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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!

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.

secretscwirrels Fri 19-Apr-13 16:24:56

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.

TheOneWithTheHair Sun 21-Apr-13 09:04:08

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.

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