Op-Ed: Changes and opportunities in Puerto Rico’s online tutoring business
It was March 14, 2020, when I first heard the news about an imminent lockdown for Puerto Rico. My first thoughts were my family and my tutoring business that had been open for only one month.
My family’s health? My students? My income? Now what? With sadness and, at the same time with enthusiasm. I went to clean and close my tutoring center not knowing this was the beginning of a new chapter in my life, as a business owner.
Now, after a few months and many sleepless nights, I am somehow grateful for the changes the pandemic brought. It made me think and rethink my near future as a business owner.
First things first. My group of students and I decided to finish online what we had started. Yes, online. The challenge was on my table and I accepted it. This, I can say now, was the best experience we all had. It was a success. Students were excited, always on time, they even were connected before I “arrived.”
Their grades went up and their understanding of every topic was beyond my expectations. Research suggests that online learning has been shown to increase retention of information by between 25% and 60%. E-learning requires between 40% and 60% less time to learn than in a traditional classroom, because students can learn at their own pace as they navigate through concepts.
However, a structure needs to be provided. And that is exactly what an online tutor brings to the table.
Determined to help students to overcome our new reality and to help unemployed teachers and tutors like me, I created an online education platform for students from K to 12th grade in Puerto Rico. Our platform provides on-demand tutoring services and online coaching for homeschooling parents.
Online tutoring is becoming a popular choice among parents and students. Among its many benefits are: accessibility, cost value, and students develop better study and learning skills. Furthermore, students receive an individualized learning experience that they cannot always get in a classroom setting.
Soon, we will begin a new school year in the midst of a pandemic. Some parents may not feel comfortable sending their children back to the classroom even with strong safety measures.
Even those who stick with traditional schooling will encounter new challenges. Students will face new learning scenarios. Some parents have decided to forgo traditional schooling and have started opting for homeschooling or virtual schooling.
This presents a new approach to learning and e-learning is a great alternative. Countries like France created new platforms to teach children from home during the pandemic. New technology will replace face-to-face teaching.
We need to pay more attention to academics, specifically, and less to other areas that make up traditional learning. Brick-and-mortar schools will be replaced by e-learning for some time after COVID-19 and the trend is here to stay.
This crisis has been an opportunity to rethink how we organize education while providing our children with the best resources and keep them motivated.
At www.tutorseducation.org we have more than 20 certified and well-prepared bilingual teachers that parents can choose from depending on their child’s needs.
Our mission is to make learning as convenient and effective as possible. Sessions are conducted through our platform in a safe, secure manner.
I once read “Every adversity brings new experiences and new lessons. Adversity quickness the mind, awakens the spirit and strengthens the soul. Hang on!” That’s exactly what I did.
Adversity led me to reinvent myself as business owner. I may have had difficult and uncertain moments during these months, but I never lost my focus: to help children navigate a difficult time while providing them the best virtual tools to achieve academic success.