Would you employ a teenage tutor to privately tutor your children?

(89 Posts)
Stephanie23 Thu 18-Apr-13 19:10:00

Hiya,

I'm currently studying for my GCSEs in Buckinghamshire, and am thinking of trying to get some tutoring jobs helping to teach younger students in my local area.

I would like to be able to tutor in primary school subjects as well as KS3 English as I love working with children and want to help inspire the same desire to learn as I have whilst also earning some money to put towards a charity gap year.

I gained 3 A* grades last year in German, Food technology and Latin as well as in my science modules and am predicted A* in all my other subjects I am due to take this summer apart from maths.

I have experience working with children in a summer holiday club for one week each summer for 4 years, I have completed work experience at my old primary school and have helped to tutor my younger brother through the 11-Plus. Also, I have helped to tutor my friends in GCSE English for their coursework essays.

What I would like to ask is, would you consider paying for a 16 year old tutor for a small fee and how much would you pay per hour?

Thank you for your help in advance mums!

HannahJaye Sun 02-Nov-14 17:51:32

I found this thread when looking for what to charge for private tutoring myself and, yes, I did literally just make an account to comment on it - even though it has been quiet for just under a year. I found this debate very interesting, being a private tutor myself.

It might interest you to know that I am 17 years old myself, admittedly I am doing my last year of A-Levels, and have been babysitting and tutoring for two years now; along with my sister and three of our friends.

I think it is a good idea and would encourage you to aim for work where you can, I set out to do exactly the same thing but began by babysitting, there are quite a few websites out there where a young person can advertise themselves as a babysitter and tutor.

I wonder what you will think when I say that you can do volunteer work in a primary school - doing all of the things that some of you are professionally trained to do - without any qualifications or DBS checks? I, myself have been volunteering at my local primary school for two years and have worked in a year one class - working 1:1 with children and teaching phonics, spellings, reading, writing and a little numeracy - and am currently working in a year 6 class, teaching small groups of children how to do their SATs.

Though I do aim to go to university next year and do my teacher training, I thought that I would make it clear that you do not necessarily need qualifications to teach, even in a Primary school setting. I do not aim to be argumentative but being obstinate and set in your ways about 'issues' such as this will not help the OP at all, she was merely enquiring as to the general consensus of parents on her idea.

As a teenager who has been in her position, I understand that it can be difficult, but the fact remains that even if some parent are not agreeable to the idea, there are those who are quite keen on it and whilst ever those parents exist there will be a gap for a teenage tutor. And yes, I do understand the distinction between a 'homework helper' - a vile description in my opinion - and a tutor. I am a tutor!

I am employed to teach phonics and numicon to 2 siblings, aged 3 and 4 years old and can gain access to all of the worksheets described above, I also write my own lesson plan, mark the children's work and record their progress for their parents to see; just as any qualified teacher could or unqualified teenage tutor could for that matter.

I appreciate that some parents would be unhappy with the fact that the OP had no formal GCSEs because the results were not out, however, many schools now do GCSEs from the age of 13 - my own school did and I completed all 18 of mine fully before the age of 16 - and I would not be happy with a 13 year old tutoring my children, an element of maturity being needed to tutor or babysit properly. However, reading this, the OP is astonishingly well versed for her age and has constructed her answers especially carefully so as to appease even the most argumentative replier. This to me proves that she is fully capable of helping out and is mature enough to undertake the task efficiently and with the proper amount of respect. A respect which some have not shown her.

I am on two websites, openly advertising as a private tutor willing to teach from phonics level all the way up to GCSE level qualifications, this is not misguiding and I openly state that I am 17 due to turn 18 this school year and still at college.

Finally, the attempted analogy between the teacher and the surgeon is completely void.

Acting as a teacher myself, I do not undervalue the profession, however, there is a slight difference between tutoring children is subjects which you are good at and performing life threatening surgery. I would rather offended if I was a surgeon and this analogy had been made. For one, tutoring might be very important to a struggling child but it cannot kill them; at worst they will not improve and if this is the case, the tutoring would - presumably - be stopped and a new alternative would be made to help the child. There is a lot to be said by what the child thinks of the idea and how they respond to it personally.

I am sorry for dragging all of this up again, but, upon reading the thread, I gained an insight into the mind of some parents who I would say are being argumentative for the sake of it.

[Message edited by Mumsnet to remove website]

rd1709 Sat 30-Nov-13 19:45:58

This is slightly off topic, but i'm looking for a GCSE tutor for my DS (in the Greater London/North London area).

Any recommendations? (Individuals or companies)

Honestyisbest Sun 24-Nov-13 20:17:01

I applaude Stephanie.
I have used a teenager to teach my son guitar, he was 15 or 16 when he started teaching my son. my son is about to take grade 5 with the same lad who travels back from uni to teach his students. He has been an great role model for my son. The comments from teachers on here are despicable. Why discourage a young person from wanting to earn some money and get some experience teaching.
I should add the guitar lessons are at my house and always have been and we paid £8 per half an hour, more now he's a uni student.

soul2000 Sun 24-Nov-13 16:10:16

First of all "Stephanie" sounds fantastic, i wish i could have written as well as Stephanie at 16 ( OR EVEN NOW). We need to encourage people like her into a career in Teaching and not in "Medicine". I also think Stephanie might be able as a lower 6th student to bond and communicate far easily with young pupils then some middle aged tutors.

Secondly instead of rubbishing Stephanie, we should congratulate her on the willing and determination she has shown in improving herself . I am sure young pupils could benefit from her tutoring.

I know this post is an old one , i just hope though that Stephanie has been able to find some work tutoring pupils. Stephanie deserves to be successful
with a work ethic like this at only 16, very refreshing.

Massuese Sun 24-Nov-13 15:28:13

bella65 ....your messages can be criticized in so many ways.
You come across as not only ignorant but also highly arrogant. Yes, we understand that you have well-respected qualifications and you put in much time and effort to achieve them. EVERYONE gets that after the number of times you've felt the need to scream that in the poor girls face.
However we have all come across QUALIFIED teachers who without doubt have all the required knowledge but simply fail at passing it on. It depends on the INDIVIDUAL.
It seems like your pride has been hurt, because you have put years in to gain the title of a "teacher/tutor" and so it angers you that a 16 year old can claim the same so effortlessly. And it's true that no 16 year old can fulfill the role of a "tutor" but they sure can be homework helpers - something everyone seemed to understand but you. Also quite frankly, if I were to choose between yourself and OP to tutor my child, niece, whatever, I would choose OP. Because even though you have more qualifications, OP comes across as just a nicer person. When a pupil sees a friendly person in the one teaching them, when they see how much effort they're putting, they try to return it.
You have spent years learning how to deal with young people so how did you forget that OP is a young person too? You could have TAUGHT her and corrected whatever errors you saw rather than attacking her with words. OP has reacted very maturely, showing much more sophistication than you but if it was someone else in her place, there was the chance that they would've gave up after being disheartened in such a bitter manner. And someone who kills anothers ambitions is not a true teacher.
You can spend numerous years learning how to teach ...but the attitude required to be successful with young people , you gain yourself and OP has got that...unlike you.
The aim of the message was not to say that OP is a better teacher or to say that you're a bad teacher. You may well have had helped many pupils score high marks...but your nose is held too high in the air. From these messages it doesn't seem like you're someone young people can relate to or develop a liking to.
My judgement of you has been harsh and it is very possible that it was simply this thread that angered you whereas normally you're a happy and jolly individual. But after seeing how harshly you spoke to OP and anyone that showed agreement towards her, I feel that I have the right to speak to you in the same manner.

breward Mon 15-Jul-13 19:08:44

DS (10 years) has just passed his Grade 3 piano exam under the tutorage of his just turned 17 year old piano teacher. Sadly we will only have her for one more year then she will be off to univ.

So go for it Stephanie!

Tasmania Mon 15-Jul-13 17:40:59

Completely agree with Happymum22.

Happymum22 Sun 14-Jul-13 20:18:37

OP I am shocked at how some posters have spoken to you. You sound really on the ball and it was really sensible to post on mumsnet to get feedback.

I'm a Primary Deputy Head and definitely agree you could be great as a 'homework helper' or to do spelling/mental maths boosting and there could be the market for that. Lots of parents know the importance of education but are to busy to devote the time themselves to things like testing spellings, hearing reading, learning times tables or a maths topic.
As you say, you aren't marketing yourself as qualified or knowledgeable about the 11+, just a well-educated teenager prepared to help out boosting children's educations. My youngest learns far better from her older siblings, especially her eldest who is nearly 10 years older than her. She seems to listen better to an older role model than me nagging!
All your plans for gaining experience and helping out with children's activities sound great and will be brilliant experience in preparation for doing a PGCE if you do peruse that.

Good luck and I apologise for the unnecessary harsh comments you got on here.

alreadytaken Fri 12-Jul-13 23:55:47

children often learn more readily from young people. The youngsters seem to have a better understanding of what others find difficult. If teachers were always brilliant there would be no market for tutoring.

Personally I'd regard a GSCE student as immature and be unlikely to employ them. However you write like a more mature student, Stephanie, so I might consider it if I knew you already. I'd be prepared to pay about half the normal tutor rate for a university student acting as tutor, less for someone still at school. £7 an hour would be fair.

Tasmania Fri 12-Jul-13 13:17:32

I mean seriously - has no one had an elder child help a younger sibling (for pocket money maybe)?!? That is basically what the OP is trying to offer.

Will you forbid that older child to "tutor" your younger child even though it might help your younger child?!?

Tasmania Fri 12-Jul-13 13:14:07

Ehm... bella65 My brother learned to read before he went to school. I taught him. I was about 14.

Years later he could not get how division worked (maths) - no matter how the teacher tried. I taught him within half an hour how to divide numbers that went into the millions. At that time, I was about 17. With a bit of imagination, you can get children to understand concepts that adults seem to think need a lot of methodology, etc. Sorry, but what utter crap. In fact, one-on-one with some teens out there is actually better than a mediocre teacher teaching your kid in a class of 30+.

Don't forget - we are not talking about A-levels here, but basic primary school stuff. We are not talking SEN either. Many years ago, you did not HAVE to go to university to teach a primary school child. I believe DH's grandparents were teachers, and I don't think they ever went to uni either.

But yes, if it was for anything above primary school, I would expect someone who has finished university - potentially doing a PhD in the particular subject taught. In fact, I'd much prefer a PhD as a tutor than an actual teacher teaching the subject at a normal school...

claraschu Fri 12-Jul-13 10:52:11

It is very important that the child being tutored enjoys the experience. An cool enthusiastic teenager might be far better with a grumpy 12 year old than a qualified teacher with the attitude of some of the people on this thread.

ReallyTired Thu 11-Jul-13 14:42:03

I wish you luck. I think that £7 an hour as a homework helper would be great. It can be really hard for a busy parent with several children to give a child one to one attention to do their homework.

Some children are very resistant to doing homework or practicing their reading. If they practice their reading with a charming young teen then everyone is a winner.

Provide you are honest about your age and qualifications then I can't see any problem with you helping young children with their school work. A bright teen will have more idea what the window method of multiplication is than many parents.

Teacherandmum Thu 11-Jul-13 14:28:40

I think you could well find some parents who would pay for your support. Like others have said, it may be helping with homework or reading support.

I am a qualified teacher and have experience in SEN and mainstream schools. I also have worked as a tutor....BUT it really annoys me when teachers belittle others. I'm sure you wouldn't speak to a teenage pupil like that.

Teaching is a profession and one you need experience/qualifications to do well. However comparing it to being a doctor is a flawed analogy. You wouldn't ask a random person off the street to perform an operation, but you would ask a first aider for help if you fell over. They are levels of support. It is not black and white.

tiredaftertwo Fri 26-Apr-13 08:27:55

OP, I agree you have asked a perfectly reasonable question, been given a hard time by some rather rude posts, and hats off to you for your enthusiasm and initiative.

I would not employ someone your age as a "tutor" - ir planning and delivering a course - but I would as someone to help with homework but also be in the house if I could not be around, for an hour or two after school.

I think a homework helper is a really good idea for you at the age you are now - lots of parents don't get home till gone six, and their children are then too tired to work. If you could hear them read. read to them and talk about books you love, test them on their spellings, encourage them to get anything else done, sort out a snack and generally be a kindly and positive presence, I think that would be a useful service. and you won't be tempted to build their models for them smile.

I also know people not much older than you who have tutored and I did it myself after A level - not for children really struggling, but say to cover a bit of the syllabus missed through illness or covered by a bad teacher for someone who is basically on track. But perhaps for older kids, who can find their way round a CGP book themselves, and just need some stuff explaining and someone to go through practice questions. I also know of schemes where secondary age children help teach primary school kids maths - these are facilitated and supported by schools and teachers.

Most of the individual attention my dc received at primary school was from TAs, not qualified teachers. They were largely lovely, but had very variable standards of literacy and numeracy.

Runoutofideas Thu 25-Apr-13 12:08:23

My 8 yr old dd is currently struggling to learn her times tables. She refuses to practise them with me as she gets frustrated and cross. She loves older girls and I'm sure would co-operate beautifully with someone other than me. For something like this I think someone like Stephanie would be perfect and I would have no problem with paying her to do it. It is not something which requires a qualified teacher though, whereas 11+ tutoring I would see as beyond the capabilities of a 16yr old.

mindingalongtime Tue 23-Apr-13 09:54:03

I too, thought Stephanie's second post very mature and wish her the best of luck with whatever she decides to do.

Kumon my DC's did it for years, yes, there were teenagers working there, they were marking work and to be honest, my DD aged 11 could have done so too, as she was working at A level standard and thoroughly enjoying it. Her friend started to mark for them at quite a young age, but it was over 15 years ago when Kumon was in it's infancy here.

My DD helped a friend's daughter with 11+ entrance when she was 16, doing Verbal reasoning etc and was excellent at it, many other friends asked her to do the same too. She got £5ph 10 years ago and was thrilled to bits!

purits Mon 22-Apr-13 18:59:21

Your reaction is totally out of order bella. All this talk that only highly qualified teachers can do a tutoring job. Ask yourself: why are so many parents looking for tutors in the first place if school teachers are so wonderful.hmm

Stephanie I was very impressed with your second post. It was very mature and well thought through. When you apply for University or teacher training you will be able to put this experience on your Personal Statement; it will show great commitment and give you the edge over other applicants. Concentrate on your own studies for the next few months then go for it after that. Don't forget that there is a big jump between GCSE work and A Level - be careful that you don't overcommit yourself in the autumn term.

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 22-Apr-13 18:59:15

'outraged
Why not re-read the OP's first post?
I would like to be able to tutor in primary school subjects as well as KS3 English'

I read it. She used 'tutor', when she really meant 'help with homework'. That's what I said, she used the wrong term. She isn't planning on misrepresenting herself, she is going to tell the parents her age, qualifications, experience etc. No parent is going to mistake a 16 year old GCSE student for a qualified teacher able to diagnose SN or anything. What she's offering is help with homework, bit of guidance and peer support. Nothing wrong with that. She shouldn't have said tutor, but it's only the term that is wrong, what she's actually planning to do is fine.

'Substitute the words 'professional teacher/tutor' for 'childminder' and the point is made'

The point that she used the wrong word? Just like you did? That was my point!!

'And not all childminders are what you said- a lot of childminding is done as unofficial 'childminding' by friends and neighbours.'

All childminders are qualified, insured and registered. If they're not then they're not childminders, they are babysitters or au pairs or mother's helps or friends who look after your kids. Just like a 16 year old isn't a qualified teacher or tutor. No-one believes that a 16 year old is a teacher or qualified tutor. She just used the wrong term!

Will you be happy if she re-posts this as 'I would like to be able to thelp with homework in primary school subjects as well as KS3 English'?

Katryn Mon 22-Apr-13 14:42:05

I currently have an A level student tutoring my Year 4 daughter once a week, with her maths. She asked for £8 an hour and I pay £10. It works quite well, but I'm not I'm going to use her if my DS sits 10 or 11+ as I am not sure she would be experienced enough, although I haven't made my mind up yet. She doesn't have the confidence (outwardly) that the girl who tutored my DS had when he was doing 11+ but then she was 26, a tutor and charged £35 an hour.

bella65 Mon 22-Apr-13 14:26:05

outraged
Why not re-read the OP's first post?
I would like to be able to tutor in primary school subjects as well as KS3 English

You said: A childminder is a qualified, registered, insured, self-employed childcare professional. Do you see the difference between that and a 16 year old with no qualifications/insurance/registration?

Substitute the words 'professional teacher/tutor' for 'childminder' and the point is made.

And not all childminders are what you said- a lot of childminding is done as unofficial 'childminding' by friends and neighbours.

vvviola Mon 22-Apr-13 13:42:45

I agree with what QuintisentialOHara said - as a "babysitter plus" absolutely. I used to make a (to me) small fortune doing exactly that in my later years at school. I would supervise homework, read stories, introduced the older child to some poetry, and then put them to bed. Parents used to pay well over the going babysitting rate plus I used to stay over and get brought breakfast in bed by the kids at weekends

For busy parents, I think something like that can be really useful - and the example of an older child for the younger ones to look up to can be worth more than any babysitting rate.

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 22-Apr-13 13:34:44

'Surely you agree that there is a big difference between a parent helping their child, and a child being paid to help another child?'

Not really, no. I agree there is a big difference between a qualified teacher tutoring and a teenager helping with homework. I don't think there is any difference at all between a parent and a 16-year old helping. In fact, in some cases, the 16 year old may be better, if the parents haven't had a good education or went to school overseas and didn't learn in the same way that their DC are being taught for example.

'I'd consider using a 16 year old as a child-minder/au pair/ mum's helper '

A childminder is a qualified, registered, insured, self-employed childcare professional. Do you see the difference between that and a 16 year old with no qualifications/insurance/registration? What you mean is babysitter. You used the wrong term. Just like the OP did. Easy to do isn't it?

I would not use you as a tutor. I have seen the quality and professionalism my sons tutor showed, when she was preparing him for 11+ and generally helping him closing a gap in his learning after having been overseas.
It is in my opinion a highly skilled job! She knows the methods of teaching, how to explain something in various ways so that a 10 year old can understand, keep him motivated and get an "I can do it attitude", rather than discouraged. I dont think a teenager could do her job!

I would however hire you for homework help. My y3 child has no problems, but it is a chore for me and he is playing up with me, he is a procrastinator with little patience. He rather do cartwheels and look for bugs in the garden, than his homework, and at tennis he is doing carthweels and stands on his head while waiting his turn... You could come and try it out! grin

A perfect scenario:

I take my husband out for our weekly salsa classes. You spend half an hour with the kids supervising homework, and explaning any issues my 6y has, and help Y3 with his projects and literacy, then you give them supper and cajole them into bed.

I come home, happy and relaxed, knowing my little darlings are asleep, and their homework is done. I would pay more than babysitting rates for this!

glaurung Mon 22-Apr-13 10:00:26

ds helped dd with several of her GCSEs when he was two school years ahead and he was a complete star - patient, clear with explanations and really helpful. I would have been happy to employ him if he hadn't been my son.

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