*Guest Post from Zoie Hoffman*
Growing up, I knew that I wanted to teach in some capacity. I was always the girl who lent a hand to the kid who was being left out or left behind. In my teen years, I loved helping the kids I babysat with homework and often researched new ways for them to learn and remember concepts. I wasn’t always the greatest at school, but I always had a passion for helping others. That’s what made it impossible to give up my dream of being an educator, even if it wouldn’t look exactly like being a traditional classroom teacher.
I graduated with my degree in Early Childhood Education a week after marrying my college sweetheart. About six months after graduation and marriage, my husband commissioned into the Air Force, and we were on our way to Pensacola, FL where he would complete a year long training program.
When I graduated with my degree, I had visions of teaching in urban settings helping kids who really needed someone to believe in them. When I look back on that vision now, I just have to laugh. Not because it’s a bad vision, but because I had almost zero chance of actually living that life. I hadn’t really given thought to how I was going to fulfill my dreams of being a teacher while also being married to a service member.
When we arrived in Pensacola, reality started to set in. We would be moving roughly every year for the next three years due to my partner’s training requirements. Transferring my teaching license to each state we moved would be challenging and expensive. Even if I was able to transfer my credentials, it would be difficult to hold a teaching job for such a short amount of time- not to mention the possibility of moving in the middle of the school year.
Whenever I thought about not being able to teach, I felt like I was losing a piece of myself. I spent many lonely days at home trying to figure out my purpose in this new life. I knew I needed to use my passion for teaching, but it seemed like an impossible puzzle to crack.
After lots of thought, prayer, and heartache, an idea broke through. I could continue to be an educator by becoming a tutor. There are very few ideas I’ve had in my life that have resonated throughout my body and soul, but for some reason this one did. Once I had that sliver of a plan in my head, I was propelled forward. I knew that I needed to start helping kids one-on-one. Once I started seeing students in this capacity, I knew that this was where I needed to be. I could continue making a difference in the lives of kids by believing in them and spending time educating them in the ways that worked with their needs and learning style.
The decision to tutor led me to start a virtual tutoring business, Hoffman Tutoring Group. As I provided personalized learning to more and more students, it became necessary for me to learn how to run the “business side” of my venture. Eventually, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to help all students who came to me looking for academic assistance. I also began wanting to match kids with tutors who would be a great fit for them- even if that wasn’t me. This led me to expand my business by bringing on tutors who have the same driving passion for personalized education and relationships that I do.
Though my daily life of tutoring and running a tutoring business is far from what I had envisioned when I set out to become an educator, this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. I’m grateful every day for the work I love and for the relationships I get to build with my students and tutors. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
© Strength 4 Spouses LLC, 2019.
Zoie is the founder and lead tutor at Hoffman Tutoring Group, an online tutoring company that serves students in K-8th grade. Zoie’s passion for personalized learning stems from her own experience struggling with academics in elementary and middle school. She dedicates her time to ensuring students get the education and mindset building they need to meet their academic goals through individualized tutoring sessions with amazing and qualified online tutors.
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That is an amazing story! I can feel your pain. The day I finished my last teaching exam we got orders. It was a good thing though because I got into financial services which I’ve always loved. I think that is gives spouses strength, our ability to cope and change on a dime. I’m actually looking to start an online consulting business myself, if you have any pointers?