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Kimberly Selchan-Tutor Doctor

Kimberly Selchan-Tutor Doctor

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Speaker 1 00:00:03 Guys, welcome to the podcast. We have Kimberly Selchan from Tutor Doctor and she’s going to tell us all about the wonderful, wonderful world of tutoring. And I think it’s really important right now because so many people are thinking of the different ways of teaching their kids at this time when school is not the traditional way of schooling, as we knew it, pre COVID. So, Kimberly, can you tell me something about yourself and, your background? Well, sure. So thanks for having me on Vicki. Appreciate it. , I am a mom of two. I have a fifth grader and a sixth grader. I of course got the same taste as just about everybody else with online schooling last year. So I am my demographic for the most part. me, me as a person, you know, I, I like yoga. I’m a vegan I’m, I’m a little bit strange in that regard, but my, my background is not an education it’s in a professional space.
Speaker 1 00:01:01 So I was in the banking industry for about 15 years. Most of that time, I was a hiring manager, a site manager, and I had a lot of experience hiring people, mentoring, doing a lot of career development. And my observation was that, you know, adults are lacking a lot of like the executive skills, managing their schedules, communicating clearly and effectively. And I thought to myself, despite all of the training that we have in a corporate space in the workplace, what is it that we’re really lacking? Like why have we gotten this far in our adult lives? And we, we lack what I, what I would think are just basic skills. So I looked into tutor doctor and I realized with the model that we have, and I’m sure we’ll talk about it, but we help. We can help you build those things. And the most impressionable years and formidable where you can actually take changes, you can, you can set plans, design, calendars, look at deadlines.
Speaker 1 00:01:58 Like these are things that are totally transferable to the workplace and to the adult life. So, you know what, like our vision or my vision is, is that we build lifelong learners and successful adults. So that’s, that’s really like my background and how it bridges into to, to doctor. And do you own a few different franchises of tutor doctor? Yeah. Yeah. So it is a franchise we’re international. We’re in 16 different countries around for 11 years, but my, my presence is here in the Valley. So predominantly it’s the East Valley. So Chandler Gilbert Mesa, you know, that, that area in the East Valley is one major region. And then I also work in North Phoenix, Scottsdale, even out in the fringes up to Peoria. But you know, like the main areas I would say would be Scottsdale and then East Valley, but you have a couple tutors that will go pretty much everywhere. Is that correct? Couple of several dozen. Yeah. We have quite a few tutors. That’s awesome.
Speaker 2 00:03:00 So, so, what are your, who are your typical colors?
Speaker 1 00:03:07 There are, there are three buckets of clients., I’ll say the ones that are the most frequent though. So we’ve got today, we’ll look at today is probably why people would be listening is you’ve got the grade school parent that knows that their kid isn’t like at that middle line or above. so if you have 30 kids in a class, there’s somewhere, maybe in the bottom of the class, not necessarily in grades, sometimes people can have good grades, but they’re not, they’re not getting what they need. So, you know, the parent realizes my child learns differently. They may or may not have an IEP. So an individualized plan, they may or may not have a resource teacher that does individualized instruction with them or small group settings, but they know that that child needs a little bit more support. They need to go over material a second or a third time.
Speaker 1 00:04:00 They need to see it at a slower pace. a lot of kids learn they’re tactile and that’s not something that’s very like the classroom setting is not very conducive to that. And obviously, you know, this is a homeschool mom. Like your home is your classroom. Kids learn differently. So those kids that just, again, they have a different learning need. They will seek out tutoring to give their kids what they need to learn. So that’s one bucket. So like K through five it’s kids that are generally struggling a bit just to keep up. And then there’s another, another group of, of another population that are like the college bound kids starting in junior high and high school. They’re a lot of athletes. We work with a lot of student athletes, their schedules are tight. Their timeline is very well known. They know when they have to apply to college, they know what the requirements are. And it’s a matter of getting everything done in a very limited time. They need a coach just like they have a coach for their sport. They need an academic coach to make sure they’re staying on track. So that’s another big bucket. And then the third is college. We have a lot of college students and even some adult learners getting, you know, getting their graduate,GREs, cats, et cetera. Yeah. So those are the three. Yeah.

Speaker 2 00:05:14 Are you already getting calls for, parents who are needing resources because their kids are being, schooled at home?
Speaker 1 00:05:23 Yes, indeed. We are. Vicky’s so thankfully we’ve had, we’ve had quite a few parents that are anticipating what this might look like, how it would impact their, their home life, the schooling for their children. And they started seeking out some information, just, just gathering information. Like it is an education process for parents as well as it is for the students., so we started bringing on some new students for the year over the past month. And then, you know, even as recently as today with school having just started, you know, now we have another wave of parents that are like, you know, darn I thought that we could kind of just dive right into this. It’s not going to be as smooth sailing as I had hoped we need some support. So those types of calls, like, right, right before we’re speaking now, Vicki, I had gotten a call from a family. They’ve got a seventh grader. The girl has struggled in the past with school. She’s not going to get access to her resource teachers because of the virtual setting. And they don’t want her to fall behind. They know what she needs and they know that it can’t be offered in this learning style. So they called from some additional assistance until, and if ever, whenever she’s able to go back to the classroom., so it’s, you know, really it’s helping kids that that will not be successful learning online. Definitely.

Speaker 2 00:06:40, and so our kids who are being homeschooled by their parents and they ask for a tutor, are the tutors, the ones who are setting up the schooling or are the parents setting up the, , school, the, the learning process are they expecting the, the, two year tutors to come up with everything for the kids to learn? Or are the parents, the ones coming up with everything?

Speaker 1 00:07:09 That’s a really, that’s a really good question. it is a mix, but I will say from, you know, this is, I mean, it’s essentially, we’re a staffing agency and you, you know, this better than anyone. I, I don’t want an outside service if I’m going to back up a step. If I were the mom, I wouldn’t want an outside service telling me what I should do. Like what type of instruction I should introduce. That’s really just that one person’s opinion. And I’ve been on the homeschool Facebook pages and the homeschool moms that we tutor in the families and the dads that are involved. They all have a different curriculum because they chose the one that makes the right sense for their family. You know, a lot of Christian based learning online learning. I don’t feel comfortable as the business owner to say what someone should choose.
Speaker 1 00:07:57 So when I get the calls, like people transitioning from like the public school system into homeschooling, I highly encourage the parent to make the decision for the curriculum first, and then we will follow it. And I feel very strongly about that. so there’s, you know, homeschooling like you, but then there’s home based learning, which is kind of like everybody else, whether they’re a charter school or public school. So they’ve home is now, or, sorry, school is now in the home, it’s at the kitchen table or the bedroom or wherever you can scrounge up place for the desk to be, those situations, obviously we’re following the school’s curriculum. We were not like a learning center where we’ve got like a packet and it’s tutor doctor material, and you’re going to test to our standards. It’s very personalized to the school’s standards or in the case of homeschool, then again, following the homeschool curriculum.
Speaker 2 00:08:46 Gotcha. Gotcha. I know some parents are just a little bit lost right now and they might want the tutor to come in and say, okay, this is what you do. So I just wanted to know what the expectations were for the tutors and for the families on that.
Speaker 1 00:09:02 Yeah. Well, I’ll say, I mean, people that, that are in that transition point, coming from the private or public school model into the homeschool, you’re somebody that I would do as a resource again, then, you know, there’s there’s resource and then there’s instruction, you know, we’re on the instruction side of things. but before someone gets to the point where they choose tutor doctor and our services, you know, I have a parent group that I managed on Facebook. If somebody wants homeschool, like you’ve been in our group and done presentations, I would rather somebody do their own research and make sure that we’re the right fit, but I don’t want to be the one advising on what they should do again.
Speaker 2 00:09:40 Gotcha. are there some subjects that, kids seem to need more help than others?
Speaker 1 00:09:48 Yes. Math, like, yeah, the, the, the number one subjects, when, you know, if I just filter all of our students, it is algebra sometimes it’s college level algebra because they just, they didn’t take it until college, but it’s algebra for sure. Then pre calculus, and then it’s just kind of a hodgepodge of elementary and junior high school, high school math, definitely math, lots of math.
Speaker 2 00:10:18 That was a foreshore statement. Yeah. I get that. how do you see COBIT effecting your business going forward?
Speaker 1 00:10:31 I am really excited about how I feel like this is going to transform, not just, not just our business, but learning. And I mean that, I’m not this isn’t like an opportunistic thing. I have believed for a long time that like the kids that are seeking us out are the parents rather that are seeking out private services. It’s because they know that the institutional model just doesn’t work for their kids in many other kids. So I, I feel in my hope that because of the impacts of COVID and having the shutdowns, I think more, more families are going to realize, you know, Hey, we actually can accommodate more of the learning within our own home. And like, online’s not so bad. I, I personally do not think that kids should be on a screen the entire day to do their learning exclusively. We even in college level, yes, they’re online, but they’re not online all day.
Speaker 1 00:11:28 They’re online for eight course, and then they’re offline to do the self study. So I think that kind of hybridization and incorporating learning and making more of a home based, not homeschool just happening within the home. I think that’s going to be something we realize in the educational world, as well as just in our own personal lives, we can do this. So the way I see our business being by it is more like small group tutoring sessions. So maybe like the whole family, you know, there’s maybe a sixth grader all the way down to a second grader within the home siblings that the tutor would come in and kind of go sixth grader first, and then the fourth grader. And then the second grader where they’re getting the personalized attention they need outside of the classroom. that’s generally, I think that’s something that we’re going to be seeing a lot more of as well as being able to tutor more online is like as needed. So somebody just needs help, like reviewing their paper before they turn it in, you know, have a tutor look at that. that’s the type of thing. I think being just more, more hybridized and doing modalities of learning. So it’s not all like homework assignments printed out on paper. It’s not all attending a class and sitting there for seven hours a day, it’s using multiple ways to introduce learning to the students and into the hall.
Speaker 2 00:12:50 Yeah. I think Kobe is going to be a catalyst to change how our education system works and hopefully for the better, , I see the schools, , being very particular with how long they’re being online. And I think they’re trying to get the hours in online. I’m not sure how well that is working. I know there’s some issues with the connectivity right now, , for some students and that’s going to hinder the learning process, unfortunately, and, and the desire to learn, unfortunately. But I think with, , small group sessions and, you know, business, especially like your business can really help, , enhance the desire to learn where you have a one on one person who knows what they’re doing, really help the child, achieve greatness and, and show them that they can be successful with what they want to do and what they can do. And those little small incremental steps can really show that the child can, can make those improvements. So hopefully that will, it will be a catalyst towards better.
Speaker 1 00:13:55 I really, like I said, I hope, and I believe that I really do. And this isn’t just because this is a business opportunity. I believe that that’s a better way to learn. Like I think any kid myself included back when I was a little kid, I would have rathered have, you know, studied a little bit and then tried to apply it, you know, taking things out of the classroom, into the real world. And I just, I feel like this is the way to do it. It’s a little bit of instructional learning. And then now let’s go apply that and then wait, I need, can you remind me what that was again? So maybe it’s just a quick zoom conversation or some other platform with a tutor or instructor, and then you go back and apply it. So there, there are a lot of positive things that I, I, I do believe will come out of this.
Speaker 2 00:14:39 Absolutely. is there anything you’d like our listeners to know
Speaker 1 00:14:45 There is, you, you touched on something that I think is really at the, like the core of how a tutor can help. I don’t, I don’t, I generally don’t even like the word tutor because I feel like it really diminishes what, like the value is and what what’s being offered. It’s when somebody has lost the love of learning, we’re, we’re innately curious, we’re born to ask questions and we want to learn things. But when you go through, you know, whether it’s institutional schooling possibly even happens in homeschooling, I don’t see it as often, but when, when somebody’s natural desire is just squished because they’re told that they’re not good at math. We’ll go back to why people want math, help. People generally don’t think they’re good at math. And it’s not that they’re good or not good. It’s just the way it’s being introduced it, doesn’t meet their learning style.
Speaker 1 00:15:38 And when you have that label upon yourself, like I’m not good at something, or I’m just not good at school. A lot of people have a huge label. I’m not good at school. It’s just not for me. Think of how that shapes all of the decisions they make about the rest of their life. So when I go back to how I got into this business, it was from the professional world thinking, how did these people get here that have college degrees, they are smart. They’re driven, they’re providing for their families, but this is not the right job for them. How, how do they not see that for themselves? And I know it’s the sum of all of those little decisions and labels along the way, where they were told they weren’t good at this. And so then, then they went left instead of right. And you do all that.
Speaker 1 00:16:22 And at the end of the day, you’re like, well, I guess I’m just going to go be a whatever, because that’s all that’s left. But when you have somebody like a tutor, which is really a mentor, it’s a guide. It’s like I said earlier, it’s an academic coach to see you for what you could be and help you understand things. Your world of possibilities opens up. And, and that’s just something I want to share. Like, that’s really at the foundation of what we do. I, as a human being, I do not care if we deliver students that all have four points, you know, a four point GPA and they all attend an Ivy league college. But if that’s your goal, then we will help you accomplish your goal. If your goal is just to get through high school, because all you want to do is be an auto mechanic.
Speaker 1 00:17:04 Then we will help you do that. There is no reason to fit some box that, you know, you’re going to be standing outside of from the moment you got your diploma. Right. So that’s, yeah. I just want to share like, just like the passion for what we’re able to do. It is so rewarding and it is so exciting to see these kids that were crying and stressed out and hated school. Some of them are apathetic, and then they think, you know, I, I never thought I’d say this, but I think I kind of like algebra. It’s like, wait, what, I’m sorry, what did you do know? It really made a difference. And that happens. That’s not like a one off that happens regularly and we all need auto mechanics too. So we can submit a set at all. We all need some auto mechanics. And so that is a very worthy profession. So I say, please, let’s, let’s raise some auto mechanics who know how to do algebra because you need to get, figure out how to lift that, that car up on that, whatever thing it is, because I lift, I guess, and sometimes that needs algebra. So that’s, that is a very necessary thing in this, this world. So yes. And I tutoring just having that one on one, that caring, caring thing, like, like another parent almost can really help out with a struggling learner. Absolutely. Yeah.
Speaker 3 00:18:27 I don’t want to go too long. And I, but I guess to say another thing
Speaker 1 00:18:29 With that, it’s, it’s for the parents too. Like as parents, we have to provide for our families, we have to, when we want to love our kids, and I know that anybody listening has had an altercation with their child when they’re trying to do homework, but sometimes kids really don’t want their parents to help them with homework. And they have little tricks that they play on. The parents they’ll act like they don’t understand something. They’ll act like they do understand something when really they don’t. But a lot of little games that can be played and it changes the family dynamic. So, you know, when we, when we thrive in the roles that we have, like, if you’re a parent be the best parent you can be, and if homework becomes agonizing and it’s causing a rift in the relationship you have with your kid, especially teens, bring in someone else, give yourself a break and allow your kid to love you and see you for who you are, which is their loving parent and not their overstepping parent slash teacher.
Speaker 1 00:19:24 Yeah. Sometimes you need to, to give a little break to yourself and my husband and I play off each other too. So sometimes we’re like, okay, I’m tapped out. I need the replacement. And some, not everyone has that. And sometimes we bring in the grandparents. Yeah. So we brought in the grandparents too, and that helps out too. But sometimes we even hired, you know, a piano teacher and you know, and that’s been helpful too, cause I don’t know piano. So, you know, everyone needs a little help sometimes we all do I need help. Well, thank you so much, Kimberly. I so appreciate your time. And I’ll, I will give,, in the show notes, the way to contact you if every, if anyone needs any special help, I’m sure a lot of things we’ll do. So there’ll be reaching out to you. Good. Let’s just explore options. I’m happy to help anyone. I can. Awesome. Thank you so much. You’re welcome. Thank you, Vicky.

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