My unofficial business tagline is “being the person I needed when I was younger.”
I’ve often said that I wouldn’t accept Jeff Bezos’s, Bill Gates’s and the Sultan of Brunei’s combined net worth to be a fourteen year old girl again. Or fifteen. Maaaybe seventeen.
My teenage years were rough (rougher than some, not as rough as many), and that was a good hunk of time ago.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to face the modern perils of either the presence of a camera in everyone’s pocket, or the looming, pervasive presence of social media. Sure, the models in the magazine photos were airbrushed, but at least my peers weren’t.
I was lucky to have support from teachers and, ironically, one heck of an excellent calculus tutor (thank you, Miss Camille), but I still took life way too seriously – trying to be the perfect student, daughter, athlete – all things that took their psychological toll.
But I hid it very, very well.
Nobody knew how miserable I was. Nobody knew what my struggles were – about my secret eating disorder, depression, anxiety, and anger. I couldn’t even identify that the life I was living did not match up with the values system I’d been taught – much less know how to create a personally values-driven life.
Everything on the outside looked great. Everything on the inside was quite a pile of muck. The book didn’t match the cover.
So when I became an “accidental educator” I stumbled into a calling. Countless times, clients would walk in and unload the math text, the calculator, pencil…and I’d look at them and ask, “Alrighty, what are we working on?”
And they would burst into tears. So I’d lean over, gently close their math book and just…listen, quickly realizing that when the brain is completely occupied by the various accoutrements and struggles of the adolescent life, there’s very little room left over for effective math (chemistry, physics, English comp…etcetera. etcetera).
As a tutor and academic coach, I get to occupy a unique niche in a high school or college student’s life – I’m neither parent nor teacher – but I am an adult who will stop, listen, and really, truly care about what their struggles are. I’m sort of like the cool aunt – the one the kids go to with the problems they just don’t think a parent would understand, or a teacher would be interested in. (They do care, by the way. All of them. Just…trust me on this one.)
In sixteen years of being a private tutor, I have enjoyed business growth (including growing pains), at least up until Covid smacked the educational system in the proverbial backside. “Why aren’t you a millionaire, with all of this online school?” my friends have asked.
Good question. Three reasons, I tell them.
But the short answer is I’m not a millionaire, I miss connecting with kids, and I’m a little bit miserable.
So after our wee little “pandemic holiday,” which gave me ample time for self-reflection, I’ve decided to try the following, and see what The Universe throws at me.
If it’s meant to be, it will work out. If not…well, I can always hock hammers at Home Depot, right? I’m not proud.
For the Fall 2021 semester, I will be personally taking on a limited number of students in order that I may devote significant time, attention, and focus to each one.
Each week during the semester we will meet for at least an hour and a half, with additional time available to prepare for upcoming major assignments (tests, papers…life’s little challenges). I’ll be available by text, phone, drop ins…Your student will have his or her own personal “school Sherpa” to check in, guide, identify potential pitfalls, assist with curriculum, and be available as a touchpoint for coaching.
I can personally assist in any high school math, and college math up through and including Calculus 2 (for business and engineering majors), and am able to provide instruction in any statistics class. I have staff tutors who can assist with classes I’m frankly no help in.
Additionally, I will be contributing academic and life skills coaching, which includes (but is not limited to): helping my clients recognize what their personal goals are (short and long term), identifying and surmounting any limiting beliefs that may be holding them back from achieving those goals, determining strategies and action plans to reach those goals, and learning to be more tuned in, present, and focused in all areas of their lives.
One size does not fit all (I know this…I’ve been an Amazon since 8th grade in a world of dainty darlings), and the cost of this program depends on each particular student’s needs.
There will be a one-time payment at the start of the semester, similar to a tuition investment, and that’s it. A very loose, wide range/ballpark is $2K – $3K.
I’m excited to make connections with students again.
I learned a lot about myself during Covid – some great, some pretty ugly. I’m ready to rise from the ashes and give back.
Let’s do this.