Senior starts tutoring business, strives for students’ success

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Haley Harig

Senior Rehaan Merchant takes a poses for a picture at his PCIS symposium. After starting his tutoring business, he seeks to help students with his services. “I teach how to use the concepts, so instead of just remembering how to do something, I show how and why to do it,” Merchant said. “You still get the same end result, but you remember it better instead of cramming. I believe that understanding is better than memorization so that you can remember in the long run.”

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It’s about that time of year for many juniors and seniors to grind out their SATs and ACTs, and it’s time to put down that dreadful – and expensive – 500-page prep book that was bought but may never actually be used. Instead, they should go for what one student’s clients are promoting as a different and more effective approach.

Senior Rehaan Merchant began “Rehaan Tutors” this year, and for only $25 per hour, he said he seeks to introduce a less traditional approach to tutoring for students around the school and beyond.

“I teach how to use the concepts, so instead of just remembering how to do something, I show how and why to do it,” Merchant said. “You still get the same end result, but you remember it better instead of cramming. I believe that understanding is better than memorization so that you can remember in the long run.”

Merchant has tutored countless students in most subjects – all math through AP Calculus BC, English, SAT and ACT prep and every science except AP Chemistry – and compared to tutoring companies that charge upwards of $60 an hour, “Rehaan Tutors” offers a more economical tutoring option.

“(Those companies have) a curriculum base for you and less flexible hours, and you’re kind of stuck to what they do,” Merchant said. “Whereas I’ve been through a lot of the classes and things that I’m tutoring, so I can better understand how to help them.”

Merchant said the common thought is that students struggle because they don’t know what they are doing or are lazy, but this is not a fully accurate perspective.

“Although that may be the case for some, a lot of the time they do understand it,” Merchant said. “They just have test anxiety,  or they don’t know how to apply what they know, or there is a concept gap that needs to be filled.”

One of Merchant’s students, junior Whitney Ballard, said she enjoys the peer tutoring aspect because of Merchant’s ability to explain and visualize different concepts in multiple effective ways.

“He’s really able to individualize the learning,” Ballard said. “So it’s not like I’m taking a class where I’m just learning everything and the things that I really need I’m not getting.”

Junior Morgan Begley said that after wanting to find extra help in preparing for her SAT, she was recommended to ‘Rehaan Tutors” and has been impressed by his service.

“He’s a really effective teacher, and he knows when to help me and when to step back,” Begley said. “So he’s not holding my hand throughout it.”

Merchant said “Rehaan Tutors” provided him with a challenging and useful headstart on entrepreneurship, money and time management. In the future, he said he hopes to see “Rehaan Tutors” go even further with how and who he tutors, and he reports this process of personal growth to be one of his favorite parts of his business so far.

“I get a new perspective on people, as well as I get to learn more about them,” Merchant said. “It builds your connections and overall communication skills.”

His clients said this communication and connection is a key aspect of what makes “Rehaan Tutors” so effective.

“Rehaan has been really professional while also keeping it casual,” Begley said. “I don’t feel awkward at all, and he’s made me feel comfortable while teaching me.”

As much as Merchant enjoys his business as a platform for improving his own skills, the real fulfillment he finds in “Rehaan Tutors” is the way in which it helps his peers and community.

“I really like when people come back, and they tell me that they’re doing better,” Merchant said. “And I really like to see their growth and how it motivates them to go further in the future.”

For more information, students can contact Rehaan Merchant by texting (717) 330-1198, or emailing rehaanm2012@gmail.com