We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Hannah and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jennifer, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
Thinking outside the box to envision a unique and unexpected environment for learning support that allowed for flexibility was the single most important decision I’ve made that has contributed to my success!

Big Blue- our bus! Sit Beside is Fort Worth’s only mobile learning studio housed inside a renovated school bus. The bus provides a novel and fun learning environment for the children we support. Who doesn’t want to work on math inside an aesthetically beautiful bus that feels more like a clubhouse than a classroom?!

Novelty aside, the bus also provides mobility! Being a mobile business means learning comes to the families Sit Beside serves! We have flexibility in offering services based on the season and type of program. Big Blue, the Sit Beside mobile classroom, drives to schools, local Fort Worth businesses, private residences, and community spaces. After school, Sit Beside parks in locations central to the areas’ private schools, providing convenience for busy afterschool schedules.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Sit Beside is a mobile learning studio providing small-group academic support, unique learning experiences, and educational consultations to families of Fort Worth. Our small group approach provides a collaborative environment where 2nd-5th graders build confidence in their abilities while developing academic skills.

Sit Beside’s standout program is Writer’s Workshop, a weekly creative writing program for 3rd-5th graders. Writer’s Workshop is a small group learning experience for kids to explore their creativity, build their writing confidence, and, most importantly, learn to play with words! Each semester offers different writing experiences, sometimes heavily influenced by a particular genre or picture book or the personal interests of the group. Writer’s Workshop supports reluctant writers in finding their inner voice, learning to trust their ideas, and showing themselves what they are capable of outside the literal or perceived constraints of writing in a school. Nothing like this exists as an enrichment after school!

Math Foundations transforms the way elementary kids feel about themselves as mathematicians! It provides a collaborative environment where peers celebrate each other’s successes and support each other through frustrations. Math Foundations is about learners changing their inner dialogue about themselves and math. This change happens over time when they face math challenges in a supportive environment and are guided through the skills and strategies to overcome their roadblocks to math. Consistency is key!

The confidence transformation makes me most excited to rev up the bus each day! Confidence as a learner spills over into all aspects of a child’s life, from interactions with parents and friends to sports! I love hearing from families how the entire family life dynamic has changed because their children feel more capable and confident in themselves as learners. Confidence leads to engagement in learning!

Jennifer Hannah, the visionary founder and Learning Specialist of Sit Beside, curates the curriculum for all our programs using her 17 years of experience as an upper elementary teacher. With a Master’s in Education as a Reading Specialist and a Master’s in Special Populations with a certificate in Gifted Education, Jennifer’s expertise ensures young learners will find joy in learning again or maybe for the first time.

I bought a bus in January of 2022, retired from the classroom in May, and opened the mobile learning studio doors to the 1st student in July! I’m celebrating the end of year 2 this May. I went from zero to 100 in about 7 months. My skills as a classroom teacher were very transferable to becoming a business owner and the face of Sit Beside. I operated classrooms with relationships as the most important aspect, which hasn’t changed with Sit Beside. My relationship with the learner, the family, and the Fort Worth Community is the most important!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Our weekend would be full of coffee and self-care. After getting fueled up at Cherry Coffee or Casa Azul, we’d head to Monkey and Dog Books to pick up some new reads. Then, we’d head to Restore and Revive Wellness Center for an IV drip. We’d head towards Magnolia Ave for a sweet treat at Leaves Bakery and Books and a shopping trip through Gifted and Harmoni. A yoga class at The Studio would end our evening.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The families of Fort Worth who’ve trusted me with their most precious treasures, their children! My family and parents for their sweat equity with Big Blue, brain power, and individual business expertise with Sit Beside.

Website: www.sitbeside.com

Instagram: @sitbeside

Facebook: @SitBeside

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.