If you have a few years of teaching experience at any grade level, you may have what it takes to become a professional educational consultant. Valued by business and industry, consultants provide focused training segments that equip employees to deal with specific issues. Recent training topics include listening skills, note-taking during meetings, team-building, and cultural diversity awareness.
Why do teachers provide this training? Because they have had to work with students and are thus ready to move on to employees in a white-collar setting.
“If I can handle a class of 5th graders while covering a punctuation lesson, the business community should be a breeze,” quips Margo Stiller, one of many K-12 teachers who are adapting to the exciting world of educational consulting.
“I can adapt class material to a format that is more suited to adults,” Margo continues. “Then I add a little humor and a few challenges, and we’re off and running. I love this work!”
Consulting in any field or discipline can be lucrative, too. The average national hourly rate is $75 to $100, which includes the initial consultation, materials preparation, mileage, teaching, and any follow-up that might be needed, but that is minimal in most cases. An education specialist in anthropology, for example, might be enlisted to train a group of employees headed to New Zealand how to interact with aboriginal culture. Or an English teacher can train clerical staff how to find and correct grammar errors in several types of documents.
Companies that bring in consultants can save a lot of money over time. Since many pay for their employees’ tuition under certain conditions, sponsoring 15 staff members to take communications classes costs far more than bringing in a specialist for a half-day workshop. In many cases, the instructor is CEU-certified, meaning that although employees take a non-credit workshop, it often can apply for a one-year certificate program in a special topic.
Teachers who take an occasional break from the classroom to work with adult learners in a corporate setting gain an additional advantage as well. They get a taste of the “real world” applications of their subject matter, which helps them adjust their lessons to better equip students for post-graduation employment.
Any way you look at it, educational consulting is a win-win situation for everyone.