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Regarding a private tutor

(51 Posts)
decisionsdecisions123 Sat 17-Oct-15 17:30:25

I recently decided it was time to get a tutor for my son in a subject he is kind of failing in (GCSE). We had one lesson for an hour (we pay for an hours tuition), all good. Then the next lesson came around and I had made it clear on the phone that an important exam was coming up which would contribute to the final grade. I had even said that if possible, could we fit in another lesson in the same week to make sure he was prepared for it. So the tutor comes, I leave them to it, and 40 mins later I am called to the room because the tutor is now getting their coat on to leave. Now, I would have gone to the room when the hour was coming up so I was really quite shocked to see that the lesson was over so soon. Tutor asked if we still wanted the extra lesson and I said we will see. Yes, I should have asked why the lesson was over 20 mins early but I was just embarrassed to ask for some reason.

When the tutor left I asked my son what had happened and he said that they were both just sat there looking at each other not knowing what to do and so the tutor said they would leave!

AIBU to think that if you are a tutor who charges for an hour then you do an hours worth of work, especially in the early days? There are plenty of things they could have done. His school book was in front of him if the tutor was stuck for ideas.

I am not sure what to do now, to continue and see what happens or look for someone else. The tutor seemed to know their stuff and isn't charging the ridiculous £30+ an hour that other people like to charge and I cant really afford to go anywhere near that amount anyway so I feel my options are limited.

Many thanks for reading and I would welcome your comments!

someonestolemynick Sat 17-Oct-15 17:36:21

I'm a tutor. This is really poor.

If I ran out of stuff I plan, I improvise something else to do. I would get rid...

Caboodle Sat 17-Oct-15 17:37:53

Yanbu at all. This is why I don't tutor btw-it is hugely different than teaching a full class and requires particular skills. You should've said something at the time though.

MistyMeena Sat 17-Oct-15 17:38:01

That sounds very odd. Does the tutor have qualifications in the subject? Anyone can set themselves up as a tutor. There may be a reason why they don't charge as much as the others.

Leavingsosoon Sat 17-Oct-15 17:38:36

That's crazy!

DEFINITELY look for someone else!

someonestolemynick Sat 17-Oct-15 17:39:11

BTW if you got the tutor through an agency, please let them know.

I would certainly want to know if. Amy of my tutors did this.

decisionsdecisions123 Sat 17-Oct-15 17:46:43

Thank you everyone. No, I don't think they have formal teaching qualifications but I am aware that this would increase the price considerably and I'm really not in a position to pay more than say £20 an hour which is pushing it for me but I feel like any help is better than no help. I know that anyone can set themselves up as a tutor and that not all are good, even the expensive ones.

The tutor comes straight from work and is no doubt tired but I think it would be really easy to come up with an hours worth of stuff considering he is struggling with the subject and could do with time spent going over and over basic stuff. It is fairly obvious its just a bit of extra cash and they don't actually care if the student passes the exam at the end!

I didn't get the tutor from an agency. My son felt happy the first visit. I think he didn't quite know what to say about the second one and I found myself getting cross and asking him why he didn't ask to cover x, y and z when I should have actually asked the tutor what the problem was, but as I said earlier, I was embarrassed and didn't know what to say in that split second as I walked through the door and found the tutor already putting their coat on!

I am temped to give it one more go and in the meantime look for someone else simply because time is of the essence! Aarrgghh!

Topseyt Sat 17-Oct-15 17:53:41

If you pay for an hour you should get an hour. It is that simple.

That tutor was taking the piss. I would look for another one. Word of mouth from other people is often the best way, and yes, anyone who does not give you what you are paying for should be tackled directly at the time.

TassleTits Sat 17-Oct-15 17:56:27

ridiculous £30+ an hour

Erm, that's not ridiculous. I charge £30 an hour and do loads of preparation and follow up for every student and for every lesson, as well as the actual contact time. You get what you pay for. I understand that you can't afford a qualified tutor's fees, but that doesn't make them ridiculous.

Hairyfairy01 Sat 17-Oct-15 17:58:39

So what experience does the tutor have? Do they even have any knowledge of the subject?

Caboodle Sat 17-Oct-15 18:01:22

To be fair I think tassletits has a point. Qualified tutors are usually qualified teachers ime and they spend time planning not only the subject matter but also the best way to teach your child. You are paying for their skills and experience. I hope you have a better experience next time.

Ragwort Sat 17-Oct-15 18:01:38

Why on earth are you employing someone to tutor your child who clearly doesn't know what to do? confused. And I really think a tutor does need formal teaching qualifications if they are 'teaching' someone who's performance needs to improve. I pay under £30 an hour for my DS's tutor, but he never leaves before the hour is up, has clearly prepared exactly what to do - but is flexible enough to change if DS asks for help with his homework grin or something specific that has cropped up at school that week, and the tutor gives me a thorough update after each session.

Change the tutor.

decisionsdecisions123 Sat 17-Oct-15 18:16:07

An awful lot of people are charging at least £30 an hour and they have no qualifications at all other than say, having an A level in the subject, so I do think its ridiculous.

I was employing her, Ragwort, because the initial lesson was fine and my son said he really enjoyed it and didn't notice that it had been a whole hour at all. How was I to know that this would happen the second lesson round?

Like I said before, I don't have £30 an hour to spare so my options are limited.

I was a little surprised that for the first visit, rather than take a few minutes to ask about our aims etc she just pretty much walked in , said hello and started asking my son if he knew such and such a thing and I felt like a bit of a spare part but then I'm not an expert in the world of private tuition. I do realise that the tutor is probably not very experienced and certainly doesn't seem to be interested in planning and preparing in advance, just wants to turn up, do the hour (or much less) and then quickly leave.

Scarydinosaurs Sat 17-Oct-15 18:16:57

I would see if you could get a proper tutor once a fortnight instead- better someone who knows what they're doing than someone just doing it cheap.

TassleTits Sat 17-Oct-15 18:19:25

You say the tutor seems to know their stuff. If you do want to give it another try, you could buy some extra workbooks/revision guides for the subject, get DS to try some questions from the areas he needs help with and send him to the next session with specific queries arising from the workbooks, which the tutor can go through with him. At least that will direct the time to the areas where it's needed, and hopefully provide a starting point for some more proactive help from the tutor. Sounds as though both your DS and the tutor were waiting for each other to structure the lesson!

sakura Sat 17-Oct-15 18:21:03

I tutored for years. Part of my job as I saw it was making sure I filled out the hour. Not your fault if the tutor hasn't planned properly. Some children are more adept at learning than others and get things quickly, doesn't meAn you can just put on your coat and leave!!!

sakura Sat 17-Oct-15 18:23:49

£20 is a bit cheap though. I would probably expect 45 mins for that. However if the tutor is not qualified then that is another factor to take into consideration. Depends then how experienced they are.

PurpleDaisies Sat 17-Oct-15 18:24:23

I'm a private tutor. This person is clearly not up to the job. You absolutely have to be properly prepared-it sounds like she ran out of stuff to do and couldn't improvise anything else.

Could you ask around and see if anyone has used soneone they liked? It is totally unacceptable to leave after 40mins and expect to be paid in full and it sounds like she has no idea how to deal with kids outside lessons. It is a completely different kind of teaching.

PurpleDaisies Sat 17-Oct-15 18:26:26

Regarding the cost, it depends where you are in the country £20 is the going rate for GCSE here (East Midlands).

decisionsdecisions123 Sat 17-Oct-15 18:28:55

Thanks all, it certainly wasn't a case of him getting it so quickly that the lesson could end quickly! I think it was a case of, well, I've helped him figure out what to write in the exam so I can just leave now.

Perhaps one lesson a fortnight might be an idea but I worry that its too big a gap in between.

Perhaps the workbook idea is a good one, thanks for the suggestion. Its just a bit annoying that I'm paying someone then having to pretty much plan a lesson out for them too!

I will give it one more go and see what happens/what time the coat goes on this time smile

Hairyfairy01 Sat 17-Oct-15 18:30:45

So is it an a level student who's tutoring? Or an undergrad in the same subject? I'm confused.

decisionsdecisions123 Sat 17-Oct-15 18:32:35

Hi, not, its not an A level student, its someone who has a degree in the subject.

PurpleDaisies Sat 17-Oct-15 18:33:00

I don't agree with the workbook idea at all, unless this is the only private tutor in that subject in the area. If you're using a tutor they absolutely should provide the content. If yours isn't just get soneone decent who will.

decisionsdecisions123 Sat 17-Oct-15 18:35:11

Many thanks for all your opinions.

PurpleDaisies Sat 17-Oct-15 18:35:16

I think you're right about one lesson a fortnight not being often enough. It can work (some of mine do this) if the student is really motivated and prepared to work in the mean time. I give them past papers to do and then mark them between the lessons.

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