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

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


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!

redskyatnight Thu 18-Apr-13 20:13:05

I'd happily hire someone like you for primary tutoring (actually I wouldn't tutor at primary level but if I was going to I'd have no problem with a 16 year old). I wouldn't consider a 16 year old for KS3 - I just wouldn't believe them to have the breadth of knowledge required.

As regards fee I suspect this varies regionally but would expect to be a good step down from what professional tutors are charging.

Stephanie23 Thu 18-Apr-13 20:25:17

Thanks for your helpful feedback!

Okay, yes I thought that might be the case about KS3. I've done some peer tutoring for year seven and eight in my school but I understand why parents would want to hire a professional/ university student tutor at such a key age when more knowledge is required.

Yes, most tutors around my area charge about £25- £40 an hour depending on their experience ect. so I was thinking about charging £7 an hour smile .

breward Thu 18-Apr-13 21:42:52

We employ a 16 year old piano teacher. My DS loves her and made rapid progress under her direction. He is doing his grade 3 this summer. Before this girl we had another teenager who taught him. He got him through grade 1 and then he skipped grade 2 as the teenager was doing his A levels then went to Univ.

We pay £6 for half an hour. It is mutually benefical- we get cheap piano lessons, the teenager gets teaching experience and gets paid £12 an hour, a lot more than babysitting or working in a shop.

Good luck to you Stephanie. I know many a parent who would happily pay a teenager to do reading, spelling, basic maths etc with their primary aged children.

Saracen Fri 19-Apr-13 01:23:57

I absolutely would consider hiring a teenaged tutor. There's no reason to suppose you'd be less competent than an older person.

IMO the tricky bit (regardless of age) is getting started. My friends and I usually find tutors through personal recommendation. Your experience will help, but it's still hard just at first since you don't have a base of clients and former clients recommending you to all their pals.

I think £7 an hour is way too little. Don't sell yourself short. Ironically, charging very cheap rates may even put some people off - they'll think you aren't any good if you are having to work for peanuts.

Good luck!

bella65 Fri 19-Apr-13 08:41:47

Absolutely not.

I'm a teacher who has tutored, and had tutors for my children.

You are much too young. You have not even done your main GCSEs yet so I don't see how you can offer basic subjects like English when you have yet to gain a good grade in the subject. You also need to know the curriculum and HOW to teach- it's not a case of anyone who can read and write therefore knows how to teach it- I trained for 4 years to learn how to teach reading!

There is also the issue of references and CRB checks.

I used a friend's daughter to teach piano to my DCs but she was 18 then and a grade 8 pianist.

nagynolonger Fri 19-Apr-13 08:44:13

Sorry but I'm going to disagree.

I have paid for tutoring in the past for my dyslexic sons. You may be taking on too much and not helping in the long run. How will you spot a DC with SEN?

nagynolonger Fri 19-Apr-13 08:46:00

I agree with Bella.

bella65 Fri 19-Apr-13 09:01:08

The point is that children who are struggling tend, on the whole, to have not learned with the methods used by class teachers. I am trained in teaching children with dyslexia and this was another year post grad on top of my teacher training. Even if a child is not dyslexic, the methods work,(they are based on synthetic phonics) and all primary teachers nowadays should understand synthetic phonics etc.

I find it tricky to understand why a parent would pay for someone aged 15 to teach their child instead of someone who has spent 4-5 years learning HOW to teach.

If your child needs help then you want the BEST help available from the best qualified and experienced teachers- it shouldn't be a decision based on whether you can get help for £7 or £27.

DeWe Fri 19-Apr-13 09:43:14

Very, very unlikely. If you were doing A-levels then I might consider it, if you had good GCSEs in the subject and I knew you personally. Saying "I am doing GCSE" -well you could be doing GCSE and about to fail it totally (obviously not the case from your writing).

It's not just your age. It's also your experience. I have 2x English GCSEs at A (before A* time) and I don't always know the best way of helping my dc in their English because I do not have the experience in what is needed.

Also helping friends with GCSE coursework is not the same as engaging a child at primary level. I was asked to help some others in my form coming up to maths GCSE, and it's nothing like the same as teaching a child.

fapl Fri 19-Apr-13 09:51:52

Some parents can't afford £27 or £40 for a professional tutor, and may not have time to read, sit and do homework with etc. to their own children.

I think you sound intelligent and motivated and if you have a rapport with young children go for it. I would only do primary though, and eleven plus is a highly emotionally charged, so much is at stake, so I would not advertise for that, but by all means tell prospective parents that you helped your siblings prepare.

If a child is seriously behind or has SEN I doubt that parents would hire you so I wouldn't be put off by comments above. I would view a 16 year old as more of a homework helper that might even help inspire as a young role model that loves learning. Maybe you could even advertise yourself as a 'homework helper' rather than tutor. Some parents don't enjoy sitting with their children trying to force them to complete homework.

Good luck!

Weegiemum Fri 19-Apr-13 09:57:47

I work as a tutor, for Higher exams (Scotland).i have a degree, a PGCE and an MEd.

I'd be rather hmm about paying someone to tutor without the teaching qualification I have. One of my usp's is that I mark the exam I tutor for (and am in the question setting panel) so an unqualified student wouldn't do it for me. Luckily in our situation my dc have automatic access to one of the best state schools in Glasgow. But I'd never (sorry) let a school pupil tutor them.

I see lots of advantages to hiring a responsible teenager who is getting good grades. I think £7 an hour is realistic but you will probably only be able to find work for people who know you or are recommended. I would expect you to go to the child's home though.

I like fapl's idea of "homework helper".
My DS did some "revision" help last year for GCSE for several friends. He wasn't paid but has been offered payment from at least one of the parents who has a younger DC doing GCSE this year. One of the mums rang me to say how helpful it had been for her DS.

YoniTrix Fri 19-Apr-13 10:46:58

Agree with Bella.

Bluebell99 Fri 19-Apr-13 10:49:36

I wouldn't, but I know my friend pays a teenager to babysit her children for two hours after school every day and has been getting her to do extra work with her dd, who has problems with literacy. So they could be a market for it. A couple of friends have had problems finding after school care for their children (year 7) and have wanted a older teen to look after their children for a couple of hours after school each day.

bella65 Fri 19-Apr-13 11:48:29

fapl just out of interest, ( and some other parents upthread) would you allow someone to operate on you, or diagnose and treat your child's illness on the basis they were studying towards GCSE/ A level biology?

Or work on your tax accounts on the basis they were working towards GCSE maths?

There is no difference.

I'm sorry and I don't intend to really have a go at the OP who i think sounds genuinely keen to help - but I am really shocked that so many parents here have such a poor regard for the profession ( teaching) that they think anyone can do it.

fapl Fri 19-Apr-13 11:59:26

Majority of parents aren't teachers, are we not qualified to sit with our primary age children and listen to them read and help with their homework hmm

An intelligent motivated 16 year old I am sure would be up to the task of 'home work helper' and would probably as good as myself, and if I had other chores around the house and other children to look after it could be beneficial for everyone in the family at £7 an hour. If my child had SEN, was seriously behind, or seriously aiming for grammar school, no I would not hire a 16 year old.

I have absolutely no disregard for the teaching profession. I would not hire a 16 year old to be a full time home educator, but I do not think this is what the OP would be planning on doing.

bella65 Fri 19-Apr-13 12:15:46

I think this is in fact a covert ad- as well as a sounding board for opinion - simply because the poster gives their location.

Indeed- most caring parents do listen to their children read. But they also accept that they are not trained to teach, which is why many employ tutors.

You don't seem to grasp the point that teaching literacy is every bit as skilled as teaching maths or chemistry. Being able to speak English and read, does make one into a teacher of it for other people's children and nor does a potential GCSE pass.

If the OP is offering herself as an after-school nanny- which is what your last post describes to me- for £7 an hour, fair enough. But if they are offering themselves as a teacher then no, I don't agree with you.

forheavenssakes Fri 19-Apr-13 12:50:18

We employed a sixth form student as a tutor to help our son with maths gcse. It was very successful. The student could relate to my son in a way his maths teacher couldn't, as they were both teenagers and they focused on the specific maths topics that my son found tough. My son got his GCSE and the student is now at Cambridge studying some arcane maths subject!! Don't be put off! one to one tutoring is very different from class room teaching and despite the comparisons being made on this thread teachers are not as qualified as surgeons!

bella65 Fri 19-Apr-13 13:11:14

FHS- that's a bit of a silly remark TBH that teachers are not as qualified as surgeons. A teacher with 4 years' training is one heck of a lot more qualified than a 15 yr old who has not yet sat their GCSEs - which is the point I was making. I asked if you would allow a A level biology student to operate or diagnose- it's an analogy not a comparison between the worth of teachers and surgeons.

Yes, teaching 1:1 is very different. It requires certain skills - not classroom control but the ability to motivate, empathise and share knowledge. I have taught English for years- first to A level, then with further training as a literacy specialist. Before my training to teach reading- even as a teacher of English A level- I would not have known the best way to teach a child phonics etc.

Your experience is one I'd not disagree with- a 6th former working with a GCSE pupil- if you know the older child- may work. I used a 20 yr old student to teach one of my children for their A levels but we had known him for years and he had sat the same A levels.

But there seems to be a misconception that if someone is teaching a younger child ( KS1 , KS2) then they only have to be a little bit ahead of them in their learning. IME teaching basic literacy at any level is much harder than teaching facts or essay writing for older children.

BooksandaCuppa Fri 19-Apr-13 13:14:16

I think you could advertise or look for jobs as an after-school babysitter/ au pair with homework help thrown in - maybe for ages between 7-13. You could get regular work doing this (say every Monday-Wednesday for one family or whatever their working days are), especially once you have your GCSEs with good grades and once you are a sixth former rather than fifth former.

I know a couple of girls at our grammar school in L6 who provide exactly this sort of service for parents (including one teacher) in the local town. (Obviously this idea relies on the younger student either walking themselves home from school - maybe year 5 onwards - or being walked home by a neighbour as presumably your school would finish later than a junior one. For a yr 7 or 8 at your own school, this would be easier.)

forheavenssakes Fri 19-Apr-13 13:37:10

Bella - I would still contend that your analogy is incorrect. It takes many years and multiple selection processes to qualify as a surgeon, much less to qualify to teach a class of pupils. If I had to choose between a GCSE student tutoring my children or an A'level student operating on them I know which I would choose!

We did not know the teenager who tutored my son, we responded to an advert in the local paper - as I said it worked out very well for us and both lads (my son and the tutor) won places at their chosen universities.
I would encourage the OP not to be put off by the contention that only qualified teachers can tutor.

Of course SEN is a specialist area that requires specialist tuition, especially as many pupils with difficulties will experience associated anxiety. But that's not what the OP is proposing to do.

Homework helper is a great description good luck and hope it goes well for you.

bella65 Fri 19-Apr-13 13:39:27

Yes that's the kind of thing I was suggesting several threads back.
sitting with a child when they do their homework to keep them on track is much different from actually trying to teach them in the way a tutor would, which involves preparing work, bringing along worksheets, planning lessons half a term ahead etc etc.

bella65 Fri 19-Apr-13 13:46:16

FHS The point was that a student of biology would not- I hope!- be used by parents to diagnose an illness in their child- or operate on them. The consequences of poor teaching can last a lifetime- maybe the outcome is not so dramatic short term as if you have a bodged operation but the analogy still stands IMO. It's nothing to do with the length of training or teachers v doctors. But if you insist- there are teachers who train for 5 years- degree, PGCE, masters or MEd, etc- the same as a new dr.

The point was, how could a 15 yr old be able to diagnose literacy difficulties and provide the right kind of teaching.

forheavenssakes Fri 19-Apr-13 13:59:33

I picked you up on this point as I do get very fed up with the comparison/analogy between the teaching and medical professions. It takes many more years to qualify as a surgeon or a GP than it does to qualify as a teacher.

You do not need to take a masters to qualify as a teacher and you do not need to be a qualified teacher to be a tutor

bella65 Fri 19-Apr-13 14:08:06

But you also seem to be avoiding answering whether you'd allow a biology student (A level) to diagnose your child. My point is that the gap between their knowledge and dr is every it the same as the gap between a 15 yr old GCSE pupil and a teacher who has trained for 4 years- AND taught we assume for a number of years after that.

No- you don't have to be a teacher to teach- just the same as nutrionists call themselves dieticians, or people with mickey mouse counselling training call themselves psychologists or counsellors.

But I'd assume parents wanted quality not just cheapest.

nagynolonger Fri 19-Apr-13 14:11:14

If the OP advertises as a tutor she will get inquiries from parents whose DC are behind at school. Some may well have SEN and parents who are desperate for affordable help. The OP will be out of her depth and doing more harm than good.

I found the hours and hours trying to help my dyslexics with their weekly spellings very stressful. It was also a complete waste of time because they still can't spell. They did manage to get A levels in maths and the sciences so they are not stupid. I wouldn't inflict that on a 15/16 yearold year 11.

bella65 Fri 19-Apr-13 14:29:42


OP - if you are reading ( and I'd say you were a teeny bit naughty coming on here and posting - it's like an advert) - then if you want to earn some cash say you do babysitting or child minding.

You WILL need to be CRB checked and you will find this hard as you are under 18, and not working for a company or organisation) , and say that you can offer help with homework.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 19-Apr-13 15:43:38

No i wouldn't and I think it is wrong.

You couldn't just walk into a doctors or dentists practice and start working on their patients. What makes you think you can do this with children, who should be taught by somebody qualified and experienced.

handcream Fri 19-Apr-13 15:48:59

I agree with Fapl. Sometimes parents just want someone to sit with the children and help them when they get stuck. Not everyone can afford £40 per hour (!!).

Parents arent trained teachers either.....

Viviennemary Fri 19-Apr-13 15:52:28

I would certainly consider employing you at £7 an hour. But I agree that it will probably be a different kind of tutoring from that which a qualified teacher would give. I don't think it can be compared to a GCSE student performing an operation. grin at the thought.

Forwardscatter Fri 19-Apr-13 16:04:59

I did this as a teenager. I tutored my next door neighbour's son in biology. He was doing his GCSEs and I was doing A levels. He found the pace too fast at school and needed extra time to go through and digest things more thoroughly. We went through past papers together. He went from a predicted 'D' after mocks to a 'B'. it can work but I guess it depends on the student, the rotor and parents' expectations.

Timetoask Fri 19-Apr-13 16:16:30

Stephanie, I would use your help if my dc needed it. I understand that what you want is to help the child with some one to one rather than "replacing" the teacher!!!
I think that if a child had special needs it would have probably been picked up by school, etc.
I think you should advertise your services somewhere and people will hire you in full knowledge that you are not a qualified teacher.

bella65 of course she doesn't need to be CRB checked unless the parent who employs her insists. A bit OTT if she is working in their home.
You seem strangely hostile to this young person trying to earn a little money by coaching children.Teaching isn't rocket science.grin

bella65 Fri 19-Apr-13 16:29:13

Parents arent trained teachers either.

well- some of us are! grin

The point surely is that by employing a tutor you are employing an expert who can do the job better- just like you employ plumbers or someone to fix your car, or sort out your teeth.

Would you allow anyone who wanted to earn a few quid do this based on some work experience and a few unrelated exam passes/

If the argument is 'oh well, I'm not an expert as a parent, so that means i can ask another non-expert to help and pay good money for it'- well, what's the point in that? confused

bella65 Fri 19-Apr-13 16:34:23

secret teaching may not be rocket science, but as I actually know several rocket scientists, and several teachers, I can tell you that both degrees and professional training are equally demanding in different ways.

And yes, I am hostile to the poster. First because I think she, or a parent is using the forum to tout for clients ( why else give her location) and secondly because I am a highly qualified teacher, who resents a child thinking they can teach.

fapl Fri 19-Apr-13 23:36:48

bella65 if you are so worried there is a 16 year old on here touting for business report the post. She has only stated her county, and I would assume being 16 and relying on public transport or her parents she would only intend on working very close to home, not across the whole county.

I would like to commend Stephanie23 for being so entrepreneurial that she is doing market research before embarking on her small business idea. If you are still checking the messages here, I think that you will see while some parents would not consider using your services, some definitely would (and most that would hire you would not expect you to have a CRB check) .

forheavenssakes Fri 19-Apr-13 23:48:30

Agree with fapl!

Munashe Sat 20-Apr-13 01:33:35

It seems you have ruffled feathers with teachers who thinks they know better. Go for it girl but it may be better for you to advertise for subjects you have GCSE results in already or wait till Aug when you have more results so parents have a bit more confidence that you know what you are talking about. Saying that I never checked our's certificates but the results prove she is doing a good job.

My teenage daughter is tutored by a 6th form girl in maths for £10 an hour. She is brilliant and has transformed her. She has gone from hating maths to loving maths.

Our experience was very similar to Forheavenssakes, she simply connected with this girl in no way a teacher would have and I think it also motivated my daughter to think its cool girls can do maths too.

Who said teachers can spot special needs? I thought that was a job for Psychologists and Doctors???

Our teenage tutor advertises in the local libraries. She has her card there with her Maths grade for GCSE and AS level and she is going A2 this year and the levels she can teach maths up to. She is also on the local Gumtree so you may try those avenues when you are ready.

Good luck.

bruffin Sat 20-Apr-13 02:25:53

Friend of mines ds also got paid tutor when hevwas in 6th form. The school suggested he did it.
I also know parents who have used 6th formers to tutor their dc.
I think op should wait until 6th form though.
I do think that some children will respond better to a slightly older teen. If i had known one a year above ds i would have used them recently when my ds when he lost his confidence in maths earlier this year.

bella65 Sat 20-Apr-13 09:48:45

Who said teachers can spot special needs? I thought that was a job for Psychologists and Doctors???

You need to educate yourself then if this is what you think.

Teachers with specialist qualifications are able to diagnose dyslexia, and paediatricians diagnose conditions on the autistic spectrum and ADHD,
Many children with these conditions are initially 'spotted' by a teacher who then refers to a specialist. I've done this dozens of times.

I think some parents here are confusing 'mentoring' with teaching. Many schools- including my DDs- offer mentoring from 6th formers to girls throughout the school- to provide help if a pupil is struggling. There's nothing wrong with this and as I said many posts back I don't have an issue with this.

What I and many teachers baulk at is someone who is not even yet 16 thinking they can do the job as well as we can after we have studied for 4 years or more to learn how to teach.

Don't know why I bothered- all I had to do leave school with a GCSE and tell parents I wanted to tutor their child confused

bella65 Sat 20-Apr-13 14:39:21

I wanted to add something here which I hope may be useful to the OP ( if you are reading) and other parents.

On reflection, after thinking about the parents who say they would employ Stephanie, it seems to me that there is a lack of awareness over what a teacher/tutor actually does in a lesson.

I'd be really interested if Stephanie came back here and described how and what she would do in a lesson.

IME a tutor does not simply turn up and read with a KS1 or KS2 child, or work through their spelling lists, or ask them to write something.

Most of us- and I have taught and tutored for over 20 years- assess a child when we meet them. I work out a plan for half a term's lessons on what we need to cover. It takes me up to half an hour to prepare a lesson for each pupil . I photocopy work sheets from a huge range of books I have bought, make worksheets, and use educational games bought from specialist suppliers. I keep a record of each lesson and pupil's progress.

I do agree and have already said so, that teenagers teaching- or rather mentoring- younger secondary age pupils can work to an extent , but I think anyone who does this should do it on a voluntary basis or for a nominal fee.

CarpeVinum Sat 20-Apr-13 15:18:01

It's not UK specific, but this is very much the norm where I live.

Kids in your age group work as "homework helpers" rather than tutors. So basically it is walking a child through their homework, and pointing out the need to actually read (and then apply) instructions, talking them through the bits they forget or get stuck on, checking their work so errors can be corrected before it gets handed in.

Typically they work with primary school kids and the "about to take A levesl"/at uni kids work with middle school (KS3) to early high school kids.

They charge between 6 and 10 euros per hour, the younger kids being at the lower end of the scale. That is significantly less than the 15-30 euros (before taxes) per hour that professional tutors and teacher charge.

I think if you market yourself as a homework helper you'll be attractive to the parents who would like a less subject specific solution and don't expect you to teach as much as take over the relentless chivvying, checking and reminding "so what happens to the 1 you have to carry?" that their work leaves them no time or energy to do themselves. It also means that by hiring you homework is out of the way after school rather than dragging all over the evening when they get back from work.

It might not exisit like that in the UK, but perhaps if you word your ad alone those lines perhaps you'll discover a niche market that didn't realise it had a need ....until the solution appeared in a small ad in the newsagents. grin

TenBitSailor Sat 20-Apr-13 15:29:02

I wouldn't have someone your age as a babysitter, never mind a tutor, sorry.

Perhaps as a 'homework helper' if both DH and I were genuinely so tied up with time that we were at home but couldn't help our DCs, however I can't imagine getting to the point where we resort to paying a teenager to help with spellings.

I'm sure some parents really need some help with the 3.15-6pm part of the day, I suppose if you can offer to help with homework in this time you might get a bit more than babysitting rates, but I'm not sure how it would work legally and with tax.

I also agree that this can't be called tutoring - it would be wildly misleading to advertise as a tutor if you haven't even got the most basic of qualifications yet (but well done for such great predicted grades!)

Stephanie23 Sat 20-Apr-13 21:59:06

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the late reply.

Thank you so much for your responses! It's been really interesting reading through them and I appreciate all your feedback.

I'm sorry if I offended anyone by my post. I didn't mean for it to be seen as an advertisement- I talked about the details because there's got to be some basis for feedback to be made. I just wanted to get some opinions from mums like yourselves before I considered talking to some parents I know quite well and just mentioned my county because Bucks is well known for heavy tutoring due to being a grammar school area ect.

Perhaps I phrased my question wrong. What I would like to do is explain topics to children that they are finding difficult within the curriculum that parents might not be able to explain but I may be able to help on. Please be assured I wouldn't present myself like a qualified teacher/tutor if I were to advertise!

I can honestly understand why some of you would not want someone my age 'tutoring' because I don't have any qualifications ect. and that's why I wanted to ask your advice in the first place. Please don't get the wrong idea and think that I think I'm suddenly an expert because of some work experience and my predicted grades ect. - I think it's much better for a child to be taught by a qualified teacher and respect the amount of training teachers go through and am considering going into teaching as a career though a PGCE after university. However, I was inspired to ask this question because my parents have never been able to afford a maths tutor for me when they charge £20- £40 an hour and I would have been quite happy to have some help from someone a little older than me for a small fee.

Also, several of my friends who are my age tutor at Kumon centres, which they have told me about and I am on the waiting list there at the moment.

The last thing I want to do is have a negative impact on someone's eduction. If I were going to do it, I would start with people that I know as a 'homework helper/mentor' as has been suggested when I begin my A-levels in September. By that time, I will be CRB checked as I have to do that this year to help at a summer holiday club.

Bella 65- I would love to be able to do this voluntarily! I've signed up to do peer tutoring voluntarily next year in sixth form and read with the children of family friends who I also babysit for. I am saving up for a gap year with the Christian charity BMS World Missions and have had no luck finding shop work yet and I'd like to be able to earn a small sum doing something that I find rewarding and would hopefully benefit others that doesn't interfere with my own school work too much.

I agree with your comment about it being harder to teach basic literacy skills to primary school children than essay writing to people a few years younger than me. I realise that is something that requires a lot of training to do effectively so I would just build on and reinforce what the school has taught already.

In answer to your question about how I would teach a lesson, I would definitely make sure I was prepared with materials beforehand. I am working towards a Literacy Leaders qualification through school and have taught a prepared a lesson plan that the teachers use with differentiation for higher and lower ability students with aims and objectives for each task as well as breaking the plan up into starter, main activity and plenary. The hour long lesson I taught was on characterisation and helping the year eights understand how a writer makes the reader like or dislike a character with the aim of helping them with their upcoming creative writing assessment. For the starter, I got the girls to get into partners with one reading an extract describing Anne from Anne of Green Gables and one drawing a quick sketch of her annotated with their thoughts about the character. The next task was annotating an extract from Oliver Twist with the introduction of Bill Sikes picking out devices like similes and metaphors ect. and explaining what effect they have on the reader's opinion of him. We then discussed this as a class annotating on the whiteboard and the girls finished by writing their own character description integrated into a story using the skills they had seen in the rest of the lesson. It all took time to plan and photocopy the materials for 30 students so I do appreciate how much work goes into teaching.

I have also been going into a local primary school and taught groups of 4 children in year 3 on nouns and adjectives. I created packs of sentence cards and laid these out in front of each pair and asked them to insert adjective and adjective cards into the sentence to make them more interesting after we revised what adjectives and adverbs are. They then completed a worksheet identifying adjectives in sentences that I created and finished off by filling in a 'Wanted' poster about an imaginary character using creative nouns and adjectives to describe them.

Thanks again for all your feedback! As I mentioned earlier, I will probably start off as in a 'homework helper' role with family friends smile .

Haberdashery Sat 20-Apr-13 23:06:18

It is etc not ect. My six year old knows this and why. I would not be impressed with that level of illiteracy from someone planning to do tutoring or become a teacher. However, good luck with your plans and I am sure that helping smaller children with homework would be a good way to support future career plans as a teacher.

TenBitSailor Sun 21-Apr-13 03:57:40

Easy there, she's only a child.

Good luck with it, you seem to have a great approach, and I'm sure you'll do really well. smile

Stephanie23 Sun 21-Apr-13 08:51:57

Thanks for pointing out my mistake. Sorry- how embarassing! I do know the meaning of etc and have done since your daughter's age as well as being tested on it during my Latin studies. I know it is no excuse with the nature of the post but I had been revising all day before I wrote the post so I was tired. I do some voluntary manuscript assessing and online marketing for a small publishing company where literacy is important so I should have proofread my post.

Also, thanks for the encouragement for my GCSE exams from earlier posts.

I'd like to wish you luck. You seem very motivated.

However I would not employ you as a tutor. I feel that teaching involves more than just following a curriculum. One has to be adaptable in order to get the best from a child. I feel your age and lack of life experience would be a hindrance to that.

I'm sure some parents would love a homework helper though. This may be a more realistic route for you.

CarpeVinum Sun 21-Apr-13 11:53:03

It is etc not ect.

It's a typo, not evidence of illiteracy.

OP, with your attitude I'd hire you in heartbeat to help my kid with his homework.

I'll be delighted if my son reaches your age with just half your gumption.

middlesqueezed Sun 21-Apr-13 12:34:05

Stephanie, you sound absolutely great. You seem to have inadvertently stirred up a hornet's nest here but that's really not your fault - it's a perfectly reasonable question IMO.
I was certainly babysitting at your age, as are many people in our area where rates are quite high even without tutoring. I think you'll do best by word of mouth as much as possible, promoting yourself as somebody who can offer another pair of hands/supervision with the plus of being able to help with homework and even go through areas that a child may be finding difficult. As parents get to know you, you'll find that they tell others about you.

Ds2, who is 17, is currently tutoring two slightly younger teenagers in Maths. He is only charging £5 per hour. He's been part of a mentoring scheme at school, where the upper sixth (S6, they are called up here) help out younger children in school, so he has done a bit of tutoring there.

The parents of the children he's tutoring seem perfectly happy with him.

bella65 Sun 21-Apr-13 15:07:38

I'm glad you came back and told us some more.

I am still shock TBH that you think you can 'tutor' on the basis of your enthusiasm and experience in school. I don't know what the Literacy Leader training etc is.

Maybe you don't quite appreciate what is involved in teacher training?
I have 2 additional qualifications in teaching on top of my degree and all my teacher training was done under close supervision- including 1:1 teaching.

I don't doubt you have good intentions BUT I do think you haven't much idea what a trained teacher has had to do to get that label 'qualified'.

The difference is that I- and other teachers- have proved we can teach to our assessors. I don't for one minute believe that all teachers are good teachers, or that all tutors are good tutors, but you have to have a base line somewhere and as a parent taking on someone unknown I'd want someone who was at least qualified.

I am currently tutoring some GCSE pupils and I really can't get my head round how a parent would choose someone the same age as them on the basis that the 'tutor' has a GCSE grade in the subject.

Actually- it's not you I am really shocked at- it's other parents here who would be happy to use you ( and that's nothing personal) because it seems to show they don't have a clue about teacher training, or what tutors do to get the best out of their pupils.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 21-Apr-13 15:23:05

Absolutely no offence to you as you sound lovely but I'm aghast that Kumon employ 15 year olds.

I run children's drama and dance classes and employ assistants from the age of 16 onwards working under the supervision of a teacher. Between 18-21 (whilst studying for their degree/teaching diploma) they may take classes occasionally. It's not just knowing your subject its a host of other things to do with behaviour, how children learn, SEN etc.

When I was 20 at uni I went on a placement to a local primary school. I was a music student and as the school had no music teacher was given classes and small groups to work with. Although my subject knowledge was superior to anyone else in the school (I was asked what was the difference between a diatonic & pentatonic scale) I was totally out if my depth.

insanityscratching Sun 21-Apr-13 15:26:26

I wouldn't employ a teenage tutor, sorry but then I've never needed to use a tutor for my children.
I was surprised when my ds's work colleague employed him to tutor her son through GCSE maths tbh even though ds had maths and further maths at A2 level.Particularly as ds (he was 22 then) had never tutored anyone and she was paying £20ph.
Ds found it far more nerve racking waiting for his pupil's results than he had his own tbh and in fact would have refunded his colleague had her son not got the C he needed rather than the E predicted.
As it was he got the C and everyone was happy and ds has been asked to tutor his sister and another colleague's child next year.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 21-Apr-13 15:27:04

OP I hope you don't think we're not being helpfu to your friend but it wouldn't do any good to tell her she has a case when she doesn't.

With any luck shell go to the top of the waiting list and someone else will turn down their place.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 21-Apr-13 15:27:37

How did that happen - sorry wrong thread.

bruffin Sun 21-Apr-13 15:30:55

Think you got the wrong thread Picture

Stephanie23 Sun 21-Apr-13 15:56:49

Bella 65- Thanks for explaining some more about teacher training smile . My cousin is an NQT in her first year of teaching a year five class so I've talked to her about her training too. Sorry if you feel I've disrespected all the years of work that goes into becoming such a qualified teacher, that wasn't my intention at all!

I was surprised when my friends told me about their Kumon work too and that was partly why I wanted to get some feedback from here because I was doubtful about parents views but thought that if parents are paying for their children to attend the centre to be taught by people around my age , then it may be possible privately. Clearly that's not the case for a lot of mums and I totally understand that.

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 21-Apr-13 16:04:59

bella I think you should calm down a bit. All that's happened is she's used the word 'tutor' instead of 'homework helper'. What she wants to do is help with homework. The vast majority of children are helped with their homework by their non-teacher parents. At our school they run an hour long workshop to show parents how to help/what methods they use at school. A 16 year old is perfectly capable of attending something like that and using it to help a younger child.

In answer to your earlier question, I wouldn't let an A-level biology student operate on my child. If you don't understand the difference between helping a 6 year old with their reading/spellings and operating on someone, I wouldn't want you teaching my DC's either!!

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 21-Apr-13 16:48:04

I strongly suspect the parents don't know it's teenagers tutoring at Kumon.

bella65 Mon 22-Apr-13 09:08:14

Outrage- calm down ? hmm
Surely you agree that there is a big difference between a parent helping their child, and a child being paid to help another child? I think you haven't read all the posts properly. Stephanie was originally suggesting she could teach up to KS3 and it's only since this thread has developed that the idea of a 'homework' helper arose.

I don't want to be too harsh on Stephanie because I think she sounds a genuinely nice girl, so my comments are aimed not at her but anyone in her shoes. I'd consider using a 16 year old as a child-minder/au pair/ mum's helper after school- who would be another pair of hands if I was busy- but I wouldn't use anyone like that for serious tutoring.

Kumon is a scheme where quality is IMO not always at the top of the list. I would never advise any parent to use Kumon over 1:1 tutoring. It's cheaper, yes, but a lot of the work has to be done at home too, putting pressure on parents. And people who run and teach Kumon do not have to be teachers.

Stephanie you may well be too young to be employed formally- you'd need to look into it- but I think you could look into working at one of the many after school clubs where assistants help with homework along with playing with the children.

bruffin Mon 22-Apr-13 09:29:25

The school suggested my friends ds be paid to tutor younger children when he was in 6th form.
I also have friends who have paid 6th formers to tutor their child. Its not unusual and from what i can gather works well.

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.

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!

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?

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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'?

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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?!?

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.

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.

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

Completely agree with Happymum22.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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)

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]

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