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To feel really taken for granted?

(21 Posts)
Attethersend43 Fri 12-Aug-16 17:06:40

I am a private tutor and charge very good value rates, am very accommodating of parents' changes of plan (ie don't charge to cancel!), travel to tutees etc.

However I am starting to feel taken advantage of. I am constantly asked to provide lots of homework, which takes a while to plan, and given no extra thanks for this. I am also constantly asked if children can have lessons throughout summer hols - I am very flexible but because of this it is assumed I am free constantly - I do have a life too!!!

Attethersend43 Fri 12-Aug-16 17:08:38

I agree for an easy life but am absolutely busting a gut to get to lessons far away from my home as I don't want to let the child(ren) in question down before big assessments or exams.

I also constantly give extra time, 15 mins here, 10 mins there.

I feel like people just see it as a right not a privilege and it really, really grinds my gears!!!!!!

Attethersend43 Fri 12-Aug-16 17:10:21

So please, please appreciate your tutors and anyone who works for you! If they go above and beyond, recognise and appreciate that. A simple thank you would make my day.

Attethersend43 Fri 12-Aug-16 17:10:59

Sorry rant over blush

My poor DC don't get to see me as much as they would like because if this either. Nightmare

19lottie82 Fri 12-Aug-16 17:11:04

Can you not just give them past paper questions to do?

Also, surely tutoring prices cover your pre and post session prep? I would have thought that was an I pirating part of the job?

19lottie82 Fri 12-Aug-16 17:11:29

Important! Not I pirating!!

daysarespinningfast Fri 12-Aug-16 17:13:04

Can't you just politely say no?

myownprivateidaho Fri 12-Aug-16 17:21:18

I think YABU. You're providing a service, for which you charge. It's up to you to set the terms of that service. Don't do it on terms you don't want. Charge extra for homework, or say you won't set it, or raise your prices to take into account homework prep time. As for being insulted that people ask to engage you in the holidays... well that attitude seems a bit strange for a freelancer. But just make clear when you start, or on your website or whatever, that you only work during termtimes.

Attethersend43 Fri 12-Aug-16 17:24:10

Sorry I didn't explain clearly. No, I'm free during holidays. It's just that people will say well we'll have a lesson at 9am on Monday and 6pm on Thursday. They are existing clients nearing exams and don't ask me when I'm free - they tell me! I do it because I don't want to let the kids down, but I wish they appreciated that I too have a life...

peppatax Fri 12-Aug-16 17:26:28

'Sorry that doesn't work for me?'

myownprivateidaho Fri 12-Aug-16 17:26:55

Oh ok, yep, that is rude. I think you need to ostentatiously pull out a diary when they say this and tell them you need to see if you can make it work.

ChocolateBudgeCake Fri 12-Aug-16 17:27:37

They can tell you all they like but that's when you negotiate and say Sorry that doesn't work for me. The more of a yes man you are the more they'll expect it.

I see where you're coming from, DH is a tutor but PP is right - you set the terms.

Attethersend43 Fri 12-Aug-16 17:29:09

You're right. I feel bad though as mentioned because they are nearing exams. But it's a bit galling when the children have five sleepovers a week and yet still want to see me three times a week! I don't want to leave them in the shit but God sometimes I just want to give it all up.

Attethersend43 Fri 12-Aug-16 17:30:11

I feel bad though not being available/bring seen as not being available before their assessments or exams. So end up trying to make it work.

Onlytimewilltell Fri 12-Aug-16 17:31:32

You need to be more assertive then.
9am? No sorry that dosent work for me, I have space at 11.15
Yes I can set homework, here is my pricelist for such and such.
Start packing up at the end of the session, you time is up, we will continue on such and such a date

Dragongirl10 Fri 12-Aug-16 17:35:11

The problem is that you need to set boundaries and be able to calmly, politely stick to them, l know a friend who is a tutor who charges travel time over 15 mins, goes prepared but if asked to set multiple sets of homework charges by time taken. Late cancellations under 24 hours, are let go the first time and charged for the second.

He always informs new people at the beginning his terms and conditions and asks if that is Ok with people.

Don't run over the time unless you are truly happy to as then people expect it.

For holidays can't you set times you are happy to work out at the beginning and book within those times only.

I think people will be more accomodating if you lay this out well in advance. ( and probably be more respectful)

Lunde Fri 12-Aug-16 17:37:42

You need to be more assertive and decide which days you want to work and which days you do not.
Get out your diary and block out those days that you don't want to work on the diary - if parents demand a day that you do not want to work just pull out the diary and say you are not available on that day and offer another day/time.
Perhaps also reconsider your policy on late cancellations and possibly charging so that you don't waste time preparing sessions unecessarily

Penfold007 Fri 12-Aug-16 17:39:45

Your a self employed business person so start acting like one. Get a physical diary and when clients want to book sessions tell them you will check your diary, if you have a space and want the appointment then book it, if your unavailable then a simple 'I'm not available then but can offer X or Z' is fine.
You may not be able to do it with existing clue to but review your charges and conditions. Undercharging sells you short and impresses no one. If you are prepared to give and mark homework either factor it in to your hourly rate or state the extra charges clearly. As for giving extra free time, don't. Put firm boundaries in place and stick to them.
Dont sell your self short flowers

Sandalwearingdoglady Fri 12-Aug-16 17:45:15

The problem with your line of work is that it's quite personal. You're dealing with people's children, probably in their home and that blurs boundaries a bit. I can understand that because my job involves the same sort of thing.

But yes, as others have said, you do need to be more assertive. This is your business and while you do of course have to keep your clients happy, you should have set rules for how this will work.


Yes you should charge for cancellations.

Either extra homework is included as part of the price or it isn't - it's up to you.

If they want an appointment at a time that doesn't suit you - don't do it.

The more you do it the easier it will get. I've been running my business for 15 years and only pulled myself together 2 years ago. Glad I did though and I'm much happier for it.

ImperialBlether Fri 12-Aug-16 17:46:30

With regard to homework, I would either print off the exam papers and sell them to the parents (why would you pay for this?) or send them links to the correct papers. It's more reliable if you print them off.

Which exams are you tutoring them for, if they are at this time of year?

Are they expecting you to mark papers? If so, you need to be paid for that.

As others have said, take a diary and only book them in when it suits you. You are letting them ride roughshod over you.

ellesbellesxxx Fri 12-Aug-16 18:10:55

Another tutor here!
I just give my availability and ask them which day/time suits... They have to fit in with me!!!
As for homework, if it's something like 11+, I use those 10 min test books/practice books for homework so it's easy to administer.
Out of interest, what do you do if someone has booked in and then doesn't show up? Do you charge?

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