or third page, because they simply won’t.

  1. Do You Have Negative Reviews Against You?

If any negative reviews have been posted about you, you also need help. Even a single complaint can drive customers away. It is for this reason that reputation management is such a hot topic right now. You need to understand what is out there, and how people are finding it – even if that is because of an autocorrect word, by the way.

  1. Do You Have a Reputation Management Strategy?

If you don’t, you need one straight away. Without a strategy, you will set yourself up for failure. You need to have a plan in place, or you will basically be shooting in the dark, simply hoping that things will turn out ok in the end. If you work with a professional company, however, you can rest assured that you can focus on managing your business, while they make sure you look good.

The internet today is hugely different from the internet ten years ago, or even one year ago. To be able to keep up with changes, the way people search, the way consumers use the internet in order to make decisions, and more, you would need an extra 24 hours in a day, which nobody has. You need to be able to focus on your job of actually running your business, and leave the issue of reputation management to the professionals. But don’t think you can choose to not do either, to simply let things go, because you will quickly start to see your customer base drop and your profits diminish, without even understanding what has happened.

Which Furniture Is Right for Properties with Limited Space?

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It is quite difficult to pick the right furniture, because there is so much available! Finding a furniture store is really easy, because these stores are just about everywhere! But they don’t all sell what you want, and this needs to be your starting point.

What Do You Want?

There are a few questions you need to ask yourself in order to determine what type of furniture you like. These questions include:

  • Do you want a modern, open, and airy room, or would you prefer rich furnishings and solid wood?
  • Are you looking for a cool home, or a romantic one?
  • What solid material do you like most – glass, stone, wood, or metal?
  • What sort of colors do you like?

Once you know this, you can get the furniture that fits your personal needs. But it has to fit your home as well!

Furniture for Apartments and Studios

If you live in a small property, such as a studio or apartment, then you have much less choice. You need to go as minimalist as possible, so that you save space and can easily maintain things. Do also try to look for things that double as store, such as an ottoman chest, or a side table with drawers. Storage is significantly lacking in small properties, so this really is important. Also, try not to choose a huge couch, as it will dominate the room. Pastels make the room look slightly smaller, as well as warmer. Try to avoid patterns, however.

Looking next at your kitchen, it is likely that you will have very little space there. However, in studios, they tend to be designed to work. In fact, you shouldn’t need much furniture there, bar perhaps a breakfast table. Again, make sure that anything you do add, can also double as storage.

Then, there is the bedroom. Choosing the right bed is vital to building a home. If you are part of a couple, then you will need a double bed at least. Try to go for queen size as much as possible, avoiding king size and definitely super king size. Make sure that you have a good quality mattress. High panels should be avoided, as they make the room look even smaller. Again, try to opt for a bed that also acts as storage, such as a high raised bed with under-bed storage drawers. Do also choose a nice nightstand, and again pick something that also has a drawer and/or shelves, so that it functions as storage as well.

Lastly, there is your bathroom. Again, it is all about clever with your storage. Think corner shelving units or under-sink cupboards. Your windowsill, if you have one, is also an excellent storage space. Bathrooms always look small anyway, so try to stick to white walls and furniture wherever possible, using color for detail objects instead. You could, for instance, add a bathmat in a bright color, and make this match with your toothbrush holder.

How to Choose a Shop to Repair Your iPhone

Owning an iPhone is so glamorous! However, it is also a lot of responsibility, because those devices literally hold your life in their memory. If it breaks down, you will need to find a place that can perform iPhone repair in Tampa FL, or you will end up with a useless device and no way to essentially access your entire life.

Having an iPhone Repaired

If your iPhone is broken, there are two main things you can do:

  1. Try a DIY option to fix it yourself, using iPhone repair kits available on eBayand a tutorial video on YouTube.
  2. Visit a licensed repair shop near your home.

It will come as no surprise that you should always go for option 2 if you can. IPhones are filled with tiny, intricate little circuits, and simply touching the wrong one can mean that your iPhone will be completely broken. It is very important, however, that you choose the right iPhone repair shop as well.

Choosing an iPhone Repair Shop

One of the key things to look into is that the professionals at the store are trained in repairing your particular model. Just because they have fixed every iPhone 4 that has ever come into their shop, does not mean that they know what to do with an iPhone 7s. It is very important, therefore, that the store is committed to keeping their staff training up to date. Do make sure, as well, that you look into the reviews and testimonials about the store that you are considering, so you know that they do a good job.

Start by creating a shortlist of the companies that are available near you that offer iPhone repair services. You need to go from that entire list to just one company, that you will eventually work with. This may seem like a lot of work, particularly since you just want your phone back, but it is vital that you do this research.

No matter what the problem with your phone is, you should have it back within 24 hours. If there is a chance that it will be longer than that, then the store should have told you about it straight away. You should also receive excellent customer service every step of the way. Furthermore, the store should ask you about the phone and how the damage occurred, not to judge you for how you treat your phone, but rather so that they know what types of problems they are likely to encounter while trying to fix it.

When you own an iPhone, you own a piece of history and you will have a strong status symbol in your hands. At the same time, this means that you have to act accordingly. You cannot be one of those people that everybody knows, who perpetually walks around with a cracked iPhone screen. Doing so looks terrible, so your status symbol will be down the drain. But more importantly, your iPhone won’t work properly anymore, as some of the touch screen functions will be broken.

Jargon and Terminology Used in the Business of Music

Jargon is something that most people hate, but that seems to be totally inevitable regardless. If you are looking into the different music business programs, it is likely that you will instantly start to come across quite a bit of jargon. Hence, before you actually enroll, you may want to familiarize yourself with some of the most common terms, giving you a heads up above the rest.

Jargon and Terminology in the World of Music Business

  1. Bundling and unbundling – When tracks can be downloaded, but only if they are purchased as part of an album, they have been “bundled”. This means that you have to buy more than just one song. When a track is unbundled, it means you can buy it on its own, just like the old-fashioned “singles” of years gone by.
  2. Bundle – A bundle is basically a type of music service, tied up for third parties. For instance, a French bank entered into an agreement with Universal Music Group, offering young people a music service if they took out a credit card. This means financial services and music are tied together, and that is a “bundle”.
  3. Re-bundle – This describes when artists create a bundle of products as one large package. For instance, they can create a concert package, whereby fans receive the ticket, DVD, t-shirt, and CD, for one price. Re-bundling is very popular among artists with large fan bases. Fans, meanwhile, are happy about getting a good bundle deal, which is generally cheaper than purchasing each of the items individually.
  4. A la Carte – This is a term that puts control back in the hands of the customer. A good example of this is the iTunes music service. Those who put credit into their iTunes account can spend their credit on anything they want, regardless of genres, artists, songs, and so on.
  5. Streaming – This is one of the most important technical terms around nowadays, as it links music production with the online world. Streaming is very different from download, because with a download, you actually move the entire file to an external device before being able to hear it. With streaming, however, you can listen instantly, but the file will not be put on your device. In fact, downloading music is almost always illegal.
  6. Subscriptions – Most of us are aware of what a subscription is. Within the world of music, it generally means that people subscribe to a certain music services, such as Spotify or Amazon Prime Music.
  7. Ad-funded Models – This is a business type whereby revenue is shared among providers of content. For instance, Spotify make its subscribers view advertisements before they can play the music. Spotify gets paid for this, and this money is shared between the owners of the music on which the ad was shown.
  8. Music on Demand – This is a service that allows people to watch, play back, or listen to high quality music simply by pressing play, even though the music is not stored on their device. That has been made possible thanks to various technological developments.

Let Your Employees Drive Your Innovation

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All businesses need to commit to innovation if they want to remain competitive in the market. One way to do achieve that is through idea management, enabling internal and external stakeholders to come up with ideas for improvement. To capture this innovation, idea management software can be of great benefit. However, there are still some businesses that struggle to understand why they should consider this, and how it could benefit their business to listen closely to every employee. Yet, if they commit to employee driven innovation, they could see their business grow exponentially.

What Is Employee Driven Innovation?

The system of employee driven innovation is one where solutions and ideas are put forward by employees. What matters about this is that they are encouraged to think outside of the box, and beyond the confines of their job description. For example, someone who works in the finance department can put forward ideas about how to sort the post in the post room. They may not know as much about that particular area of their business, but it is in this that their strength lies: they have a fresh, and outsider perspective. Naturally, they can also put forward ideas about their own departments, but it is the openness and influence on everything that makes this innovation so powerful.

Within employee driven innovation, every idea is accepted and considered. This does not mean that it automatically gets accepted, however. So considering that, why do businesses resist this concept so strongly?

The Resistance to Employee Driven Innovation

There is a big challenge to be overcome in terms of convincing everybody across the board that each individual member of staff has potential solutions within them. One of the reasons for this is because the concept goes above and beyond the skills for which each individual was hired. Rather, it encourages people to think outside of the box and to become more collaborative with every element of the organization.

What idea management software does, is enable every individual to talk about their ideas using a single platform. Through this platform, they are empowered to say what they think, rather than having to go directly to a manager or another individual in the organization. Essentially, it is a process that encourages collaboration without any form of hierarchy.

By implementing idea management software, people become more engaged with their company, which leads to greater happiness. It also has a positive effect on retention, because people feel more valued by having their voice heard. Employee engagement has huge positive effects on every element of an organization.

By enabling people to think outside of the confines of their personal job or even their department builds a great deal of trust. People have a greater morale and are more loyal to their company. As an added benefit, everybody works together, across departments that they had previously never worked with. Those are huge benefits that make a company more efficient and creates a collaborative workforce that feels happy within their business.

Using The Internet To Learn Something New

So, a few months ago I realized that I really wasn’t harnessing the immense power that the internet has, there I was, sat at the computer with a vast amount of capabilities in front of me and all I could think of to do was play retro Sega games, check my Instagram and watch videos of people falling off heir skateboards.

It was at this moment that I made a decision to use the power which the internet has and utilize it to learn something new, two things actually. My choices were that I would learn how to play the guitar and that I would learn all about the Ancient Egyptians, a topic which I have always been fascinated by. If you want to do what I did and learn something new then here are some great ways to do so.

Timing

How much time you will have each day will depend on your own schedule but I would advise that you set a certain of portion of time aside each day and stick to it if you want to get the most out of learning.

Expectations

If it has been a while since you studied then you are going to need to lower your expectations in the first month or two. When you are young, your brain is like a sponge and you can soak up knowledge in no time at all, as the years tick on this can become a little more difficult so bear that in mind when you begin.

Resources

Once you have made the decision for what you will learn about you should spend a good few hours on search engines discovering the best places to get your resources. Wikipedia serves its purpose pretty well but you should never solely rely on this as a factual resource. In fact you should cross reference facts across many different sites to get to the bottom of it.

I like to use the fantastic Great Courses material designed by Thomas Rollins teaching expert and educator who put together this fantastic study material for a wide range of subjects.

YouTube is a wonderful tool as well  if you are looking to pick up a new skill or watch documentaries, my guitar playing has improved greatly in a few short months and that is thanks to the step-by-step guides on the video site. I was also able to find some great footage from inside the pyramids and a mock-autopsy of Tutankhamen on YouTube, this is a great place for reference.

Self Discipline

The final part of learning something new online is to ensure that you are disciplined with yourself around your learning. There is nobody there to tell you what or when to study and for this reason you need to be able to have the commitment and the self-learning abilities to work hard and learn as much as you can all by yourself. Just think of it like this, you are doing this for yourself and if you fail to study or decide to relax instead of learn then the only person that damages is you.

Which Are The World’s Most Respected Jobs

When you consider the types of things that you want to receive from your career, many people will suggest that money and power are the key components which they would like from their job. Whilst this is all well and good, there are many others who want a job which commands respect. On a personal note, respect is something that is not always easy to come by yet there are jobs which will demand instant respect and today we are going to take a look at just some of the professions which you could do if it is respect that you are after.

Medical Profession

What more respectable position is there than one which helps to cure and save lives on a  daily basis. That is exactly what medical professionals do and it is for that reason that they are so widely respected. Whether you decide to become a nurse, a neurosurgeon like the fantastic Joseph Yazdi or a family doctor, you will be able to command respect as a result of the amazing work which you do.

Lawyer

Lawyers earn and deserve respect because of their work towards uploading the law and ensuring that everyone receives a fair trial no matter what they have been accused of. Lawyers must work incredibly hard to gain the position which they hold which is yet another reason why they can command so much respect from the public and from others within the legal profession.

Politicians

They may not always hold our respect but politicians by their very nature command respect form those around them. At whatever level of government they are working in, politicians are representatives of the people and it is for this reason why they automatically earn respect. Even those with opposing views will respect politicians for the work that they do in upholding democracy and working for the people.

Priests and Religious Leaders

For anyone of faith, religious leaders hold a position which is to be completely respected, these men and women of god are spiritual leaders who believers look to for advice, teaching and counsel. Priests and religious leaders must also work and study hard to achieve their position and they are also heavily respected not only for their level of belief but also the amount of knowledge which they hold and have amassed over the years.

Teachers

They may not always earn the respect from their class but teachers are widely respected by the general public and it is easy to see why. Teachers work tirelessly to shape the minds of the future and the next generation of the World, they must put in long hours and have the ability to teach a wide variety of people to the exact same standard. Without teachers we would not be able to achieve the knowledge that we have nor the belief in ourselves to succeed and it is for this reason that they are so well respected.