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See what you all make of THIS one.

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by Bashkemesuesi, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. Bashkemesuesi

    Bashkemesuesi New commenter

    So three days ago I got a message from a man wanting tuition for his Year 13 and Year 11 sons.

    In the following correspondence, he asked for three things that no parent has ever asked me for before in eight prior years of tutoring:

    (1) For his sons to be tutored at separate visits.

    (2) For a "discount for block bookings".

    (3) To be put in touch with previous parents for references (as though the three pieces of relevant feedback I'd already provided weren't enough).

    I replied to the above pointing out that no one had asked for such things before, and that if it was impossible to find a two-hour slot when I could tutor the boys consecutively as I've done with all previous siblings, then either I could see Y13 boy during a daytime study period, or I could do them simultaneously as I've sometimes done, obviously for an overall discount.

    I suggested that "block bookings" impose too much of a commitment burden on students who inevitably will have to miss sessions occasionally for various reasons.

    On the third point, I mentioned a Y13 boy I tutored last school year to help him with Cambridge STEP papers, and yes, he got in, so would dad like to contact the family in question?

    Guess what happened next.

    No reply (now over 48 hours on), but yesterday afternoon he viewed my profile on another agency website. Didn't contact me via that one either, and I don't expect to hear from him again.

    What do y'all think?
  2. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    Welcome back. Unfortunately you do get a lot of time wasters contacting you through tuition websites. Usually it is when they come to having to pay to get your contact details that messages suddenly stop.

    The request for separate visits seems odd. I'd probably have responded by saying I could give a small discount for consecutive lessons, as it would save travel time and costs, but obviously they would have to pay full price for separate visits. I don't see how tutoring a year 11 and a year 13 simultaneously would work.

    I've certainly never been asked to put someone in touch with parents of previous students, although most of my students do come from recommendations from parents. I don't think this would be possible for most tutoring websites where they have to pay a finder's fee to get your contact details. Just as you can't send them your contact details you couldn't send them the contact details for anyone else until they have paid.
    needabreak likes this.
  3. sabram86

    sabram86 Occasional commenter

    I've noticed that some parents are getting pusher. I received some messages yesterday from a woman expecting, quite unrealistically, for a grade's improvement with six weeks of tutoring for GCSE English, one of the most work intensive subjects.

    I asked for availability and then suggested a time in keeping. She then asked for an hour later and to discuss by phone before we went ahead. Just awkward and all that for six hours' tutoring.

    Of course, her darling boy needs the grade to do A levels, but is he really capable of them if he can't pass English language?

    It's always sunny on Planet Parent!
    Kateray1 and needabreak like this.
  4. Bashkemesuesi

    Bashkemesuesi New commenter

    I'm impressed by your memory Gainly!

    In that case you probably also remember how I made my debut on this forum over a year ago complaining about one-timers, and being amazed at how few other tutors had this problem which had sometimes become a right plague for me. So time wasters come in various flavours, but this one really is something else. BTW it wasn't on a pay-for-details site so that wasn't the issue this time. Curiously I've had at least two parents who did pay for contact details but then never followed through to arrange even a first session! Weird.

    The family in question don't live too far away, but yeah I still think it's strange that you wouldn't have a single "tutor day" for both kids. Re. simultaneous tuition, are you actually saying you've never done it with siblings in different years (in other words, I guess, never for non-twin siblings full stop)? I've done it from time to time, and although I don't recall specifically Y13/Y11, I don't see why it's so hard - you give one a piece of work to do while you discuss another with the other, and then switch. But perhaps not everyone feels they can nimbly hop back and forth like that, maybe it would wear them out mentally?

    As noted already, your last para. doesn't apply in this case as my details were already known via a different site. But the site you're referring to does have feedback sections for tutors' profiles so I don't know why any parent would want more than what's already there.
  5. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    I know some tutors do teach 2 or 3 students together all doing different things but I would not like to do this. I have twice taught siblings in different years together but both were doing GCSE and in both cases the younger sibling was brighter so I did the same topic with both of them. By contrast I've three times taught twins and they've always said they wanted separate consecutive lessons even when they were both doing the same specification.
  6. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    Well I for one am looking forward to hearing a year of Bashkemesuesi anecdotes. Why do you only visit us on 19 September, Bash? Is it because it is Talk Like A Pirate day?
  7. BG54

    BG54 Occasional commenter

    I'm surprised that you've never experienced (1) previously. I've encountered it very recently when arranging tuition with year 9 and year 11 siblings. After-school activities meant that tuition had to be arranged on separate nights, it wasn't a problem for me as I had another student nearby on the other night.

    I've never been asked for block bookings at all, let alone a discount for them.

    Regarding references, for those agencies I'm registered with there are either reference(s) from previous parents or positive feedback. I've not been asked for anything beyond that by agency clients. Personal recommendations of course come with the reference included, so to speak.
  8. doctoryes

    doctoryes Occasional commenter

    Unless they lived very close to me tutoring 2 siblings on different days wouldn't work for me either unless the older one could travel to me! I may give a discount for 2 siblings being tutored in consecutive lessons but not for block bookings.
    I wouldn't pass on contact details for past students or their parents - suspect this would breach GDPR guidelines. The references and testimonials on the tutor websites should be enough information.
  9. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I am a parent who uses tuition sites. Why is it time wasting to contact many tutors? If I contact 10, I would expect to never hear from 5, for at least 3 say they can't accommodate me, and for the other 2 offer times which we might or might not be able to make.

    Obviously I am not going to contact 10 tutors in series. I will contact 10 at once, and then, if nothing comes of the first 10, contact another 10 or so.

    I have found some excellent tutors through tuition sites.
  10. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    Do you read the tutor's profile before contacting them? Most people don't.
    needabreak likes this.
  11. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    yes I do. It would be strange not to!
  12. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    You'd be surprised (or maybe not) at some requests. I had a request for French lessons from someone living 200 miles away and another for piano lessons. from someone 60 miles away I tutor maths and science. When I replied "is this a joke?" to the person who requested piano lessons their reply showed even then they hadn't bothered to look at my profile.
    needabreak likes this.
  13. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    It's the requests for random subjects that you haven't listed as your area of specialiam that are a classic from parents who don't read profiles.
  14. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    I decided to reactivate my TH account a few days ago to see if I could pick up one or two day time students. The second enquiry I had was for primary Welsh. I tutor maths and science GCSE and A level.
  15. Lespaul101

    Lespaul101 New commenter

    I’ve had a couple of random requests from people hundreds of miles away. I’m tempted to quote them £1000 per lesson for travel costs.
    Kateray1 likes this.

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