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References and tutoring

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by teadrinker1, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. I left my teaching job at the end of my contract. Have taken a while to work out what I wanted to do next and currently have a small part time job outside teaching. However,I do 1:1 tutoring on morning a week and thinking of doing more. I was thinking of not going through an agency as have a number of potential 'jobs' already. However, I will need to get some references. Can I ask my previous head for an open reference? They will not want all potential jobs contacting for a reference, especially as the relationship with the Head was not the best at the end of my time there. Any suggestions/advice?
  2. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    When you say "agency" do you mean the likes of UK tutors / first tutors / tutor hunt? There is an option to add refs on these. Some insist I think, can't remember which but I registered a few years back and got refs then. I do not get asked for refs every time someone wants tuition,

    There is no need to pay an agent a commission per lesson. Finder Fee is quite common and is a one off, it is paid by the student. There are some agency type websites which charge the tutor a commission per lesson but I give these a wide berth....my work, my wages!!

    Advertise in shops / libraries / clubs or wherever is best in your area.

    Make yourself a facebook page and get your friends to share it. It is free.

    Once you build up a few students, you will make connections and word of mouth is the best form of advertising.

    Get some business cards and leave them with people. Look for noticeboards where there are other businesses advertised.

    Get a reference off your current 1:1 if you do not want to approach your ex head

    Best of luck.
    Grace100 likes this.
  3. GordonNome

    GordonNome New commenter

    As a tutor I am very rarely asked for references. When I am, I check with clients/former clients and give their names and details. After all, the potential client wants information about how good a tutor you are, not whether you are a good class teacher.

    Apart from that, as langteacher says above - try to avoid paying commission fees. Advertise widely.

    Also, of course, inform HMRC that you are now self-employed and keep really good records for when it comes to tax return time. Don't forget that you can put down stationery, petrol, books, resources etc as allowable expenses and therefore not pay tax on that proportion of your income.
  4. Georginalouise

    Georginalouise New commenter

    To echo GordonNome, if I (as a parent) am looking for a tutor, I have no interest whatsoever in your ability as a schoolteacher. I want to know if you can help MY child, and not mine along with 29 others. I tutor A level and tend to ask my outgoing students for references and testimonials, but when I've looked for tutors for my own children I've simply asked other parents about their experiences so I've never bothered to ask the tutor directly for references.Some of the better tutors I've come across have never even taught in a school.
  5. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Perhaps thats what has enabled them to retain their health and sanity Georginalouise!
  6. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    I have never been asked for a reference, but I guess being Head of Maths at a successful comprehensive means that I have a USP anyway. If I needed references, I'd use all the parents of previous tutees, some of which have already endorsed me on LinkedIn.
  7. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Wow adamcreen, I don't know how you find the time and energy to work full time as HOD in a successful core subject and tutor!
  8. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    Thanks, I never take on more than 2 students at a time, usually referrals from previous clients. I have turned down all sorts of weird and wonderful requests, like 3 hours of Saturday morning maths for a primary-age child!

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