I get it. You want to do the best for your kids (or maybe yourself!), but tutoring is not cheap. If your child is smiling for the first time ever while doing math homework, then it’s worth it, but where does that money really go? Well, there are a couple of factors that go into a tutor’s hourly rate.
- The tutor comes to you. This isn’t always the case (if someone is really far from me I’ll have them meet me halfway), but often the tutor comes to your house. Especially in crowded areas (lookin’ at you, Long Island), this can take 20-30 minutes or even more. So if you’re paying for an hour of tutoring, the tutor is spending almost as long traveling to and from your house.
- Good tutors prepare for their lessons. Even if I am tutoring first grade math, I prepare before the session. I want to be as ready as possible to help my student. This can be reviewing material, creating worksheets or study guides, researching common core standards or whatever the classroom expectations are, or maybe even finding advice for connecting with kids who have ADHD or another learning disability. You aren’t just paying for the hour or two that I’m at your house, but also the hour or two that I spend making sure I have everything I need to help your child without wasting time during the session.
- Your child is getting one-on-one instruction. Even when students are pulled out of class, it’s rare that they get a teacher all to themselves. This can make all the difference in the world. It means that I can catch a small mistake early in a problem before it balloons into a mess of horrible algebra all over the page. Not only does this save time, but it saves the student a lot of frustration and discouragement. Having to redo a problem when you’re in that sort of frame of mind, even if all you did was misplace a negative sign, feels awful, and it does not set the student up well for future success. One-on-one time also means that I get to know my students really well. I know what they like and what works for them, and I can sometimes even anticipate what they will likely struggle with before the lesson even starts.
- Finally, tutors make their students feel good! I often tell people that at least half of my work as a tutor is helping a student develop confidence in his or her abilities. Confident students do better, and they feel happier doing their work. If I get your child to relax while doing math for an hour every week, how much better are they going to feel going into their next test? Probably a lot better, and with a clear mind, their performance will be their very best.