Twenty-three Years and Counting!
Yes, this fall marks twenty-three years for L.T.L. Tutoring Central.
I started the business in the fall of 1996 after discussing the idea with my wife, Gay Gennings. While she worked in Real Estate, she had a keen interest in education as well and saw the possibilities.
Some of my first students included a young man in grade three who was ostensibly struggling with reading and writing, but really had issues with confidence and the concept that what he had to say was, in fact, important. Once these concepts began to take hold, he excelled.
Also, I had an early brother and sister combo. (I have had many siblings over the years including brothers, sisters, brother and sister, and even twins.) This brother/sister combo were older grade school students. Each one had slightly different needs and worked on his and her own program to meet personal goals.
Over twenty-three years, I have had almost all ages, including a couple of four year olds and a man who was quite proud to declare that he was in his seventies.
Everyone has his or her own character, of course. Over the years, I have seen all different kinds of personalities. One student loved to pull his arms out of his t-shirt, spin the shirt around, and put it on backwards. He thought it was hilarious and was quite proud of the “trick.”
A high school student had a peculiar habit of eating facial tissues until I had to remove the box for a while.
Almost all students seem to have eraser hatred, attacking any kind of eraser and stabbing it to death!
It must have something to do with the texture and feel. Still, the students who have overcome the habit (or claimed to have) joke about the poor eraser predicaments and those “other” students who resent erasers.
In the beginning, we had no computer, so there was no advertising online, no Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or e-mail communication. Monthly reports were typed on my electric typewriter, which I still have by the way. Today, all reports are done on the computer, but I still hand out printed copies. Not only is there a website and blog but also Facebook posts, tweets, Instagram posts, LinkedIn, and lots of e-mail communication.
Also, online tutoring!
Back in 1996, I never thought that I could teach students in any country in the world – not only with text but with live video, whiteboards, and audio – almost as if we were sitting together in my classroom. I continue to find this new reality astounding.
I have students taking my asynchronous courses from 106 countries! The map below is my most recent one depicting the countries from which students have taken one or more of my online courses.
Teaching my synchronous lessons, I have chatted and taught students in China in a group class of youngsters and individuals in Japan, United States, and distant Canadian cities and towns.
Over the years, I have had many occasions to watch individual students grow from young boys and girls to adult learners preparing to go off to university or college. Occasionally, I even get to work with them at that level as well. I have also seen adult students reach the next level in their workplace, find new jobs, or re-enter school to complete new learning experiences.
It has been a real privilege to teach each and every one of the students I have had so far. Some are more challenging than others, but every one brings something different to the table (literally in my in-person classes!) and teaches me something new about learning and helping others.
I look forward to the next twenty-three years and all the unique students with their challenges, idiosyncrasies, goals, and dreams.
Hey, why not be one of the first for the next twenty-three!
23 Years – 106 Countries and Counting