Why Kumon Is Among the Top Franchises for Teachers To Open

Rebecca Meire was ready to leave teaching after 10 years, but she couldn’t get the math to work.

“Financially it was not possible,” says Meire, a former language arts teacher who is now the Instructor at Kumon Center of North Kendall in Miami. “The deciding factor was how limiting public school teaching had become. There was no more autonomy in the classroom – we had to basically follow a pacing guide. It was mundane and boring.”

Portait photo of a satisfied education franchise owner smiling for camera

But after 20 years in the classroom, Meire says, “I knew I just had to do it.” She had saved enough money in her retirement fund to leave teaching in 2015 and open a Kumon Center in 2016. She is glad she made that leap when she did.

Teachers seem like natural choices to become Kumon Instructors. They already understand how to teach. They enjoy working with children. They have skills that would be valuable for any entrepreneur: They are terrific communicators, excellent at multi-tasking and problem-solving. They are creative. They can explain complex issues and sell ideas. And of course, they love to learn new things.

Traditionally, however, teachers have been paid less than most professionals. And working conditions worsened considerably during the pandemic, when many were thrust into virtual classrooms. To add insult to injury, data continue to show what many teachers feared: Students lost both math and reading skills during the pandemic.

So, it’s no wonder that 300,000 teachers and school-related workers left their jobs between February 2020 and May 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, a 2022 National Education Association poll found that 55% of teachers said they planned to leave the classroom sooner than they had planned.

Meire is one of many former teachers who have found a new home in Kumon, the No. 1 education franchise. There are about 2,000 Kumon Centers in the U.S. and Canada, and the education enrichment industry is worth $23.4 billion in the U.S.

Meire, who holds a master’s degree in education from Northeastern University, taught advanced and gifted eighth graders for 10 years and Advanced Placement and Cambridge 12th grade classes for another 10 years. Although her job was to challenge students in college-level English classes, Meire did not feel challenged by her own work. She was frustrated.

“I felt very constrained and very limited as a teacher in the school system,” she says. “If you truly want to tap into kids and you enjoy working with them, it’s very rewarding to be able to say that the method and the way you teach contributes to a student’s success – not because you’re teaching to a test day in and day out.”

Although Meire knew she could handle the teaching part of running a Kumon, she worried about the business skills she hadn’t acquired yet. And like most new franchise owners, she worried about losing a regular paycheck. “I was excited about still working with children and making a difference, but I was scared about not having a stable income,” she says.

She is grateful for the Kumon training program and her field consultant for helping her work through those new business jitters. “I always received full support from Kumon. My field consultant eased my mind and made the experience exciting.  I felt ready for this new business journey.”

Today Meire enjoys the freedom that comes with owning and operating her own business and she appreciates the business model. “You get to plan your day and how you use your time.  If you are organized, you have time to do it all and have a balanced life,” she says.

She acknowledges running her own business isn’t always easy. “Everything is hard – finances, finding balance, customer service, growing pains, staff,” she says. “But it is your hard, and you learn to find joy in resolving small obstacles.”

Meire advises teachers who are thinking of making the leap into business ownership to explore the Kumon franchise opportunity. “If you've been thinking of leaving the classroom but still want to work with children and dream of using your talents to develop children, this could be a right fit for you.” 

About Kumon Franchise

In business for over 60 years, Kumon is consistently ranked #1 in the education category by Entrepreneur magazine and this year, Kumon was ranked #6 in the Top Ten of the entire Franchise 500® list. Investment starts at less than $65,000 and Kumon offers up to $34,000 in incentives—veterans may qualify for an extra $10,000 bonus. Opening a Kumon Franchise is ideal for individuals with a passion for education and for helping kids. See if Kumon Franchise is right for you.

About Kumon Math & Reading Centers:

For kids from pre-K to high school, Kumon is a math and reading academic enrichment program that goes well beyond traditional tutoring, unlocking the potential of children to achieve more. Through daily practice, the individualized approach helps children develop strong math, reading, writing, and grammar skills. Students develop confidence, increase focus, and improve study habits. Kumon Instructors guide kids through their individual curriculums, helping them set and achieve goals.