Five years after becoming a Kumon Instructor, Grainne O’Donnell from Douglas talks about how she moved from a successful career in finance to running her own Kumon centre.
After working in London as a mathematician for a large financial institution, Grainne O’Donnell wanted a change of career that would fit in with her move home to Ireland. She wanted something that would be fulfilling and rewarding, and she decided to pursue a career in education.
After reading about the growth in the supplementary education sector and the expansion of Kumon across the UK and Ireland, the idea of running her own business and also using her background knowledge in maths really started to appeal to her. With children of her own and a business that was based in her local community, the fit was ideal. Grainne spoke to the Kumon team about becoming an Instructor and soon was able to begin her Instructor training and start planning to open her own centre.
Today, Grainne’s centre is situated in the heart of Douglas village within Cork city, Ireland and recently celebrated its fifth anniversary of opening. Life is busy for Grainne but, she says, “rewarding”. “I am a mum of five children and being a Kumon Instructor has provided me with some good flexibility to have both a fulfilling career and a good family life.
We have set class opening times, which allows me to schedule time for my business administration and work around the school day when my own children are at school.”
“I’ve been a Kumon Instructor for five years now and I look forward to running class as much as I did on my first day of opening the centre. I thoroughly enjoy being a Kumon Instructor, especially when I witness the growth in a child’s ability to self-learn. I also enjoy observing the process a child takes to become a self-learner. Generally, children initially start to build their ability with practice and with practice brings increased confidence as they slowly start to complete worksheets at a greater speed. While confidence drives independent study and good time management skills, that in turn enables a child to self-learn and equips them with essential life skills needed both in their education and future career.
I always look forward to interacting with my parents at the end of class, updating them on their child’s/children’s progress and advising them with any queries they may have regarding their child’s Kumon study at home, such as maintaining a child’s concentration span. I believe communicating and working with parents regularly is key to helping a child improve their maths and English ability.
Moving forward, I plan to grow the centre further with the ambition to move into my own commercial premises within the next two years. I get great support from of my Area Manager and the Kumon Ireland team and it’s good to feel that my business is growing with me.”
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Sarah was a full time maths teacher, and after seven years, she was keen to find a career that was both flexible and fulfilling.
I’ve always wanted a profession where I can make a difference. As a Physiotherapist, my core aim was to help people achieve the best health they could. Kumon’s aim is very similar: helping each child reach his or her potential. If you’re stuck with any aspect of running the business, you can always ask for help – I have an Area Manager who I can turn to for guidance.Dr Ivy Man, Instructor of the Kumon Southampton, Shirley Study Centre
I can organise my hours better, and I have more of a social life. I have really enjoyed it and haven’t looked back once. You hear a lot about education and I’m glad I’m making a difference. When students shine, the satisfaction is great.Chow Chan, Instructor of the Kumon Worcester, East Study Centre
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