The EC in QC section of our newsletter is for consultants.
When I first started consulting, I would tell teachers with whom I was working that I was “un prof pas de classe” (a teacher with no class). It was a way for me to break the ice and to show that I was not very far removed from the classroom. I am no longer satisfied with that definition, since it no longer faithfully represents what it is that I do.
The recent Framework for Competent Action in Educational Consulting
, published by the University of Sherbrooke elaborates on three concepts that help to define professional action: Role, Practice, and Competence.
The Role of an Education Consultant is related to their social position within their organisation. One can recognize that role through a set of activities, behaviours, and tasks that can either be fixed or that evolve based on the values and expectations of the EC’s milieu. This is a good place to start, but somewhat incomplete.
Practice is associated with professional activity as well as the intention to act professionally. In essence, it is not only your response to a teacher's request, but also the preparation, resource gathering, and knowledge that comes with it. Practice is as much about getting ready to meet with someone professionally as the meeting itself. All of this within a context of growth and positive change.
Finally, there is the notion of Competence. To quote directly from the Framework: “Competence arises out of the mobilization and combination of internal and external resources from which an appropriate, situation-specific professional practice emerges.” In other words, knowing how to bring the resources that you have gathered along with your professional knowledge and know-how to a professional activity within a specific context.
According to the researchers, all three of the above components make up what they define as competent action in educational consulting. How we define ourselves professionally has an impact on how we are perceived by others and in turn how effective we are at our job. Knowing where we fit in our organisation can help us to become better leaders. As agents of change, we strive to grow the knowledge base and teaching practice for the betterment of our organisation’s stakeholders. Lastly, fostering relationships with teachers, administrators, and staff extends our influence and allow us greater professional reach.