Today I am so pleased to featured an Interview with an Educational Consultant – Marijke van Graan – in my Women at Work series. Marijke calls herself and Educational Consultant – read on to find out more about exactly what she does….
What is your current job?
An eclectic mix of challenges and people. I run my own educational consultancy, Growing Brains, which sees me training preschool teachers, parents, trainers, working with teenagers with learning difficulties, and teaching science and maths.
How did you end up in your current position?
I am fascinated by how the brain learns and tapping into this incredible potential. So after teaching high school science for a number of years, I retrained as a remedial teacher, which lead me into the world of what can go wrong with the brain and the learning process, and having a scientific mind, I began to investigate how to fix, stimulate, understand and prevent many of the difficulties I was seeing. Having a child was the final shove into starting my own business, so while I was pregnant I took the leap from classroom teaching into training, running my own remedial practice and speaking on brain development.
When did you know this is what you wanted to do?
Eric Liddle in the movie Chariots of Fire said “I feel God’s pleasure when I run” – That’s how I feel when I teach. I think I have taught my whole life whether it was my dolls, willing friends, out of necessity for extra cash at varsity, in the classroom or to a room full of adults. I guess it’s how I was designed.
What did you study – was it in this field or something different?
I feel like I keep going back to study more, I have such a thirst for knowledge, but have got fussier about my teachers over the years. I started off with a Bachelor of Social Science, followed by some missions training, and bible college studies while I was in Russia working with YWAM, then did a teaching certificate, a TEFL course and later an advance training in remedial teaching.
What’s the best part of your job? And the worst/ most challenging part?
I have flexible hours and work in a variety of places during the week, from Vrygrond to a local high school, my home to the homes of others, from corporates to NGO’s and meetings in coffee shops. The most challenging is often feeling torn between the different roles I play in different places and the various expectations.
What would be your “dream” job, or are you doing it?What do you still want to achieve in this position or another?
I’m busy creating and living my dream, I really want to continue to speak, motivate, equip and challenge people about the incredible way in which God has designed, and uniquely created them and their children. To achieve this I need to continue to trust God to bloom where He places me and to follow where He leads me.
What is your typical day?
Wake up sort out my family, breakfasts, lunches, snack boxes and morning snuggles and sometimes a story. Then it is the school run, followed by anywhere from 3-5 hours of work at a different place every morning, then it’s fetching and an afternoon of play, some teaching, extra murals, wiping noses etc. Most evenings are home with my husband except when I am out training parents, or catching up on personal admin.
To contact Marijke and find out more about the courses she runs through her Growing Brains consultancy please visit her website.
Thank you so much Marijke for taking part in this series and giving us a bit more insight into your crazy, busy life! You are an inspiration for women to find a way to do a job they love in a way that suits their lifestyle and family. And you make it look easy, although it’s most definitely not! Congratulations! I wish you much success with growing your consultancy and contributing to Growing Brains of our littlest people (and their parents!)
The aim of this series is to introduce women to a variety of interesting careers. This is in order to inspire women of all ages to aspire to a career (either full or part time) which they LOVE, especially teens, university leavers and moms who have been raising kids and have been out of the job world for a while!!
If you, or a woman you know, has an interesting job and would be happy to be an interviewee please do contact me.