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Is time wasting on the increase?

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by SayItLikeItIs, Mar 5, 2019.

  1. mummalea

    mummalea New commenter

    I make a rule of charging £10 for a first appointment, at which point I can quiz both the child and their parents/carers about what their expectations are. They get to suss me out for a tenner, ditto for me. Only one agency-referred student didn't come back for more lessons after this.

    Most of my students are agency-referred and I charge £40 an hour, usually cash in hand. I drive to them, as I feel that the last thing people need is to career around late at night like a lunatic, delivering/collecting their child when they've been at work all day.

    The only student I've sacked recently had a mother who 'forgot' to go to the cash point on a regular basis. One who didn't even make it to the £10 session was quite rude and deluded on the phone and I suggested to my agency that she'd be happier with a different tutor.

    Generally I get on really well with my tutees, I enjoy their efforts and try to feed back regularly to my parents. Equally, I'm constantly asking them for discreet feedback on school assessments and progress in order to fine tune my lessons.

    I'm beginning to feel overpowered with work - there's definitely a market for lots of anti-social hours tutoring i.e. weekends, however it's really up to me to manage it and I think previous posts have addressed the best way to organise a sensible work/life balance.

    Good luck everyone!
  2. andyscott2913

    andyscott2913 New commenter

    I agree wholeheartedly with the first post and the subsequent replies. The number of time-wasters aka uncertain parents has exploded over the past 18 moths. I believe it has various origins - in the way agencies run their sites, the way schools are dealing with data as part of their obsessive target setting culture, and the explosion in the number of "mocks" students are being motivated/terrorised with.

    a) The 2 agencies mentioned most in the thread are, in my experience, definitely the worst culprits. Their strategic aim seems to have moved from providing a useful service to concerned parents/children, to grubby money-making.
    b) Now teachers have to spend hours entering "predictive" data from their teaching, this data never having to be judged on validity or reliability. Result? students/parents now being provided with "evidence" of the huge gap between expected performance and actual attainment increasingly more dire and worrying, and also more often. Result - Panic at home, crisis at home etc etc and parents reaching for the tutor site button to placate the youngster with the promise of a tutor. Wind forward several hours and days, the panic/upset/disturbance in the home becomes less urgent or pressing, and tutor site gets forgotten. I addition the financial and other implications of employing a tutor, soon become more obvious and again, the urgency is reduced.
    c) Similar to above in b) many schools seem to be panicked into setting more and more "mocks", often from June in Year 10. Which Year 10 student is going to perform well on a Full, Unedited Past Paper, containing many questions they have yet to be taught? Result - panic and similar reach for tutor sites as mentioned in b) above.

    I strongly believe that these factors are the key drivers in the use or misuse of tutor sites by parents, resulting in much time wasted by tutors/teachers and huge frustration.

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