In the last week I’ve had the opportunity to tutor a 7th grader in Algebra. Math wasn’t challenging enough for her in 6th grade so her teacher and her parents had her skip Pre-Algebra and go to Algebra 1. Her parents are friends of mine and asked if I’d help Jane.
In the past, whenever I’ve been asked to tutor I’ve avoided it. Why? Partly I’ve avoided it because I feel like people sometimes ask you to tutor their kid and don’t expect to pay you for it, or give you some token amount that is nowhere near what it’s worth. This time it was different. Jane’s dad just installed a gas line at my house for my new dryer. I had a trade-able service.
Jane is a 7th grader in a suburban school and is doing some of the same stuff that my high school students are doing. She is conscientious and shows all of her work and makes corrections when she’s done something wrong. She can add, subtract, multiply and divide integers. She’s organized and knows how to look up her textbook online. In fact, they’ve already collected her textbook for the year so she has to access it online. From our few hours together, I figured out that she knows what she’s doing, but since this is her first time through it, she probably takes longer than her peers. She has about another week left of school and I hope our tutoring sessions have helped.
I was rather surprised about my tutoring experience. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was so interesting to see what Jane was doing in comparison to my city kids. I’d love to have a classroom full of students like Jane. It did make me wonder what it would be like to teach in the ‘burbs. But wondering about it is probably as far as I will get with that idea…
Now I have another dilemma. What do I charge for my services? Jane’s dad gave me the bill for installing my dryer and I’m supposed to subtract off what I would charge for tutoring. I tutored Jane for two and a half hours and I had travel time of about an hour for both times. Any suggestions?