Wavy Women highlights various industry professionals currently leading the game with their brazen creativity and forward-thinking style.
Los Angeles is the mecca of the entertainment industry and a place that many actors, singers and reality TV stars call “home”. Behind the busy schedules of the teenagers that take over the entertainment platform is Tiffany Sorya, a private tutor turned director of Novel Education Group that helps keep the balance between their entertainment and academic careers.
Raised in Portland, the now LA-based denizen attracted Kris Jenner and Dr. Dre’s attention thanks to her emphasis on exploring youth creativity while balancing busy schedules and academic work – both Kylie and Kendall Jenner are previous students of Sorya.
We caught up with Tiffany to discuss her success in private tutoring and higher education. Read what she had to say below then check out our last installment with Valeria Semushina.
How did you get involved with private tutoring?
I moved down to Los Angeles right after I graduated college with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and French. Because I always wanted to pursue higher education, I decided to take a couple years off then go back to school in Los Angeles. In those couple years, I started tutoring privately for extra money.
After working for an agency and also a private school that only offered homeschool curriculums, I realized that I had the tools to create my own program that merged all the best things about each of my experiences. On top of that, I was receiving a lot of referrals and I didn’t have enough time in my schedule to accept all the clients. That’s when it dawned on me that I could turn this into a business; I started Novel Education Group and then Kendall and Kylie Jenner were my first big clients and they soon led to more.
Do you think that private tutoring creates a more impactful educational experience as opposed to traditional schooling?
I think this all depends on the type of experience you want in school. There are some kids who really enjoy all the experiences that come with school: sports, school dances, prom, etc. Then there are some kids who really don’t care about those things and already have a really strong social life outside of school. They’re so focused on their careers and pursuing interests at a young age that a 7 hour school day feels much more like a burden than it does an experience. That’s the group that we cater to.
Students really thrive when they’re working on things that they’re genuinely interested in and they don’t feel like they’re wasting time. School becomes an experience that will apply to their career and adult lives so yes I believe it is much more of an impactful experience.
Outside of teaching, how do you spend your free time?
Outside of teaching, I really love to cook and bake. I’m constantly working on [the private tutoring] business, so when I have free time, I like to just chill, watch movies and try new recipes. I’m also really into music. My boyfriend is a music producer so I’m constantly surrounded by that world as well. I grew up singing and playing the piano so I’ve been trying to get back into that.
If you weren’t tutoring, what would you be doing?
If I didn’t have this tutoring business, I think I would have some exotic job traveling to different places and studying random animals. Or I’d also want to work for the CIA. However, I wanted to pursue higher education because I always had this fantasy of living in weird, remote places and just learning of all the things around me.
A lot of academic institutions fail to teach kids useful skills outside of the classroom. How does at home tutoring differ from the norm?
There will always be a part of elementary, middle and high school (whether they be private or public), that involves non-applicable information. This is because school is as much about learning how to learn as much as it is about learning actual facts. Even if there was a class on how to file taxes or balance a checkbook that you took when you were 15, the likelihood is that you would have probably forgotten everything.
With that said, Novel Ed attempts to teach skills that will be applicable in real life. Learning how to have a critical eye, well-versed speaking and writing skills and confidence in problem solving are key goals with all of our students. With that, we try and teach these skills through subjects and topics that are relevant to students’ interests and possible career choices.