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Major Mistakes Tutors Should Avoid

As home tuition has turned into a billion-dollar industry and has risen to the mainstream of education, more and more Singaporeans have taken part in home tuition. Parents are more open to the idea of home tuition and engage in home tutors for their children meanwhile students are more used to the idea of spending extra lessons with their home tutors. There are also some who are trying their hand at tutoring, may they be professionals in their field or just those willing to share their knowledge.

As more and more parents are hiring tutors for their children, more and more Singaporeans are willing to try to make it in home tuition. This is good news for full-time home tutors who have made giving tuition their full-time career. However, there are also part-time home tutors and even new ones who struggle to get up the ladder to a successful tutoring career.

Many are drawn to tutoring now because of the demand and the competitive pay for the job, however, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some tutors have trouble with making it. There are some major mistakes that tutors need to stay away from in order to maximize their career and start off strong.

1. Having no strict time limits

Most new home tutors make the mistake of being too lax with their time. This means that they would often give way to more overtime sessions with their students. They may give another extra twenty minutes to help a student with their homework. This isn’t necessarily a problem if it happens only from time to time but as new home tutors, they tend to make sure they are liked so they couldn’t say “No”.

Remember that you are paid for your time. As a home tutor, you will be paid for the hour and a half of tuition usually. Some get paid for two hours depending on the agreement by the tutor and the parent. The problem comes in when tutors do extra work for another thirty minutes or so in an hour and a half tuition session. This isn’t the same with doing overtime in a 9-to-5 job wherein you may get overtime pay. It goes deeper than just the money here.

Being a home tutor means that you don’t necessarily only teach one student. Given that you need more clients, that means you’ll also be teaching more students. This over time with other students will all add up and will leave you completely worn out. This also means that you may be prone to being late to your next schedule if you do overtime with another student. As such, the time for the next student can be put in jeopardy. This isn’t fair for the next student or the consequent ones.

Even if the tutor is concerned with the student they are spending more time with, they should still be strict with their time. This is why tutors should set a structure for their classes so they don’t go beyond the time supposedly spent for each session. A tutor can set a certain amount of time for homework and another set of time for the actual lesson. Organizing your lessons beforehand also helps with this. If the tutor and the student already know and understand the flow of the session, there will be fewer chances of going overboard with the time given.

If the tutor repeatedly feels that they need to spend more time with the student to complete a lesson, then maybe it’s time to speak with the parents regarding adding extra sessions or extending the sessions. This would make sure the student can complete what needs to be completed and the tutor gets the compensation they deserve for their time and effort.

2. Accepting clients far away from where you live

New home tutors tend to look at the rate of the assignment and take them on because of it. This again isn’t necessarily bad but it’s also important for the tutor to consider where the student lives and if they’re father from where you live or your workplace (if you have another job).

As a home tutor, it’s part of your job description to go to your student’s house and conduct tuition there. Now, this can be a matter of if you have to commute to get to your student’s house and if it is worth the time and money spent on that. For example, a student offers a higher rate but you have to commute an hour or more going there and then another hour going back. This means that even if they offer a $45 rate for a supposed $30 session, the tutor will still be at loss. They have to spend additional two hours or more commuting and spend more as well. Even with the extra $15, they would still get more when they accept a nearer client with a $30 rate. Even if you have your means of transport, you’d still use more fuel to get there. Is it worth it for you?

Taking longer commutes also decreases your chances of getting more clients. From the previous example, you will already be losing two hours’ worth of tuition session you can possibly give another student. For tutors, it’s important to get as many clients as possible. Not only will it give you more chances to support yourself, but it will also give you more chances to further your tutoring career since these clients can give you reviews and recommendations.

However, if you are determined to get even clients farther away from where you live, you can still negotiate with the parents for transportation charges and explain to them the situation.

3. Accepting last-minute cancellations

Tutoring basically goes with the no-work, no-pay policy. And last-minute cancellations can be the bane to every tutor’s existence. It’s understandable for some students to cancel their lessons, but it will also hurt the tutor’s part whenever they do, especially more so if it’s done at the last minute. The tutor will not get paid for the canceled session and they may also feel that they’ve wasted a slot that can be given to another student.

In order to avoid this, tutors can draw up agreements every time they start tutoring a new student. Having signed agreements helps protect both parties involved. Agreements can also be used to help clear up the payment scheme whether the tutor will be paid monthly and when they will get paid. Make sure, however, that the agreement is signed by the parents and not just the student alone.

Once the agreement is drawn, the tutor and parents can also discuss the penalties if lessons are canceled during a certain period, for example, parents will get penalized if they cancel within a day or two before the tuition. This depends on you and the parents to come to an agreement. Knowing that there will be a penalty for last-minute cancellations will help the student think twice before canceling just because they want to play or they don’t feel like getting tuition. This way, they will learn more to value your time and respect it as well.

4. Working with clients who “forget” to pay

It’s a sad reality that some home tutors go through something like this. It’s not uncommon for the last day of tuition to be before the students are to graduate or for their final exam or before they leave for a vacation. Because of this, there are some students or parents who tend to “forget” to pay for their home tutor’s services. This can be bothersome for home tutors since they are not working with the student anymore after the tuition sessions have wrapped up.

There are many ways to prevent this. As mentioned before, drafting an agreement with the parents help with this. Another way can be asking for compensation after every lesson or even having the whole month’s worth of tuition paid upfront. Paying in advance also helps the tuition against last-minute cancellations. However, it’s also recommended to discuss this with the parents and make sure that both parties are on the same page with each other.

Conclusion

While many who look at home tutors think it’s an easy way to make dough, that isn’t always the case. There are many experienced home tutors that are very successful in their field but there are also many new home tutors and part-timers who are still struggling to get their footing. There are many ways for a home tutor to succeed in their career. They can get more students, promote their reputation to other clients, and mind the mistakes they could make especially when still starting out. However, it’s also important to mention that tutoring isn’t just about compensation. It’s not an easy job and tutors need to have that sense of commitment, dedication, and compassion to give to their students. After all, beyond anything else, tuition serves as a means to help the student reach their academic goals and tutors should also remember that.

Interested in becoming a home tutor? Why not try getting into a tuition agency? Reach out to us at FamilyTutor, the best home tuition agency in Singapore. We offer over 200 subjects to students from all over the 28 districts of Singapore. In FamilyTutor, we make sure that your sons and daughters are in good hands.

Carelle

Carelle

Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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About FamilyTutor!

FamilyTutor is an established home tuition agency in Singapore! We match suitable home tutors for our clients not just to improve the students' academic grades, but also to build a strong rapport and meaningful relationship with the students and even the their whole family. FamilyTutor put every student in good hands!

If you need an excellent home tutor, feel free to call/WhatsApp us at +65 8777-2168! Our matching service is free!

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