People frequently ask if I am available for tutoring. I teach full time and chase my family around during the remaining hours of the week so there isn’t a lot of spare time. I can take on at most one student per semester, so I tend to be really picky AND demanding.
1. I don’t tutor anything lower than precalculus. PERIOD.
2. I want the interest to come from the student, not the parent. If it is coming only from the parent IT DOESN’T WORK.
3. I expect my tutees to show up, prepared, at a mutually agreed on time on a WEEKLY BASIS. I do not do patch jobs halfway through the semester. I am not available only on the night(s) before the test.
4. If a tutee (or worse, a parent) cancels or reschedules a session at the last minute more than once, FIND ANOTHER TUTOR. And, if you don’t pay me for the time I set aside for you, I will not ask you for it, but it doesn’t look good on your part.
5. Math tutoring is NOT about doing homework (though that is often a by-product). It is about working hard, building confidence, learning to ask questions, and feeling better prepared in class.
6. Ultimately my objective is to put myself OUT of business. I want to help a student get up on that bike with training wheels and then take the training wheels off and then only see dust in the distance.
I have always heard that the going rate for math tutors in New York City is between $100 and $200 per hour, and let me tell you, it’s pretty tempting to fantasize about pulling up stakes and hanging my shingle in the Big Apple. But I wouldn’t be able to be so demanding if I had to work with ten different kids per week (10x4x100$ = 4000$) just to pay the monthly rent.
Or would I?
3 thoughts on “Thoughts on Math Tutoring”
The only thing I’d add is that the first step for a struggling student is to try to get help from her own teacher. I often have students who see a paid tutor as an alternative to active participation in class or to coming in outside of class to ask a question or work on a problem. To succeed in higher Math, a student has to learn how to articulate questions, and has to develop the ability to talk to an instructor. I have a line in my Class Info that tutoring should not happen in lieu of talking to me… (Like almost every teacher, I like it when my kids ask questions!)
Absolutely! Many times when I am taking that initial phone consult with the student or parent, that is part of my barrage of questions.
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