Experienced Teacher Discovers Skills For Building Her Educational Practice


- Miranda Calkins, Educational Therapy Alumnas

Term : February, 2016
Department : Education
Program : Educational Therapy

Miranda Calkins is an experienced educator with a background in classroom teaching, outdoor education and private tutoring. She runs an independent business as an educational consultant and tutor, and over time noticed an increased need to provide her clients with more specialized educational therapy techniques. Her search for professional development took her to UCSC Extension’s Educational Therapy program, which offered practical approaches for educational assessment and growing her business. She is on track to complete her certificate in 2016.

What inspired you to learn more about educational therapy?

I wanted to expand my tutoring business to a different level. I have been working with more kids with special needs, and felt that I needed more training to best support them. I also work at an educational center that integrates occupational therapy, including yoga and meditation, into their learning experience. I wanted to find training that could help me develop my practice and transform how I work with kids. I looked at a few programs, and realized that I needed something with flexibility, which is what I love about this program. The accessibility and practicality of the classes is really important, and they feel directly related to what I’m doing now. I am able to apply what I’m learning to my work life.

What classes stood out to you?

“Assessment for Educational Therapists—Using Formal and Informal Approaches” was excellent; I loved the instructor’s teaching. I always get daunted by assessment, and I get them regularly from clients, so this class really informed my understanding of the whole process, which was a huge help.

“Management of Clinical Practice” was excellent too; I really threw myself into it, because it gave me a good sense of what my business model would be. You can evolve in the class depending on your experience; if you want practice creating a website or growing your business, you can tailor it to what you need. I enjoyed that class quite a bit. The instructor gave us a lot of models and forms that help do the brain work of drawing the line with parents. As teachers running businesses, we need to have that ability to draw the line in terms of invoices and operating practices, and the class taught me a lot about maintaining that level of professionalism.           

What are your career goals?

I would like to broaden my business and have more solid knowledge of all the different learning challenges that learners face. I have many years of experience as a teacher and I know how it feels to need to provide real tools for children with different special needs. As an educational therapist and educational consultant I would love to be able to be that bridge for a teacher in the classroom; to coach teachers on how to best help their students with special needs.

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