According to the American Association of School Administrators, there are currently 1.2 million military children of active duty members worldwide. And nearly 80% of military children attend public schools, despite moving three times as often as their civilian counterparts. Transitions from one school to the next can often create both social and academic challenges, including drastic changes in curriculum.
“I have seen first-hand the frustration that a child and their family can experience when the classroom curriculum isn’t giving him or her what they need,” says Air Force spouse, Zoie Hoffman. A certified teacher and graduate of Texas A&M University, Hoffman started her business, Zoie Hoffman Tutoring to help children find success in the classroom. “I love working with my students the most. When I tutor I don't feel like I am working!”
A Business With Dual Purpose
Frequent military moves are difficult for students, but they can also wreak havoc on a teaching career. “Knowing that we would sometimes not even stay put for a year, I decided to go in to business for myself,” shares Hoffman. “I wanted to be in control of my own career and not be penalized for frequent moves. Starting a tutoring business allows me to do something that I love, and help support my family no matter where we go.”
Teaching is one of the many professions that require state certification, a process that is often time consuming and expensive for military spouses moving to support their service members. And while laws have been put in place to help ease the professional transition of military spouse, the rules and benefits vary from state to state. A recent article on Military.com called the laws patchwork at best.
Overcoming Entrepreneurial Obstacles
Despite its challenges, starting a business can be a viable career option for military spouses. “The hardest thing about getting started was the time I had to put in to advertising and other parts of my business before I even got my first student and navigating all the rules and guidelines that businesses must follow,” says Hoffman. Military spouse owned business are subject to local and state laws and regulations, and if living in government quarters, an additional set of rules must be followed. And like school curriculums, on-base business rules are different at each installation.
Need a Tutor?
Parents and students interested in contacting Zoie Hoffman Tutoring can do so by visiting her website or connecting with her on Facebook. She currently offers on-line tutoring for grades K-6 plus hosts a blog featuring useful learning tips and resources.