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Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by DaleX100, Dec 1, 2015.
It is very hard to succeed in tutoring,
Anyone else find this
It is at this time of year....tends to pick up a bit after Xmas
It partially depends on where you are, but it also depends on how good you are. I would say that the majority of people advertising their services on the tutoring websites are absolute rubbish, who have no business tutoring. They certainly shouldn't be succeeding.
I would certainly agree with @DavidGetling that the number of real teachers advertising themselves as tutors is being diluted by those 'just trying to get in on the act', with the results that rates of pay are lowering and parents, having little idea how to tell the good from the bad, are having bad experiences at the hands of the chaff spoiling things for us wheat.
When it does pick up the students may well be panic stricken and it will take a while to get a grip on the areas they are having trouble with, but they will find it rewarding and it does make a difference.
Also when it picks up you might find you are inundated and have to turn people away! Again depends on where you are and your subject, but like all things it is a fluid and ever changing level of demand.
I am fully booked for after school slots. I am lucky as i live in an affluent area. Also I have been tutoring a long time so I have had some students for several years who are siblings of previous students. I tutor in maths which is an in demand subject. I tend to get lots of girls to help, perhaps because I am female. Students come via reccomendation and internet advertising. I made sure I was in as many places as possible on the internet as I didn't know whuch would work. Surprisingly, our local council has an effective site for small businesses like me.
Yes, never ceases to amaze me just how many students have to wait until they have taken their Christmas mocks to realise how badly they need help. And it's even worse for those students whose schools do the mocks after Christmas, as they then find that all the good tutors have been fully booked by those whose schools were sensible enough to get the mocks out of the way earlier.
I had one desperate mother ring up two days before an A-level module that her son had literally not studied anything from as he was a private candidate. Nor had he learnt the parts of it that were covered in the GCSE years before.
Skillsheets, I hope you had the sense to decline what might well have been some unpleasant and frustrating tutoring sessions.
It's very important to know when to walk away from bad business. I always decline such unrealistic requests. Also, if someone messes around when they are enquiring about tutoring, for example not getting back quickly after I have offered them the time they specifically asked for, I surprise them by declining. Experience has shown me that those who hum and ha over tutoring are the ones most likely to be lacking in commitment. Another group to be wary of are those who, having failed and left school, say they want to retake. More often than not they failed because of their lack of commitment, which is still indelibly stamped on their character..
That's the great thing about tutoring. Unlike teaching in a school, one can throw out the rubbish, or not take it in in the first case.
I've found myself fully booked. I tutor Monday-Thursday after school, 7 students in all.
After 3 of my GCSE level students did their exams, last May, I was quick to fill their positions without much trouble.
Word of mouth, using a Facebook page and having my teacher friends recommend me has worked.
There sounds like a lot of tutor bashing going on here.
I'm not yet a qualified teacher however I do now have a place on a course for September, I'm in my final year of uni and have been tutoring the whole way through my course. I don't think tutoring should be an elite group of people with many years of experience. I have to turn away people now as I simply do not have the time, and this is still happening even after removing myself from the tutoring websites. I don't think you should judge a tutor on what they charge either. I only charge £15 an hour and I'm not too far from London. I don't think that tutoring should be limited to those who can afford £30 or £40 an hour, I think it should be reasonable enough to give each child the best chance. I wouldn't consider myself as a bad tutor, every child I've ever been to has achieved what we have agreed at the start of our time together or higher.
What I'm trying to say, is I don't think you should be slandering tutors for not having many years of experience or charging reasonable prices. I don't think it is right saying people shouldn't be succeeding, I think the proof should be in the results, without being judged on 'first appearances'.
I would say it depends on the subjects and levels, it is not slandering to say that there are unqualified people out there who are passing themselves off as something different since it happens. This may not apply to you personally but there are people out there who offer to tutor a wide range of unrelated subjects at levels it is unlikely at best that they are qualified to teach; in these cases it is misleading to those who believe they are paying for a reasonable service that may not prove to be suitable.
On the surface this may not seem like a major issue, but I would say if said tutors were accused of teaching something wrongly they would need to make sure that they had adequate insurance to cover themselves, especially if they are not serving teachers who's union insurance would cover such an allegation. This type of insurance I believe would come with the caveat that they were qualified to teach said subject.
I hope you don't tutor in the law.
Slandering may not have been the best choice of word, but I believe before a tutor is judged, you must look at the results from their students, and I'm not just talking about all of the students getting top grades, but for the pupils to fulfil their potential.
I agree with @needabreak about unrelated subjects, as tutors we are not a jack of all trades.
Thank you for your less than useful comment @Vince_Ulam.
How do you measure whether a student has fulfilled their potential if not by their results? The breadth of their smile as they stand in the dole queue, no doubt.
Oh, sorry Adam. Didn't I pat you on the head and give you a ginger snap? You've come to the wrong profession if you're looking for misty-eyed romanticism, now will your clients put up with such waffle. Heading for ITT, are you? Your teaching practice placements will chew the romanticism out of you. Here's a cookie anyway: Look up the difference between 'slander' and 'libel'.
And, without proper teaching experience, what on earth makes you think you are in any position to judge what their potential is.
I could hire myself out as a plumber at £15/hour and I'd be inundated with work and turning people away. No doubt some of my clients would write glowing reviews. But then they wouldn't be in a position to judge how good I was, and 6 months, or a few years, later some of my work might fail because I'd not attended to some detail that would have been obvious to a proper plumber.
The kind of parents who pay £15/hour on people without the right qualifications or experience are the same kind of stupid people who never learn that you get what you pay for, and genuine bargains are extremely rare. They are gambling with their children's future, and their children will be the ones to pay when, most of the time, that gamble doesn't pay off.
I'll pass on that feedback to the parents of the children I tutor. Many thanks.
I feel the need to add a positive comment. Good luck with your tutoring ah3069, it is possible to be a very successful tutor without QTS/school teaching experience. And I understand what you meant by students not getting top grades, but fulfilling their potential. Not everyone wants/needs an A. Helping a hard-working, but less academically able student acheive a C is just as important and rewarding. I think your sentiment was twisted rather unfairly.
That said, it's also annoying to find that a fair rate for a professional job is being undermined by people who for whatever reason don't need to earn the going rate. There's a tutor near me who's working (apparently) Monday-Saturday for 6-8 hours a day and charging £10 an hour. To me, that's wrong: not the hours but the rate. It undermines the professional rate. You don't see qualified plumbers undercutting themselves by offering a labourer's rate for a job, and if tutors do it it undermines the rates and by extension, the respect offered to the profession.
I completely agree with you on that point.