Essentially, after the advertising, I wait for a call. And during a phone call–or through emails–from a parent of a prospective student, I try to determine a few important things: whether or not I am qualified to help their student; whether my schedule will allow for me to meet with their student; and whether they are comfortable with my tutoring rates.
My least favorite part of these conversations, of course, is discussing rates. Several readers have asked how much I charge and how I determined what to charge.
Before I started, I called other tutors. I called both big companies and private tutors (shhhhh! pretending I was looking for a tutor, of course!), and I kept track of their rates and programs.
Then I figured out how my education and experience compared to theirs, what I was going to provide for my own students, and how much time I would actually put in on top of the time I’d be “tutoring”. I thought about my driving time, planning, the resources I would provide, and the length of the tutoring session. And I went from there.
The really important thing, though? What I’d do during the tutoring session itself. . .
- Game Plan: Every single one of my sessions with a student requires a game plan.
Just like those lesson plans I would pine over each night before I walked into my classroom the next day, I plan each time I tutor. My Older Students’ Session Sheet is here to download, and my Younger Students’ Session Sheet is here to download as well.
I make sure that everything we do works toward meeting the goals I set for the student, and, depending on the age of the student, the length of the session, and the desires of the parent, my plans are varied.
For my older students, usually third grade through high school, my session usually contains: Review of last session, Word Work, Reading Comprehension work, Fluency work, Grammar work, and Writing work. Of course, the order varies, but I’m always prepared for those components.
For younger students, I take a Running Record at each session and more closely monitor their movement through leveled readers. The sessions, then, are mirrored after Reading Recovery sessions: Fluency work, Running Record (on a text that was introduced at the end of the previous session), Word Work, Writing work, New Book Introduction and Initial Reading.
I use my New Book Introduction Sheet to help me prepare the introduction to make sure that I use all three cues–meaning, visual, and structural. Hey, I’m all about not re-inventing the wheel. The New Book Introduction Sheet is also here to download.
. . . and the also exciting session sheet for little guys.
It sounds like these sessions take about twenty hours, but they’re only one hour sessions–usually. Each component is only 10-15 minutes, maximum, and if a student has something else he or she needs help with, then that trumps my plan.
Aaahhhhh, I feel so much better having shared this tutoring information.
Hopefully it will be helpful to some teachers-turned-stay-at-home-parents who may be considering tutoring for some extra cizzash and to keep their brains a-movin’. . . and seriously, for me, it’s the essence of teaching–one-on-one help for a student, progress is usually made quickly, and you’re sharing your knowledge on a subject you love. So cool!