“So, you have a PhD from Stanford… why are you tutoring??”
You’d be surprised at how many people have asked this question. It turns out that Brandon enjoyed the pursuit of his PhD at Stanford, but not so much the pursuit of “publish or perish” – the phenomena of having to constantly publish journal articles or be given a pink slip. Brandon loves teaching and didn’t want to be hampered by the fear of a downturn in NIH funding, or whether he was publishing articles often enough, or having to spend all hours of the days surrounded by toxic/carcinogenic/teratogenic (and any other other “-genic” word you can think of that might make you sick) chemicals. In tutoring, there is an immediate connection with students and a short time to discover success, whereas in lab work, one may work on an experiment for 5+ years before finding out it didn’t work. In short, Brandon starting tutoring and loved it and also found that he was quite gifted at teaching “outside the box.”
“What sets you apart from __________ Tutoring Company?”
We take pride in our individualized approach to figuring out how you/your student learns best, and tailoring our instruction methods in a way that suits you/your student. Many other companies have a cookie cutter method of teaching, and don’t really stop to reconfigure their method if it doesn’t work for you. Example: you/your student has ADHD. Other companies will require you to sit at a desk for 1-2 hours while they lecture at the front of a classroom. We will find ways to help you get some of that energy out, while keeping you engaged.
We come from backgrounds in our personal lives that deal with learning differences, and so we are well versed in the many methods to help maintain concentration and work through the challenges.
We also hold doctorates and have taught in colleges and graduate schools!
“What ages do you work with?”
We tutor students from elementary school through college, as well as post-baccalaureate pre-professional programs such as: pre-medical, pre-veterinary, pre-dental, etc.
“Why do you only do video conferencing appointments?”
There are many reasons for this. Being able to video conference meant that we could meet with our students from anywhere in the world, meaning that we could still meet with our students even if we are traveling. This ability provides increased access for our students. Additionally, given the heavy traffic in the Bay Area, where we have been based for many years, as well as on Oahu, where we are mostly based now, many hours of travel time are saved by being able to meet from the comfort of our students’ computers. Lastly, given the exponential rise in rent costs in the Bay Area and Honolulu, we would have to increase our fees dramatically to be able to keep up with rent increases, which would not be fair to our clientele.
“Is Brandon really still competing in swimming? And what team does he swim for?”
Brandon competes in open water races for fun these days. However, he has competed in open-water and pool meets since he was 12. During the summer of 2012, Brandon competed internationally on the World Cup circuit. In May 2013, he competed at the US Open Water Nationals, and in August 2013, he participated in a swim across the Strait of Gibraltar (9-10 miles from Spain to Morocco). Brandon has been an athlete and coach for Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics, but is mainly happy to be a pageant dad for his sons at their swim meets.
“My son/daughter has learning differences. Do you have experience with that?”
Yes! We have worked with students diagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia, sensory-processing disorders, autism, and more!
“My son/daughter is an elite _____ and is traveling a lot for sports scholarship scouting trips/music/art/dance/etc., can you work with our schedule?”
Yes! Having had the background of elite high school and college athletics, we understand the time commitment needed to perform physically, emotionally, and academically. Our video conferencing appointments are especially useful in these instances as we can meet with clients even if they are on travel trips for their extra-curriculars.
“What schools have your students been accepted to?”
The list is quite long, so it is listed separately HERE.
“What payments types do you accept?”
As our current meetings all take place online, so must our payment processes be as well. Payment via PayPal or our QuickBooks payment system, allows for all major credit cards and checking account transfer.