Matt Swanson built his business on a simple philosophy: every golfer should be able to practice on good grass with quality golf balls. At all three of his Matt Swanson's School of Golf facilities, Matt has established a method of instruction that goes well beyond basic driving range practice. Golf Digest has certainly taken notice of the center, picking it as one America's top club fitters in 2011 and Matt as one of the best instructors in Texas in 2013.
Its short game area challenges players with putting and low-pitch zones, and the golf school sows its seeds of wisdom during lessons, clinics, and camps. The driving range ups the ante with Trackman technology, which precisely analyzes the data of every shot, such as distance and whether a ball was hit hard enough to take down a charging golf cart.
The veteran submerged seafarers at Sea Sports Scuba can instruct any landlubber on the basics of underwater breathing in a safe, welcoming environment. At each lesson, a wise, PADI-certified instructor will dish the fundamental tenets of the dive and marine astronomy. Students will dive into the provided gear and equipment before diving into a heated indoor pool for practice. In one 60- to 120-minute session, submariners will be primed to move on to more-advanced sunken adventures and confidently curse humanoid ancestors for voting to phase out gills.
Teachers are called learning coaches at Talent Unbound—and that's just one way its classrooms differ from traditional ones. Founder Mike Olson tried traditional for 14 years as a teacher, principal, and education administrator. He noticed gaps in the ways standard schools operated, and turned to a different form of teaching called Coached Schooling when he opened Talent Unbound. This technology-intensive program pairs a student to a coach, who customizes an educational plan based on the pupil's needs. Incorporating computers, modern-day tools, and innovative hands-on projects, the coach and student work on academic subjects ranging from calculus to English.
With programs in 46 countries and an experienced staff, Kumon helps children become master mathematicians and page-obliterating readers. During the one-month academic program, students receive an individualized lesson plan, custom-built according to their abilities, learning pace, and fluency in dolphin. As the month progresses, the program is further honed to fit kids' burgeoning brainpower, and many Kumon students eventually reach levels three years or more above their own grade through long-term study. A smattering of study materials marinates the minds of mini-Einsteins as they train their brains on conquering college-level reading, mastering Calculus 2, or working out equations to prove the Earth is actually shaped like a thumbs-up.
What makes your business stand out?
The driving force behind language acquisition is the communicative bond between the teacher and student, along with an environment that enables the learner to build confidence, in order to, move forward. I am well versed in cultural and academic diversity and my approach to teaching/learning is based on the individual in reference to interests, focus and goals.
What inspired you to start or run this business?
My focus has always been on shedding light and support where there is struggle. In the school system today there are two types of learners: those who are able to flow within the system and those who struggle within it. My inspiration is to help those kids and adults who may have developed a negative inner-dialogue in reference to language learning and life building skills and inspire a positive attitude and connection to language learning by discovering what works in order to move them forward.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
In reference to my adult ESL clients, I like to make them feel comfortable with where they are in their language skills in the moment. Often they know more than they themselves believe and that is why we build language skills from already present strengths. Culture is huge, and therefor it is super important that they integrate their language learning with everyday activities. I help them do that. Also, for my creative students I offer an artistic perspective to learning English—learning English through the arts. For example, poetry, creative writing, painting, drawing, music appreciation, art appreciation, etc. All the above aspects can be interwoven with reading, writing, speaking and listening.
What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
What’s your favorite part about your job?
My favorite part about my job is when my clients/students feel validated and satisfied with each lesson; when they feel they are able to connect another part of the puzzle piece and when they walk away feeling good about themselves and their knowledge.
Since she was a child, Corina Vanderoef has been creating art. She harnesses her artistic passion and her degree in fine arts to help students unearth their own inner Rembrandts during classes, team-building activities, and birthday parties. She and her staff have cultivated a laid-back atmosphere where participants—regardless of skill level—can enjoy their own libations, chat with fellow artists, and create paintings to proudly hang on living-room or doghouse walls.