Sawyer partners with hundreds of educators who are stars in their communities. From inspiring class content to engaging teaching style, these educators are known for their enriching activities that empower both children and parents alike.
We got the opportunity to chat with Pixie Pods, a Black, female owned mobile enrichment studio that provides dance, music, and acrobatic education for the children (ages: 0-13) of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens!
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us! I’d love to hear a bit more about you and why you started your business.
I started dancing when I was 7 and continued through all my schooling and college. I was fortunate enough to get a musical theater/commercial dance agent and was living my dream as a professional dancer for about 7 years until the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. I didn't mean to start a business! I was nannying and began teaching the child dance. I developed a passion for early childhood dance education! A year later, I added more instructors to help me teach and Pixie Pods has been growing rapidly since then! A dream come true.
Can you describe an inspiring moment you’ve had as an educator?
For about 4 weeks, I was teaching private creative dance classes to a student who was non-verbal and had developmental delays. She loved class and followed directions extremely well. Her family was so amazed at how engaged and happy she was in our 45-min weekly session. I felt so fortunate to be able to introduce her to the world of dance. Very inspiring!
What’s the most rewarding thing about teaching children?
The most rewarding thing about teaching young kids is to know that our classes/curriculums are directly making a difference in their brain development. They think they are just playing/having fun!
What’s one time a child surprised you and made your day?
When I first started my business, a mom booked me to teach a rooftop ballet class at her daughter’s 4th birthday party. Her daughter had been rewatching a production of “The Nutcracker” all throughout quarantine, but never taken a class. Her daughter LOVED it! So much so she asked me to teach a dance class at her 5th and 6th birthday parties too. She also ends the party saying, “Miss Porsha, I love dancing with you!” I almost tear up every time! I love teaching little ones and there are so many precious moments that surprise me and push me to continue making magic even when it gets hard!
On a similar note, what’s the funniest thing a child has done in your class?
After I introduced myself to a pod of 6 three years old, one of them raised their hand and said, “We have a Porsche in the garage!” I explained that I was actually named after the car.
Why is after school/extracurricular enrichment and camp so important for children?
They are important because children can play, create, and explore new ways to express themselves! That is very essential for young growing minds.
How do you think children can discover their passions when they’re not in school or your programs?
New York City is the perfect place to be to discover a passion. There is free art everywhere, Broadway shows, plays, concerts, etc.
What is your favorite Sawyer feature?
My favorite Sawyer feature is the Marketplace! Caregivers can just wake up and go on Sawyer and find a class for that day using the search feature. That's very innovative and something I haven't seen in other class software.
What's one trick you learned from another educator that you still practice?
I've learned SO much from other educators. It's hard to pick one! I think the most important trick I learned is to set expectations for the next activity BEFORE setting it up or trying it. Having them repeat the expectation does wonders as well. Waiting after an unwanted behavior begins is too late and more difficult to fix!
Have you discovered new customers on the Sawyer Marketplace?
How do you balance your time between running your business (from an operational perspective) and teaching/connecting with parents and students?
I found I am the happiest when I have 1–2 days of teaching during the week and the rest of my work days are spent running my business. I also have the help of our amazing assistant director, Hannah, so I’m not working 24/7!
How has Sawyer helped your business?
Sawyer has helped my business by providing a user-friendly system that we use for our drop-in/semester classes and camps. My favorite software I came across!