Helping Energetic Teenagers Enjoy Learning – Even During Shelter-in-Place

                                                            Written By coWORKer Linda Jay

Tammy Swanson made a huge career decision in 2017, after teaching high school for 25 years.  “What I love most is the creativity and energy of the students,  helping them learn and move their education forward. So I decided to develop that into a business of my own.”

So in 2017, she opened her own business – Sonomarin Tutoring and Test Prep.  “I really enjoy tutoring students and giving them extra support. In fact, this seems hard for me to believe, but I’ve found that I love tutoring more than I loved teaching!”

And, in these strange times of sheltering in place, “I’m even finding that my services are actually quite necessary.  A lot of students are not getting the help they need to complete their classroom assignments, and many parents are worried that their teenagers will not learn the required material to be able to navigate their way to the next level in their education.”

In addition to her regular academic tutoring and test prep services,  Tammy now offers 30-minute online lessons to students who need help understanding their assignments, learning the basics when their teachers aren’t available, or preparing for inevitable final exams, or placement exams.

“I really enjoy working with teenagers so much,” Tammy comments.  “They keep me on my toes, and I’ve always enjoyed a good roller coaster ride.  I’m usually pretty quick on the uptake, and even when my students take me by surprise…well, that’s a teachable moment, too!”

Tammy earned her teaching credential and her bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Loyola Marymount University, and taught in Los Angeles for many years.  While there, she started a robotics team, which she brought with her when she returned home to Novato after 18 years in L.A., to be close to her parents.

When she decided to move to Novato, she searched around for the right town, and “fell in love with Petaluma –both its rural atmosphere and modern conveniences.  I might be a little bit of a country girl at heart!  So I bought a house in Petaluma, and I’m still here.”

Tammy’s husband Michael works for Dry Creek Vineyard.  “If you belong to the wine club, you’ve probably spoken to him.”  The Swansons have a cat, a dog, and a daughter and a son.  “Kelsey is headed to law school, and Austin, who is graduating UCLA this year, is headed for investment banking.” 

As for her impression of WORK Petaluma, Tammy is enthusiastic: “WORK is great!  It’s great having a homey office so close to the hubbub of downtown Petaluma, but across the street from a peaceful park.  My clients’ parents feel comfortable dropping their kids off here, and the students get the help they need.  I also appreciate the interactive and social events Natasha sets up, as well as the general professional atmosphere.”      

Tammy’s career path has taken her from teaching to tutoring, and she seems well on her way to having a successful business, doing what she loves best – helping students learn.  

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