We had the good fortune of connecting with Elizabeth Morales and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Elizabeth, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Two years ago I set a five -year goal for myself and said, “In five years, I want to have my own academic coaching business and here I am two years later. I’ve been a teacher for 17 years and a tutor for 24 years.I taught at Miami Dade College, FIU, and the University of Miami in the areas of Reading, I’ve tutored for so many years for other companies while I taught full-time at Felix Varela High School. There was a time where I was teaching full-time at my high school, teaching at FIU, and ending my evening teaching adults at Miami Dade College. On the weekend, I started tutoring students privately since I didn’t have enough time during the week. I remember visiting my parents and they would notice how exhausted I was by the end of the week. My Abuela and parents would constantly tell me that I work too much. It was obvious, I was drained but in a good way. I love what I do! One day I had a talk with my other half and my sister and mentioned that I really wanted to pursue my dream of having my own tutoring company, until I finally started the paperwork after my sister and brother-in-law guided me on owning a business. I wanted my tutoring service to be more of a coaching business. The educators that work with my students have to know their learners. I’ve always been a strong believer that all students learn differently. Therefore, whoever works for My Learning Coach needs to be energetic and match their learners’ needs. In 2020, the pandemic hit and there were a lot of students who were falling behind. I realized this is where they were going to need more of my assistance and of our coaches. At My Learning Coach, we have one-on-one coaching and group classes. Our group classes were a blessing throughout the pandemic. Our coaches would teach online and teach fun activities to our students and at the end of the sessions students would socialize with other kids from different parts of the United States. We would always say that this was our little first, second, and third grade family. At this moment, we offer classes online and in person . We get to know our learners and group them with the coach that matches them.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Our services sets us apart from other companies because we don’t really offer “Homework” help we coach and teach our students. If the parents request the assistance then we will help with their homework. However, at MLC we teach students skills and strategies to strengthen their skills in their areas of need. I am firm believer that every child can learn. Dr. Howard Gardner has been an inspiration to all of my academic lessons. Dr. Gardner, developed the theory of Multiple Intelligence’s in 1983, when he was a Professor of Education at Harvard University. He believes that the traditional way of identifying intelligence through an IQ test, is very restricted and limited. Instead, Dr. Gardner proposes different ways to identify intelligence to account for every learners potential. I am a musician and throughout my life, I feel learning with music has always helped me in memorizing skills I needed throughout my life. Hence, I’ve been playing the trombone since 1992 and still perform with different bands, Sometimes our learners learn in an artistic, musical, or in naturalist way: we teach the way the child learns best. As a teacher and tutor, I have realized how hard it can be for parents at times to assist their child because of the time they have left in a day. Sometimes they have an abundance of homework and it can be difficult to assist them when you’re a parent. Working one on one with a coach will make things easier for the parent and child because they can assist you with skills they need and homework that has to be completed. Starting my business has assisted a lot of students through academic coaching. At My Learning Coach we teach music lessons, sports training, and academic lessons. We have students who learn virtually and others who meet in person. As the Director of My Learning Coach, my favorite part is to see how far a child has accomplished in such little time. I’ve had students who have gone one to two grade levels by being in our program in the summer and throughout the school year. When a child feels capable and worthy they tend to work harder with their learning coach. This is why our Learning Coaches make sure they use a very positive and encouraging approach with their students and assure them that they can accomplish anything. At My Learning Coach, we don’t close the doors to students who can’t sign up for tutoring. We try to help anyone in need of our lessons. We advise parents to reach out so we can better assist students nation-wide. Throughout the school year we sometime have members of the Future Educators of America assist parents with homework (free of charge), which is quite beneficial for the parents, child, and the high school students learning experience and community hours. All of our students are on a point system, the coach gives our students points and when the student has met their goal for the week or in some cases bi-weekly, they get a surprise amazon delivery in the mail. This idea gives our student a form of motivation to work diligently for their big surprise. I believe every child can learn. All students learn differently but we as teachers and learning coaches need to find a way of what better fits them. We are currently working endlessly as a team to one day have our very own Learning Center.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would start off by recommending visiting Boat Yard in Fort Lauderdale for a Water Front Brunch facing the Intracoastal Waterways. They have bottomless Bellinis, Mimosas, and Bloody Mary’s and Premium Cocktails while you enjoy your meal, music, and company. After a nice brunch, we can go bar hopping in Las Olas, River Walk, and The Wharf. If anyone is in the mood to drink and play video games, I recommend to check out Glitch. You can play video games and have amazing cocktails. Another fun spot is Wilton Manors which is full of bars , restaurants, and entertainment. If you’d like to check out drag shows, this is the perfect place to be. They can also go to the Broward Performing Arts Center and check out what shows are in town. I highly recommend to check out the talented South Florida Pride Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band who holds concerts there throughout the year. Another plus is that I play trombone for them. Ha! If they are headed to Hallandale, they should definitely check out the Carousel Club which is a great spot for cool cocktails, awesome eats & exciting entertainment from day-to-night. They have outside games and a carousel, how cool is that? If they are headed North they should stop by Hialeah for a couple of drinks at “La Cocina”. I am a Hialeah girl so of course visiting La Cocina is a cool spot for everyone to check out. They have creative cocktails to show the rest of the “305” that Hialeah is a hip place to hang! After they check out Hialeah, I advice them to head to Wynwood for some street art, clubs, bars, pop up shops, haunted house, and museums. If you want a quick bite head to Coyo Taco in Wynwood for delicious tacos and the best part of it is you can go dancing in their secret club, walk past the bathrooms and down the hall and you’re in! The people are friendly and the music is great. The can check out Gramps, Lagniappe, and The Anderson for a fun night. Wynwood, Midtown, and Brickell is definitely a great place to people watch, since there are so many so people who visit. If you want to have a “chic” happy hour and dinner, head to “Chica Restaurant” which is nearby for pretty drinks and a nice vibe. If you’re headed to the beach they definitely need to check out “The Broken Shaker”, they have the best cocktails and great vibes for a nice night out in an open area. In Miami for brunch they should definitely check out “Little Hen” it is a picturesque spot with delicious food. If you want healthy, and trendy, you definitely need to check out Pura Vida in Coral Gables and the Design District. If you feel like driving to the keys for a short drive you definitely need to stop by “Gilberts” in Key Largo which is right by the water. They have live bands playing over the weekend and the same with the “Big Chill” in Key Largo. I am sure I am missing a bunch of places but for now, these are the best places that come to mind.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
At times when you think you’re dreaming too “big”, you tend to share your ideas with others and listen to their feedback. Sometimes it takes support from people whose lives you’ve touched and those who support and love you. I would like to thank my students who inspire me to learn new teaching methods to teach them in a way that learning is fun and beneficial. I would like to thank Stephanie and Chris Casariego for leading me in the direction of starting my own business. Dora, our first Learning Coach that joined our team and being so helpful in all aspects of the business, support, and the extra motivation I needed to go to the next level. I would like to thank my sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon, for empowering me to be the woman I am today. I would like to thank Safe Schools South Florida, which I serve as the Vice-Chair on the Board of Directors, for motivating me to give back to our community and create safer learning environments for our youth.  I would also like to thank my former Professor, Dr. Judith Cohen and former Supervisors, Dr. Feion Villodas and Cinthya Lozano from FIU that always mentioned I should have my own tutoring business because of the great work I do.I would like to thank my parents, German and Elizabeth Morales who have always pushed my sister and I to be the best in whichever path we chose for ourselves. I would like to thank my beautiful late grandmother, Maria Rodriguez who would always tell me to be the Director of my business one day. I remember she would always tell me that whenever I had my own learning center that I had to take her with me so she can answer my “Spanish” phone calls. Although she is not with us since 2020, I know she is always by my side. Jonas and Violet Casariego my niece and nephew who give me pointers on what is “cool” for the elementary kids. Little Violet and Jonas are always willing to assist me when holding socials for our elementary students. Thankful for my former teachers, former band directors, co-workers, family, and friends for their ongoing motivation and support throughout the process of putting my business together. Our students, parents, and My Learning Coach team, for working together as one to meet every student’s needs.

Website: www.mylearningcoachtutoring.com

Instagram: @mylearningcoachtutoring

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabeth-morales-79b47b52

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mylearningcoachtutoringservices/

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/my-learning-coach-tutoring-services-miami-2

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