The Students Tutors Love

September 29th, 2014

It’s no question that education is a two way street. Teachers, parents and tutors are united in their efforts to bestow kernels of wisdom on the younger generation. Likewise, students soak up information like a sponge. But when one is out of sync with the other, it’s a situation where full learning can be lost in the wind. However, being a tutor of many years now, I can honestly say there are a few key qualities I’ve seen in students that make the flow of learning right as rain. Not to let educators off the hook (two way street, right?), but students can certainly learn from the following ideas on how to be a student tutors will love. 

ORGANIZATION
It seems like a cliche, but Office Depot and The Container Store are the keys to 50% of learning. As human beings, we naturally codify, order and pattern information into compartments in our brain for easy retrieval. That’s why highlighters and binders and all the other trinkets sold at these stores will help students learn and retain information. Tutors love it when their students show up organized and ready to learn and review. When students are organized, they’ve done half the work!
PARTICIPATION
As mentioned above, learning is a two way street, which means interaction, asking questions and providing feedback are key to a good study session. Studies show that repeating ideas out loud will help students understand and retain new information better than simply listening. That’s why questions are great! Activities such as games and exercises will also maintain participation.
GOOD ATTITUDE
Who doesn’t want to be in good company? This goes for both the teacher and student. A good attitude can go a long way in building trust, keeping focus, and developing a strong report. Furthermore, having a good attitude might even surprise the most unsuspecting student because a positive mood opens our minds to learning something new. What tutor doesn’t love for their student to learn something new?

From a Tutor’s Perspective

September 24th, 2014

Study Hut tutors have the opportunity to work with the Academics Via Individual Determination (AVID) program at different high schools. One of these schools is Peninsula High School in Palos Verdes. During her freshman year, a student named Cindy was among one of the students I got to regularly help last school year. Now as a sophomore, Cindy comes in to Study Hut for tutoring and it seems fair to say that she is both enjoying it and benefitting from it. While waiting for her ride after one of her sessions, Cindy decided to hang around. Since I did not have a student at the time, I invited Cindy to sit at my table until her ride came (more like she invited herself to come sit). We chatted about her AVID class, school functions, friends, and life in general. Although the conversation only lasted about five minutes, it was one of those small events that happened to make my day that much better. It was a great feeling knowing that she was comfortable enough to talk to me like a friend and I was able to provide her with advice as a mentor. On behalf of the Study Hut tutors, we strive to provide an environment that balances serious styles and laid-back styles in order to allow students to succeed inside the classroom and beyond. This is just one example of the bonds that the tutors and students experience at Study Hut – I am sure there have been and will be plenty more.

A Parent’s Role in Helping a Child Do Well In School

November 6th, 2012

Kids today have it rough. With all the competition to get into top ranked schools, parents are starting earlier and earlier to give their little academics a head start. But when does a parent’s involvement in their kids school work become a hindrance? Like most things, it’s all about a balance.

Studies show that children with parents who stay actively involved with their schoolwork will test better than kids with parents who don’t. So stay involved! Ask questions, congratulate success and encourage asking for help in more difficult subjects. Parents should know when their kids have a test and except to see the grade for it. This holds their student accountable for their grades. When parents do get back their kids work, reward their efforts. This doesn’t mean taking your daughter to buy a new IPod every time she brings home her Friday spelling test. But it does deserve a high five or a hug. (And remember parents, B grades are still fridge worthy!) Parents should be concerned with lower grades. When problem areas in their kid’s classes arise, steps should be taken to find extra help for their students. Begin with asking to see homework and review all problems that they have trouble with. If problems continue, check in with the teacher and see what else you can do to make sure your child keeps up with work.

When involvement becomes a hindrance rather than helpful is when parents begin to micromanage. Parents must remember that students should be expected to do their homework—and not because Mom stands over their shoulder until it’s done. Establish a set routine and stick to it. Your little study monkey should know that every day like clockwork, when he/she comes home, they makes a snack and start on homework. If your student is having trouble in school, run through their completed homework for mistakes, then help them with the questions they had trouble with. If your student normally tests well in school, ask if they completed their homework each night and trust that they have fulfilled each assignment completely. This allows your student to see that they need to be responsible for their own work and that you except them to be in charge. If they begin to slack on tests, start reviewing their homework again. Students need to learn how to be accountable for their studies. Writing down assignments, organizing papers and planning when to study are lifelong skills that they will need as a student as well as a professional. 

Newport Beach fired up

May 7th, 2012

We have been turnin’ and burnin’ in Newport Beach. Study Hut is fast underway, and now tutoring several local students from Newport Harbor High School, Ensign Middle School, Corona del Mar High School, and a few other private schools. The buzz is spreading, and the vibe is good.

We have been getting the Hut open early and often here in Newport. We want to have the coolest tutoring facility in Orange County, and the only way to guarantee that is to put the extra time in early and often. Each morning, Rob and SP get to the shop at 6:30, get the coffee brewing, and work on painting, fielding phone calls, preparing lesson plans, and talking to other local business owners.

Study Hut Tutoring recently joined the Newport Chamber of Commerce, and Rob went to his first Chamber event on Thursday. The mixer took place at Tommy Bahama’s Grille on Avocado St. near the Bristol, and was meant to be a membership reception for new and potentially new members.

All in all, it is just really fun and exciting to be a part of this new business. I remember our first few clients in Manhattan Beach, and many of those young men and women are now finishing up college. Unbelievable!

New tutor observations

April 5th, 2012

I walked into Study Hut in Manhattan Beach not knowing what to expect as a new tutor going from private in-home tutoring to this local tutoring center. What I found was a team of outgoing, energetic, friendly, and intelligent tutors who loved what they do and did it very well! This was inspiring and exciting because they instantly accepted me into their Study Hut family and made a comfortable environment with all the resources I needed to tutor my students well. I was also welcomed by the home-like setting with comfortable chairs, big tables, art on the walls, and beach-y décor. I found that all the tutors have the same strive and determination to help and see their students grow to achieve their academic goals. It is as important to us tutors that all of our students pass their classes, stay organized, and reach their maximum potential. The one student to one tutor ratio really helped me connect with my students and learn a lot about what their hobbies, likes/dislikes, learning style, and most importantly what their goals are. I met many students from schools across the Manhattan School District and found that they all enjoyed their time spent here. I can tell that they really feel comfortable here as some students reach for candy in the drawer, pop a bag of popcorn in the microwave, and chat with other tutors and students. The tutors can really relate to the students because sometimes the tutors had the same high school teachers as the students have now. It’s interesting hearing how through the years the teacher is still doing the same assignments and field trips. Study Hut really provides an amazing learning experience for their students and we love to cheer our students on as they continue to succeed.

Valentine’s Day at Study Hut Tutoring

February 14th, 2012

Valentines Day spirit is in the air at Manhattan Beach Study Hut! We are THE place to be V-day. For one, we have the best manager ever who made us all cookies with our names on them. We also each get a list of V-day topics to talk about with our kids. We ask questions like “who is your celebrity crush?” and “what is your favorite kind of chocolate?” to keep the kids engaged and not as bummed about doing homework on a holiday. The drawer full of candy also adds to the valentines spirit. …although this is year around. For me, everyday at the Study hut is like Valentines Day because I love the people I work with and care deeply about all of the kids I tutor. Also, we have a lot of baked goods here all of the time so it adds to the mood.
Our goal is to turn studying, something that is usually somewhat painful, into something fun and exciting. All of our tutors our able to accomplish this because we all have a passion for learning and for helping others. I think that this is exemplified on a day like today where love and compassion are in the air. All of us tutors try and stay connected and get together outside of work to keep a united spirit. In a couple of weeks we are going to have a girls night, and we just got done with doing a really fun murder mystery party. Having close relationships at work is important because it allows us to work as a team when tutoring. When I’m not sure of a science question, it’s nice to feel comfortable turning to Roxy and asking her help on a question. So while the cookies and candy definitely create a great Valentines mood, it’s the love and compassion that our tutors have that really make Study hut a Valentines Day everyday.

What Sets Study Hut Apart

October 11th, 2011

You sit, minding your own business. Suddenly, you feel a twinge of unease crawl up your spine. A feeling as if someone, or something, is watching you. You shake it off. Clearly, you’re just being paranoid right? You look back down at your desk. And then… IT HAPPENS. Suddenly, tiny Tialde, mild-mannered 2nd grader is throwing paper around the office, laughing hysterically, and running out of here as fast as he can!

WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!

You just found yourself victim to one of the Study Hut’s new competitions: who can keep their room the cleanest in exchange for pizza! Actually, you’ve found yourself victim to the inevitable aftermath of such a challenge: who can mess up everyone else’s room enough so they don’t get pizza! This, the first of many new challenges being formed around the Hut, is part of a new initiative starting up this semester. Now, at first glance, this may seem like meaningless prankerism (trust me, it’s a word) and time-wasting nonsense. But it’s actually a piece of what sets the Study Hut apart.

You’re children spend all day in a very ordered environment. They’re told where to sit, when to stand, how to speak, and what to do. To be fair, in a classroom of 30 children, such order is necessary. But the Hut doesn’t exist just to replicate school. We’re not here to just provide an environment that students just have to come to due to bad grades. We’re here to provide an environment that students want to come to (to help improve bad grades!) Initiatives like this promote better communication among tutors, which leads to better tutoring, and smarter students. And involving the students, like we did Tialde, promotes the idea that this is a place where that they can look forward to coming too. Most students here know most, if not all the tutors: not just the one they work with. They come here because the Hut is a place where people know you, get the work done, and have help in the process.

Plus, you get to occasionally throw paper around in exchange for pizza. That’s awesome.

Study Hut is Unique from its tutors to its Environment

September 20th, 2011

Study Hut is the greatest tutoring center in Manhattan Beach because it’s not like school. When I first walked into the Study Hut, I was expecting off-white walls and a silent ambience; I was expecting bored students and tired tutors. These were my past experiences when I tried out various tutor centers back in high school. But when I went through the front door of the Study Hut, all my stereotypes were immediately crushed. There was a cozy feel to the rooms, each with a different theme, from a jungle room, to an India room, to a beach room. There were young fresh tutors who were teaching with passion and patience while keeping students entertained with a friendliness so often absent in tutors.

Students often need a change of pace from school to effectively do their homework and learn the concepts. The Study Hut offers this unique environment, where students can unwind, do their homework, work out the kinks before a test, and of course munch on a few snacks. Most importantly, aside from the fun that both the students and tutors have, there are immediate results with the students. Owners Rob, Sean-Patrick, and all other managerial staff do an amazing job of keeping track of students’ progress and keep open and honest communication with both the student and the parent. This keeps everyone from the tutor, to the student, to the parent accountable and produces results.

So again, why is the Study Hut the greatest tutoring center in Manhattan Beach? Because everyone has fun, everyone learns, and everyone earns better grades.

Most truthfully from a newbie tutor

AVID working through summer

July 6th, 2011

SP here. I am really looking forward to my lunch meeting today with all of the rad teachers from the Palos Verdes High School AVID program. Each year during the summer, these awesome teachers (Egan, Whalen, Morales) get together to reflect on the past year. They ask questions like:

What went right?

What could we have done better?

What activities to we need to make more room for?

Which activities and ideas could be eliminated all together?

Certainly the questions and ideas that get bounced around go
much more in depth than these “Level 1” questions (some students are snickering at this), but in actuality, sometimes it is just this casual approach that gets us to the gems.

We are all working together to make sure that the AVID experience is excellent for all students at all levels. We need to make sure that we are meeting the statewide expectations for the program and the curriculum, and we also need to make sure that the goals we set for the students are achieved, and that the activities we decide on and the curriculum we endorse has a direct, positive impact on those goals. Most importantly, we are all looking forward to another amazing AVID year come Fall.

Tutor team bonding means better tutoring

June 16th, 2011

I’ve been a member of the Study Hut team for many years and we do many exciting events, get-
togethers and soirees that help to enhance the overall experience at the Hut. Over the years I remember
several different bonding experiences that aid in the development of relationships at the Hut which
in turn increases students and faculty overall moral. Tie day, Hat day, Ugly sweatshirt parties, Cinco
de Mayo extravaganzas and Cancer walks are just some of the things we do at the Hut to increase the
dynamics and overall flow in the Study Hut community.

All of this interaction allows us to develop the appropriate environment we wish to have at
the Study Hut. We attempt to make the environment at our locations loquacious and positive thus
inundating the students with the vibes necessary for an appropriate learning environment. I happen
to also work at the Sylvan Learning Center once or twice a week and they lack in this area because
the environment at the location I work at is monotonous and mundane which makes learning less
appetizing for all students. They claim that Sylvan is boring and students dislike attending their tutoring
appointments which is far different from the reactions we get at the Hut. We feel that allowing the
tutors and students the chance to interact inside and outside the tutoring environment helps to
separate us from the other corporate tutoring centers.

Study Hut tutors and students tend to get along really well and all of the activities and fun things
we do really help to solidify these relationships. I have become friends with some of the students I’ve
tutored over the years and one in particular I can think of I’ve been tutoring for over four years and
helped him recently get into The University of Arizona and we’re stoked about his accomplishments!