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Career Story: Educational Consultant In A Private Practice

Educational Consultant In A Private Practice

Job Title: Educational Consultant

Type of Company: I am in private practice evaluating adults/children

Education: M.A. Columbia University

Previous Experience: Teacher, grant coordinator, supervisor, administrator

Job Tasks: I work in private practice. The purpose of my practice is to help people who are having difficulty in school or having difficulty at their work because of an educational issue.

People in the community and other professionals send people to me for a psycho-educational evaluation. I speak with the parents and get a history, talk to teachers, doctors, etc. to get background information. This is very important because a person's past can influence the present. For example, some children are late developers. They are not ready for the work that is presented to them in school. They may feel that they are not as good as other children whose development was not delayed. A child may become frustrated and not like school. Those feelings can influence future learning. After I gather information, I meet with the person needing the evaluation. Through a variety of techniques e.g., interview, teaching, and formal tests, I assess the person's level of functioning, ability level, and where their functioning starts to break down. After I feel that I have a good understanding of the persons strengths and weaknesses.

I discuss my findings with the person and then with the parents. Usually, I go over the testing information and make recommendations. I might suggest further educational work or other services to help the person.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is working with the people who need help. An evaluation can help a person understand what or why something has been difficult and how it needs to be addressed. It is wonderful to see a person who does not know something learn it. Usually, with something like reading, you open a whole world to the person. I've seen some adults whose lives have been radically changed by learning to read.

The worst part of the job is the frustration that comes when it takes a long time for the schools to put a plan into place that can help the child, or when the parents' expectations are way out of line with the child's interests or abilities.

Job Tips:
1. Learn all you can about development and psychology.

2. Get as much experience as you can in all of the grades.

3. You need to know how children change and develop as well as the expectations of the school.

4. Always spend some time working with people yourself - doing the teaching yourself - too many people who go into this field get away from the teaching and rely only on evaluations.

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