Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tutor Doctor Malpractice?

There is this tutoring company called Tutor Doctor that was started here in Toronto. They started over 10 years ago. I believe they started with math tutoring. The idea is to go to the students' home and tutor them there, in a familiar, comfortable environment so that they do their best. Sounds like a nice and good idea. Well, through the grape vine, from and friend of a friend of a seems they charge their students (the parent) over twice as much as they give the actual tutor. So $40 for an hour of tutoring and the actual qualified tutor gets only $18. Now, this was some time in 2003. Now in 2010 how's the doctor's practice? Well, it seems tutor doctor now offers tutoring in all subjects at all levels including university and even the phd level. Right! Not all phd's can teach all courses. As for the rate per hour, well, that depends. What the hell? What does it depend on? It seems the good doctor makes house calls. The doctor comes to your home for free, how generous, gives your child various tests to assess his or her needs, arrives at a conclusion and the tells you what the diagnosis is, prognosis, medication and antidote required. They will also tell you how much it's all going to cost. Interestingly enough, these tutors aren't teachers. Not a problem as not all teachers as the best ones to teach your child with their particular needs. However, who they, this tutor doctor, to decide how much it costs to get help for a particular subject? Just because a subject may be less common than another doesn't mean it should cost more to learn it. Just because you need help at a higher level, doesn't mean it should cost more per hour. Just because you need more help, doesn't mean it should cost more per hour. Just because you are unique and need help that the average instructor can offer, doesn't mean it should cost more. Just because tutor doctor has been around and has grown, doesn't mean they are the best help or help at all. If anything, tutor doctor helps themselves.


  1. I don't understand the point you are trying to make. Tutoring is not an easy job. Delivering knowledge to different learning styles is not an easy task. What do you think is fair?

  2. >>Just because you need more help, doesn't mean it should cost more per hour.

    But what if it's more labor-intensive for the tutor?

  3. I think you're missing the point. He's saying the agent takes a massive cut which is unfair on the tutor, who of course is the one doing all the hard work.

  4. I understand the tutor doing the work,but that is what I call " Business". There are behind the scene expenses that are being paid by the business owner that the tutor is not paying or responsible for. Have a heart that franchise owner needs to make money also, that tutor is part of the overall support team for the client. You look at the big picture, who paid for the franchise to come to your area? That person deserves to profit also

  5. Some tutors do not want to collect payments from the student and risk not being paid.

    Some parents do not want to do all of the work to find a good tutor for their child because they are not sure where to look, what to look for, or are just too busy with work and other obligations.

    Tutoring companies provide a lot of value added and therefore deserve to be paid for their time.

    If you are a tutor and want to be paid more, try your own hand at advertising, marketing, and accounting. Before you know it, the extra money you are paid is spent on these entrepreneurial activities.

    Just saying...

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  7. TD math tutor - east GTAMarch 20, 2015 at 6:32 PM

    I've worked for TD for just under a full school year and, while the pay isn't strong, they do find me students very often, so I can get 8-10hours/week (students are only available after school and hate sacrificing weekends). They can also get the client to fill a simple survey form to give you a bit more info on the student. The coordinator is a strong player in the building of your clientele, so If you have a good professional relationship with them and get good feedback from clients, they just start throwing students at you. (It also helps that I tutor math.)

    If the branch you work for offers direct deposit, you get your money within the first week of the following month. There are also no disputes between you and the client with respect to hours since you're following TD policy. If the client has issues, you just point to your coordinator and take no heat.

    I drive to all of my clients, but I hand pick them based on proximity and which course they need help in (not too confident in gr12 math yet). I also have a spreadsheet to track my daily mileage-to-cost and if you're using each day's gas price with the average fuel consumption of your car, it's not expensive. The way I drive and the car I have, I can eat gas pretty quickly, but still only costs me less than $7 for a 1-hour round-trip (to a client that's not even with TD).

    If you're able to teach at a high-level, consider negotiating with your coordinator for higher pay. If they really want you (and that client) they'll probably soften up. My coordinator has tried to negotiate me into driving to a client outside my local area with a $5/hour increase for 1.5 hour sessions. By selecting students close to you, that's less gas and you spend less time traveling so you can schedule even more appointments back-to-back.

    I'm certified for high school math and that gets me $20/hour with TD, so, sure, I'd love to get paid more; a 60/40 split would seem more fair. Yet, this is only a stepping stone job for experience and to hold me over until I get on the supply list. I can't see anyone holding down a tutoring job as a full-time position.

    As for the session reports, I just make point form notes as to which topics I worked on. Here's a carbon copy of one of my online reports:
    - collecting like-terms, distributing +/-1 over a polynomial
    - word problem: creating an equation, substitution, simplification
    - multiplying a monomial by a polynomial
    I work for 2 other agencies and they pay $21 and $30, but with higher pay comes proportionally more effort in documentation of student assessment/progression.

    I know my material, so I usually prepare nothing unless I want to make some special word problems to reflect my nerdy interests. Other than that, all I have are scans of questions from texts, but I use my personality to make the sessions more enjoyable, which is fun. There's nobody checking how I'm delivering material or putting pressure on me to do a certain something; you get to be yourself. My clients clearly like having me since they recommend me to friends, have given me gift cards or tips and the students have done better than they expected (which is the best part).

    Pretty much: whatever shortcomings they may have, if you want a fun, easy and positively-influential part-time job, TD makes it almost effortless.