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What do you actually do as a consultant?

What do you actually do as a consultant? It’s one of the most frequently asked questions from friends, family, colleagues, and while networking. So I’ve written a blog post to provide some insight into this question whether you’re a curious friend or a potential client.

Since launching CollaboratEd Consulting in June 2018, we’ve grown more than we imagined. In just 6 months we’ve provided over 11 days of professional development, worked with teachers from over 15 school sites, and had calls and/or in person meetings with over 30 individuals from the education sector. I share all this to say that we’ve worked hard. But what happens after these meetings? What is the product and service you actually provide to schools and districts? I’m going to share three main areas of our business: professional development, leadership coaching, and partnerships and I’ll give two client examples for each to help deepen your understanding of how our consulting works.

Client Example 1: East Side Union High School District, San Jose, CA

We were hired to plan and facilitate the district wide special ed math PD for the 2018-19 school year. This includes 5 days of PD for their “Math 1 Essentials” teachers and 5 days of PD for their “Math 2 Essentials teachers” for a total of 10 on-site PD days. Our PD model for this client is a blend of teaching content - since many special ed math teachers don’t feel very confident in their secondary math skills - and math teaching strategies - since many do not have math teaching credentials. We allow teachers time to explore and gain confidence in their math abilities while also having them experience engaging and collaborative activities to use with students. The PD is organized by the district pacing calendar, delivering timely PD just before teachers reach that unit with their students.

Teacher feedback quotes from PD with ESUHSD teachers:

“Seeing real, detailed lesson plans and walks through of how to execute was the most helpful. Demonstrating model class discussions and how to guide work time.”
“Knowing we are on the same page; receiving resources to start working with and the knowledge of where to find resources; demonstration of modeling instructions and class activities were most helpful for me”
“I'm going to use them on Friday!”

Client Example 2: Milpitas Unified School District, Milpitas, CA

We were hired to plan and facilitate 3 days of PD with the Milpitas High School math department throughout the 2018-19 school year. Our PD model for this client was based on student engagement strategies. The guiding question from administration was: How can we engage students who usually tune out in math, especially in the lower level math classes like Integrated Math 1? If you are a math educator you know this is a BIG question and certainly not one that is going to answered in 3 days of on-site PD. However, we’ve created these PD sessions to share strategies we know work to engage ALL students in math, especially struggling math learners. Planning and facilitating this PD was a dream come true and when we saw teachers using the strategies from our first session the very next day in their classrooms, we knew we hit a home run.

Teacher feedback quotes from PD with MHS teachers:

“I enjoyed having PD that was targeted for high school curriculum. Too many PD is more elementary math based, which is not applicable to me. Juliana was a great resource!”
“Learned some new strategies regarding social emotional learning that is related about math.”
“I’m going to try different note-taking strategies as I currently use guided notes and it doesn't help the students I am hoping to help.”

Client Example 1: East Side Union High School District, San Jose, CA

We were hired to provide leadership coaching and collaboration with a district level math leader. We do this by having a weekly one hour google hangout with the leader to discuss goals, common reading, co-plan special ed math PD cycles, and co-edit the district scope & sequence for the special ed math department.

Client Example 2: Milpitas High School, Milpitas, CA

We were hired to provide leadership coaching for math department chairs. We do this having monthly one hour google hangouts between Juliana and department chairs to discuss common reading, department meeting content and agendas, and thought partner around how to accomplish various department goals.

Client Example 1: EdGems Math

EdGems Math is a brand new middle school math curriculum that is a teacher’s dream come true. It combines a thoughtfully written, standards focused printed textbook with the EdGems online platform filled with OER’s like Illustrative Mathematics tasks, IXL, and Desmos links to name a few, as well as engaging classroom activities, tiered worksheets, and their own online practice software. It’s truly unlike anything you’ve ever seen from a textbook company. Currently Juliana does presentations for districts who are in the textbook adoption stage across the US and will eventually provide implementation PD and ongoing support for districts who purchase EdGems Math.

Client Example 2: Colorado League of Charter Schools

Juliana was hired to provide PD offered through the Colorado League of Charter Schools*. These sessions are available for member (and non-member) schools and teachers to register and attend via the League's PD catalog and website. In 2019 Juliana will be offering the following sessions for the League:

We hope this helps answer the question about what we actually do and that you now have a better feel for our work. This is just a sampling of services we offer, but everything is completely custom created to fit your district's needs! If you’re interested in more information or want to talk, we’d love to hear from you! You can contact us via our website, or directly via email,

* Please note: Partnership is between Colorado League of Charter Schools and Juliana Tapper directly, not CollaboratEd Consulting.

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