The money goes to paying bills – it’s gone almost as fast as it arrives. The satisfaction and accomplishments go to the soul – and that lasts forever.
When Kim Covert gets a text from a student she is working with that he or she got an “A” on an assignment or passed that “impossible” test it is worth more than any check she’s ever cashed.
Covert is a tutor and educational coach who recently opened Covert Educational Services in Dexter with a personal mission statement that’s not only to the point but to the soul. And once a teacher, always a teacher.
“I will get a message from a mom whose child has failed his last six exams and then comes in here and after a month gets a “C” on his chemistry final and that’s a huge victory,” Covert says. “Because when he first came in here he didn’t think he could do it. We figured it out together and he proved he could do it.
“Then, I get the messages from mom that their son or daughter organized their own backpack today and was really organized for the school day or that they put their phone away while doing homework. When kids notice there is a difference and are motivated to succeed then they will do what we are asking them to do.”
Those are the messages that are worth more than any paycheck.
“That’s why I am doing this,” says Covert, who has kids in the Dexter schools and a son at Father Gabriel Richard High School. “It’s the contact with kids and to be able to see the results almost immediately is so rewarding. And it can be as simple as working on a math equation where the kid is totally lost and by the end, after working through each step, they get it.”
Parents also get it.
“My oldest was struggling in math and his confidence was shot so I reached out to Kim to see what could be done,” said Carrie, a parent of a student in Washtenaw County. “We started with one day a week one-on-one tutoring. We moved it up to two days a week for a little bit. His confidence has grown tremendously since he has started. He is making a ton of progress.”
Carrie believes part of the success comes in the way Covert teaches and how she can get through to her students.
“There is a way that Kim shows them how to do things and they get it,” she said. “It is scary and a little down feeling to think that your child may need a tutor but it isn’t the case. Kim became a part of the family. If you have a feeling your child may need a little boost, don’t be shy. Kim is there to help you.”
Covert, a 1990 graduate of Saline High School, went to Eastern Michigan University where she majored in education. She went in as an elementary education major and added high school education as a secondary major so she has “the educational experience for the whole gamut.”
Then, she went to work as they like to say.
“I became the most permanent, temporary employee of the Ypsilanti Public Schools,” she says with a smile. “I worked as a substitute teacher and took job after job after job.”
Covert then “graduated” to a full-time job with community education in Saline.
“I really liked community education because it was with all ages, from preschool to the older kids and I enjoyed doing that,” she said.
She left the full-time job to go full time with her family where she helped raise four kids.
“After about nine years I went back to work, taking the job with community education in Dexter,” she said. “Again, I really liked it. The job grew. My kids grew. And as that job grew I found myself getting further and further away from working with students.”
Covert missed that connection and the reason why she got into teaching in the first place. So she began tutoring students to both help them succeed and fill that void that was missing in her day-to-day work with community education.
Tutoring isn’t just about teaching it’s about learning how each student learns. Everyone learns in a different way, a different pace. What comes easy to some is a seemingly unbreakable wall for others. Covert knew this, of course, but the differences in which kids learn really hit “home” for her.
“I had to figure out my own kids learning styles,” she says. “Every one of my four kids does things a little different. So I was learning through how they were learning and then I had some friends bringing their kids to me for help and it just started to grow.”
At the time, Covert was trying to balance tutoring and her job with community education in Dexter. Something had to give and she decided to not follow the money necessarily but her passion so she left the Dexter job to start her own business.
In July 2017, she started Covert Educational Services.
The services include one-on-one tutoring, educational coaching, enrichment programming, small group classes and advocacy. They focus on the individual needs of every student.
“Our goals are your goals,” says Covert, who also served as a member of the Dexter School Board of Education from 2005-2012.
The business has been growing and everything seems to be “falling into place.”
CES even has a handful of graduate students from the University of Michigan who help teach and tutor students with certain subjects. Educational coaching also is a big part of the business and is a resource for kids who have trouble organizing and focusing on their studies.
“We work on what they need to do to learn better and what they need to do to be successful,” Covert says.
CES works with kids of all ages and all levels, including special-needs kids. In fact, this summer CES will have a series of camps for kids with learning disabilities and/or special needs.
For more information on Covert Educational Services, we encourage you to check out coverteducationalservices.com. Or contact Kim at email@example.com or call 734-726-9608.