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Coronavirus plans?

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by bramblesarah, Mar 13, 2020.

  1. bramblesarah

    bramblesarah Occasional commenter

    Hi all,
    I was just wondering what your plans were regarding the pandemic?
    This year I started issuing invoices per half-term. My plan is to issue them as normal over the next week and send and email to the parents stating that the current advice is to carry on as normal. I have hand washing facilities and students can wash their hands at the beginning and end of the lesson if they wish. Also add should I need to cancel lessons to self isolate then a full refund will be given or a credit on their account (which ever they prefer). Should further lock down be necessary/ students need to self isolate then lessons can be conducted on Skype/ Google classroom.
    I was also planning on sending some packs of worksheets in case schools are closed and are slow to implement home learning.
    What do you guys think?
  2. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    I've started to get cancellations today. The whole thing is a nightmare. My internet is too slow for online lessons. My main change has been to use hand sanitiser and try to stop students sharing my pens and calculator and coughing over me (without much success). I don't take any prepayment and tutor in students home not my own so I guess my position is different from yours.
  3. BG54

    BG54 Occasional commenter

    Yes, it's the same for me although I do have a decent internet speed so online tuition is an option even though I don't especially like it. I find it a little cumbersome and impersonal compared to normal tuition - plus being cooped up in the house all day is likely to drive me rapidly round the bend.
  4. bramblesarah

    bramblesarah Occasional commenter

    I have just thought that if I had to self-isolate then I would probably have to get my house deep cleaned afterwards.
  5. alsoamum

    alsoamum Occasional commenter

    I invoice half termly too. My plan is to Continue tutoring from home for as long as possible.

    I've asked parents not to sign up or pay for next term if they wont accept online tuition. Online tuition will be offered to all but I'll only insist on it if they are self isolating or if the government advice means they can't travel to me.

    My terms already state that if I cancel then they get a refund and if they cancel there's no refund but I'll reschedule where I can if they give me 24 hour notice. I see no reason why this can't continue.

    I won't be holding places open for people who refuse online tuition as this could go on for months and that's not realistic for me to be able to provide for my family.
    suzette likes this.
  6. Lespaul101

    Lespaul101 New commenter

    I’ve not had any cancellations yet although I’m expecting it to start when schools close. I’ve had one parent today ask if I will be offering online tutoring. How do people go about this? Do you use some kind of online whiteboard or simply use a normal whiteboard in view of webcam?
  7. Ian1983

    Ian1983 Occasional commenter

    Do you use some kind of online whiteboard or simply use a normal whiteboard in view of webcam?

    Big whiteboard on the wall, laptop balanced on top of a chest of drawers pointing directly towards it!
    josie.burr and Lespaul101 like this.
  8. suzette

    suzette Occasional commenter

    Me too. I've drafted an amendment/attachment to my contract (about hygiene etc, self-isolation etc. It's also been looked over by a solicitor friend of mine). It's for all my clients/students and it will go out to everyone on Monday. I've tested the waters beforehand and generally, everyone has said they want to carry on for as long as possible. Personally, I'm more worried about my working in the prison at the moment (I tutor there as well). They are even more vague than the government! But yeah, I intend to keep going until someone cancels because of self-isolation etc. I have poor internet connection, so I'm not sure what to do if everyone cancels.
  9. Lespaul101

    Lespaul101 New commenter

    Ian1983 Really? I assumed most people would use an online whiteboard. I actually think it would be much easier using a real whiteboard tho. Do you use Skype or a different program?
  10. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    I use skype and if that isn't co-operating I facetime. I also use Idroo and a graphics tablet, but if that doesn't co-operate a good old whiteboard.. Where there's a will there's a way.
    Lespaul101 likes this.
  11. cwilson1983

    cwilson1983 Occasional commenter

    I've had my first (of possibly several) requests to switch to online tuition. I'm offering email (detailed feedback on exam papers) for a reduced rate as I'm not having to physically travel/pay for petrol.

    I've tried Skype for live sessions and, whilst it's extremely useful/convenient, it's not my preferred medium.
  12. cwilson1983

    cwilson1983 Occasional commenter

    I read ian1983's comment as more tongue in cheek.
  13. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    I must admit I haven't made any plans. Nobody has cancelled so far. I intend to carry on as usual for as long as possible.
  14. lismara

    lismara New commenter

    I had a parent ask me to switch to online on Saturday. I used Google docs so we could both see/write into the docs. Alongside this I had a Skype connection open (but only audio) so we could talk the whole way through. It worked really well. Does anyone have advice as to where they advertise or where they get approached for specifically online tuition.
  15. CloudsTES

    CloudsTES New commenter

    My first online session failed spectacularly this afternoon, as my camera (which I had spent about two hours trying to sort out, yesterday) refused to be recognised by Skype (mysteriously, everything's all back up and running, this evening!). I now have four students who are moving to online, and one potentially stopping. I also have parents who have taken/ are considering, taking (imminently) their children out of school.
  16. allison1972

    allison1972 New commenter

    So far I have only had one family say they were cancelling for the foreseeable future due to Coronavirus. Before I replied to the dad I had a quick google about online tutoring and found a blog from an Australian piano teacher who said it was very simple and managed to allay my doubts enough to give it a go. I don’t even use FaceTime to communicate with family as I hate seeing myself onscreen!
    I strongly suggested to the dad that we move to online tutoring for now in order to keep their session and he was actually very enthusiastic. So I had my first FaceTime lesson on Thursday evening and it wasn’t too bad. My husband said I was shouting at the screen though! I told my pupil before we began that if there were any technical problems, I would just ring straight back and we would carry on. I had to do this a couple of times, but it didn’t seem to disrupt the lesson. We had the same books in front of us to mark and talk through and I used a little A4 whiteboard to work problems through step by step and hold up to the screen (I just used my iPad).
    This week I have three online lessons scheduled and the likelihood is that in the near future it will happen more often.
    I wouldn’t have chosen to go down this route, but it allows me to carry on earning (I have an overly generous payment policy with no cancellation fees, which I need to sort out for next year’s pupils).
    The upside is that I have realised that as long as I have a decent internet connection, I could theoretically be anywhere in he world and carry on working... something to bear in mind for the future.
    CloudsTES likes this.
  17. bramblesarah

    bramblesarah Occasional commenter

    I emailed my students over the weekend. Everyone who has replied is happy with what I have said. I ended up not really giving students a choice. I said 'In case of a lockdown situation all tuiton will move online'. I am planning on using Zoom as the platform as you can share your screen. I am offering some lessons over Easter and I have told parents they can come to me or have tuition online. So far everyone is planning on coming to me. My biggest fear is actually getting it myself. Not the actual illness, but the business ramifications.
    Stay safe everyone.
    allison1972 and suzette like this.
  18. microbiology

    microbiology New commenter


    I am also doing this and keeping them on monthly. How did you word your email pls? I am quite anxious about approaching them about online as many would hate this. Did you reduce your rate for the online?
  19. Ian1983

    Ian1983 Occasional commenter

    Ian1983 Really? I assumed most people would use an online whiteboard. I actually think it would be much easier using a real whiteboard tho. Do you use Skype or a different program?

    Yes, I use Skype

    I read ian1983's comment as more tongue in cheek.

    No. A normal whiteboard works fine for me. Few things I use to make everything go more smoothly though:

    • I arrange a 10 minute Skype test with each student well before the first lesson, so that any technological problems can be sorted out in advance
    • I make it a pre-condition that the students email in advance with what they feel they need to work on. e.g. if there's past paper questions they've done and found difficult, photos of these questions should be attached to the email
    • I have a back-up Internet connection. ie as well as my home broadband, I also have a dongle so that if my wi-fi goes down, I can connect using the dongle
    • My whiteboard has squares marked onto it. A plain whitebaord is fine until you need to draw a graph (I teach maths)
    Lespaul101 likes this.
  20. SayItLikeItIs

    SayItLikeItIs Occasional commenter

    I tutor special needs children and use many concrete resources. In addition, a few of them present with ADHD, so I don't see how Skype/Online tuition would work for them. However, I am willing to be corrected, if any tutors with a similar student base do this!

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