Ideas evolve daily. Some live briefly, some lay dormant, but others grow. They become a vision: This is what [my students, my school, my business, my world] would look like as a result of this idea. Soon, strategy becomes critical for moving ideology to practicality, and eventually, measurable objectives are developed to measure evidence of vision fulfillment.
Every school has a vision statement that is constantly challenged by political, scientific, donor, curricular influencers and more. Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to help align strategies and objectives for a missional integrity that flourish under scrutiny and testing. Working with a qualified, effective individual is critical. Here are 15 questions to ask before hiring an educational consultant:
- Does the consultant show genuine interest in your school’s vision?
- Does the consultant have expertise in an area you perceive as needing attention?
- What certification, experience, and other valid indicators of expertise does the consultant possess?
- Is the consultant up-to-date on research related to the topic being addressed?
- Does the consultant’s approach and/or program help your school better align its mission and practices?
- Does the consultant’s approach and/or program increase the intentionality with which teachers make instructional decisions?
- Is the consultant multi-disciplinary in his/her research and development? Is the approach/program constructed on a sufficient base of diverse but related fields?
- Does the consultant hold and promote a holistic view of the learner? Does he/she view the learner as more than empty vessels to be filled?
- Does the consultant plan to follow up and does he/she welcome after-event inquiries and requests?
- Does the consultant use methods and tools that he/she encourages teachers to utilize?
- Does the consultant’s approach/program benefit teachers and students in all desired grade levels and disciplines?
- Does the consultant’s approach/program help teachers learn why and not just what to do?
- Does the consultant’s approach/program have enough practical application, not just head knowledge, for teachers?
- Does the consultant’s approach/program help teachers understand how to foster learning more effectively? Are solutions offered and not just problems identified?
- Has the consultant pursued and been granted graduate credit status through an accredited institution for his/her program?
The consultation process is a relationship; vision focuses the effort and willingness fosters development and growth. Make an informed decision to be sure your ideas—your vision—will thrive and flourish.