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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!

Teacherandmum Thu 11-Jul-13 14:28:40

I think you could well find some parents who would pay for your support. Like others have said, it may be helping with homework or reading support.

I am a qualified teacher and have experience in SEN and mainstream schools. I also have worked as a tutor....BUT it really annoys me when teachers belittle others. I'm sure you wouldn't speak to a teenage pupil like that.

Teaching is a profession and one you need experience/qualifications to do well. However comparing it to being a doctor is a flawed analogy. You wouldn't ask a random person off the street to perform an operation, but you would ask a first aider for help if you fell over. They are levels of support. It is not black and white.

ReallyTired Thu 11-Jul-13 14:42:03

I wish you luck. I think that £7 an hour as a homework helper would be great. It can be really hard for a busy parent with several children to give a child one to one attention to do their homework.

Some children are very resistant to doing homework or practicing their reading. If they practice their reading with a charming young teen then everyone is a winner.

Provide you are honest about your age and qualifications then I can't see any problem with you helping young children with their school work. A bright teen will have more idea what the window method of multiplication is than many parents.

claraschu Fri 12-Jul-13 10:52:11

It is very important that the child being tutored enjoys the experience. An cool enthusiastic teenager might be far better with a grumpy 12 year old than a qualified teacher with the attitude of some of the people on this thread.

Tasmania Fri 12-Jul-13 13:14:07

Ehm... bella65 My brother learned to read before he went to school. I taught him. I was about 14.

Years later he could not get how division worked (maths) - no matter how the teacher tried. I taught him within half an hour how to divide numbers that went into the millions. At that time, I was about 17. With a bit of imagination, you can get children to understand concepts that adults seem to think need a lot of methodology, etc. Sorry, but what utter crap. In fact, one-on-one with some teens out there is actually better than a mediocre teacher teaching your kid in a class of 30+.

Don't forget - we are not talking about A-levels here, but basic primary school stuff. We are not talking SEN either. Many years ago, you did not HAVE to go to university to teach a primary school child. I believe DH's grandparents were teachers, and I don't think they ever went to uni either.

But yes, if it was for anything above primary school, I would expect someone who has finished university - potentially doing a PhD in the particular subject taught. In fact, I'd much prefer a PhD as a tutor than an actual teacher teaching the subject at a normal school...

Tasmania Fri 12-Jul-13 13:17:32

I mean seriously - has no one had an elder child help a younger sibling (for pocket money maybe)?!? That is basically what the OP is trying to offer.

Will you forbid that older child to "tutor" your younger child even though it might help your younger child?!?

alreadytaken Fri 12-Jul-13 23:55:47

children often learn more readily from young people. The youngsters seem to have a better understanding of what others find difficult. If teachers were always brilliant there would be no market for tutoring.

Personally I'd regard a GSCE student as immature and be unlikely to employ them. However you write like a more mature student, Stephanie, so I might consider it if I knew you already. I'd be prepared to pay about half the normal tutor rate for a university student acting as tutor, less for someone still at school. £7 an hour would be fair.

Happymum22 Sun 14-Jul-13 20:18:37

OP I am shocked at how some posters have spoken to you. You sound really on the ball and it was really sensible to post on mumsnet to get feedback.

I'm a Primary Deputy Head and definitely agree you could be great as a 'homework helper' or to do spelling/mental maths boosting and there could be the market for that. Lots of parents know the importance of education but are to busy to devote the time themselves to things like testing spellings, hearing reading, learning times tables or a maths topic.
As you say, you aren't marketing yourself as qualified or knowledgeable about the 11+, just a well-educated teenager prepared to help out boosting children's educations. My youngest learns far better from her older siblings, especially her eldest who is nearly 10 years older than her. She seems to listen better to an older role model than me nagging!
All your plans for gaining experience and helping out with children's activities sound great and will be brilliant experience in preparation for doing a PGCE if you do peruse that.

Good luck and I apologise for the unnecessary harsh comments you got on here.

Tasmania Mon 15-Jul-13 17:40:59

Completely agree with Happymum22.

breward Mon 15-Jul-13 19:08:44

DS (10 years) has just passed his Grade 3 piano exam under the tutorage of his just turned 17 year old piano teacher. Sadly we will only have her for one more year then she will be off to univ.

So go for it Stephanie!

Massuese Sun 24-Nov-13 15:28:13

bella65 ....your messages can be criticized in so many ways.
You come across as not only ignorant but also highly arrogant. Yes, we understand that you have well-respected qualifications and you put in much time and effort to achieve them. EVERYONE gets that after the number of times you've felt the need to scream that in the poor girls face.
However we have all come across QUALIFIED teachers who without doubt have all the required knowledge but simply fail at passing it on. It depends on the INDIVIDUAL.
It seems like your pride has been hurt, because you have put years in to gain the title of a "teacher/tutor" and so it angers you that a 16 year old can claim the same so effortlessly. And it's true that no 16 year old can fulfill the role of a "tutor" but they sure can be homework helpers - something everyone seemed to understand but you. Also quite frankly, if I were to choose between yourself and OP to tutor my child, niece, whatever, I would choose OP. Because even though you have more qualifications, OP comes across as just a nicer person. When a pupil sees a friendly person in the one teaching them, when they see how much effort they're putting, they try to return it.
You have spent years learning how to deal with young people so how did you forget that OP is a young person too? You could have TAUGHT her and corrected whatever errors you saw rather than attacking her with words. OP has reacted very maturely, showing much more sophistication than you but if it was someone else in her place, there was the chance that they would've gave up after being disheartened in such a bitter manner. And someone who kills anothers ambitions is not a true teacher.
You can spend numerous years learning how to teach ...but the attitude required to be successful with young people , you gain yourself and OP has got that...unlike you.
The aim of the message was not to say that OP is a better teacher or to say that you're a bad teacher. You may well have had helped many pupils score high marks...but your nose is held too high in the air. From these messages it doesn't seem like you're someone young people can relate to or develop a liking to.
My judgement of you has been harsh and it is very possible that it was simply this thread that angered you whereas normally you're a happy and jolly individual. But after seeing how harshly you spoke to OP and anyone that showed agreement towards her, I feel that I have the right to speak to you in the same manner.

soul2000 Sun 24-Nov-13 16:10:16

First of all "Stephanie" sounds fantastic, i wish i could have written as well as Stephanie at 16 ( OR EVEN NOW). We need to encourage people like her into a career in Teaching and not in "Medicine". I also think Stephanie might be able as a lower 6th student to bond and communicate far easily with young pupils then some middle aged tutors.

Secondly instead of rubbishing Stephanie, we should congratulate her on the willing and determination she has shown in improving herself . I am sure young pupils could benefit from her tutoring.

I know this post is an old one , i just hope though that Stephanie has been able to find some work tutoring pupils. Stephanie deserves to be successful
with a work ethic like this at only 16, very refreshing.

Honestyisbest Sun 24-Nov-13 20:17:01

I applaude Stephanie.
I have used a teenager to teach my son guitar, he was 15 or 16 when he started teaching my son. my son is about to take grade 5 with the same lad who travels back from uni to teach his students. He has been an great role model for my son. The comments from teachers on here are despicable. Why discourage a young person from wanting to earn some money and get some experience teaching.
I should add the guitar lessons are at my house and always have been and we paid £8 per half an hour, more now he's a uni student.

rd1709 Sat 30-Nov-13 19:45:58

This is slightly off topic, but i'm looking for a GCSE tutor for my DS (in the Greater London/North London area).

Any recommendations? (Individuals or companies)

HannahJaye Sun 02-Nov-14 17:51:32

I found this thread when looking for what to charge for private tutoring myself and, yes, I did literally just make an account to comment on it - even though it has been quiet for just under a year. I found this debate very interesting, being a private tutor myself.

It might interest you to know that I am 17 years old myself, admittedly I am doing my last year of A-Levels, and have been babysitting and tutoring for two years now; along with my sister and three of our friends.

I think it is a good idea and would encourage you to aim for work where you can, I set out to do exactly the same thing but began by babysitting, there are quite a few websites out there where a young person can advertise themselves as a babysitter and tutor.

I wonder what you will think when I say that you can do volunteer work in a primary school - doing all of the things that some of you are professionally trained to do - without any qualifications or DBS checks? I, myself have been volunteering at my local primary school for two years and have worked in a year one class - working 1:1 with children and teaching phonics, spellings, reading, writing and a little numeracy - and am currently working in a year 6 class, teaching small groups of children how to do their SATs.

Though I do aim to go to university next year and do my teacher training, I thought that I would make it clear that you do not necessarily need qualifications to teach, even in a Primary school setting. I do not aim to be argumentative but being obstinate and set in your ways about 'issues' such as this will not help the OP at all, she was merely enquiring as to the general consensus of parents on her idea.

As a teenager who has been in her position, I understand that it can be difficult, but the fact remains that even if some parent are not agreeable to the idea, there are those who are quite keen on it and whilst ever those parents exist there will be a gap for a teenage tutor. And yes, I do understand the distinction between a 'homework helper' - a vile description in my opinion - and a tutor. I am a tutor!

I am employed to teach phonics and numicon to 2 siblings, aged 3 and 4 years old and can gain access to all of the worksheets described above, I also write my own lesson plan, mark the children's work and record their progress for their parents to see; just as any qualified teacher could or unqualified teenage tutor could for that matter.

I appreciate that some parents would be unhappy with the fact that the OP had no formal GCSEs because the results were not out, however, many schools now do GCSEs from the age of 13 - my own school did and I completed all 18 of mine fully before the age of 16 - and I would not be happy with a 13 year old tutoring my children, an element of maturity being needed to tutor or babysit properly. However, reading this, the OP is astonishingly well versed for her age and has constructed her answers especially carefully so as to appease even the most argumentative replier. This to me proves that she is fully capable of helping out and is mature enough to undertake the task efficiently and with the proper amount of respect. A respect which some have not shown her.

I am on two websites, openly advertising as a private tutor willing to teach from phonics level all the way up to GCSE level qualifications, this is not misguiding and I openly state that I am 17 due to turn 18 this school year and still at college.

Finally, the attempted analogy between the teacher and the surgeon is completely void.

Acting as a teacher myself, I do not undervalue the profession, however, there is a slight difference between tutoring children is subjects which you are good at and performing life threatening surgery. I would rather offended if I was a surgeon and this analogy had been made. For one, tutoring might be very important to a struggling child but it cannot kill them; at worst they will not improve and if this is the case, the tutoring would - presumably - be stopped and a new alternative would be made to help the child. There is a lot to be said by what the child thinks of the idea and how they respond to it personally.

I am sorry for dragging all of this up again, but, upon reading the thread, I gained an insight into the mind of some parents who I would say are being argumentative for the sake of it.

[Message edited by Mumsnet to remove website]

aliyahzioncohen Sat 04-Jun-16 23:42:07

i am 16 and 6 months
i speak fluent german because i am from germany but i live in the uk
i also speak fluent english with an american accent but i can also do a british accent
i speak both languages perfectly and german is my most spoken language
would you hire me to give german tuition to your child?
i have not been taught german in school
i speak it naturally and im advanced in german language

merlottime Sun 05-Jun-16 08:32:23

You might possibly find someone willing to employ you for German conversation practice, but not as a tutor. I would onlupy employ someone with a teaching qualification, with DBS checks,, and who understood the curriculum /mark scheme for the subject. Sorry, but I think you wouldn't meet any of those tests.

educatingarti Sun 05-Jun-16 09:14:47

Stephanie, you have probably got stronger reactions to your question than you expected! Anyway here is my answer and I hope it is helpful.

I am a full-time professional tutor with a teaching qualification and experience of class teaching in schools as well as tutoring. I work a lot with students who have mild learning difficulties, often not picked up at school.

So, I think you might be able to offer some sort of educational support service. You sound like you have some experience of the teaching process and you are enthusiastic. It wouldn't be the same as a qualified tutor would offer, but then you are nowhere near asking tutor prices. It may work for some parents.

My advice would be to try it out. Put an ad in your local shop/post office. This won't cost much. Ask the teachers you have worked with in ks2 and 3 if they would be able to provide a testimonial letter about you and the work you have done. Start to collect these in a folder to show prospective clients. Do a bullet point CV of your experience for the first page of this file. Put your dbs check and a photocopy of the gcse certificates you already have in it too.

Then ask around to family, friends and neighbours and see if anyone would like your help. Be willing to chat to parents and explain what you would be able to do. Offer to do 3 or 4 weeks "on trial" with an evaluation time at the end of this. This makes it easy for parents to say "no thanks" if they don't think it is working, but you can also say no thanks too if you feel out of your depth with a particular student.

Once you have worked successfully with a student, ask the parent to write you a testimonial and add it to your file.

This time of year is not the best for picking up students, but you could make sure that your post office/shop advert covers the weeks when school reports come out! You are unlikely to get much work in August though. It is usually the last week in September when parents start to focus on these things.

You could market yourself as offering learning support rather than tutoring so that parents are clear about what you can offer.

If you are working with younger ks2, consider offering half-hour sessions rather than hour ones as it is a long time for a younger child to concentrate 1 to 1.

Go ahead and try it and see what happens!

merlottime Sun 05-Jun-16 14:49:00

My comment was to aliyah - The original OP dates from 2013! Much better to start a new thread.

hertsandessex Sun 05-Jun-16 21:58:55

Yes I would employ a teenager and pay say £10/hour but only for certain things. In an ideal world hire somebody more experienced and qualified but some tutors charge £50/hour. It depends on the situation but 5 hours of a teenager helping with certain things might well be more useful than one hour of the experienced teacher. Actually sometimes children are better at explaining things in a way other children understand. My 10 year old daughter recently had to help one of the worst children in the bottom maths set and things he hadn't picked up from the teacher on fractions she managed to explain.

MaQueen Sun 12-Jun-16 16:12:45

Sorry, but no. At 16 you just don't have the breadth of knowledge, or sufficient experience, I'm afraid.

The 11+ is just far too important to risk the outcome.

When our DDs were taking the 11+ we had them tutored by a retired grammar school teacher, with over 40 years of teaching experience. He had also been involved in actually devising 11+ papers for many years.

He had a 2 year waiting list, and a 100% pass rate. He freely admitted 'he couldn't teach IQ' but was fantastic at teaching technique, timing and 'a few tricks of the trade.'

I'm sure you're lovely OP, but my DD's education would be far too important to risk on a teenage 'unknown'.

TtB863 Wed 18-Jan-17 21:54:07

I was considering becoming a tutor for primary school children in my area. I'm Thirteen, but I get really good grades and I'm in top set for maths so I was thinking of being a maths tutor but i don't know how to get started. Any tips?

titchy Wed 18-Jan-17 22:03:55

Yep. Wait ten years till you're qualified to teach.

Maxam Thu 19-Jan-17 10:33:35

I would but not before GCSEs I dont think - I'd rather have an A level student with a proven track record of doing well at GCSE.

mummybear701 Thu 19-Jan-17 16:17:32

I have also had a 16 yo piano teacher for my DD when she was about 8. We knew her quite well already, and her own teacher who was too full to take DD herself and recommended said teacher quite highly. It worked well, DD looked forward to the lesson every week and got her grade 1. She only had grade 8 herself but was quite mature for her age and a natural relating to kids, now doing a BEd in Primary teaching. Unlikely I would respond to an ad from an unknown teen for any reason. Someone we know is a different matter.

PurpleDaisies Thu 19-Jan-17 16:22:40

I was considering becoming a tutor for primary school children in my area. I'm Thirteen, but I get really good grades and I'm in top set for maths so I was thinking of being a maths tutor but i don't know how to get started. Any tips?
Concentrate on your own education. Being good at a subject doesn't necessarily mean you'll be good at teaching it. I'm a private tutor and you need to know exactly what they need to know, assess against criteria, mark, provide feedback and liaise with parents and school. It's too much for a thirteen year old.

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