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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!

CarpeVinum Sun 21-Apr-13 11:53:03

It is etc not ect.

It's a typo, not evidence of illiteracy.

OP, with your attitude I'd hire you in heartbeat to help my kid with his homework.

I'll be delighted if my son reaches your age with just half your gumption.

middlesqueezed Sun 21-Apr-13 12:34:05

Stephanie, you sound absolutely great. You seem to have inadvertently stirred up a hornet's nest here but that's really not your fault - it's a perfectly reasonable question IMO.
I was certainly babysitting at your age, as are many people in our area where rates are quite high even without tutoring. I think you'll do best by word of mouth as much as possible, promoting yourself as somebody who can offer another pair of hands/supervision with the plus of being able to help with homework and even go through areas that a child may be finding difficult. As parents get to know you, you'll find that they tell others about you.

Ds2, who is 17, is currently tutoring two slightly younger teenagers in Maths. He is only charging £5 per hour. He's been part of a mentoring scheme at school, where the upper sixth (S6, they are called up here) help out younger children in school, so he has done a bit of tutoring there.

The parents of the children he's tutoring seem perfectly happy with him.

bella65 Sun 21-Apr-13 15:07:38

I'm glad you came back and told us some more.

I am still shock TBH that you think you can 'tutor' on the basis of your enthusiasm and experience in school. I don't know what the Literacy Leader training etc is.

Maybe you don't quite appreciate what is involved in teacher training?
I have 2 additional qualifications in teaching on top of my degree and all my teacher training was done under close supervision- including 1:1 teaching.

I don't doubt you have good intentions BUT I do think you haven't much idea what a trained teacher has had to do to get that label 'qualified'.

The difference is that I- and other teachers- have proved we can teach to our assessors. I don't for one minute believe that all teachers are good teachers, or that all tutors are good tutors, but you have to have a base line somewhere and as a parent taking on someone unknown I'd want someone who was at least qualified.

I am currently tutoring some GCSE pupils and I really can't get my head round how a parent would choose someone the same age as them on the basis that the 'tutor' has a GCSE grade in the subject.

Actually- it's not you I am really shocked at- it's other parents here who would be happy to use you ( and that's nothing personal) because it seems to show they don't have a clue about teacher training, or what tutors do to get the best out of their pupils.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 21-Apr-13 15:23:05

Absolutely no offence to you as you sound lovely but I'm aghast that Kumon employ 15 year olds.

I run children's drama and dance classes and employ assistants from the age of 16 onwards working under the supervision of a teacher. Between 18-21 (whilst studying for their degree/teaching diploma) they may take classes occasionally. It's not just knowing your subject its a host of other things to do with behaviour, how children learn, SEN etc.

When I was 20 at uni I went on a placement to a local primary school. I was a music student and as the school had no music teacher was given classes and small groups to work with. Although my subject knowledge was superior to anyone else in the school (I was asked what was the difference between a diatonic & pentatonic scale) I was totally out if my depth.

insanityscratching Sun 21-Apr-13 15:26:26

I wouldn't employ a teenage tutor, sorry but then I've never needed to use a tutor for my children.
I was surprised when my ds's work colleague employed him to tutor her son through GCSE maths tbh even though ds had maths and further maths at A2 level.Particularly as ds (he was 22 then) had never tutored anyone and she was paying £20ph.
Ds found it far more nerve racking waiting for his pupil's results than he had his own tbh and in fact would have refunded his colleague had her son not got the C he needed rather than the E predicted.
As it was he got the C and everyone was happy and ds has been asked to tutor his sister and another colleague's child next year.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 21-Apr-13 15:27:04

OP I hope you don't think we're not being helpfu to your friend but it wouldn't do any good to tell her she has a case when she doesn't.

With any luck shell go to the top of the waiting list and someone else will turn down their place.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 21-Apr-13 15:27:37

How did that happen - sorry wrong thread.

bruffin Sun 21-Apr-13 15:30:55

Think you got the wrong thread Picture

Stephanie23 Sun 21-Apr-13 15:56:49

Bella 65- Thanks for explaining some more about teacher training smile . My cousin is an NQT in her first year of teaching a year five class so I've talked to her about her training too. Sorry if you feel I've disrespected all the years of work that goes into becoming such a qualified teacher, that wasn't my intention at all!

I was surprised when my friends told me about their Kumon work too and that was partly why I wanted to get some feedback from here because I was doubtful about parents views but thought that if parents are paying for their children to attend the centre to be taught by people around my age , then it may be possible privately. Clearly that's not the case for a lot of mums and I totally understand that.

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 21-Apr-13 16:04:59

bella I think you should calm down a bit. All that's happened is she's used the word 'tutor' instead of 'homework helper'. What she wants to do is help with homework. The vast majority of children are helped with their homework by their non-teacher parents. At our school they run an hour long workshop to show parents how to help/what methods they use at school. A 16 year old is perfectly capable of attending something like that and using it to help a younger child.

In answer to your earlier question, I wouldn't let an A-level biology student operate on my child. If you don't understand the difference between helping a 6 year old with their reading/spellings and operating on someone, I wouldn't want you teaching my DC's either!!

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 21-Apr-13 16:48:04

I strongly suspect the parents don't know it's teenagers tutoring at Kumon.

bella65 Mon 22-Apr-13 09:08:14

Outrage- calm down ? hmm
Surely you agree that there is a big difference between a parent helping their child, and a child being paid to help another child? I think you haven't read all the posts properly. Stephanie was originally suggesting she could teach up to KS3 and it's only since this thread has developed that the idea of a 'homework' helper arose.

I don't want to be too harsh on Stephanie because I think she sounds a genuinely nice girl, so my comments are aimed not at her but anyone in her shoes. I'd consider using a 16 year old as a child-minder/au pair/ mum's helper after school- who would be another pair of hands if I was busy- but I wouldn't use anyone like that for serious tutoring.

Kumon is a scheme where quality is IMO not always at the top of the list. I would never advise any parent to use Kumon over 1:1 tutoring. It's cheaper, yes, but a lot of the work has to be done at home too, putting pressure on parents. And people who run and teach Kumon do not have to be teachers.

Stephanie you may well be too young to be employed formally- you'd need to look into it- but I think you could look into working at one of the many after school clubs where assistants help with homework along with playing with the children.

bruffin Mon 22-Apr-13 09:29:25

The school suggested my friends ds be paid to tutor younger children when he was in 6th form.
I also have friends who have paid 6th formers to tutor their child. Its not unusual and from what i can gather works well.

glaurung Mon 22-Apr-13 10:00:26

ds helped dd with several of her GCSEs when he was two school years ahead and he was a complete star - patient, clear with explanations and really helpful. I would have been happy to employ him if he hadn't been my son.

QuintessentialOHara Mon 22-Apr-13 10:11:50

I would not use you as a tutor. I have seen the quality and professionalism my sons tutor showed, when she was preparing him for 11+ and generally helping him closing a gap in his learning after having been overseas.
It is in my opinion a highly skilled job! She knows the methods of teaching, how to explain something in various ways so that a 10 year old can understand, keep him motivated and get an "I can do it attitude", rather than discouraged. I dont think a teenager could do her job!

I would however hire you for homework help. My y3 child has no problems, but it is a chore for me and he is playing up with me, he is a procrastinator with little patience. He rather do cartwheels and look for bugs in the garden, than his homework, and at tennis he is doing carthweels and stands on his head while waiting his turn... You could come and try it out! grin

A perfect scenario:

I take my husband out for our weekly salsa classes. You spend half an hour with the kids supervising homework, and explaning any issues my 6y has, and help Y3 with his projects and literacy, then you give them supper and cajole them into bed.

I come home, happy and relaxed, knowing my little darlings are asleep, and their homework is done. I would pay more than babysitting rates for this!

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 22-Apr-13 13:34:44

'Surely you agree that there is a big difference between a parent helping their child, and a child being paid to help another child?'

Not really, no. I agree there is a big difference between a qualified teacher tutoring and a teenager helping with homework. I don't think there is any difference at all between a parent and a 16-year old helping. In fact, in some cases, the 16 year old may be better, if the parents haven't had a good education or went to school overseas and didn't learn in the same way that their DC are being taught for example.

'I'd consider using a 16 year old as a child-minder/au pair/ mum's helper '

A childminder is a qualified, registered, insured, self-employed childcare professional. Do you see the difference between that and a 16 year old with no qualifications/insurance/registration? What you mean is babysitter. You used the wrong term. Just like the OP did. Easy to do isn't it?

vvviola Mon 22-Apr-13 13:42:45

I agree with what QuintisentialOHara said - as a "babysitter plus" absolutely. I used to make a (to me) small fortune doing exactly that in my later years at school. I would supervise homework, read stories, introduced the older child to some poetry, and then put them to bed. Parents used to pay well over the going babysitting rate plus I used to stay over and get brought breakfast in bed by the kids at weekends

For busy parents, I think something like that can be really useful - and the example of an older child for the younger ones to look up to can be worth more than any babysitting rate.

bella65 Mon 22-Apr-13 14:26:05

Why not re-read the OP's first post?
I would like to be able to tutor in primary school subjects as well as KS3 English

You said: A childminder is a qualified, registered, insured, self-employed childcare professional. Do you see the difference between that and a 16 year old with no qualifications/insurance/registration?

Substitute the words 'professional teacher/tutor' for 'childminder' and the point is made.

And not all childminders are what you said- a lot of childminding is done as unofficial 'childminding' by friends and neighbours.

Katryn Mon 22-Apr-13 14:42:05

I currently have an A level student tutoring my Year 4 daughter once a week, with her maths. She asked for £8 an hour and I pay £10. It works quite well, but I'm not I'm going to use her if my DS sits 10 or 11+ as I am not sure she would be experienced enough, although I haven't made my mind up yet. She doesn't have the confidence (outwardly) that the girl who tutored my DS had when he was doing 11+ but then she was 26, a tutor and charged £35 an hour.

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 22-Apr-13 18:59:15

Why not re-read the OP's first post?
I would like to be able to tutor in primary school subjects as well as KS3 English'

I read it. She used 'tutor', when she really meant 'help with homework'. That's what I said, she used the wrong term. She isn't planning on misrepresenting herself, she is going to tell the parents her age, qualifications, experience etc. No parent is going to mistake a 16 year old GCSE student for a qualified teacher able to diagnose SN or anything. What she's offering is help with homework, bit of guidance and peer support. Nothing wrong with that. She shouldn't have said tutor, but it's only the term that is wrong, what she's actually planning to do is fine.

'Substitute the words 'professional teacher/tutor' for 'childminder' and the point is made'

The point that she used the wrong word? Just like you did? That was my point!!

'And not all childminders are what you said- a lot of childminding is done as unofficial 'childminding' by friends and neighbours.'

All childminders are qualified, insured and registered. If they're not then they're not childminders, they are babysitters or au pairs or mother's helps or friends who look after your kids. Just like a 16 year old isn't a qualified teacher or tutor. No-one believes that a 16 year old is a teacher or qualified tutor. She just used the wrong term!

Will you be happy if she re-posts this as 'I would like to be able to thelp with homework in primary school subjects as well as KS3 English'?

purits Mon 22-Apr-13 18:59:21

Your reaction is totally out of order bella. All this talk that only highly qualified teachers can do a tutoring job. Ask yourself: why are so many parents looking for tutors in the first place if school teachers are so wonderful.hmm

Stephanie I was very impressed with your second post. It was very mature and well thought through. When you apply for University or teacher training you will be able to put this experience on your Personal Statement; it will show great commitment and give you the edge over other applicants. Concentrate on your own studies for the next few months then go for it after that. Don't forget that there is a big jump between GCSE work and A Level - be careful that you don't overcommit yourself in the autumn term.

mindingalongtime Tue 23-Apr-13 09:54:03

I too, thought Stephanie's second post very mature and wish her the best of luck with whatever she decides to do.

Kumon my DC's did it for years, yes, there were teenagers working there, they were marking work and to be honest, my DD aged 11 could have done so too, as she was working at A level standard and thoroughly enjoying it. Her friend started to mark for them at quite a young age, but it was over 15 years ago when Kumon was in it's infancy here.

My DD helped a friend's daughter with 11+ entrance when she was 16, doing Verbal reasoning etc and was excellent at it, many other friends asked her to do the same too. She got £5ph 10 years ago and was thrilled to bits!

Runoutofideas Thu 25-Apr-13 12:08:23

My 8 yr old dd is currently struggling to learn her times tables. She refuses to practise them with me as she gets frustrated and cross. She loves older girls and I'm sure would co-operate beautifully with someone other than me. For something like this I think someone like Stephanie would be perfect and I would have no problem with paying her to do it. It is not something which requires a qualified teacher though, whereas 11+ tutoring I would see as beyond the capabilities of a 16yr old.

tiredaftertwo Fri 26-Apr-13 08:27:55

OP, I agree you have asked a perfectly reasonable question, been given a hard time by some rather rude posts, and hats off to you for your enthusiasm and initiative.

I would not employ someone your age as a "tutor" - ir planning and delivering a course - but I would as someone to help with homework but also be in the house if I could not be around, for an hour or two after school.

I think a homework helper is a really good idea for you at the age you are now - lots of parents don't get home till gone six, and their children are then too tired to work. If you could hear them read. read to them and talk about books you love, test them on their spellings, encourage them to get anything else done, sort out a snack and generally be a kindly and positive presence, I think that would be a useful service. and you won't be tempted to build their models for them smile.

I also know people not much older than you who have tutored and I did it myself after A level - not for children really struggling, but say to cover a bit of the syllabus missed through illness or covered by a bad teacher for someone who is basically on track. But perhaps for older kids, who can find their way round a CGP book themselves, and just need some stuff explaining and someone to go through practice questions. I also know of schemes where secondary age children help teach primary school kids maths - these are facilitated and supported by schools and teachers.

Most of the individual attention my dc received at primary school was from TAs, not qualified teachers. They were largely lovely, but had very variable standards of literacy and numeracy.

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