Building Relationships: One of the most important tasks for any small business is to build solid relationships with their customers- this is especially important when serving educational communities. One of the advantages of establishing these relationships is the level of honest feedback we receive- which in turn makes our business better.
Listen to Your Customers: While we often receive positive, happy reviews (we brag on “Rave Reviews”) we depend on our clients to give us honest feedback about how we can serve them better. This process led to us recognizing a disconnect between the student and the resources that we were providing.
The First Problem: We realized by the time our materials made it into the classroom, teachers and students were unclear how exactly to incorporate those materials into the existing curriculum. Providing them with great materials was not enough; how could the teachers engage the students and involve the parents?
The Solution: The first step in the solution was to provide better instruction on what made the materials great, and how those attributes could affect learning at home and in the classroom for teachers, students, and parents. We decided it was not enough to simply sell school supplies. As a company, we needed to ensure there were plenty of opportunities for those school supplies to be methodically implemented into the learning process and truly educate the student.
How We Did It? We sought out instruction for the more complex resources that we sell and ensure that the educators understand how to effectively utilize those resources and correlate them to the standards. We enlisted the help of Chicago Education Consultants to develop supplemental classroom curriculum that incorporates the latest teaching strategies for use in after school programs and Title I curriculum. In addition; Chicago Education Consultants developed teacher professional development programs that qualify for No Child Left Behind Title IIA funding, as well as CPDU and CEU continuing education credits.
The Second Problem: Teachers and Parents expressed frustration on how classroom field trips were being managed and how there often seemed there was no connection to their classroom curriculum. They felt like the students were frequently loaded on a bus; traveled to a destination; and wandered aimless with no real direction or lesson to follow.
The Solution: We challenged ourselves to help teachers take their classroom curriculum and apply it in the real world by developing interesting and engaging field trips that reinforce classroom concepts through standards-based tour itineraries.
Chicago Education Consultants, LLC developed unique student field trips (we call them Teaching Safaris) where students prepare for the trip weeks in advance by using our lesson plans that tie the field trip to current Illinois Standards. Teachers extend the learning after the trip with our lesson plans that again align to Illinois Standards.
As you can imagine- our customer’s feed back is very important to us! Please let us know if you have ideas on how we can better serve educators.
Filed under: Teaching Safari on February 2nd, 2010