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Parental Expectations, Over Scheduled children...

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by essiemj, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. essiemj

    essiemj New commenter

    Hi All,

    First time posting so apologies if this comes across as a rant... not my intention, more a plea for empathy and guidance more than anything.

    I've been running my own private tuition business for almost two years now with some great results and amazing experiences. Most of the families I work with are brilliant, supportive and some have even become friends. But I am increasingly finding, and especially in light of home-schooling and COVID, that I'm being used as defacto-childcare and/or a way for people to ensure their child isn't watching TV all evening/day. Whilst I understand that there is an element of childcare implied with teaching and tutoring, I don't see it as its primary purpose. I am there to educate, teach and enable learning - not make sure every moment of my student's life is filled whilst their parent is at work, etc. Has any one else experienced this? Any advice would be great on how to deal with it.

    This leads onto my second point. More and more I am finding that the children I teach have schedules that compare to Southern trains. By this I mean that every minute of their day is filled or scheduled to some activity or another. One student I had, had five tutors for different subjects, numerous sports clubs, extra-curricular activities, they barely had time to eat and sleep. I have spoken to a few parents about this and explained that something has to give for their child to succeed and stay mentally healthy - but some just don't see that there's a problem? Again any experiences? Ideas? Advice?

    I did wonder about adding something to my welcome letter about both issues but it would be really useful to know what other people's experiences and ideas are before I do this.

    Thanks :)
  2. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    What subject do you teach?
    If you feel the child is over stretched then you could just not take them on
    essiemj likes this.
  3. doctoryes

    doctoryes Occasional commenter

    Your first point could also be true for most schools, especially if you mean younger pupils.
    The second point tends to sort it out when I am arranging dates and times for lessons. I suggest a day/time and get the response " X isn't available then due to football" and then for the second suggestion "no that's violin lesson" etc They then suggest a day/time when I am already tutoring someone else and when I say that I am not available, complain about "my" lack of availability.
    essiemj likes this.
  4. Abitofeverything

    Abitofeverything Occasional commenter

    I don't really see the problem for point 1 - if you're being paid well for your time, why complain?
    Point 2 - I do know what you mean and have the odd kid like this, but it really is up to the parents and none of your business. You could mention it but personally I think it's outside your remit. It may be helpful to compare other cultural expectations, for example Chinese and Japanese children often do 3-4 hours of homework/musical instrument practice a night, which often puts things in perspective. I'm not saying it's right - just that it's not unique or unusual.
  5. essiemj

    essiemj New commenter

    I teach English - I agree but there's a three way dilemma there of: a) tutoring is my only income and that would mean the loss of a client; b) the child genuinely needs the help and I could have a really valuable effect on their whole learning experience by helping them and their parents to make some changes; c) leaving them would mean that someone else who perhaps doesn't care as much could pick them up and make their lives even worse??
  6. essiemj

    essiemj New commenter

    Not just me that has conversations like that then? But what can we do?
  7. essiemj

    essiemj New commenter

    Harsh but a valued point of view
  8. doctoryes

    doctoryes Occasional commenter

    If the pupil really does need help and they want you as a tutor, then sometimes they are willing to give up an activity for a short time to fit in tutoring, especially when exams are imminent. However sometimes such pupils don't stick at it very long. I would rather have a student who wanted to be there and learn than one who would rather be on the football pitch...
  9. essiemj

    essiemj New commenter

    Very true - though the child's wishes don't seem to be the concern from my experience rather that the parent has them busy doing something and fills their time...

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