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Am I the only one?

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by David Getling, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    For no reason I can fathom, I'm already getting a lot more enquiries and sign ups than I usually do at this time of the year. Is anyone else experiencing this, and can anyone suggest a reason for it?
  2. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    Mine have been quite steady. I've got about two spaces to fill but, because I teach adults in the daytime, those enquires don't follow school patterns.
    I did get three in a week the other week
  3. Ian1983

    Ian1983 Occasional commenter

    Same. First year I've ever been having to turn them away in early August. Probably just a sign you're doing a good job!

    Also, the more years you tutor in an area, the better known you become. If you tutor 30 new pupils a year, then after 1 year, there's 30 families referring your name on. After 2 years, there's 60 and after 10 years, there's 300!
    sebedina and langteacher like this.
  4. jammie76

    jammie76 New commenter

    Same here. Last year I was struggling to fill spaces. This year I had filled all my slots by the end of July. All but one have continued through the holidays. Not sure why. Some recommendations but some through sites. Looking on tutor sites there seem very few trained primary tutors available. Lots of students though offering lessons for £15.
  5. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Could be that word of mouth recommendations are spreading.
    I have a suspicion that the results were harder to get in the second year of the new science A level specs and next years punters have realised this.
    Realisation of the difficulties of the new GCSEs?
  6. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    It's not word of mouth, as these are all enquiries via the usual websites. I think you might have hit the nail on the head with your mention of GCSEs, though not in the way I think you mean, as I only tutor A-level. Maybe the tougher GCSEs have made more students realise that they will not be cruising through their A-levels.
  7. Bashkemesuesi

    Bashkemesuesi New commenter

    If there's one period of the year in which I can absolutely count on having no enquiries at all, it's "early August". I wonder where yours are coming from - is that mainly word of mouth as you describe? NB I'm only registered on I think three tutoring websites, but still....

    However, I'm not sure about your optimism re. buildup of referring families - it's highly doubtful whether families are going to be recommending tutors 10 years after they've finished using them, by which time their children are probably well out of school. There was actually a suggestion in the press some time ago that if anything, parents who use tutors may well not go and tell other parents about it, as they think there's a stigma attached to it because it implies their kids are thick, or something. Seems to make sense. Personally, although I've had what I consider adequate numbers over the years, hardly any have come by word of mouth - almost all via the websites, and occasionally someone finds me directly via googling on "maths tutors near [where they live]".

    Me neither. What I said just now about "early August" equally applies to "late July". I can't imagine where you're getting them all from. And only once in a blue moon do I get someone asking to carry on through the holidays, and not simply breaking off then resuming in September. Apart from anything, even when students/their parents say they'll resume in the new school year - and I have six such students I'm expecting back shortly - none of them actually books a specific "slot" from the vantage point of July, for the obviously sensible reason that they don't know how the new school year's scheduling will change and what after-school activities may change times. E.g. my daughter does various dance classes and the days and times for these change every year, not least because she goes up a grade; so clearly, if she were taking tuition, the time for that could well be affected.

    Re. the question of harder GCSEs, we will see. The first effect this had in my experience was two years ago when a mum contacted me in mid-August in some trepidation about what the new 1-9 maths scale would mean for her daughter's predicted grade. She turned out to be a good student, not in the sense of clever - she was just aiming to get a decent pass to go on to sixth form college - but because she jolly well persevered and put - cough, cough - certain others to shame. However, one would think that people would have gotten used to the new maths grading system by now, i.e. I wouldn't expect much change this year from last, in terms of eagerness to secure tutors.

    And this, David, is what makes me think that there are indeed very significant disparities between different parts of the country in terms of sheer demand for tuition. Hence that other thread I started, about ways and means of gauging this demand. Over this same period during which you've been flooded with website-mediated A level enquiries, I have had just one - but it's not a matter of whether they choose to approach me or another tutor, because as I explained on that thread, what counts is the total number registering in an area in the first place, and I don't recall any other than this single solitary one. And she wrote twice last week and hasn't communicated since, so who knows what that was all about. NB I'm not complaining, merely noting. It really does look as though either you're in an extraordinarily fruitful part of the country or I'm in an extraordinarily doggone one.
  8. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    B. . If your profile on the tuition sites is as long as your replies on here, there's a good chance you're putting people off.
    That's not intending to be rude but constructive
  9. Bashkemesuesi

    Bashkemesuesi New commenter

    Understood, but since my profiles are brief your suggestion turns out to be meaningless. I was just trying to get to the bottom of phenomena which strike me as distinctly odd. Any ideas?
  10. becca3471

    becca3471 New commenter

    I have had a lot of new Year 12 going into Year 13 students/requests and I definitely think its Year 12 teachers teaching C1/C2/S1/M1 like they always have, providing pupils with the much harder new spec mock/SAMs exam as their end of year exam, and the students failing.
  11. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I already have my quota of students for the year. I could have taken on an extra one but I said no.
  12. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I've had a few enquiries from students who are beginning AS but with disappointing GCSE results, ie B or even C. I'm not sure really of the standards and the cut-off scores and whether these students really are suitable for AS. I'm also having to turn them away already.
  13. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    I would hope their school would turn them away if they have a B/C/6/5. They really need an A/7 to make a good start on the course - and they SHOULDN'T need a tutor from day one. That's a really big danger sign.
    Anyway, I'm happy to provide grade boundaries if you know which exam board they did.
    But it's not doing them any favours letting them start if they haven't got an A/7.
  14. Bashkemesuesi

    Bashkemesuesi New commenter

    That sounds reasonable, although some years ago I heard that at least some schools would allow A level entry after a C at GCSE, or further maths entry after an A (not necessarily A*). I'm guessing you'd definitely recommend an 8 or 9 now to be allowed to take on FM?
  15. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    Our 7+ rate went up from 42% in 2017 to 55% in 2018, so a lot more 6/7 borderline students got 7s. Which is great for them, but doesn't mean they are ready for the demands of A Level.
    The NCETM (Maths org promoting Govt agenda) recently suggested Grade 5 should be fine for A Level. Not everyone agreed so they did a podcast debate, worth listening to: https://www.ncetm.org.uk/resources/51241
    And yes, 8/9 for Further Maths is sensible, but again if they don't get a 9, the demands of the double course (and the new topics like Group Theory etc) may be overwhelming.
  16. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Thanks, but what I meant was having not yet seen any papers, I can't tell whether the grades really DO corresspond the way they're supposed to or whether some disappointments were inevitable. I agree with you about starting points though, schools are putting bums on seat without caring much about a child's chances in that subject.
  17. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I have had quite a few tentative enquiries in the last week but nothing has firmed up yet. This often happens as knee jerk reaction by with parents whose children have poor exam results facing retakes, and then think better of it.
  18. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    Yes, David - Usually there's nothing over the Summer and this year, I have had numerous requests. Declined these as often too busy in term time with main teaching and was dog boarding over the Summer too. Beginning to regret now as Sept first week has been quiet! No idea for the reason for this though?
  19. silversnapdragon

    silversnapdragon New commenter

    I haven’t had more than usual but I still have some from last year and probably not looking to take on much more for a couple of weeks though I wouldn’t turn it away
    Happyregardless likes this.
  20. teselectronic

    teselectronic Occasional commenter

    Becca, I have been informed that anyone who achieves less than grade 7 at GCSE, will not be allowed to enter 'A' - Level Maths, would this not help to prevent pupils' from failing C1/C2 etc.?

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