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Erik Palmer is an educational consultant based in Denver, Colorado. He didn't start out as an educational consultant, however. Erik left law school and entered the commodity brokerage business. He managed a retail brokerage firm, ultimately incorporated a trading company, and took it public. He bought a seat on the floor of the Mid-America Commodity Exchange in Chicago and spent some time as a floor broker. "All of those ventures required strong verbal skills, and those experiences solidified my belief in the need to develop speaking skills," Erik explains.
When his children were born, Erik left the brokerage world and entered the education world, but he took with him the beliefs that education has to be relevant well beyond the classroom. "How much of what we teach will be forgotten or discarded once students leave school?" As a teacher he constantly challenged lessons being taught that did not have real-world relevance, and he sought to keep his teaching current and significant. In all subject areas he taught, he emphasized the importance of speaking well because he saw the positive impact it had in his classroom and because it is a life-long skill. "When I had opportunities to use new technologies available in the classroom, I embraced them," says Erik. "They helped me connect to the students, increase 'with-it-ness,' foster relevance, and improve instruction. Now as a consultant, I work with teachers to share the successes I have had in those areas."
Erik received his bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and his master's degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Colorado. He was a classroom teacher for twenty-one years before becoming a consultant. His areas of specialty include improving oral communication and updating instruction to incorporate twenty-first-century tools.
In his free time, Erik plays baseball and likes to ride his bike. He has two sons and three step-children. His wife teaches fourth grade.