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Initial tutoring enquiry

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by langteacher, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    You need to know exactly what it is that they need the help with.
    If the tuition is for exams etc, you need to know what syllabus they are following and what their strengths and weaknesses are.
    If the tuition is for adults you need to know their reasons for taking up the subject.
    I am MFL, I have taught young children who just wanted to learn for fun so there was no "serious" side to it, I have also taught for exams and most pupils need help with grammar etc, some may struggle with writing and some may struggle with reading etc. I have also taught adults who are moving abroad / need it for work etc.
    Get them to complete a basic self assessment where they give themselves a score of , say, 1- 10 on different topics.

    Others have mentioned having a cancellation policy. Maybe I have just been lucky but I have never been let down.

    You need to decide where the tuition will take place and if you are travelling you may want to charge extra for your time.

    Good luck.

     
  2. Generally by the time they've got around to looking for a tutor they've got a fairly good idea of what they're worried about and the conversation tends to lead itself in that regard - either on the phone or at a first meeting I tend to find they've already got the school report with levels/grades on and targets... so I tend to view it as seeing if there's a rapport there, seeing what they're actually after (I tend to try to avoid the ones who think Johnny is some kind of intellectual prodigy being cruelly thwarted by the fact Mrs Smith only gives him 2 merit points a day while Billy's mum tells everyone at the school gate that he's getting 10 merit points a day - basically I try to avoid the utterly dellusional really) and a brief discussion of what I do as a tutor and within education in general (so the fact I do supply during the day etc etc).
     
  3. I'd also make it clear in the first contact that tuition is not a "magic wand," but a means of providing extra support, etc. Some clients can be quite demanding when they're paying for the service, so this clears up any unrealistic expectations.
     
  4. Once students have got around to contacting be by phone we've usually had some back and forth emailing so I focus on the where/when for the first session and go from there. I do try to find out what level the student is working at/what their teachers might have said/why they think they need a tutor etc, just to get some ideas for the first session.
    If you are not comfortable having a long discussion over the phone the you might suggest an initial meet-up (free of charge) - I've done this once or twice when parents have suggested it.
    Some are not too keen to get into long discussions and are quite happy to just book the first session and pay for my time while I discuss specific needs with the student (this works well for older/GCSE students).
    So, important things - time and date to meet up - a rough idea of the student's level - any known issues - your price - expectations. And don't forget to get/give clear directions for the meeting and pop their number straight into your mobile if you're going to them so you can call if you're lost (I live in a rural area so this can be a problem here!).
     
  5. You could try www.LessonPark.com too.
     

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