Friday, May 7, 2010

The ins & outs of TUTORING!

Yes I've got teacher blues lately. And no, its not about my class (its our summer break right now so hooray coz we get a vacation as well!). I'm blue mainly because of money problems. Unfortunately for me, here in my country professional teachers don't get paid a lot. Its a sad fact that I just have to live with which is quite frustrating. Most of my fellow countrymen, some best educators in my country, have even opted to migrate and work in another country just to get better pay! And to top it all off, I've been teaching for more than 5 years and at private schools for that and yet the salary that I get is still much much low compared to other countries. So yes, this is a part rant.. that I really REALLY wish that a teacher's salary (most especially mine... hehe) would be increased this year. Because frankly, I barely survive with my current salary. In dollars I earn like less than $300 per month.

I'm also quite sure that there are a lot of very frustrated, hard-working, and humble teachers out there who are in the same boat as me! But thank goodness that we Filipinos are a resourceful lot and we end up looking for other ways or means to earn extra money on the side BESIDES teaching in a school or institution.

So I will be posting a series of articles talking about sidelines a teacher can do to earn more! If you aren't a teacher, well, you can still look and see if you can do it yourself. Anyway for the first of my article series, I'm going to talk about the number 1 "sideline" of a teacher - TUTORING!

TUTORING. Ah the famous failsafe plan of any teacher to earn extra on the side! Why not use the talents and abilities as a teacher and USE it to earn MORE on the side? Personally, I've tried this for several years. It has its perks and drawbacks as well. For those who are excited to earn extra through tutoring, you should consider some of the following:
  • Age of student & Grade Level of student - preschool, elementary, highschool, college?
  • Subject Material - Is it Language, English, Math, or Science? 
  • Hours - How many hours a week? Will it fit your schedule without disrupting other responsibilities?
  • Environment - Where are you going to tutor the student? How far and how long is your travel time?
These are factors that you should consider when you are going to tutor. Sometimes the fee that they will offer sounds lucrative then you later find out that their expectations of you are too much for you to handle and the travel time and EXPENSE is not worth it! I had that experience where I shelled out a lot for my transportation (assuming that you are commuting) which in the end did not really compensate for all the hassle and hard work that I gave.

Typical pay that you can get? Well it usually depends on the factors above! AND the capability of the parents to pay you. REMEMBER you can dictate your terms and from there you can negotiate. Don't sell yourself short! My dad had to drum that in to me because I was really hesitant and shy in giving a quotation of my fee. Consider your educational background, your experience, and of course, your ability to be be able to deliver what you will be saying to your "client".

Here in the Philippines, the typical fee that you can charge per hour is almost a day's wage for some. I started out with Php 250 per hour. Some public school teachers charge lower than that! But I was able to charge up to Php 550 per hour and I was tutoring a preschool child 2 hours a week. For timetable of paycheck, its up to you to dictate when you want to be paid. Others want to be paid on the same day they tutor, while others opt for a weekly or bi-monthly mode of payment. Disadvantage of bi-monthly or weekly is that you aren't sure that other factors won't disrupt your schedule and you might not be able to get your money right away or worse -- the family suddenly plans a vacation and you won't be able to see them until the next time they come back.

So here are some factors to consider. Other teachers opt for working in a Tutorial Service Institution. There you are assured of clients but the down side is that you only get a portion of the fee of the payment of the student.

As for me, I have stopped tutoring. Mostly because of lack of spare time for tutoring. But I have found other means for me to earn more on the side, which I will share later on my next article. Do share your tutoring experiences! I'd love to learn more tips and tricks from you.