So last night I went to parents evening at my daughter’s school.
It’s not exactly an evening I look forward to, firstly because it means having to sit down and pretend to be civil with my ex wife, but also because I’m always reminded of just how much I used to hate the same evenings when I was a kid.
Anyway, long story short, it turns out my daughter’s not doing too well in her maths class.
The maths teacher asked me if I’d considered hiring a private tutor to help her pass her upcoming GCSE’s.
My first reaction was…’you’re the teacher, shouldn’t you be teaching her rather than telling me to get someone else to do your job?’ but after reflecting on it I think it’s actually not a bad idea, and here’s why…
At school, in every class there’s a wide mix of abilities. Let’s say my daughter is at the bottom of the class, well the teacher needs to keep those at the top of the class engaged too.
That means they have to press on ahead with more complex topics to keep the clever ones engaged despite the fact those at the bottom haven’t grasped it yet.
There’s also the issue of personalized, one to one attention.
No matter how much a teacher wants to help (and I do believe her teacher genuinely wants to help), they just don’t have the time to be able to give the one to one attention each student with diverse abilities all need.
So bringing this back to a business context (this is meant to be a business blog afterall) I guess you can say that the value of paying for a tutor comes down to putting a premium on a personalized service.
I’m happy to pay for that, I guess.
Especially if it means the difference between my daughter passing or failing.
There’s also the issue of convenience.
I’ve been researching this morning and it seems online tutoring (hiring someone to teach via Skype) is the best fit as far as our circumstances go.
The price between an online tutor and face to face is more or less similar, online slightly cheaper, but in terms of the convenience it provides, if it saves me even 30 minutes a week, it’s something I’d happily pay extra for.
I mean, look at it this way – if it means not having to jump in the car and get stuck in traffic during rush hour, acting as a glorified taxi driver in order to drop my daughter off and pick her back up again once her lesson is finished – then that 30 mins a week soon adds up.
It’s time I could better spend elsewhere, like working on my own projects – keeping this blog updated, for one!
Now, going back to the whole Skype teaching malarky, if you’re business minded and you’re reading this thinking it sounds like an easy way to earn a bit of extra cash, there’s a great guide written about how to start online tutoring that’s well worth a read.
Anyway, now I’ve got to try to arrange a time to interview a few teachers to see which one is best for the role.
No doubt the one I think is best will be met with opposition from my ex. She’ll probably like the one I think is worse!
Chalk and cheese….
PS: if you’re feeling generous and you want to help towards the cost of brining up a teenager seems to want a new designer handbang every other week, book me to speak at your next event!