Sara Struss’ years of experience teaching showed her how valuable one-on-one learning is to help students do well in school. Her idea for tutoring percolated for a few years before being formed this spring into Bright Side Education. Through her privately-owned service, Struss tutors students in her home in Sauk Centre.
“I always wished I had more time for one-on-one teaching in the classroom,” she said. “Class sizes are often big enough that there is no time for it.”
Struss taught kindergarten for 21 years in Browerville. During the past two years, she also tutored students during the summer.
“While tutoring, I saw the big improvements the kids had,” she said.
Her original plan was to open Bright Side Education in February, but the current pandemic and shutdown put that on hold. With summer on the horizon, she has 22 students signed up for tutoring. Ten of them started last week and by the second week in June, all will be learning with Struss.
“With the lockdown and parents being much more aware of their kids’ school work, I think they might see how important the tutoring is,” Struss said. “I think this is a big need.”
The summer students this year will be coming to her from Browerville, Long Prairie, Sauk Centre, Osakis and Alexandria.
She determines goals for each student and the tutoring lessons are tailored to those needs. Sometimes she contacts the students’ teachers to ask what they need to work on. The parents usually have a good idea of what their kids need as well.
“I believe in good communication with parents and teachers, through messaging on Facebook or when they pick up their children,” she said.
Struss likes to use hands-on activities with primary students. She recalls one student was shown a new way to use touch points in math. At his next tutoring session, he had passed two tests and moved up two levels in his math class.
“All my students have improved by a level or two in their reading levels at school, also,” Struss said.
She believes that a big part of any student’s struggle in school is a lack of confidence.
“They are frustrated and tutoring builds up their confidence,” she said. “Then they get excited to learn new things. The reason I love doing this is seeing the kids’ confidence really increase.”
One of Struss’ favorite quotes is by George Evans: “Every child can learn, just not on the same day or in the same way.”
While Struss is now tutoring only primary students, grades preschool through sixth grade, she sees Bright Side Education growing.
“I would like to expand in the future and hire more tutors, so we can serve middle school and high school,” she said. “I’ll have to see what happens next school year.”
Tutoring fees are $40 per one-hour session. The tutoring takes place at Struss’ home at 508 Main Street S, Sauk Centre.
For more information, call (320) 429-0211, email firstname.lastname@example.org or message her on Facebook.