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3 hours travel time for 60-minute lesson

(26 Posts)
Pariswhenitdrizzles Thu 21-Sep-17 19:33:38

I currently do tuition sessions on a freelance basis in London. I'm registered with an agency, who recommend me for work to clients but also ask me to travel to my pupils' homes. I'm not paid travel expenses, but the pay for each lesson is quite good.

I started with a new pupil yesterday. It takes me 90 minutes for me to get to them and 90 minutes to get back from theirs to mine. I knew it would take a long time to travel to them, but I was willing to do this as I do need the money blush

Anyway, I suggested to the pupil's family that we could do a Skype session instead of face-to-face tuition as I had to travel from a long way away.

They agreed to Skype, but said that they would also like regular face-to-face sessions. I asked if it may be possible to meet in a more central location, just to offer an alternative that may work well for both of us, and they mentioned that they never really travel very centrally.

Any suggestions about how I resolve this please?

unfortunateevents Thu 21-Sep-17 19:37:32

If I was paying for tuition and the tutor asked me after the first lesson if I would travel 45 mins to ... where exactly? - a cafe, library? ... or would do the tuition by Skype instead I would say a definite NO! They are paying for tuition in their home, if you can't or are not willing to get there, then don't take the job. I can't imagine the agency would be too impressed either with you renegotiating the arrangement.

Pariswhenitdrizzles Thu 21-Sep-17 19:55:18

unfortunate thanks for your post.

I appreciate and understand what you're saying.

For Skype sessions though, the tuition would still be in the client's home and it is exactly the same as face-to-face sessions.

My living circumstances changed between now and when I first accepted the job, so I'm travelling further now than I would be when I first accepted the job.

Despite this, I decided not to cancel the tuition sessions with the pupil though as I really didn't/don't want to let them down.

Pariswhenitdrizzles Thu 21-Sep-17 20:17:32

Anyone else with any suggestions please? I am prepared to be told I'm being U! smile

stella23 Thu 21-Sep-17 20:17:58

If I was the client I'd start looking for a new tutor tbh

CoxsOrangePippin Thu 21-Sep-17 20:19:48

Skype sessions don't feel the same though. It's harder to build a rapport, and you can't easily look at a document together.

skyzumarubble Thu 21-Sep-17 20:23:38

I'm sorry but I'd be looking for a tutor - Skype isn't exactly the same at all.

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 21-Sep-17 20:24:46

I would not continue to tutor this client. I regularly turn down those recommended by the agency who are too far away for me to travel to - that 3 hour travel time could fit two more lessons in.

And Skype just isn't the same, having done both.

Leavingonajet Thu 21-Sep-17 20:25:34

As someone who has employed tutors, both those that travel to us and those we travel to I don't think this arrangement is going to work for either of you. I think it is fine to say that your situation has changed from when you first accepted the job. I have tried language sessions in a cafe when we really needed an alternative to home and it wasn't great.

Wiifitmama Thu 21-Sep-17 20:28:32

I work as a tutor and I don't think there is a resolution to this situation. They are perfectly within their rights to want a tutor to come to their home and not do either Skype or to travel to somewhere more convenient for you. They are the ones paying. I look vary carefully at travel for any student I take on as it is just not worth it otherwise - and I am paid at the top of the scales for every agency I work with. I do some Skype tuition but that is usually on the request of the client and is what they are specifically looking for. I would completely disagree with your statement that Skype tuition is exactly the same as face to face.

Possumfish Thu 21-Sep-17 20:29:05

I'd be in the market for a new tutor....sorry. Skype isn't the same at all. And I'd want a major reduction in costs for a Skype session.

Ladycremer Thu 21-Sep-17 20:30:10

They obviously value your skills. Is the money really worth 4 hours work plus petrol. If it's 100 quid that's 25 an hour. If it's less you do the math. I'd say sorry it didn't work out and concentrate on freeing yourself up for 4 full paid hours smile

WanderingTrolley1 Thu 21-Sep-17 20:31:32

Skype isn't sufficient.

Trollspoopglitter Thu 21-Sep-17 20:32:37

I would have expected you to propose a huge reduction in your Skype session because it's understood that included in a lesson is your travel time/cost.

I'm really surprised they haven't raised merry hell with your agency. What you've proposed is bonkers. If you were willing to do Skype sessions until a new replacement was in place - then that would show concern for your pupil. But you made a move which you planned and didn't think it through at all. Unless you've got a huge waiting list and you're "the" tutor everyone is fawning over, not sure how this is to anyone else's benefit but yours and yours alone.

Ttbb Thu 21-Sep-17 20:38:45

Mmmm. The only alternative would be going to their school library to do the tuition either during a free period or before or after school. I would definitely not be pleased if I was asked to travel for tutoring sessions that had been arranged to be done in my own house. Don't you have any pupils on the way there? Can't you arrange it so that you go to one pupil on the way there (or more) and then go to the one that lives far away so that you end up saving a bit of time that way?

YouCantArgueWithStupid Thu 21-Sep-17 20:50:03

I think you're being unreasonable. Could you not pick up more hours in that area to make it worth doing the travel?

Pariswhenitdrizzles Thu 21-Sep-17 22:31:44

Thank you so much for your replies, everyone.

I completely see that I'm being unreasonable. I was just wondering whether Skype might be a good idea, but to be honest, it wouldn't work out very well, for the reasons that PP have all pointed out.

Unfortunately, it looks like the assignment really is too far away from me (not to give too much away, but I'm in west London and the client is around Woolwich).

I really did genuinely want to work with the pupil and to help them out. I focussed more on this and the fact that I'd be teaching them a subject that I absolutely love teaching than how far it was going to be, to be honest. In the long-term especially, travelling to theirs is not going to be sustainable.

I think that the best solution would be to let the client know that unfortunately I won't be able to tutor them anymore. I think I'll contact the agency and let them know about my situation and that I unfortunately won't be able to carry on with the tuition.

Could I ask for some advice on how to word the email to the agency please?

Pariswhenitdrizzles Thu 21-Sep-17 23:04:45

Just bumping this - hope you don't mind.

AtHomeDadGlos Thu 21-Sep-17 23:07:55

I'll help you word the email, I charge £30 an hour...

You're an academic tutor. Get on and word it yourself.

bridgetreilly Thu 21-Sep-17 23:08:49

Dear agency,

The travel time to Client X means that it is not realistic for me to continue tutoring them. I live in Y and in order to maximise tuition time, I prefer not to travel more than an hour to each client.

existentialmoment Thu 21-Sep-17 23:11:36

For Skype sessions though, the tuition would still be in the client's home and it is exactly the same as face-to-face sessions

You're not in their home and it isnt remotely the same as face to face lessons.

gorygloria Thu 21-Sep-17 23:13:20

I don't think you're unreasonable, just trying to find a solution to a problem that's arisen since you took the job so that neither you nor the student lose out but I think it's unrealistic.

MrsKnightley Thu 21-Sep-17 23:29:11

Depends on the age of the pupil. Because we live remotely we have had Skype tutors before. No issues. We just send across work before the session by using an app to turn it into a PDF or just sending a photo. Both kids (teens) have found it works fine. But then we are not in Zlondon so had no other choice really.

astratty76666 Fri 22-Sep-17 00:07:07

You're not unreasonable. 3 hours travel time for an hour's worth of work is ridiculous. Ditch the clients.

pinkdelight Fri 22-Sep-17 00:15:00

It's bonkers. London is full of tutors and clients. Both you and the client should be able to find a much better fit closer to home.

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