Tutor of the Month
As the last full month of summer comes to a close, the time for a new tutor of the month arrives. For the month of August, Bright Bird has chosen Louis Hirsch for the honor of tutor of the month. While he did not begin tutoring until later in life, his passion for teaching others has left a lasting impact on countless of his students.
For Louis Hirsch, the Bay Area has always been home. He grew up in San Francisco, graduating from George Washington High School, and attended UC Berkeley as an undergrad, where he majored in Political Science and French. He spent his senior year at the University of Lyon in France, where he received the Mention Bien, the French equivalent to the “magna cum laude” honor of US universities.
After graduating university, Louis began his career as a technical writer for computer data and science corporations, where he wrote manuals and help files for software products. As an example of the type of work he did, Louis described how he would write manuals that told operators how to to command satellites from space for companies like the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. He eventually became the manager of documentation for computer science corporations, after which he transitioned to independent contracting, writing technical papers for clients under his own corporation.
While Louis noted that technical writing is just like “teaching through a book,” he didn’t discover his passion for teaching others until he moved to Mexico. While living in Guadalajara, Louis noted that there was a need for tutors for those trying to get into United States universities. In order to get in, you had to pass a difficult, 3-4 hour English exam called the TOEFL. The TOEFL consists of the four main components of English: speaking, listening, writing, and reading. Louis worked with students who wanted to pass the exam in the hopes of attending schools in the United States, and he described how rewarding it was to see his students do well.
There is one tutoring experience, in particular, that has always stuck with Louis. While in Guadalajara, he was approached by a clarinet player, a member of the Guadalajara Symphony Orchestra. This player wanted to get his Masters degree at a university in the United States, but he had failed all four parts of the TOEFL. Louisa agreed to help him, and they worked tirelessly, meeting 3 times a week for two hours apiece. When it came time for the student to retake the TOEFL, he passed all four parts. He went on to attend the Philadelphia School of Music, and is now a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra. It was moments like these that reminded Louis of how much he enjoyed teaching others and watching them succeed.
After moving back to the Bay Area, Louis continued his tutoring endeavours. Despite having retired, he has found he loves this “second career” of his. He has expanded his services to all of English language arts: critical reading, essay writing, spelling, vocabulary. Louis works a lot with high school students who have writing and reading issues, as well as with younger kids who struggle with phonics (understanding how to pronounce words). The majority of his clients, however, are still ESL (English as a Second Language) students. In fact, Louis has even taught
ESL classes for large companies, like the SAT. He also offers beginner French lessons, a nod to his days at Lyon University.
Now that his passion for teaching has been ignited, Louis is considering getting a teaching certificate, so he can be a substitute teacher for the state of California. While he is interested in teaching to larger groups, he finds that one of the things he likes most about tutoring is the ability to adapt what he does to fit the immediate needs of the student. This one-on-one setting is one of the aspects of his tutoring he most enjoys.
When he is not tutoring, Louis still finds way to keep busy. He enjoys gardening, and he has three dogs, a Whippet, an Ibizan hound, and a Saluki, that keep him plenty busy. He also enjoys going to movies in his free time; he plans on seeing Crazy Rich Asians this weekend!
Louis is just one example of the amazing, dedicated tutors Bright Bird offers. While they may differ in the ages and subjects they teach, each and every tutor at Bright Bird Tutoring shares a passion for helping others, and a commitment to seeing their students succeed.
Contact us today at 707 980-2143 or BrightBirdTutoring@gmail.com . You can also check us out on Facebook at BrightBirdTutoring, or visit our website, BrightBirdTutoring.com, where we post weekly blogs for students on how to succeed in school.