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Parents who attempt to take you on the guilt trip

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by catbefriender, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    You know, Little Johnny is really promising, I want the best for him, but I'm not in work at the moment and he's at risk of failing everything cos he's in a really bad school and I can't afford lessons and could you please.....?

    When I was younger, I still didn't do it but I was suckered in with guilt, now I have to ask myself who would do anything of value, for a protracted period, for me, for free? I've had SLTs offer me the opportunity to work for nothing in their schools, but parents using your ads on gumtree to ring you up and beg for free tutoring is taking the biscuit.

    I just refer them to the tutoring website where they will get nowhere cos they'll have to pay to get the tutor's info and they aint got no money.o_O

    Anyone else had 'poor' parents asking for free GCSE tuition? The situation is so dire in my borough with the majority of parents asking for cut priced tutoring that I only teach in the neighbouring posh one now.
    Jolly_Roger15 likes this.
  2. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    It's not an affluent area by any stretch where I live and some of the free school meal statistics are among the highest in the country but this has never happened to me
  3. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    I've had parents who definitely struggled to pay for their kid's tuition, but I've never had anyone try to pull this on me.

    Tutoring is how I earn my living, so I certainly wouldn't feel at all guilty. I wonder if these parents would try it on with the plumber or electrician. And I also wouldn't be in the least surprised if they squandered money on things like Mac Donalds, instead cooking a much cheaper and healthier meal themselves.

    One of the good things about the tutoring websites is that parents have to pay to get your details, so it tends to filter out the spongers.
  4. becca3471

    becca3471 New commenter

    Someone contacted me on a tutoring website asking for sessions every fortnight because they were unemployed and couldn’t afford weekly. Further, it was for their son who was re-sitting in a few months having failed their maths GCSE three times.

    I really struggled with this as I live, work and tutor is an extremely wealthy area (this particular person was a good 30 minute drive from me and I only tutor from home) - think 4x4s, Gucci sandals.... a certain reality TV show is based here. To take their money with limited chance of success didn’t sit right with me.
  5. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Lucky you. But it happens a lot with me and it's all ethnicity that are at it. It's really sad. I direct parents back to the schools after informing them of Pupil Premium.
  6. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    @David Getling This is what I get when I put ads out on Gumtree because I am in a poorer catchment area but I still get the allegedly poor and the desperate contacting me on the TH and TF websites who then disappear when I explain to them you have to pay for my details. I've learnt not to feel guilty but it's taken me a while as a became a teacher to improve the chances of the disadvantaged but unfortunately all the extra funding provided for them, via the Pupil Premium, which in really poor boroughs like mine adds up to millions, which could easily fund qualified teachers entering schools and doing 1-2-1 or group tutoring, is being used to plug other resources, :rolleyes: hence there are a lot of really low ability students who have never got the help they need and frantic parents trying to guilt people like me into solving the problem at our expense. Yes, I've had to learn to say no, using the plumber or electrician's call out charge as an example.

    I think also David, because you are A level Maths and 2 A level Sciences, and you steer well clear of everything below KS5, you are missing out on a lot of the nonsense. But I am sure you still get your fair bit.
  7. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    On the positive, at least they were committed to pay for it which is good and what you could do next time is advise them if they knew someone else needing support at a comparable level, whether they could combine forces with them and then you could tutor both at 1.5 x your regular cost making a weekly session more affordable.

    The truth is, if you need something like tutoring, you have to save up for it in advance of when you need it and do without something in the meantime. Not many parents are able to pay for tutoring without it affecting them at all and not meaning to sound harsh, if you really want your children to succeed, you have to be prepared to WORK.

    I suppose it makes you thankful for the clients you do have.
    becca3471 likes this.
  8. silversnapdragon

    silversnapdragon New commenter

    I once went to a client who then said prior to the lesson she couldn’t pay me till the following week. I walked away but felt sorry for the child who was sitting there with books at the ready to work!
    catbefriender likes this.
  9. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Heart breaking:(, but remember it's the parent who is putting the child through it, not you. Thank God for Youtube and GCSE Revision books.
    silversnapdragon likes this.
  10. humbug

    humbug New commenter

    I've not had anyone say up front that money is tight. Instead though, some parents act keen and then start cancelling sessions with the slightest excuse. I have come to the conclusion that it's not laziness that makes them cancel, but lack of money, so they just pay for weeks they can afford. Whatever their intentions, there is an element of unreliability and lack of respect there.

    Last term I even had a mother push me for two lessons a week, and then started cancelling one or other, a few times a term. Once she wanted three or four weeks off while her son did mock exams. She mentioned the break, the week before.

    So this term I have bitten the bullet and done what some of you have recommended for a long time. I have started to ask for half a term's payment in advance. This has worked a treat. The mother above decided the system wasn't for her, so didn't come back this term. Other parents have been so polite, reliable and lovely. For instance, one said his son had his 18th birthday coming up and would like to have that week off if that was OK, but would still pay if I preferred. Another gave me plenty of warning his daughter had a netball match the following week, but would like a replacement lesson if at all possible. One was ill and phoned after her son returned from school that day, but didn't ask for or expect money back.

    Needless to say, with one off cancellations or changes, when parents are polite and respectful, I do what I can to help. But I plan my lessons to make maximum use of the time and money, and see the tutoring as a serious commitment. Personally I don't have a lot of money to pay for any extras for my own children, but on the occasions I have had tutors I have made absolutely sure I can commit to paying each week.
    Extrabreaktime likes this.
  11. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    @humbug congrats it's working out for you and I hope it continues to.

    As I mentioned above, if parents are serious and on limited funds they should be saving up for the tuition and should have no problems paying when the need occurs but I have had my fair share of what I call 'Cancellation Kings and Queens.':eek:

    And I agree, it's a total lack of respect. :(

    Whenever I have a local parent start with the 'I have money problems' scenario, I warn them that it is better to start later in the academic year and work intensively than now and then stop. They say to me, 'But her teacher said she needs a tutor now,' and I respond, 'But you say you haven't the money.' It's weird but I'm managing to fob them off with, 'Just save up weekly and try me again later in the academic year.' And I never hear back.

    I'm considering doing a Gumtree ad and giving a completely different postcode;)
  12. humbug

    humbug New commenter

    Yes, it's about saving, but also often about prioritising, as I think someone suggested with the Macdonald's comment. We could sacrifice our family holidays and have money to pay for a tutor, but I see the time away as a family as slightly more important.

    It is hard though, when Ben teachers
    catbefriender likes this.
  13. humbug

    humbug New commenter


    When even teachers put pressure on to find a tutor.
    Extrabreaktime likes this.
  14. becca3471

    becca3471 New commenter

    I frequently have parents ask me at Parents' Evenings if they should get their child a tutor and I always respond by saying if you can afford it, additional one-on-one maths outside of school will always be of benefit regardless of ability. But I would never say that without the caveat of affordability.
  15. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I'd love for.someone to clean for me three days a week, to do the washing and ironing and to even cook me some healthy, nutritious meals so that my long hours teaching/tutoring don't have such a detrimental effect on my health and well-being, but I just can't afford to pay someone. Seeing as you're not in work at the moment, you don't think you could just ........
    catbefriender and doctoryes like this.
  16. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

  17. humbug

    humbug New commenter

    You're not far off the mark there sparkleghirl. I'd forgotten that some of them do seem to think they are doing me a favour, giving me a bit of work. So never mind if they only turn up when they feel like it. They think they are doing me a favour coming to my house and that I must be glad of whatever I can get.

    But as I say, they don't seem to do this now that I have things set up differently.
  18. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    I did have one that continually forgot and had to be reminded to pay. This was nothing to do with finances and everything to do with her own self importance I'm so busy I'll do it tomorrow. We started doing a month in advance. Then she forgot. So I got rid. Not quite the same as not being able to afford it but pretty much I'll pay when I'm ready. I have another adult learner who occasionally says can I pay you Monday or whenever .. I don't mind because I know she will.
    Extrabreaktime likes this.
  19. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I have had this sort of request, @catbefriender. Mostly it has been from parents after the initial session, who have pled poverty, although the houses in which they live, and the cars on the driveway told a slightly different story.

    Again, like you, I have had Heads plead poverty, asking me to work for nothing, while wearing very expensive suits!

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