July 8th, 2013
Why did you pick Mount Pleasant Village?
Mount Pleasant Village has a wonderful community feel. For years I tutored children in the neighbourhood. With all the great shops for kids on the street, and neighbourhood schools, I would not want to be anywhere else.
What is the most meaningful comment you've received since you've opened?
Thank you; you are a lifesaver! I don't know what we would have done without you.
What specialty sets your business apart from competitors?
The first is we take a personalized approach that looks at the needs of the whole child, not the subject matter. Everything we do is custom tailored for the child, starting with a Personal Learning Plan. We do not believe in a cookie cutter, one size fits all approach to teaching and learning.
Secondly, with years of experience as a tutor, classroom teacher, and department head, I can see the bigger picture. Prepatorium is able to work in partnership with parents and day school teachers to maximize student achievement and confidence.
What were you doing before you opened your business?
I am still an Ontario Certified Teacher. I tutored students in the neighbourhood for years, and was a teacher and head of the math department in a local high school.
What has changed about your business since you first opened?
We have expanded our programs to include Math Foundations (Grades 1-8) and SMART Kids Mind Map! (Grades 4-8).
As a high school math teacher and tutor, I watched children struggle year after year because they lacked a solid foundation in mathematics. I observed their frustrations and dependence on calculators increase, as their confidence fell. This past year I decided to create a Math Foundations program to help children build their knowledge and their confidence in the mathematics classroom. The program is also built to support the assessment practices of the Ontario curriculum.
SMART Kids Mind Map! is a four week course and was created by a former Principal. Mind Mapping is a power visual tool used to unlock a child's maximum learning potential. The benefits of the course include improved memory, creativity, note taking, and writing abilities. The learning skills taught in the course are effective at the elementary, high school, and university level.
What do you enjoy most about your business?
The ""Ah-Ha!"" moment. It's when the light bulb goes off and you watch a child's or teen's face light up. All of a sudden their confidence grows and they are beaming from ear to ear.
Any exciting news or events happening in the next 6 months in your business?
We are currently launching our Math Foundations program and our SMART Kids Mind Map! Workshop. We are also offering a March Break Camp for the first time.
What's a fun fact about your business?
Kids love crackers!
A few of our Homework Club children were eating crackers and making a mess over the course of days and weeks. The teacher and I gave the children one last chance to clean up their act. Alas, the crumbs remained. We banned crackers as part of their after school snack and soon after the inquisition began ""where are the crackers?"", ""we want crackers!"" etc... I didn't give in.
A week later I found a pile of hand written letters on my desk from each of the children. The subject matter was ""Please bring back the crackers!"" A Homework Club teacher had suggested that this might be the best way for their voice to be heard!
The letters were written by children aged 7-13, some of whom really struggled with the task of writing, all promising to eat crackers in a responsible manner in the future.
I cracked. The next day, the crackers were back! "