March Employee Spotlight: Kim Soo

Unveiling the Art of Tutoring: A Conversation with Kim Soo

Any educational professional knows that there’s a special kind of magic that occurs when a tutor connects deeply with their students, guiding them through challenges and illuminating paths to success. 


Kim Soo, one of SmartStart’s distinguished tutors, embodies this magic with grace and dedication. In a candid interview, Kim shared insights into his journey as a tutor, his profound interactions with students, and his holistic approach to education.


Kim joined the SmartStart team about three months ago. He currently tutors with our school connections in Harlem.


“Mainly what I’m doing is English Language Arts,” Kim explained. “From decoding words to reading comprehension and writing.”  Kim works with students ranging from pre-K to 12th grade.

When asked about his preferred age group, Kim’s answered, “I really enjoy working with the younger students who are very behind,” he shared. “Helping them find their way back on track is incredibly rewarding.”

Kim’s dedication isn’t just about academic achievement; it’s about holistic growth. “School is such an enormous part of their young forming identity,” he emphasized.  He believes that understanding their emotional and physical challenges is key to unlocking their potential.

In recounting a particularly rewarding moment, Kim’s warmth was palpable. He recalled having a student who struggled to participate in sessions due to self-consciousness. By working with an occupational therapist, personalizing questions related to her reading, and empowering her he was able to see remarkable progress.

“Connection is key,” Kim emphasized, highlighting his belief in tailoring approaches to individual needs. He acknowledged that every kid is different, and they all need different things.

Beyond tutoring, Kim is an acupuncturist and a health coach. His life revolves around self-improvement, focusing on movement, nutrition, and holistic health practices. “It’s challenging, but when it works, it works really well,” he remarked, speaking to the delicate balance he maintains.

Kim shared his fundamental philosophy: to approach each student with an open mind and a listening heart. “Assume that I know nothing specifically about the person I’m working with,” he mused. “It’s about understanding their unique journey and needs.”

In Kim Soo, we see not just a tutor, but a beacon of inspiration—a reminder of the profound impact educators can have on shaping young minds and hearts. His dedication, empathy, and unwavering commitment to student success make him shine in the world of tutoring.