5 LESSONS I’VE LEARNED AS AN EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT

Feb 11, 2019 by

The role of an educational consultant is a diverse role. From advising on to incorporate technology into the schoolroom, to better utilizing higher education development programs. The expertise is not only utilized within the school districts but could also involve consulting with companies who are designing products for schools, teachers, and students.

While the transition from the classroom to the position of a consultant was not a difficult one for me, it was one that required many hours of self-examinations when it came to committing decisions on how best to serve my clients. It was this exact action that brought about a lot of self-realization about my passion to take education to the remotest corners and my drive to enhance academic performance through community involvement and curriculum development.

I have learned many valuable lessons throughout my career as an education consultant and while these have all served me well, there are five lessons that are constantly at the forefront of my mind with every analysis.

Communication Is Key To Fulfilling Project Deliverables

Education is a far cry from the corporate industry. You have to be more versatile and flexible when it comes to project specifications and deliverables. Not merely are you dealing with a more diverse set of principles and contributing cultures but the end goal can often be indistinct. There must not only be mutual understanding and open communication between you and your client. When it comes to the project deliverables you need quick thinking and adaptable.

Value The Client

It is extremely significant you do not lose sight of the end goal. You have a job to carry out and when you take on a new project or client, your focus becomes their goals and requirements. Initiate every new project with a clean slate, good intentions and the most moral integrity to not only the client but to your own values too.

Every Contract Starts With Listening And Understanding

To propose the right solutions, you have to understand the end objectives. This starts by listening and posing valid questions. Listening supports comprehensions and you can only structure your assessment with a clear end goal in mind. The solutions should always be one that suits both you and the client.

Balance Is Important

Consistently work with balance in mind. Stay within the boundaries you have set for yourself and always make an effort to stick with it. Balancing the demands of your career, personal life and community involvement is very important. It is easy to get lost in meeting deliverables, especially when passion frequently drives performance. The refreshing time out keeps you more focused on the objectives.

Community Involvement Is Essential To Success

Projects that will affect communities will require you to follow the developments within the communities and pose the proper questions within the community. Not merely will this serve as an excellent networking opportunity but also ensures you stay informed and in touch with community needs, expectations and developments. This will serve you well, especially with projects that involve integrating technology into schools and community outreach programs.

An example of how important understanding community development is and how good intentions can ultimately fail is a story I came across on one my educator social media pages. It was about a school that directly facilitated the donations for IPads. Their eventual goal was to allow rural students to complete homework and projects online due to the lack of access to a functional library. The project ultimately failed mostly due to the fact that most of the rural students did not have access to basic electrical services or cell services which meant the IPads served no purpose. That was money that would have been better spent in creating and accessible resources center for scholars in that community.

Tips For Making The Change From Education To Consultant

  • Start with creating a consulting resume that is reflective of your skills and capabilities.
  • Select a specialty. This can range from helping students transition between education programs, to integrating technology into the classroom or curriculum.
  • Stay informed and up to date. It helps to sign up for newsletters and blogs that cover topics on education developments, challenges, and opportunities.
  • Focus on your own appropriate development. Networking will not only create contacts but will equally serve as a valuable source of information and opportunities.
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