I hear it time and time again.
'Your prices are high'
'Tuition is too expensive!'
'I'm just looking for a cheap tutor'
Many parents seem to have a mindset that cheaper is better. But is that really the case?
Do you really think it's safe or wise to place your precious child into the hands of a person who you've hired solely because they're inexpensive?
Do you really believe that it's smart to trust a total stranger to teach your child if they're being underpaid?
Let's reverse roles for a second.
Imagine you're not a parent but instead you're a tutor who is trying to make a living by teaching their knowledge/expertise/wisdom to others. Someone contacts you by phone or email to ask whether you'd be available to teach their child. You say 'yes' and you travel to the parents home to teach. You arrive there and your told that your fees are too high and the parent begs you to charge a few pounds/dollars less. You say 'yes' because you don't want to seem rude or ill-mannered and you start the lesson.
Whilst you'd initially headed over to the house feeling excited about meeting new people, teaching a new student and making a difference. You now feel a little bit different. You feel glum and unmotivated. Naturally, you move from wanting to give your absolute all into teaching this new pupil to feeling far less motivated to teach at an optimal level. Rather than putting in 100% of your energy into the student, you're so bogged down by the fact that you're being underpaid that you put about 70% into the lesson.
Now, step out of the tutors shoes and be a parent again.
Has the 'cheap' parent in this case actually benefited from hiring a 'cheap tutor'?
Realistically, should such a parent expect any tutor (irregardless of experience) to put 100% of their efforts into teaching the student if they're being underpaid?
I'm always amazed that so many parents only think about private tuition from their own viewpoint and they never for one moment consider things from the perspective of the tutor.
The frank truth is that you get what you pay for and if you hire a cheap tutor one of these three things will indefinitely happen:
- The tutor won't give your child 100% of their time and effort. Ultimately, they won't spend money buying, photocopying or printing education resources because they simply can't afford to. That means that your child will receive an inferior level of tuition.
- They'll stick around for a brief period, will teach your child for a few weeks or months and then they'll leave.
- Another parent who's willing to pay the tutor a higher fee will snap the tutor up and the tutor will gladly stop teaching your child.
Just think about how chaotic it would be for a tutor to stop teaching your child a few weeks before their big exam.
It's clear to see that basing your tutor selection on price alone causes havoc both on a long and short term basis.
If you're a smart and savvy parent who really cares about how well their child does, you won't pick a tutor because he/she is 'cheap' or because you can intimidate them into accepting a lower wage.
The moral is that you get what you pay for and quality tutors are not cheap. They're pricey for a reason.
Now I want to hear from you:
Parents, have you hired a cheap tutor? What was the outcome? Leave a comment below.
Tutors, have you been asked to teach for a cheaper fee? Again, leave a comment below and share your experience.