Chrystal Seawood is employed as a SmartStart Education ELA tutor for 10th graders. She joined SmartStart in October 2022, because she said she wanted to get back into the classroom on a part-time basis. “As an educator, who needed a break, but didn’t want to leave the profession, this job is perfect,” she said.
Seawood graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fine art and spent several years working as a graphic designer before finding a passion for education.
Prior to joining SmartStart, she taught English for four years and humanities for three years and spent a year working as a substitute teacher and tutor.
Rewards of teaching:
One of the rewards of working with students, “… is the ability to form relationships with the kids,” Seawood said. “It is important to develop a trusting relationship with students and focus on what they do well.” She believes that students respond better to positive reinforcement and doesn’t internalize any of the behavioral problems she encounters. “I just always focus on their work, not their behavior,” she added.
Seawood said she really enjoys the community of students she works with. “They are friendly and kind. It really feels like family.” This has helped her, as a tutor, feel like she is part of the community. In addition, she appreciates the level of autonomy she experiences in her position. “Every teacher has their own approach and methods for student success, and it feels good to be trusted with that process.”
Outside of the classroom:
In her spare time, Seawood said she enjoys making art. In addition, she said she reads a lot of non-fiction books and is really interested in finding out more about the universe, so she finds books that satisfy her curiosity.