Start Math Coaching

This page is for anyone thinking about starting Math Coaching, or something similar. So far as I can tell, there are 3 potential ways to get started. The first one listed below is the one we used, but either of the others should also work.

Start with an apartment complex

Robin and I had grandchildren in schools near to our local church. Like many grandparents we picked up and dropped off our grandkids at the local schools. Over time Robin came to know some of the teachers and students, and especially noticed some of the students who were struggling to keep up. She also noticed that these students were largely walking home to nearby apartments. At the time I was the pastor of New Life Nazarene Church, located in the same area as the school and the apartments. We began offering various forms of ministry and Christian social work around the apartments. About a year or two later I retired as the senior pastor and I decided to gather a few people to help me coach math there. The apartment had a community room, which is where we started coaching. Since we were using the apartment facility we had to work under the umbrella of the Housing Authority of Santa Clara County (a non-governmental group). Subsequently their function shifted to a third party service provider, LifeSTEPS, who is now our umbrella. A LifeSTEPS employee is always present during our coaching sessions. This is a good thing in that it ensures that we operate legally, and it protects both our coaches and the students. Since our Math Coaching is a ministry of a church, which also carries liability insurance for its ministries, we have an umbrella for the infrequent times when we met a student away from the apartments. For example, we occasionally needed some extra coaching for an upcoming test, so we meet (or take) students to a local library or we use space at the church. 

Start with the local schools

It seems to me that another good starting point is to start with a local elementary, middle, or high school. I seems pretty easy to go to the office and ask to meet with a math teacher (or any teacher in an elementary school). When you meet with him/her you can just tell them what you have in mind and get their feedback. Show them this website if you want to give them an idea of what you have in mind. It's possible that you can arrange space at the school. If not, you'll need to find a place nearby. It could be a church, or maybe a library. If you do pursue this avenue you will have some work to do in order to be sure you are operating legally and have insurance protection for your coaches.

In our case, we eventually moved our sessions away from the apartments and into New Life Church. This simplified the logistics of managing the LifeSTEPS staffing requirement, and also allows us to include students who do not live in the original apartment complex.

Start with a service provider to low-income apartments

Most communities have some form of non-governmental organization that provides programming and social services to people living in "affordable rental housing." It is likely titled something like the "Housing Authority of the County of <your county>." Generally this organization serves under-resourced rental complexes across a wide geographic area, so they are cab probably connect you with an opportunity in a particular rental site near your geography. One real asset to working with such an organization is that they will make sure that you operate legally and their environment inherently provides you at least some level of legal protection. 

To talk about starting up something like Math Coaching, Contact Tim Isbell.