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Tips for a Newbie?

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by rehaank, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. rehaank

    rehaank Occasional commenter

    After being effectively driven out of my last (very) successful post as HOD and AHT for Science at a school for 10 and 5 years respectively, I've decided to do some tutoring for the coming year before looking for another post elsewhere.

    I'll be teaching A Level Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Further Maths and i've already gotten a couple of students lined up (one to one sessions - seems fun, less stressful, they seem committed, i think).

    SO any tips? I mean, i'm an experienced teacher, but this is of course different to normal teaching of 20 teenagers fuelled by angst (and spots).

    Also, my rates i've been told are "too generous"? I'm doing £20 per session per subject. Each session is 1 hour. Apparently this is too little. I don't necessarily want to capitalise on education and charge £50+ (and I know some do) but I do have bills to pay (although my husband's job as a consultant certainly helps!). I've had a few parents say no, as I'm surely not "teaching up to scratch" due to my low fees. A bit crude tbh.

    Any comments to help me would be very welcome :)
  2. tsarina

    tsarina Occasional commenter

    Hallo and welcome!

    I left a teaching in 2016 and have been tutoring science ks3 and gcse. Here are my top 3 tips:

    Tip 1 - open another bank account asap and put all income and expenses from tutoring through it. This makes doing any accounts and tax returns super easy. Also phone hmrc to let them know.

    Tip 2 - if you are anywhere london you are undercharging...some of us have to pay the mortgage by ourselves and therefore need to charge £40+ per hour just to pay the bills. If you undercut us you devalue our service and make it harder for us to make a living.

    Tip 3 - meet with clients in person before taking them on...then you can set your expectations and once they've met you they much more likely to hire you (in my experience)

    There are lots of other tips in previous threads about advertising etc. Good luck!
    rehaank and Skywatcher17 like this.
  3. Skywatcher17

    Skywatcher17 New commenter

    I started tutoring in January this year, also coming out of full time teaching. I remember doing a lot of research into the pricing...and it does seem to be the case that many clients correlate higher prices with a better "service", and therefore increased confidence in you as a professional.

    I settled on £30 an hour after looking at what other tutors were charging in my area, and linking this up to their qualifications and experience. There were many tutors I saw charging £15-20 an hour, but most of these seemed to be students still at university (not that I'm saying that doesn't mean you can be an excellent turor!) or teachers who were still working in schools part-time, and were tutoring to supplement this. I, however, knew I wanted to tutor full time.

    So, I gathered, £30 was on the higher end of the pricing range in my area, but seemed appropriate given my degree (physics from University of Nottingham), subject (obviously physics, but I also teach biology, chemistry and maths), teaching experience (around 6 years in schools...not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but certainly enough to have a good idea of the ins and outs of teaching!) and the fact that I wanted to tutor full time.

    So far, things seem to be going OK. Leading up to exams was of course the busiest, and over summer has obviously been a lot quieter. It's been difficult especially during August but, I figure, once I have been doing the job long enough, I will become more accustomed to how and when to save money to be able to dip into over the summer.

    ...Hopefully some of that helped in some way...!
    rehaank likes this.
  4. rehaank

    rehaank Occasional commenter

    I am on the lower end for pricing in my area (many charge £50 and above for one hour) but I don't need to support anything per se, my husband's job as a consultant oncologist is sufficient enough on the whole to support us, but again obviously I need to help in anyway I can.

    I think £30 seems more reasonable now - I can justify it to the parents; Natural sciences degree from Cambridge, PhD in Biophysics, 12 years teaching A Level!!

    Thank you for your response it is very helpful :)
  5. rehaank

    rehaank Occasional commenter

    Thank you for your tips! The new bank account is a very good idea!!

  6. Ian1983

    Ian1983 Occasional commenter

    As others have said, charge a reasonable rate. When you were an assistant head, did you say to your school 'my husband's got a good job so just pay me the wage of a classroom teacher'?
    And as you alluded to yourself, people often won't book you because you're charging peanuts - they think 'there must be a catch'.

    Also, spend a few hours reading through past posts on this forum. You'll find the vast majority of questions / dilemmas covered in previous posts (there must be about 50 different threads on here from people asking 'how should I advertise?' for example!)
    KitKat30, langteacher and rehaank like this.
  7. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

  8. Kateray1

    Kateray1 Occasional commenter

    I think £20 or £30 is too low for a teacher of your experience.
  9. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

  10. rehaank

    rehaank Occasional commenter

    I still think this is too much for these kids, morally.
    langteacher likes this.
  11. SayItLikeItIs

    SayItLikeItIs New commenter

    At the end of the day only you can decide. The fee I charge reflects the amount I spend on resources, funding my own CPD and also the time I put into preparation and feedback. And although I tend to agree with you morally, I have found in practice that the less I charge and the less I ask for in terms of communication and commitment, the less what I have to offer is respects or appreciated. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is.
  12. SayItLikeItIs

    SayItLikeItIs New commenter


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