Having a positive influence on the lives of young students, from the comfort of your own home
Meredith Berglund, a McKay School alumna, provides in-home tutoring through her business Academic Advancement, for the purpose of building students’ skills and confidence.
A Colorado Springs native, Berglund earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Brigham Young University in 2008, followed by five years of teaching in the Nebo School District. She loved her experience as a third grade teacher, but decided to return home full time to spend more time with her two children, Hadley and Brenner, and husband, Steven, in Spanish Fork. However, Berglund still wanted to have a positive influence on the education community.
So Berglund joined Academic Advancement, a private tutoring operation intended to provide in-home additions to students’ in-school learning. She was employed in March 2012 to teach reading and math to several students. In the summer of 2013 she was promoted to a management position, and a few months later, after some consideration, she offered to buy the company. As the owner, Berglund looks forward to continuing her education involvement while at home with her children.
Due to increasing expectations to provide more individualized teaching in schools, teachers are challenged to meet the needs of each of their many students. Berglund expressed how influential tutoring can be in a young child’s life by providing the help and attention they need.
Schoolteachers have such a tough job that is growing harder and harder. With classroom sizes and expectations of teachers growing each year, it remains difficult for teachers to spend enough one-on-one time with those students who need it. I think implementing an in-home tutor is so beneficial for those students [who can] get quality and positive personal time with a certified teacher in the comfort of their own home.
Berglund recalls one particular first grader who had low self-confidence and was at risk for being removed from his school’s Spanish immersion program. Berglund met with him for two hours each week to work on his reading skills, including phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension, through highly engaging activities. The boy was on a level B for reading at the beginning of the year, but pulled ahead of his classmates to a level K towards the end of first grade. His mother told Berglund that the tutoring sessions became the boy’s favorite time of the week and that he loved the one-on-one attention that he was given. Not only did his skills and appreciation for reading and learning improve, but so did his self-confidence.
One of Berglund’s favorite aspects of teaching is “watching that light bulb go on when a student understands something and can [then] be successful.” Berglund has always wanted to be an elementary school teacher and loves how she gets the best of both worlds as an in-home tutor.