Getting to Know BrightBrain Learning
Written by John Bunyi
BrightBrain Learning’s mission is to tear down the barriers to learning and facilitate growth in staff, students, educators, and the community. As tutors, we are determined to be the very best in our business. We focus on the individual learning process as much as the content we teach. As advocates for progressive education, we strive to be a reliable resource for educators and be a place where employees and students alike can continue to grow.
I sat down recently with BrightBrain’s founder, Kristoffer Quiaoit, and asked him some questions on why he started BrightBrain learning and the importance of the company’s emphasis on progressive learning. Here’s what he had to say:
What are some goals you have with BrightBrain Learning? And what is the main goal of BrightBrain Learning?
Our main goal is to provide a meaningful learning experience for students. That can mean sharing “Ah-ha” moments with them in Physics or getting them excited to take the SAT exam. We want students to be as excited about their academic future as we are.
Excited. That’s a great goal, and a challenging one. Why did you decide to start BrightBrain Learning?
I decided to start BrightBrain Learning because I am very passionate about education and improving it. I can relate with the struggling student in the traditional classroom. In school, I faced cookie cutter instruction that didn’t suit my learning style. The typical class routine was to sit down and be quiet. Write down the homework from the board. Wait for instruction. Listen. Copy the notes on the board. Wait for instruction. Listen. Take more notes. I am very hands-on and can’t sit through hour-long lectures. So I found it very difficult to pay attention and learn in these classes. Unfortunately, this experience resonates with many students. We want to be part of the solution to change that.
What separates BrightBrain Learning from the rest?
We emphasize the learning process as much as the content. How can a visual learner understand how each part of the animal cell works by giving them an earful of information and telling them to take notes? How can a 6th grader with dyslexia and attention deficit disorder enjoy a novel if it isn’t first broken down for them to comprehend? Our methods identify and address what we call “learning obstacles.” Once we help these students come up with strategies to tackle these obstacles, they begin to learn exponentially.
I’ve always wondered, why “BrightBrain” Learning?
BrightBrain came from the idea that the brain uses both the left and right hemispheres to process information. The left side is used for logic and analytical thinking, and the right side is used for intuition and creativity. We encourage students to use their whole brain, their “bright” brain.
Using their whole brain, I like that. Now, where do you see BrightBrain a year from now? And where do you see BrightBrain 10 years from now?
A year from now, we hope to partner with teaching credential and masters programs to provide aspiring teachers a different perspective on education, the student perspective. Tutoring is an excellent way to figure out the challenges students face while learning. Those challenges vary from child to child. We want to help teachers come up with solutions to those problems in the classroom. 10 years from now we hope that education encourages collaboration and goes beyond the traditional model of lectures and worksheets, and we hope to be an important enabler of that change.
A year from now, we hope to partner with teaching credential and masters programs to provide aspiring teachers a different perspective on education, the student perspective.
Let’s see, do you have any tips for students?
Collaborate. Don’t think of learning as an individual experience. Work with your classmates to study for tests and to come up with ideas for essays and projects. In most cases, two heads are better than one. Participate. Of course school is boring if you are standing on the sidelines. You are the most important piece in your education. Act like it. Ask. Teachers aren’t mind readers and won’t know that you need help if you don’t ask. Ask for help. Athletes ask coaches and trainers. Vocalists ask vocal coaches and peers. Millionaires ask experts on how to make millions.
Finally, funniest teaching moment. Go.
When I get to students’ houses, parents usually offer me something to eat or drink. This one time, I was settling into the dining room to start my 4th session of the day and the parent asks me, “Kris, would you like something to drink?” I tell her, “Sure. I’ll have some water.” The parent and student both stare at me confused for what seemed like a minute. I realized that I didn’t say “water”. I said “WINE”. I start laughing and tell her, “sorry, I meant water. It must be a really long day.”
About John Bunyi
John has worked as a Behavior Specialist at the UC Irvine Child Development Center, and in marketing at Inspired Instruments. He currently works as a Behavior Interventionist at Easter Seals Bay Area. He loves hands-on learning, sports, movies, technology, books, and music. He also loves chicken wings.