Tutoring isn’t what I thought I’d be doing in 2010!

In the 1999/2000 school year, I was head of the middle school program at a small private school in north GTA, responsible for developing curriculum, supervising teachers, running the library.  I was also teaching English, French, history, geography and guidance to an energetic group of mixed grade (7/8) and mixed ability (from gifted to academically-challenged) students.

When my boss decided I should draft plans for a high school program just two years after developing the middle years program, I began to think that if I was going to be exhausted and underpaid, it would be on my own terms.

Fast forward…. In July, I opened a tutoring agency and began dreaming of completing a Master’s degree the following fall.  I would go on to do….I don’t know what.

That first summer was an easy routine of reading, writing, and math classes – that is, until the day I met a man who wanted to understand why his daughter had failed grade 7.  It didn’t take long to find the answer:  She couldn’t read or write. Really. She couldn’t read a pre-school picture book.

Ten days after I handed him my report and recommendations, the girl’s father phoned me again, with what he called an “unusual request.”  By the time I got off the phone, I had agreed to work with the girl, “A”, for a year – full-time, one-on-one.

Well, you know the strength of word-of-mouth….

Soon I had a classroom full – from grade 1 to grade 8 – and I had to hire other teachers to help.

Every one of those kids received a personalized education and developed the missing math and language skills they needed before heading back into the “regular” school system.

‘A’ was with me for three years – and she was the first one to go back into the system.  By the time she moved on to grade 9, she could read and write and do math close to grade level – and she’d learned a lot about history, geography, science and self-respect.

I did finally start grad school in couple of years later, but was derailed by…. well, that’s another story.

Right now, my teachers and I provide in-home academic support in both Ottawa and Toronto.  We specialize in working with students with special needs, but are proud to also support students who need one-on-one content specific tutoring.  Give us a call if you think we can help. 1-888-636-7741 or email aldridge@bellnet.ca

I look forward to hearing from you!

Diane

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