TBR: How would you describe what the Mathnasium Learning Center is for those who are not familiar with the business?
Reeves: Mathnasium is an international franchise with over 860 locations around the world. We specialize in mathematics instruction for students in grades 1-12. Our students learn math in a way that makes sense to them. We use our propriety curriculum and instructional methods to help students build strong number sense and a solid conceptual foundation.
Some students come to us because they are behind; others come to us for the opportunity to be challenged beyond what may be possible at school. We offer unlimited monthly memberships, as well as private lessons. All students are assessed when they enroll so that we can customize a learning plan that will help them reach their own unique goals. One of the great highlights of our program is our flexibility; we do not schedule sessions, so students are free to attend whenever it is convenient for them. This is very beneficial for our busy families who are involved in many other extracurricular activities.
TBR: How did you decide to open a Mathnasium Learning Center in Gainesville?
Reeves: Our Gainesville location opened in November 2016. We have grown very rapidly as parents and kids have learned about the program through word of mouth. I am a UF graduate with a Masters degree in Education, and I served as a teacher and school administrator for 20 years. I have always been interested in owning my own business, and the opportunity arose to open a Mathnasium in Gainesville, so I took the chance. The response has been overwhelmingly positive so far, and I’ve found the work very rewarding.
TBR: How does Mathnasium differ from other tutoring centers available for students?
Reeves: Mathnasium is unique in several ways, with the biggest feature being the fact that we only do math. We do not have to share our resources and energy attempting to do many things well. We choose to be GREAT in one area, and our results show that this benefits our students tremendously.
TBR: How many people do you employ, and what are their roles? How do you select who is a fit to work at your center?
Reeves: We currently employ 11 instructors and an assistant center director. Our instructors are selected based on the depth and breadth of their math background and their desire/ability to connect positively with kids of all ages. We are fortunate to have a very deep pool of applicants to choose from, most of whom are very qualified thanks to UF and Santa Fe College bringing top academic achievers to Gainesville.
All of our instructors undergo thorough background checks prior to employment and our training department does an excellent job ensuring that our systems and methods are consistently reinforced. Our instructors love math and they enjoy helping others to love math, also.
TBR: How many students does Mathnasium tutor over the course of a typical year/school year?
Reeves: Our enrollment has grown to over 100 students. Most of our students average 2-3 sessions per week. We will see anywhere from 40 to 60 students a day. We schedule our instructors so that our student to instructor ratio never exceeds 3:1. Personalized attention and immediate feedback are keys to the success of our program, so the small ratios help us to achieve that.
We anticipate having 140-150 students by spring. These are great numbers for a new center in comparison to other markets, and we attribute that to the family-oriented environment here in Gainesville, as well as the focus on education that is so strong in households across our community.
TBR: What is your favorite part of running Mathnasium?
Reeves: Every time I hear a parent say how much of a difference they see in their child after joining Mathnasium, I know that I made the right decision. Most parents are amazed that their child’s attitude toward math has turned around so quickly. Often all it takes is the boost of confidence that comes as a result of unexpected success.
Whether it is helping struggling students to gain confidence or enriching the math experience for high achieving students, the service we provide makes a difference. I’m fortunate to have a job that fulfills this desire to make a positive difference for kids and families within our community.