Education, work opportunities

Substitute teaching

As we are making the push to blog again here on business and education and also getting ready to redo our family blog, I wanted to share some information on substitute teaching that many didn’t know. I will be sharing more about this but just wanted to let everyone know something now as it is so important and something I didn’t know!

One can substitute teach in many schools without a teaching license! You just need a bachelors degree. This is to be an actual teacher. You can substitute as an aide without a degree. Many many schools are desperate for help both for teachers, aides, and I am sure also transportation drivers and aides. If you are so inclined, contact your local schools and/or educational service center! A link to a few of the web site advertisements follow. I have been working as a substitute teacher for over a year now and do not yet have my teachers license. I love the flexibility.

Some Lake County opportunities

Two more Lake County opportunities are actually here even tho this is Medina County.

Legal transcription

Long overdue update.

I just sent this blog to a coworker as an example of how blogging can help publish company newsletters.  I then saw I had three comments on my wordpress mirror from 2011!!  Then I see I had one here from 2010!  I do appreciate that very much, and hopefully will someday get back to updating here!

It would take too long to update everything that has happened in the past 5 years, but I do want to encourage everyone that legal transcription and other transcription formats are very valid and enjoyable home businesses, and that researching them and getting them started can be very worthwhile!!  Due to various home situations and going back to school I took a leave of absence in 2011 and did not return.  I am currently about 2 years away from becoming a special needs teacher, one and half years away from doing my student teaching, and have been working in the health care field, so it is unlikely I will be back practicing in legal transcription.  We also balance continuing to raise our three children, two of which are adults!

However, I still recommend www.transcriptionessentials as a highly effective forum to get more information on transcription, and would also recommend reading at as well.  I do continue to perform data entry with my husband for research companies, both online and at courthouses, and would encourage you to research that as well. I am not familiar right now who is hiring in either that field or transcription however, as I am completely out of the loop.

Best wishes and speedy typing to you all!


I am really learning . . .

I went into this field just this semester, after starting off in speech therapy in the fall of 11.  I was a legal secretary and legal transcriptionist from 1988 – 2011, and am a parent of 3 and wife of my husband for 25 years (this summer!).  So, after I entered speech therapy, which was about the 6th decision I’d made on a major in the 25 years since I graduated college the first time, I was told by our Phonetics teacher that of our group of about 150 students in the class (yes, it was in an auditorium) that probably only about 10-15 of us would actually make it into the speech therapy program, which really starts as a master (you cannot get a job as a speech therapist with a bachelor’s degree).  The competition is that stiff, and you have to really have a 3.7-3.8 average.

I always held between a 3.35, 3.5 throughout college, even in the 80’s, so I felt a little uncomfortable about that.  I spoke to a counselor and she is also a friend, our oldest, Chris’s speech therapist from a center he went to in elementary school (Chris is now 21).  She advised me that perhaps I would like to do what she did, that she decided to obtain her special education teacher degree first, and then go back and get the master’s in speech therapy.  So I did change majors then, also to my surprise receiving a generous TEACH grant, which I didn’t know existed and SHOULD enable me to keep going without loans (I had unfortunately taken loans for about 2 years, the only loans I’d ever gotten in college).  So that was an unknown blessing and a great one!  I just have to keep my average above a 3.2 and the TEACH grant will not have to be repaid.

I have another blog at, but I wanted to start a blog specifically for teaching and autism and deafness, and other comorbidity topics, and hope to start discussions on items in this educational field.  I am taking a democracy and education class right now where I am learning things about education that I never knew before, some of which are very negative.  I plan to periodically blog about these things, as I read them.  I suppose the first thing I will mention is how appalled I was in learning just how uneven the schools in the United States are, and how ill equipped and unprepared, both for typical learning students and special education students.  It seems a revolution is necessary in many areas, where it seems we’re going backwards in how students are learning, how they’re tracked, and what options they truly have after they graduate.  How will we handle covering everything for both typical students and special needs students?  How do we help close the gap between rich and poor?  Minority and non-minority?  I have only read a few books so far, for this class, but I will keep my eyes and ears open, and try and look at both sides of the issues.

Blessings, dori

the beginning

Beginning towards the middle — Learning what else is OUT there — 1997 – 1999

(continuing from my last post)

In 1995 as I typed for my college clients, I had plans to print out the addresses of all the attorneys in the area and try and become “virtual assistant” basically to them, in today’s language. “A Virtual Assistant (typically abbreviated to VA, also called a virtual office assistant)[1] is an entrepreneur who provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients from a home office.” From Wikipedia.

I never quite got that far, however, and life got in the way, in the form of our ending up working opposite shifts, my being a legal secretary in the mornings for a local law firm while Rog worked at a local hospital second shift. We did this for two years, and I still just typed occasionally for my bosses but was way too tired with every day life to really get the entrepreneurship stuff way off the ground.

Working at three law firms in about 2 1/2 years led me to 1997, where situations landed me in the position of being unemployed in the summer of 1997. Circumstances at that point had allowed me to stop looking for a job, and instead I began thinking of the “home business” again. Ironically in 1997 I found an ad in the paper to type at home for a company I worked for in the 1980’s, and they did take me on as a subcontractor on the by-then real computer, not word processor (a much-loved, and to be very aged! windows 95 computer we had from 1995-2006), and I typed technical metallurgy documents and proofread them, also entering code into tables for engineering language document tables. Tedious, yet fascinating, I loved the work. I did it freelance when they had it in spurts and fits for about 3-4 years.

Two years into this time I had also had the occasion to type appellate briefs at home for a few attorneys, using a call-in method I had learned about from a medical transcription friend, and I also typed for her some, doing a very small amount of medical transcription (not really my forte). I purchased my first transcription machine at that time, as well as a telephone recorder that plugged into the phone outlet. I also right after this found myself in another part time job in the winter of 99 [a friend called me that worked there, asking if I wanted to come and work there part-time and I believe temporarily as well, I don’t remember!] where both my children at that time were in an all-day school. And for about 6 months I worked about 6 hours a day at the office, plus another 3-4 hours a day from home, and somehow kept all the balls in the air until June of ’99.

I couldn’t work at the office over the summer so quit, planning to work at home only with their calling in for me to type for them at home. They did not do so, however (I fully expected to work for them 10-20 hours a week from home), and at the time I was devastated as I didn’t have any other steady work; the freelance I’d picked up was still present but sporadic. Thus began my search for steady, dependable, yet freelance from home work, and a new era had begun.

More soon —


The beginning – 1993

Those beginning in transcription today have a world of details and information at their fingertips. Sites like lead the way, and there are transcription forums also at such sites as and

However, when I first began to have the idea of “typing at home,” it began as it begins with a lot of would-be work-at-home moms. I was pregnant with my second child, and had a vision of typing (not really all transcription; I had a more mixed picture in my head) for area attorneys and being able to bring some of their work home with me to do.

I did do just that, but on a very limited scale. In 1994, 4-5 months away from our daughter Colleen being born, I bought a Brother Word Processor, and by late 1994/early 1995 I had already typed numerous documents for my former law firm, and was typing documents for a local community college for 2 clients. I felt like I’d “MADE it.”

more to come —


As I reload an FTP file —

I thought this was a good time, as I’m waiting, to remind everyone it’s a good idea to check your audio before you’re starting a job! As a general rule, I load up my audio right after I download it, and check the length of the file, and make sure it’s audible, and that all the parts of the file are there in the packet, as well as any documentation expected.

I did not do this with this file, and now find myself in the evening hoping the re-downloading of the audio off the FTP will solve the problem. If it does not, I’ll have to wait until morning when the transcription company opens and have them resend me the file. I will still meet my deadline, but was planning to type tonight while my son was here playing with his dad and get a lot done. Because I missed taking 5 minutes to check my downloaded audio this week, I am missing an opportunity to get a head start on my file.

UNLESS it downloads this time. We’ll see.

So today’s lesson — after you download your work, write down the length, make sure it’s audible, and that it is the items that you were expecting. Listen to a few seconds of the file to make sure it’s the right case. And don’t get sloppy like me and skip that step “just for now.”

Blessings —


Deadlines —

I’ll start out with the most important thing first!

I think probably the most important thing to remember, as you think, oh, I want to work at home, and I can fit it all around everything, and be real flexible, and everything will be real easy (if anyone actually thinks that, I know I kinda did, at first) —– no.

First, start here and read to learn more about the business, . I highly recommend visiting this site and reading A LOT before making a decision to be a transcriptionist. And I will repeat this often — LOL! — this is the transcription guidebook site for me!

Anyway, deadlines. You get a job of an hour audio, due in 1 week. A newbie may think, oh that may take a few hours, I’ll do it the day it’s due.


First of all, it takes at LEAST 4 hours to type an hour of audio. Then you really need to proof everything to audio, which can take another 2-4 hours. Then you have to spell check, reread for dumb errors (which don’t always show up to your tired eyes right away!) AND check all your formatting which must be exactly as the company gives you. You also have to research everything. This means Googling, etc., terms you don’t know, double checking your company’s documentation, etc. I’ll get more into this later.

I try and start my work early on when I first get it, and even still have to do some late hours/early mornings to make sure everything is absolutely perfect. Companies are not highly forgiving, and they don’t like missed deadlines. Check right away when the deadlines are. Even if something says, due July 15th, ask them, what TIME is it due? Most of my companies are due anytime on the due date, but I have differences where some may be due at 9 a.m., some due at noon, some due at five, some due at 11 p.m., and many actually due anytime on that date even if it’s 11:59 p.m. before the next date OR EVEN 4 in the morning the next morning as long as it’s before the open of business.

But check check check. And arrange your life around the deadline — don’t arrange and rearrange (asking for numerous extensions) from your job. Stay up until 3, get up 4, whatever you need to do — as getting a reputation for missed deadlines is not a good plan.

soon — dori