Advanced search

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

(103 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.

secretscwirrels Fri 19-Apr-13 10:40:47

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.

secretscwirrels Fri 19-Apr-13 10:44:31

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.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: