Instructor Spotlight: Ruchee Saxena and Anita Gupta
L to R: Ruchee Saxena and Anita Gupta, Instructor(s) of Kumon Math and Reading Center of Waukesha
For just over 10 years, Ruchee Saxena and Anita Gupta have followed their dreams of helping students discover their true potential through Kumon. Before opening the doors to the Kumon of Waukesha in 2010, both Ruchee and Anita began their Kumon journeys as Kumon Parents. After enrolling their daughters in the program, the impact it made on both girls’ academic skills and confidence was quickly noticed. The more that they learned about the Kumon Method and its unique individualized approach, the more that both Ruchee and Anita felt compelled to give more children the opportunity to grow in the Pewaukee, WI community.
“I first became interested in Kumon when I enrolled my four-year-old daughter. Though I didn’t quite understand how the Kumon Method worked then, I was impressed by the process and amazed at how quickly my daughter caught on to it. Unfortunately, the driving distance kept us from attending classes regularly,” said Ruchee.
“After witnessing the strength and success of the Kumon Program and after studying their methodology, I knew I wanted to bring this program to as many kids in the community as possible. I started training to become an Instructor in 2009 and there was no looking back!”
During the pandemic, Ruchee and Anita celebrated their 10th anniversary as Kumon Instructors. 10 years and over 1,000 students later, they both continue to find inspiration in their students’ growth and helping each of them discover a love for learning. Despite the many challenges the pandemic brought to these inspiring business owners, they never lost sight of their number one priority – their students.
“When the pandemic hit and we went a couple weeks without seeing the students, I really missed seeing them. When we started virtual classes, it didn’t feel the same. Somehow, I wanted to connect with the students at a different level. We decided to host a series of fun, virtual events that would establish that, “Kumon can be fun!” We hosted virtual bingo, scavenger hunt, and a Kahoot-game night, just to name a few,” said Anita.
“We started sending personalized notes and fun messages with every homework. We even planned a drive-by student award event to remind the students how proud we were of all their work during the pandemic. It has all been extremely rewarding. Ruchee and I successfully created a fun vibe at our Center which we love and plan to continue in the future.”
Ruchee and Anita shared some highlights from their Kumon journey thus far.
What inspired you to become a Kumon Instructor?
As a practicing Physical Therapist, I had a very rewarding and satisfying job. When I could no longer work as a physical therapist due to a spinal injury, it was only natural that I gravitated towards a career that provided me the opportunity to help others reach their potential. There couldn’t be a better place for me than Kumon.
I strongly believe there is no bigger enabler in the world than knowledge, and the road to knowledge is education. Kumon gave me the opportunity to serve as an educator, to enable students to recognize their strengths, potential, and to develop a curious mind and a lifelong love of learning in them. I knew this was my calling.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as a Kumon Instructor?
Every child has the potential to move mountains if they are encouraged and given the right amount of guidance and time. I feel like I am learning something new from my students every day. Children are innocent, honest, and eager to please. If they aren’t doing their best, it’s probably because they aren’t at the just right level of work. I have learned to be patient, to listen to my students, and adjust the lesson plans to meet the student’s learning style and pace. Over the years I have learned Kumon can do wonders for kids of all abilities!
What is a fun fact about you that people may not know?
Those who don’t know me, dance and music is my passion. I have been pursuing
dance since the age of five and have learned a couple different Indian Classical Dance forms. Given the time and opportunity, I would love to dabble in Indian Folk and Latin American Dance styles.
Any other information you would like to share about yourself or your Kumon experience?
My Kumon journey has been very rewarding and satisfying. I am grateful for my family and our amazing students and parents, who believe in us and support our efforts. I am also thankful for my dedicated fellow Kumon Instructors and Staff, who are extremely encouraging and fun to be around!
We have a partnership center and what can be better than working alongside your best friend? Anita and I are both very passionate about education and while our goals and mission are the same, we both bring our unique personalities and perspective to the Center. Our Center has a fun and welcoming vibe. We complement each other and are truly a dream team!
What inspired you to become a Kumon Instructor?
I’ve always been passionate about education and knew I would enjoy working with children of different ages. The Kumon Method is truly unique! Kumon is ageless and grade-less and helps to bring out the true potential in every child, enabling them to be truly amazing. For me, that was it! My passion became my mission.
What is it about being Kumon Instructor you enjoy the most?
Kumon has provided me the opportunity to be able to work with such a wide variety of students. Those who are ahead in school, looking to be challenged, those who are struggling and need extra help, those who love to learn, those who aren’t there yet, and almost everything in between. I feel like through the Kumon Method, I’m able to help all these students to discover the joy of learning and bringing out the best in them, no matter where they are. Through Kumon I have been able to learn as well as help my students realize that with hard work, perseverance and discipline, one can achieve anything. This realization in turn instills a huge confidence in them and watching that transition happen is my favorite part!
Can you describe an instruction moment where you made an impact on a student who may have been struggling?
For my younger students who are still developing as readers, I love to model for them. I once read a passage to a student with a lot of expression, almost theatrical! She listened with her eyes wide and when she read the same passage a second time, there was a significant difference and she noticed it right away. Within minutes, she sounded more confident, and she was delighted by her own reading! I knew that moment that this girl was on her way to becoming a lifelong reader.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I am always thinking of ways to give back to the community. For several years I have been involved with an organization that runs schools in rural India, to provide basic education to underprivileged students. This year, I have been volunteering over 10-12 hours a week to run a cafeteria at the local temple to help them raise funds. To me, community service is extremely gratifying, and I always try to find time and ways to continue doing that.
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