A+ Resources For Tutors
In the following series, Philip White, a Maths tutor for over 15 years, offers tips on how to start and run a successful private tutoring practice.
8  POSSIBLE PROBLEMS
|8.1||Disrupting your household|
8. POSSIBLE PROBLEMS
8.1 Disrupting your household
Bear in mind the possible disruption to your family life if you are tutoring for long hours in the evening.
After all, everyone else will have to be reasonably quiet while your lessons are in progress. Talk it over with your family first. Iron out any potential problems.
A separate tuition room (a converted bedroom perhaps ?) is better than working off the lounge table, and will cause less disruption to the rest of the family.
Do not underestimate the problems your neighbours might cause, particularly regarding parked vehicles. Make sure that your pupils are aware of any local parking restrictions.
If you have a stretch of council land in front of your house, be careful. Your neighbours will probably think it is their own private car park. It is not. Anyone can use it. If in doubt, check the deeds to your house to see exactly where the boundary lies.
As far as planning permission for your business is concerned, my advice is keep a low profile. Providing you do your best to ensure that your pupils do not cause your neighbours any problems, you can sleep easily knowing that you are conducting a quiet, safe business.
If you are reported by a spiteful neighbour, plead ignorance.
So long as you carry out your tuition with due regard to other peoples reasonable needs, you should have nothing to worry about.
I have found, on occasions, that some schoolteachers have a peculiar attitude to private tutors. I did have G.C.S.E. pupil who was told by one of his teachers that he was wasting his money having private tuition!
He was not. He got a grade C at Intermediate level, which he probably would not have done if he had relied on the inadequate Maths teaching at his school.
In an ideal world there would be no need for private tutors. If more schools fulfilled their duty to their pupils, there would not be as great a need.
However, because some schools of my acquaintance seem to actually go out of their way to make life difficult for their pupils, it is not surprising that there is such a demand for private tuition.
I did have one father who cancelled his daughters lessons with me because she had supposedly been told by her teacher that if she had private lessons she would not be allowed to sit the exam. I will leave you to draw your own conclusions.
8.4 Parental pressure
Unfortunately, you will come across excessive parental pressure.
I am referring to those parents who think that exam grades are the be all and end all of life, even at the age of seven, or twelve.
I always think that it is sad when I see parents who are clearly exerting far too much pressure on their children. They want the best for their children, but are actually harming them because they have crossed the fine line between encouragement, and excessive pushing.
If you do take on a child suffering from excessive parental pressure, you will no doubt have a demotivated pupil, but one who is at least a regular customer.
How to end a pupil's tuition without causing offence.
You will occasionally come up against a pupil who is both irritating and demotivated, and with whom you are not "hitting it off." You may decide to get rid of him or her, especially if you can easily fill their slot with someone else.
Discuss the matter with his or her parents. They will probably respect your integrity. Suggest "taking a break" from tuition for a while, if you have "easier" pupils who can step into their slot.