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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Thriving Practice as a Learning Specialist

Did you know that teachers stay in the field of education for an average of only two years? Many of these people slogged through years upon years of schooling and accrue tens of thousands of school-based loans only to find that the job they longed for was nonexistent.  What's the next step?

Did You Ever Consider Being a Learning Specialist?
I have been getting a ton of questions about what it takes to create a learning specialist practice.  I have a simple way for you to get many of your questions and concerns answered! Sign up for my Successful Learning Specialist Practice VIP list and let me teach you strategies for success!!

What is a Learning Specialist?
Learning specialists are teachers/coaches who are skilled at providing support to struggling students. They can find employment in private schools or set up a practice outside of formal schooling. These educators work individually or in small groups to provide intensive instruction and support that meets the individual needs of each learner. Often an expert in a number of subject areas, learning specialists also offer study strategies, memory techniques, metacognitive and focusing methods, and remedial lessons. They should also be versed in assistive technology, creating an intervention plan, conducting observations, defining reasonable accommodations, and assisting students to develop self-advocacy skills. Many learning specialists also offer reading, writing and/or math remediation as well as cognitive remedial training, homework help and direct communication with teachers and other professionals. Learning Specialists should be well educated in learning and cognition as well as alternative learning and multisensory teaching strategies. They should hold an undergraduate degree and preferably a master’s degree and/or doctorate in a field such as educational psychology, special education, neuropsychology, and or school psychology.  

Why Did I Become a Learning Specialist?
I went into the field of education because I wanted to empower struggling learners and help them to find their genius qualities and life's purpose.  When I finished my doctorate, I tried a number of positions.  I ran two college programs for students with learning disabilities, taught university courses, conducted teacher training as a consultant, and acted as a learning specialist in a private school.  I soon learned that the educational system was sadly broken and I continually found myself in positions where my hands were tied and I could not give the students what they needed and deserved. I decided to try one more thing before changing my profession altogether.  I created my own private practice and called it Learning to Learn.  I networked for a few weeks, and I've been slammed for the past 18 years.  Throughout this time, I've mastered the business end, collected and created the very best materials and documents, and utilized some amazing technology tools that make my practice a virtual no-brainer to run.

What are Some other Common Titles Used for This Profession?
There are a number of other common titles used in the private educational field, and each offer a slightly different expertise and focus.  
  • Educational Therapist
  • Learning/Academic Coach (Executive Functioning Coach, ADHD Coach)
  • Educational Specialist
  • Reading Specialist
  • Tutor
Actually, I use all the following titles to describe the work I do in my practice: learning specialist, educational therapist, coach and personal trainer for the brain.  Here is an article that I wrote that defines the Differences between a tutor, learning specialist and educational therapist

There is a great need for enthusiastic educators that can help students make it through their years of schooling.  What's more, you get to set your hours, wages, and approach.  If you have any further questions or comments, please share your thoughts below this blog.
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/, www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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