For us, the start of the school year is always filled with excitement and anticipation – a fresh start, new opportunities and challenges, and always a lot of surprises. This year is particularly special because we’re celebrating our 15th anniversary as My Learning Springboard! It’s been an incredibly fulfilling journey, and we’re tremendously grateful to all of you for your trust, partnership, and collaboration over the years.
As we plan for this school year and consider today’s evolving school landscape with our “future glasses” on, we find that educational consulting is often a confusing term. To many people, it exclusively means college counseling or admissions consulting. To our families — and to us — it means that and so much more.
In his book, The Answer To How Is Yes, Peter Block discusses four archetypal images involved in getting each of us to act on what matters. These four archetypes are: 1) The Engineer, 2) The Economist, 3) The Artist, and 4) The Architect. Block explains that “each represents a strategic stance, a way of thinking, and a way of acting that brings a set of beliefs into the world.” The challenge lies in integrating their qualities, and that’s exactly what we aim to do in our work with families.
In 2009, Faya and I wanted to find a way to bring together experienced educators and learning specialists at all levels — preK to college — to collaborate on developing the best program for each student while growing with a family over time. We did so by founding My Learning Springboard, a boutique multidisciplinary educational consulting firm, whose comprehensive and integrated model was the first of its kind.
Different from most Educational Consultants, our leadership team brings together decades of expertise that spans many roles and credentials, including: Curriculum and Instruction Specialist, Reading Specialist, Math Specialist, Special Educator, School Principal, Family Advocate, General Educator, Learning Concierge, Corporate HR Talent Development Specialist, Public Relations Director, and Entrepreneur. Additionally, we leverage our robust faculty of master teachers and experts across many fields in addition to our vast network of related service professionals (e.g. psychologists, speech therapists). These perspectives inform our creativity, flexibility, and tenacity.
Where the engineer and the economist are allies according to Peter Block, and the artist serves as ballast for them, the architect “integrates both worlds” and aims to bring the engineer and the artist together. In our work as Educational Planners and Managers, we’re inspired by all four archetypes and, like the architect, aim to bring the various perspectives of all stakeholders into practical, cohesive action. Key stakeholders always include each student and their parents and caregivers. Additionally, we often collaborate with classroom teachers and learning specialists, school administration, and other professionals who may be involved.
Educational consulting efforts come in all shapes and sizes, thus our hourly consulting model has been preferred by our families for the past 15 years in order to facilitate maximum flexibility. Consulting needs could range from a single meeting to several meetings over a period of time to a bigger, more complex planning effort. Private tutoring or academic coaching services at home or remotely are often a part of the plan. Common engagements with parents, caregivers, and students, include (but are not limited to):
- Managing a school transition and related application process, PreK-12
- Managing a college application process
- Supporting course selection and navigating related school discussions
- Preparing for and/or responding to parent-teacher conferences
- Initiating or escalating requests with classroom teachers or school leadership
- Discussing educational trends, approaches, research, curricula, or programs
- Demystifying “park bench chatter”
- Conducting classroom observations to inform planning at school and/or at home
- Advocating for specialized instruction within public and private school settings
- Facilitating IEP and 504 processes as well as tuition reimbursement cases
- Parent and/or caregiver coaching regarding in-home strategies or enhanced systems to support their learner(s)
- Reviewing, discussing, and interpreting school documentation — including report cards and neuropsychological evaluations — to create an action plan at school and/or at home
- Benchmarking reading levels, spelling levels (stages), and writing needs
- Benchmarking math performance across all domains
- Developing, implementing, and/or managing targeted plans for remediation, acceleration, and test preparation
- Crisis management, including student disciplinary action and mental health challenges
Depending on the structure of a school’s calendar, it’s typical for families to meet with us quarterly or each semester. Ongoing and active management of each child’s school journey allows for timely recalibration and any necessary course correction. This active management is important whether a student might be transitioning to a new school or not. The intention is to help each child self-actualize and make the most of their current school setting and experience.
We are deeply grateful to the many families and schooling professionals who have trusted us and partnered with us in pursuit of helping each student to realize their full potential over the past 15 years, and we look forward to continued success and growth as an organization dedicated to helping children and families thrive.
For any educational consulting and management needs or questions, please contact us to schedule further discussion.
If anyone you know could benefit from our support related to any type of educational question or matter, please kindly share our information and we would be happy to connect with them.