Denise Heneghan became the Instructor of the Kumon Galway City West Study Centre in April 2013. Here she tells us about her experience of becoming a Kumon franchisee, developing her business and nurturing students at her study centre.
“Before I became a Kumon Instructor there had been two strands to my working life: an industrial career in Technical Management, underpinned by a Masters Degree in Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration; and my voluntary commitments as a community leader underpinned by a Diploma in Youth Work and a Diploma in Community Development. Becoming a Kumon Instructor combined my experiences in an interesting way.
The exceptional core values of Kumon, initially attracted me to explore the franchise opportunity: its child-centred method of learning, its commitment to liberate potential and its belief that we can all become full, well rounded individuals who contribute to a global society. I realised it was an excellent match for the skills I had already developed and the Kumon Mission really resonated with me.
Kumon offers children the opportunity to explore and develop their full potential, at their own pace, tuned to their unique capacities. Children, who often approach Kumon at first with a certain amount of nerves, quickly become confident and enthusiastic learners; they experience success right from the beginning through the unique setting of their start point in the programmes. They experience excitement at the prospect of being largely in command of their own success and development and they learn, first hand, how small, regular, honest acts of commitment and perseverance build to big achievements.
There is no typical day as a Kumon franchisee. A typical week includes two afternoons committed to running my centre, several hours planning and preparing the programme of work for each child and others committed to assessments for potential students. The week may also involve stock management, class assistant development, financial management and reporting and meeting parents with charted progress and goals for their students. As a business owner I also handle enquiries, prepare marketing campaigns, attend ongoing training and of course, complete the Kumon worksheets myself!
As a potential Instructor I received extremely intensive training. Subsequent, ongoing training draws from and enhances our actual Instructor experiences and offers us opportunities to share experiences and learning with our peers.
I receive excellent support from my Area and Regional Managers, who visit the centre, observe our methods and guide and direct us as necessary. The wonderful Brand and Communications team provide content and artwork for marketing, and our regional Team Administrator assists with administrative queries.
The growth of students both in confidence and personality is the most rewarding aspect of being a Kumon Instructor. However, we also love to hear stories of prizes achieved, accolades earned in school and elsewhere, as a result of their Kumon experience. We always try to find a way to celebrate those experiences too.
My aspiration is to provide the premier supplementary education centre for maths and English in the Galway region. I want to develop young people who know how to convert a dream to a reality through perseverance, and who readily progress through their education journey to achieve excellent employment.”