Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tutoring...or Not

During college I worked on campus as a tutor for our school's "homework club."  I tutored everyone from elementary school kids - high school kids.  I loved tutoring and seemed to be pretty good at it (at least in my opinion, haha).  My mom was a teacher and growing up I always loved to "play" teacher.  If I wasn't an attorney, I'd definitely be a teacher (and probably have just as hard of a time finding a job!)  

A few weeks ago I realized that one job I could do here, without having to go on an interview or be "hired," would be tutoring.  It was kind of a spur of the moment decision and I quickly posted an ad on a local tutoring board.  About a week later I received an email from a mom looking for a math and english tutor for her 6th grade daughter.  To be honest I had kind of forgotten I had posted the ad in the first place so was surprised when someone actually contacted me!  We exchanged emails for awhile and set up a weekly schedule for tutoring twice a week for an hour each time at a local library.  She warned me that her daughter was very shy so not to worry if she didn't immediately take to me.  Monday was our first day and it went really well.  I would never have guessed this girl was shy.  She was talking up a storm, super friendly and didn't seem to have too much difficulty with the stuff we went over.  

However, there were a few interesting things that happened on our first visit.  There was another tutor sitting at a table near us that the girl I was tutoring knew.  Apparently this girl had been her old tutor, but she told me that tutor "didn't last long."  Uh oh.  

When our session ended and I met the dad outside he thanked me, said they'd see me in 2 days and left.  It took me a few minutes to realize that I didn't get paid!  The mom and I never discussed when she would pay me (after each session, at the end of the week, etc.) so I had a hard time being mad, but I was a little frustrated (mainly at myself) that I didn't speak up and say something to the dad.

Later that night I received an email from the mom thanking me and telling me that the little girl really liked me and was looking forward to our next meeting on Wednesday (today).  She also asked if I would be able to tutor her high school son one day a week.  I agreed, and she explained that he is on the high school football team so his schedule can be sporadic.  We had planned on tutoring on Tuesday evenings for the son.  She also asked how I would prefer to be paid (daily, weekly, etc.)  Well yesterday (Tuesday) she sent me an email in the afternoon canceling his tutoring session because his team is in the play-offs and they were having a late practice.  She asked if we could change the session to Thursday-which I happily agreed to.

I just received another email from the mom canceling both the girl's session today and the son's session tomorrow.  She said the father was called in to work last minute and no one would be able to get her to the library today.  Since tomorrow is a holiday, her son's football practice will interfere with tutoring.  She apologized, said she's really not this flaky and scheduled three days for next week.

Here's my problem: I don't know what to think.  Do these people just flip flop around tutors so they don't have to pay them?  Or, has this just been a bad week?  I don't know what to think.  I feel bad even insinuating that they could be trying to get out of paying, but I mean we did run into an old tutor who the girl said didn't last long, they didn't pay me after the first session and they canceled the next three sessions.  I guess I'll find out next Monday.  



  1. I say give it to next week before deciding if they are scheming or not. Maybe this really was just a rough week, and next week will get better. Hopefully.

  2. Hmmm. That IS strange! I think it's too soon to tell! But maybe you should ask for payment after each session, if you haven't already!

    And I wanted to thank you for your very kind comment on my latest post. It really meant a lot to me. Words just can't express how very sorry I am to hear that you lost your mother.