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Educator takes a route less traveled

By Jon Bishop

AYER — A show of hands: How many people, when considering their purpose in life, say, “I’d like to be a tutor”? Probably not many.

But Ayer resident Brett Murphy Hunt is one of the exceptions.

“(I’ve) been tutoring since high school, but it was really at Assumption (College) that I realized it was something I enjoyed,” she said. “The demand is there, and it’s not something I really knew about as a kid.”

After finishing her undergraduate education at Assumption, she went to UMass Boston for a master’s degree in english composition, and, while there, she taught English as a Second Language, or ESL.

And she continued to tutor.

“I started with one student in Boxboro as a side thing,” she said. “From there, it just slowly started to grow,” adding that “this year, it turned into a business.”

She sees people from many different places: The Nashoba area, MetroWest and Boston.

“It’s a wide array,” she said.

“I have college students; I have adult learners,” she said. She has elementary and middle school students, too.

Lately, she’s had a lot of people seeking help with college applications.

“It’s probably my favorite thing to do,” she said.

Murphy Hunt, who also has experience in teaching at the university level, said she likes tutoring because of its intimacy.

“On the one-to-one basis, when I can see someone improve their grammar in one session, there’s something really rewarding about that,” she said.

For example, she’s working on persuasive essays with a paralegal who speaks English as a second language. He’s looking to become a lawyer, she said.

Watching him improve has been nothing short of spectacular, she said.

She also likes it because it combines business and education.

“It kind of satisfies my entrepreneurial spirit,” she said.

And, after all, the model behind tutoring — the one-on-one instruction, the use of the Internet — will only expand, for the technological revolution has not yet finished.

“I think that’s the direction education is heading,” she said, noting that, in light of these changes, schools must continue to offer a quality product. Many major institutions are “jumping on the bandwagon.”

Her tutoring business, Brett E. Murphy Tutoring and Consulting, offers help in all subject areas, and provides professional writing and editing, copywriting and ghostwriting services. She said she doesn’t want it to get too large. That way, the focus can stay on the students and on the clients.

She said students shouldn’t be embarrassed or scared to seek tutoring.

“I think tutoring affords students the opportunity to learn in a less pressured environment,” she said. It offers them a safe space to ask questions.

Murphy Hunt, a graduate of Maynard High School, is at work on a tutoring book.

Those who are interested in more information can visit her website: