In our last post, we spoke about some factors that might influence our clients choosing the private tutoring route and also discussed some pros and cons to consider before choosing any tutoring option for yourself or a loved one.
These were all the reasons we considered when we put ourselves in our clients’ shoes. Thinking about what consumers need and why they need it is key to marketing ourselves effectively, but we thought it necessary to also share with our audience why we chose private tutoring over all other options of entrepreneurial endeavors the world has to offer and address a few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) we’ve been getting since our launch in October, 2015 – these are a few comments from H.L.C. Founder and Tutor, Hannah Sundari Sammy.
- Why did you choose teaching of all professions?
Teaching has always been a dream of mine since I was a child. My mother always jokes however that at the ripe old age of 5, my first love was seismology, after seeing Dante’s Peak. Despite my evident career change, volcanic explosions, lava and Pierce Brosnan will forever be in my heart…
On a more serious note however during primary and secondary school in Trinidad I always felt as if I did not connect with my teachers. Most of my learning was done at home, on my own, by reading textbooks and articles, watching videos or documentaries and attempting revision questions. At times however in the competitive school environment my pre-exam effort would not always match the grades I received. As a results when I was about 13 years old I was assessed to see if my difficulties in performing academically was due to a learning disability called dyslexia. What that assessment revealed was abnormally high levels of anxiety coupled with extremely slow processing speeds, both of which combined were hampering my ability to turn internal knowledge into written and verbal expressions. (Processing Speeds – check out this link if you would like to learn more!)
Reading my assessment report was my “light-bulb moment”. I remember thinking that for the first time in my life I did not feel “slow” or “difficult” or “problematic” or any of those negative things children who can’t keep up with the class are told. I just needed a different approach, I needed to train myself to internalize knowledge differently, and instead of rote learning, I needed to be creative when I studied. After this moment I went through school mostly teaching myself and helping other wherever I could. I could never shake the feeling that there were so many other children out there who may not have gotten their “light-bulb” moment – there were student’s who would be held down by classroom labels for the rest of their lives. I wanted to change that, I wanted to be in a position to empower students, teach them that differences in learning speeds and styles are not a burden or an inconvenience. Each and every person is unique, and education should never be associated with oppression or abuse of students.
So, this is my story, and this is why of all the things I could be, I decided to be a teacher…
- Why Private Tutoring?
Well, as I mentioned before, while I was a student in school, I often felt lost in the classroom. The teaching periods were too short, the subject material was too rushed and very rarely did we do anything but take notes and write exams. This was definitely not ideal for me! Moreover when I looked at the remedial education landscape in Trinidad I found that many persons capitalized on students needing subject specific tutoring and not much services existed for students who needed assistance in reading, writing and general comprehension. In starting H.L.C. I wanted not only to fulfill my dreams, but I wanted to fill a gap and make a difference “on the ground”. Many times people think of influencing policy or education on a national level, but for me, I felt that my place was in the trenches, dealing with clients one-on-one, changing the world, one student at a time.
- What was the rational behind H.L.C.?
H.L.C. I think is was what my 13 year old self conceptualized but didn’t quite realize it at the time. I knew I always loved psychology, I loved helping my peers and I always had a knack for teaching. When I was applying for postgraduate programs I wrote in my personal statement that I wanted to form an after-school, remedial education center that catered not only to primary and secondary school students, but also to adult learners. I wanted to create a safe space, a secure learning environment where students would not be judged or rushed or made to feel inadequate. That’s the main rationale for H.L.C. – to be multidimensional in scope, multifaceted in approach and inclusive in its practices and services.
Short, simple and sweet, right?
- What impact do you hope H.L.C. will make?
In one sentence, I hope H.L.C. will lead to more students realizing their potential, growing in confidence and moving onto new and better things. I hope that each and every student we assist eventually stops needing our help. I say this because my job is not to keep students around as a form of business. My one and only hope for this company is that it empowers students to the point that they feel comfortable taking the skills that they have learned and excel independently in the future. Community outreach is as aspect I hope we can branch out into, in the future, as is psycho-educational assessment and diagnosis. For not however, we’re starting small, with growth being the inevitable next step.
We hope answering some of these FAQs were both entertaining and informative. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments – visit our “Contact Us” page for more details.
Until next time!