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Advice needed.. thinking of jumping ship

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by motherofflamingcrows, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. motherofflamingcrows

    motherofflamingcrows New commenter

    Hi all,

    I currently work full time in a school, and am feeling very disillusioned with our current education system.I have been thinking about leaving the school classroom, and starting personal tutoring at home instead.
    I teach Maths to GCSE, including to those students with special needs.

    Do you think this could work out for me? If so, what advice would you give me?

    Thank you in advance.

  2. ljane16

    ljane16 New commenter

    Maths GCSE I found was quite easy to find students for however remember you may struggle to find students in the say time. I would link it to other was to earn as well as tutoring when you are just starting out
  3. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I wonder if many contributors to this particular forum work in the same towns.
  4. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    There is plenty demand for GCSE maths. However, you must remember that every man and his dog seem to think they can teach this. You will be competing with A-level students, the butcher, baker and the candlestick maker. And many parents will find their ridiculously cheap rates extremely attractive. Then you have got the tuition centres, which are multiplying like a biblical plague, and also offer silly prices.
    You also want to teach from home, which will seriously reduce the number of students interested in using you. I only teach A-level (maths, chemistry and physics) and know my subjects inside out, but even at A-level all too often today's lazy students will opt for an inferior teacher who will come to their home: and most tutors are only too happy to pander to this desire.
    sparkleghirl and adamcreen like this.
  5. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Games arcades. Often in shopping arcades.
    bevdex likes this.
  6. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    How right you are, Vince. The local Sainsburys has one of these money trees adjoining it. What a wonderful deal for parents. Salve you conscience, for a cut price rate, while off loading your kid while you do your shopping. And if you can't make the shopping last the full hour you yourself can visit the also adjoining cafe. After all, education is all the same, wherever, or whoever you get it from, and whatever the price, isn't it.
  7. gainly

    gainly Established commenter

    Actually Explore Learning (the one found in Sainsbury's) is not particularly cheap. Our local one charges £124 a month membership plus £50 registration fee. Although they claim to cover ages 4-14, I think they really only cover primary and certainly wouldn't teach GCSE. I think most tuition centres are similar.

    I agree that you would be likely to get more students if you are willing to travel to them, but then of course you waste time travelling. You are unlikely to get many if any day time students, so it is all after school and weekends. There is a lot of demand for GCSE maths tuition but also a lot of competition. It will probably take a while until you become established and can make a reasonable income from tuition.
  8. gainly

    gainly Established commenter

    I also should add that tuition is very seasonal. If you are doing mostly GCSE, you will have very little work from after the exams in June until mid-September. If they have the 11 plus where you live, you might be able to do some teaching for that over the summer.
  9. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    I have been tutoring now for 20 years.

    I would say, it is lovely to do and can be extremely rewarding emotionally. However, it isn't a form of income that you can rely on as quite often people cancel for all sorts of reasons. Illness, or family holidays or after school activities. It is more of an "add on" rather than "instead of".

    However, I did know a maths tutor who was solely doing this. She worked very long hours and it was exhausting. Of course you may be giving up your evenings and possibly weekends.
  10. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    I have had to sacrifice hobbies and a social life !
  11. CloudsTES

    CloudsTES New commenter

    Hi there
    I work 'full time' (in the sense that I don't do anything else, work wise!) as a tutor, and I love it. I love the independence and the fact that I'm meeting new young people all the time, whilst being able to engage with them on a one to one basis. I've been tutoring full time only for around four months, and I'm determined to make it work (!), but it has required a large amount of commitment - time, and head space, wise.
    I currently have 20 hours of 'contact' time with tutees, per week. That, plus planning and reporting back to parents, puts a lot of pressure on my week, and it's only now that I'm being able to carve out a few hours for myself on the two days on which I don't see students.
    I tutor English, for which there seems to be good demand. I've also observed a good demand for maths tutors. I work a lot during the day, which is obviously brilliant, and the fact that I have a lot of special needs experience (which you do, too) has very much helped with this (I've been able to find opportunities to work with SEN students, who are not in school). I also work all day Saturday.
    I've found opportunities in a variety of different ways - advertising privately (tutor sites etc.) as well as linking up with 'boutique' agencies, which are essentially individual tutors who have expanded a little by building up a group of tutors around them, through which they can maximise referrals (I still achieve my usual rate in this way). A lot of SEN work has come my way through these types of agencies, so it might be worth checking out any small tutor agencies in your area?
    In terms of advice, I would say explore every opportunity of securing work; I've had to be quite dogged (although this was driven by the fact that I wanted build up my number of students quite quickly - in retrospect, possibly not the best strategy (!) but I wanted it to work out financially).
    Also, just to say, I travel to students, which obviously opens up the pool of opportunities. Travelling does take up time but, to be honest, I quite enjoy it as a respite from the admin!
    Anyway, the best of luck to you!
  12. sjs_g

    sjs_g New commenter

    I am also a teacher of 14 years and disillusioned by the current education system and the pressures put on our children. I am leaving the teaching profession to develop my tutoring business, in particular home ed tutoring. I'm hoping to supplement it with a day or two supply / ppa / maternity cover. It's a bit scary! But can't go on the way I am.
  13. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    Have to say that I find my life as a tutor pleasant and relaxing. I just teach the A-levels that interest me to students that want to learn, and can spend what good weather we have in the garden or going for a walk in the country.
  14. snitzelvonkrumm

    snitzelvonkrumm Occasional commenter

    Perhaps try building up a client base before giving up your day job.
    ruthwill500 likes this.
  15. Curlytot

    Curlytot New commenter

    I started tutoring last academic year on top of my full time teaching role. I teach GCSE maths. In September, I started a part time teaching role plus tutoring a couple of students. SInce Christmas I have had 7 students each week and find that individual planning for these does take time but is very rewarding and gives results. I hope to carry on next year and have 3 year 10s who are already going to carry on plus one sibling. Once you get a client base, you will find that parents talk and recommendations happen. I was surprised by how in demand I was and have paused my adverts on tutor websites until I get this years GCSE out of the way. Go for it. If you enjoy working with young people and the subject you teach, you will find lots of satisfaction and very little politics.
  16. sl1605

    sl1605 New commenter

    I gave up teaching last year and started tutoring and doing supply to tie me over. At this point in the year, I have dropped the supply and I tutor a lot more people. I tutor science and travel to the students. In 12 months, I managed to get enough clients to fill up the time I can do (which is 2 after schools, 2 evenings and during the day for 2 days with home ed children). i have found it very liberating and rewarding and it built up in a lot less time that I expected. PM if you have any questions!
  17. badcats

    badcats New commenter

    Until last year I worked part-time in school and did a little maths tutoring on the side. I decided during last academic year that I didn't want to work in school any more and I would just tutor. I began this year with one student and by Christmas was teaching up to 20 per week. The students arrived through word of mouth and I created a simple website. I found that I was very busy during Easter and half-term with GCSE and A level revision. The end of June is quiet and i don't teach at all in August. This year I have 10+ students booked for September, so I am feeling optimistic about the year ahead. I work from home and I don't work weekends. Its not a bad life!
    frangipani123 and bevdex like this.
  18. sjs_g

    sjs_g New commenter

    Hope you don't mind me asking but how did you get into the home ed community?! I'm not sure how to go about it!
  19. sl1605

    sl1605 New commenter

    I searched a lot of websites for home ed groups in my area and emailed them all. I offered to do some science experiments for just the expenses. From there, I met a few people who I also started working for. It takes a while and the home ed people I teach are about 40 minutes drive away, but it is important to get your foot in the door first as some home ed people can be insular.

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