Hello everyone, and welcome back to another Tutor Talk! Long time no chat! Today we’re featuring a convo between me, your resident social media manager and tutor, and Mallory, one of our amazingly well-rounded tutors. Mallory majored in Math and Biology, has been a tutor for 5 years, and is passionate about a wide range of academics, from 6th grade ELA all the way to SAT and ACT subject tests. We got together and talked about what is so special about working with Prestige Prep and how COVID has taught us lessons and brought different opportunities.
As we head towards the fall, all of us tutors are quite excited to get back to tutoring and teaching! Before we get into the interview, this is a quick reminder that you can reach out to us (or your tutor from last year) now in order to set up a plan for September.
Okay, now let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Olive: Hi Mallory! Thank you so much for taking time out of your hectic day to talk with me!
Mallory: Yeah no worries!
Olive: I guess, let’s just start with how long you have been with Prestige and how you ended up as a tutor with us?
M: Yeah, so I was a Math and Biology double major in college, and school came super easily to me. I double-majored because I was bored! So then, I thought, I have an academic background and a love for it. I joined this company during COVID, so I’ve been working with Prestige for about a year.
O: Okay, and how long have you been tutoring in total?
M: Like 5 years.
O: Wow that’s amazing.
O: What makes Prestige different?
M: I think from the top up–I mean Phil, our CEO is amazing. He appreciates both the tutors and students as full people, and it’s always about making sure that our students are getting the right care. You can immediately tell that the focus is on the kids and their well-being.
O: Yes exactly. I feel the same way.
O: What do you bring to the table as a tutor?
M: I think my connection with the kids. I tell them: “I’m not a teacher”. I don’t have the authority vibe, and I think that’s what they like, because with teachers you could feel nervous to get something wrong or ask questions, but with me, you can say “Mallory, what the heck are you talking about?” and there aren’t any problems with that. Especially with math, I tell kids, there’s no ONE way to solve a math problem. I’ll show them one way, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll show them two other ways. Also every kid has my phone number, so I tell them if they have any questions during the week, and I am mostly always around to answer them. As far as Test Prep goes, I also genuinely understand the tests. I like challenges, so I do standardized tests before I fall asleep, it makes me feel calm.
O: Wow, that’s impressive!
M: I also have a superweapon, when kids don’t feel like talking or they are low energy, my cat Mika! Sometimes I bring her on camera because I can tell they aren’t going to absorb anything right away, so I think, let’s talk and I’m gonna cheer you up.
O: Right. Sometimes learning can only happen once you have a conversation and loosen up.
O: OK so is test prep your favorite thing to tutor?
M: I like a mix. I have a game plan already set for standardized test lessons, and I can analyze their practice tests so I know exactly where to go. It has been interesting though, with this subject tutoring, I get to know the curriculum, and get more involved with learning.
O: Can you share a favorite moment that you had with one of your tutees?
M: I have this one student, we really clicked, and he wants me to work with him again, but more as a mentor. He’s not into school like I was, but I got to help him choose what AP classes to take and really mentor him so that he can succeed in the future. We often worked later than we needed to because he wanted mentorship support as a person, rather than as a student.
O: We sort of talked about how Prestige has a legacy of caring for students and tutors, how do you think Prestige’s focus on holistic learning has changed the way you teach?
M: The difference is, with other companies, it was a lot less personal.
O: It’s like a family.
M: Yeah, I mean I can text Phil at any time. If I have a problem, I know that I can go to someone and it will get taken care of.
O: I feel like we’re building more of a community than a business. It really bodes well for learning too, that we can stay in contact on all levels to make sure that kids are cared for. I think Prestige values kids wholly, not just value their grades. Speaking of values…going into this fall, how do you think COVID has changed the way you work with kids?
M: This past year was weird because of COVID, because I’m well versed in test prep, but so many schools decided they were optional, so I got to do a bunch of subject tutoring: ELA and math for middle school, high school math, but I had a really wide range of subjects within those fields, which kept things interesting. Tutoring has all been remote, obviously, but I love having a mix of ages and a mix of subjects. So basically I’ve noticed that, with COVID kids stopped taking notes, so I take a screenshot of everything we do, on their PDFs of their work.
O: So using a lot of electronics to substitute for in-person. Hey, did you have homework help or a tutor as a kid?
M: The only tutor I ever had was for analogies on the SATs. I guess it was helpful, because that’s what made me realize that rote memorization will do nothing for you. It’s all about connections.
O: I do the same thing with connections: it’s the best way to build facts in.
M: If you think of a rap song, or it makes you think of a videogame, go with it! That’s the best possible way.
O: Yeah. Okay, I know you have a tutoring session in a few minutes so should we move to the rapid questions?
O: Favorite Study Snack?
M: Um, I have the taste of a four-year-old, so umm cookies or bread, and coffee. Also sugar cane cola.
O: Favorite thing to listen to while you’re studying?
M: I don’t.
O: No Music?
M: Not generally. I forced myself to study with basketball actually, I would make myself study for a half an hour, and then go and play basketball in college, like an incentive. Yeah, music was never really connected to studying for me.
O: Okay, your least favorite HS Class?
M: Oh, English, easy.
O: Favorite HS Class?
M: Band. I’m a huge music person, i’ve been playing the trombone since I was 10, but besides band it was math.
O: Currently Reading?
M: No, but I did just send one of my tutees a list of favorites like Jon Ronson, Oliver Sacks are some of the highlights.
O: Currently Watching?
M: I just finished watching Loki.
O: Oh nice! What did you think?
M: I liked it, Loki has always been my favorite.
O: Really! I think it was the best out of the three shows Marvel has come out with recently.
M: By far the best. From an acting perspective, the villains make acting really cool.
O: Yes for sure. Okay, I know you only have a few minutes before your next session so I’m going to let you go. Thank you so much!
M: Thank you! So nice to meet you!