This week, one special person was chosen from the Ultimate Support Group for Online Tutors to be featured on this blog. That special person is an online math tutor Beth Benson Geoffroy. She has answered some questions for me below and you can also learn more about her by visiting her website. http://www.mytutoringbee.com/
- What were you doing before you became an online math tutor?
While I was in school, I worked for a Realtor and mortgage broker as his assistant and processor – it was not the kind of work for me, but it paid the bills! Before I started strictly tutoring full-time, I taught 2nd and 3rd grade in Central Florida. I also tutored for a company after school during that time, but it wasn’t my primary job. After moving to Austin, Texas in May of 2012, I began tutoring in the area while looking for a teaching position. However, once August rolled around, I already had a full tutoring schedule, so I decided to take my chances and not go back to teaching in the public school system. Aside from marrying my husband (I think I’m obligated to say that part), it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
- What helped you decide to become an Online Math Tutor?
If there’s a way to expand my business and help more people, I’m there! There were two main reasons why I initially began looking into online tutoring: First, I have a lot of family and friends in Florida, so I wanted to find a way that I could still help them. Online math tutoring was the perfect solution. I’m currently working with 3 of my nieces and a friend’s daughter online! Second, Traveling around Austin was becoming more of a chore (and a danger) with each passing day – I mean, have you ever tried to get through downtown Austin at 4:30 on a weekday?!?! Yikes! To alleviate this issue, I began seeing students at my home office, but that option wasn’t feasible for several of my clients who lived further away. Online math tutoring gave us the opportunity to still work together without the hassle of traffic! Necessity is the mother of all invention – right?
- Why do you enjoy tutoring math the most?
I love tutoring any Math. When students come to me for math tutoring, it’s usually because they don’t understand it, and/or are not confident in their abilities. I love showing them patterns in numbers, and strategies that can help them be more successful in math. That’s when I see the most oh so coveted ‘light bulb moments’ that we teachers love so much. Also, we get to play math games, which is my favorite part of each lesson.
- Tell your number one success story of your students.
I have to tell the story of a mom and her daughter, Kimberly, who came to me for help one summer just before she was to enter the 7th grade at a new school. Through various moves and changes in school, understandably, Kimberly got behind in math, which was her least favorite subject. Not only that but Kimberly’s mom explained to me how much stress existed in their relationship from trying to work on math together. When we began her tutoring, she was about 2.5 years behind and terrified of starting school in that manner. This young lady worked so hard throughout that first summer to get caught up with her skills, and was able to start the school year with confidence! I continued working with her for the next two years – both during school and summers. She was determined to become better at math, always doing any extra practice I sent home, always coming to lessons prepared, and always ready with her best attitude to learning. After three summers and two school years of tutoring, I’m so proud to say that she is currently maintaining a 100% ‘A’ in her math class right now! I mean, how amazing is this young lady?!?! While we don’t hold regular tutoring lessons anymore, we do still have the option of occasional as-needed online sessions available. I love being able to provide support easily via online tutoring. It’s always bitter-sweet when my students don’t NEED me anymore, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Who is your ideal student?
My ideal student is someone who brings a good attitude with them to their tutoring sessions. Someone who is eager to learn and have fun doing so. Some students come to me because they are far behind and need help getting caught up, and some come for extra support and supplementary curricula – either way, so much more happens for them when they are intrinsically engaged.
- What do you love about being an Online Tutor? What do you love about the Ultimate Support Group for Online Tutors?
I love that online math tutoring gives me more freedom and flexibility with my schedule. I love the fact that I can help students around the world – something that wouldn’t have been possible just a short while ago. The technology amazes me.
I absolutely love being a part of the Ultimate Support Group for Online Tutors because it lets me feel that I am not alone. One of the things I miss about being a public school teacher was the cooperation and support from colleagues. I was really missing that when I first started tutoring, and even more so when I began tutoring online. This group provides a fabulous support system, with hundreds of members who are willing to help. The group has an excellent cooperative vibe about it.
- Where do you see your business 5 years from now?
I see many facets of my business in 5 years. My main staple will always be working one-on-one with students, either in-person or online; although, I do hope to be working with more international students via online tutoring. It would be nice to fill those morning and early afternoon hours of my schedule with students who live in other time zones. I also see a portion of my business as a support for other teachers by creating materials and lessons for use in the classroom. I’m currently working on growing those relationships, and creating new content every day.
- What is one piece of advice you would like to give someone just starting out?
Put yourself in your ideal client’s shoes, and ask yourself, “What would I need to do in order to find a tutor like ME?” That will give you a great starting point on how and where to market yourself to find new clients.
I would personally like to take the time to thank Beth for sharing her story with us. If you have questions feel free to ask below. For each of you that has taken the time to read this post and is interested in teaching math online I have a free gift for you. It is called 15 Incredibly Useful Websites for Online Math Tutors. If you are interested in redeeming this offer, just click the link above.