So, You Want to Be a Consultant?

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Are you a teacher or a school leader who is passionate about education and looking to share your message beyond your school? Perhaps you’ve worked with a great consultant and wondered, how did they get there–could I ever do that? Maybe you’re already doing some consulting–either a little bit on the side or through an organization, and you’re considering striking out on your own. You’re nervous though–how do you do that?

This is the course for you!

Mike Anderson, a successful independent education consultant, leads you on a powerful learning journey in this in-depth course. Mike has a ton of experience to share. After 15 years as a classroom teacher and then several years working for a non-profit education organization, he struck out on his own independent consulting journey. Since making the leap in 2014, he has (so far) taught workshops or worked with schools in 20 states as well as Mexico and Nicaragua. He presents at national conferences, gives keynote addresses, but most importantly, he engages in deep and long-term partnerships with schools and districts looking to make meaningful change. An award-winning teacher and a best-selling author, Mike was recently awarded the Outstanding Educational Leader Award by NHASCD for his work as a consultant. (You can check out his curriculum vitae here.)

Mike has also mentored several colleagues over the past few years as they have made the transition to consulting and had many long conversations with educators who are considering this path. This course comes from these many conversations, coaching sessions, and his own experiences. This course is packed with short and compelling videos of Mike giving guidance and offering advice. He has also crafted many meaningful thought exercises and organizational challenges for you to try.

You’ll also learn from other successful consultants in this course. They are bestselling authors, dynamic presenters, and passionate educators. They each share a bit about their journey and work as well as offer wisdom and advice about moving into consulting. Their diverse backgrounds, teaching experiences, and consulting work add immensely to this course. Here are your guest consultants:

  • Erin Jones (Olympia, WA) was raised in the Netherlands and came to the US for college where she discovered a passion for working toward racial and economic equity in schools. She worked for many years as a teacher (at various levels and in various roles) and as an administrator. She now works with students, educators, school/district leaders, and policy-makers around the United States.
  • Allison Zmuda (Virginia Beach, VA) is a former high school social studies teacher. She has authored many books (including The Quest for Learning: How to Maximize Student Engagement) and currently consults nationally and internationally on personalized learning and Habits of Mind (among other topics).
  • Andy Dousis (East Lyme, CT) is a former Marine and football coach who found his way to elementary school teaching. His consulting work focuses on supporting new teachers (especially in urban schools) and developing highly skilled school-based teacher-coaches.
  • Tanjela Sims (Phoenix, AZ) has taught at the elementary, middle school, and university levels. She now consults around the United States through an education consulting organization and is starting to think about next steps.
  • Kathy Collins (Durham, NH) was an elementary school teacher. She has written several widely-read books (including I Am Reading: Nurturing Young Children’s Meaning Making and Joyful Engagement with Any Book) and consults internationally on early childhood literacy, especially on the reading workshop model.
  • Pete Hall (Coeur D’Alene, ID) is a former teacher and school principal who has also authored and coauthored many books. His consulting work takes him around the world and focuses primarily on trauma informed teaching and building leadership capacity.
  • Bena Kallick (Westport, CT) is a creator of the Habits of Mind framework and has worked for decades as a national and international consultant. Her work in education has helped shape the experiences of thousands of educators and children around the world.


Here is some of what you will gain through taking this course. You will:

  • set a clear purpose to guide your work
  • start to uncover what content and topics you might focus on
  • start to collect resources and learn about a platform for sharing them with educators
  • gain tons of practical resources and suggestions for the business and financial side of the work (You’ll get a sample contract you can use, get links to important tax documents, start to figure out how much to charge, consider ideas for insurance, learn about LLCs, EINs, and other potentially unfamiliar terms, and much more.)
  • learn how to make connections and find schools to work with–to get your name and mission out there
  • explore mindsets and skill sets that are most important to nurture in yourself–so you can be successful in the long run

In short, this course is packed with all you need to know to get started on this exciting journey.


Disclaimer: This is not one of those stale online courses with quizzes (that don’t really assess knowledge) and written papers (that are more chore than personal reflection). You’ll watch engaging videos, brainstorm cool ideas, engage in meaningful self-reflection, and do real work–all for yourself. There’s nothing to turn in, nothing to be graded, and no busy work, though it is quite extensive. You may spend 10-30+ hours on this course, depending on how deeply you dig in. This course is designed to meet your needs, so you’re the one who decides how much (or how little) of any lesson or activity you’ll do. (Upon completion of this course, you can print a certificate and designate how many hours you spent.) Your measure of success is how ready you feel to take the leap into consulting when you’re finished!


If you have questions about this course, you can email Mike at



Course Features

  • Lectures 40
  • Quizzes 0
  • Skill level All levels
  • Language English
  • Students 10
  • Certificate Yes
  • Assessments Yes
  • Unit 1: Introduction 0/7

    In this introduction, you'll learn a bit more about what this course will entail. You'll also start to form some questions that you hope to pursue throughout this course.

    • Lesson1.1
      Meet Mike
    • Lesson1.2
      Create an Organizational System
    • Lesson1.3
      A Few Tips for Navigating this Course
    • Lesson1.4
      Consultant Interviews: Maximizing their Insights in this Course
    • Lesson1.5
      Mike’s Journey
    • Lesson1.6
      Course Overview–What Do You Hope to Learn?
    • Lesson1.7
      Let’s Get Going!
  • Unit 2: What's Your Why? 0/6

    A lot of this course is going to be about the "what" and "how" of getting started as an education consultant, but before we go there, we need to visit another question first. What's your "why"?

    • Lesson2.1
      Why Our “Why” Is So Important
    • Lesson2.2
      Know Your Why
    • Lesson2.3
      What Is Your Why?
    • Lesson2.4
      Meet Erin Jones
    • Lesson2.5
      Meet Allison Zmuda
    • Lesson2.6
      Moving from Why to What and How
  • Unit 3: What Are Your What and How? 0/8

    Now it's time to dig into content. What will you consult about? How do you get started with that?

    • Lesson3.1
      Introduction to Thinking about Content
    • Lesson3.2
      Topic Brainstorming
    • Lesson3.3
      A System for Collecting and Sharing Resources
    • Lesson3.4
      Resource Scavenger Hunt
    • Lesson3.5
      Meet Andy Dousis
    • Lesson3.6
      Methods for Facilitating Professional Learning
    • Lesson3.7
      Meet Tanjela Sims
    • Lesson3.8
      Conclusion to Thinking about Content
  • Unit 4: Starting a Business 0/9

    Without paying attention to some aspects of a business, you likely won't have much consulting work. This unit will get you started with this element of the work that's typically less comfortable for educators.

    • Lesson4.1
      Introduction to the Business Side of Things
    • Lesson4.2
      How Much Should You Charge?
    • Lesson4.3
      Finding Clients: Who Do You Know?
    • Lesson4.4
      Finding Clients: Making New Connections
    • Lesson4.5
      Meet Kathy Collins
    • Lesson4.6
      Website Scavenger Hunt
    • Lesson4.7
      Business Details and FAQs
    • Lesson4.8
      Meet Pete Hall
    • Lesson4.9
      Wrapping Up Starting a Business
  • Unit 5: Nurturing Key Mindsets and Skills 0/8

    As an independent consultant, you need to take care of your own professional learning.

    • Lesson5.1
      Introduction: Nurturing Key Mindsets and Skills
    • Lesson5.2
      Getting to Know Habits of Mind
    • Lesson5.3
      Meet Bena Kallick
    • Lesson5.4
      Self-Reflection: Habits of Mind
    • Lesson5.5
      Taking Care of Your Professional Learning
    • Lesson5.6
      Who’s Around Your Campfire?
    • Lesson5.7
      Growing Your Circle
    • Lesson5.8
      Conclusion: On-Going Professional Growth
  • Unit 6: Conclusion 0/2

    You're ready to get started!

    • Lesson6.1
      Final Reflections
    • Lesson6.2
      A Few Final Thoughts
Mike Anderson has been an educator for more than 25 years. A public school teacher for 15 years, he has also taught preschool, coached school swim teams, and taught university graduate level classes. He now works as a consultant providing professional learning for teachers throughout the US and beyond. In 2004, Mike was awarded a national Milken Educator Award, and in 2005 he was a finalist for NH Teacher of the Year. In 2020, he was awarded the Outstanding Educational Leader Award by NHASCD for his work as a consultant. A best-selling author, Mike has written eight books about great teaching and learning. When not working, Mike can be found hanging with his family, tending his perennial gardens, and searching for new running routes around his home in Durham, NH.


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