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How do I "fire" my tutor?

User
June 16, 2018

Our eight-year-old has been working on math with a tutor for the past few weeks. The tutor is a very nice young woman, but she doesn't seem to prepare very well for the tutoring sessions and I don't feel like my daughter is getting much out of it. Should I find a new tutor? How do I tell this nice young woman that I'm "firing" her?

Answers
User in Glendale, CA
June 12, 2015

As a tutor myself, a good tutor usually knows when they aren't doing a good job, so simply talking to the tutor and asking her how you think it's going could help you see what she thinks. If the tutor is oblivious and doesn't have anything constructive to tell you, I'd let them go and not feel too bad about it, that kind of person probably shouldn't be tutoring at all. Another thing you can do is wait for your child's next test in math and if you don't see any improvement use that as the reason.

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i would just say that you are fired

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Be honest with her. Tell her that if she does not prepare for the sessions then you will look for another tutor. Explain the importance of tutoring for your daughter. Also, if the tutor feels more emotionally invested in the child/family, she will most likely work harder. Try opening up to share an out-of-tutor session experience with her (go get ice cream with child & tutor, show her your artwork/hobby, share light information about your past to relate to her).

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Tanner in Rowlett, TX
June 16, 2018

Give your daughter a math test to be sure she hasn't made that significant of progress in those weeks. Then, share this information with the tutor.

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Chloe in Denver, CO
June 16, 2018

As tutors, the worst feeling ever is getting fired. You immediately come face to face with the fact that you're not doing your job well enough, and this really hurts. However, it's a wonderful opportunity to be honest with yourself about whether or not you've become complacent, and then come up with a game plan for how to up your game with students. Honestly, I am constantly asking parents and students for feedback, so maybe you should sit her down and have a critical conversation with her. You can find several nice ways to tell her that you'd like her to be more prepared, and that you're a bit worried that your student isn't imrpoving at the rate that you expect. Maybe you start sitting in on lessons if you weren't doing that previously. Although it's not your priority to tell her how she should be doing her job, she's likely oblivious and would benefit from the truth. Could you give her a second chance? Does your student really connect with her? If not, I think the honest thing to do would to be to tell her that you're currently moving in a different directions with your students learning. Thank her for the work she's done, and then move on to the next person.

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Hollie in Starke, FL
June 7, 2018

Be honest. The best way for her to learn and maybe change how she presents lessons is if she knows why. Just let her know that being prepared and organized is a skill you value and that you appreciate the time she has spent with your son However, it is time for a change in order for him to reap the most from the tutoring.

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JUST discuss your honest feeling. Ask her, if she can review the topic and example, before coming to tutor. My child is not learning well. Or if you like that strategy, work for 2 hrs instead of one, but the pay will be for one hr.

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Start looking for a new tutor first and once you find one that you're 100% you like, then you should let go of her. Sit down and tell her honestly that you need to take a different approach when it comes to getting your child the help that they need but that it's nothing personal. Also, as a tutor myself, I think it's important you talk to your child about this too. From what it looks like, the tutor is just inexperienced and unprepared. But don't forget that a tutor cannot help a child if the child is not cooperating and being honest with them. I've had that frustration myself where I wanted to help but I felt like they weren't being honest with me. It can leave a tutor nervous and frazzled, unsure of what to do next and how they can fix the situation without overstepping any boundaries. Many tutors will often be hesitant to speak to the parents for fear of offending them or having the situation turned on them. I definitely think it's something you should speak to your daughter about and then maybe her teachers before you make the decision because maybe there's an underlying problem. And when you do decide to fire her be completely honest. Maybe she's not cut out to be a tutor but she'd be a great nanny or babysitter!

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Far too often, tutors are doing their best to help students, but students are not picking up their weight. I'm not sure if this is the case with your student, but they are 8 years old, and when I was 8, I wanted to go out and ride my bike, not sit and do homework. I suggest taking a page of homework, writing the questions on a new piece of paper, and having your child do the questions while you watch them. Once they are done, you will be able to see what they got wrong, if anything. Then would be the best time to decide to fire the tutor or not. To fire her, I would simply either say you are too busy at the moment, just stop talking to her, or tell her why you are firing her. The worst thing to happen to a tutor is to be fired and not know why. Knowing why lets the tutor improve for future jobs.

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How often does your daughter meet with the tutor? If it's only once or twice a week for an hour, then it might be difficult to see any improvements in your child's learning in such a short time. Ultimately, if you don't feel like the tutoring is not helping, then perhaps you can give the tutor a couple weeks notice to let her know that the tutoring is not working for your daughter and you're going to try an alternative method.

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If you are ever not satisfied with a tutor, I recommend providing feedback to her and telling her that you would like to try a tutor that may be a better fit for your needs. Keep it professional and friendly. Tutors are typically fine with open and honest feedback.

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The best way to do it would be to tell her that, you feel that your child would benefit better and learn better with a tutor who has more experience. Thank her for her efforts and offer them a good reference for future employers

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Keghina in Primos, PA
Aug. 18, 2017

Maybe try giving her some feedback on that, and tell her upfront what you expect of her? Also, giving a little warning or heads up that you might have to let her go because of said complaints would be a good idea. No changes shortly afterwards: boom, fired. Fair for both sides!

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Just tell her that your daughter no longer needs a tutor

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Cam in Columbus, OH
June 1, 2017

"You are a great person, but I don't feel like tutoring is helping my daughter. So this week will be her last session, sorry." Then YES. Go find another tutor.

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That is a great question. Sadly, the best thing to do would be to "fib" to her. Let her know that your child is doing well and tell her that she is no longer needed but you appreciate all of the help.

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User in Pembroke, MA
Nov. 21, 2016

Aloha! First, I would suggest talking with the tutor (if you are interested) to see what she can do differently to meet the needs of your student. If that doesn't work, or if you do not want to pursue that, I would give a couple of weeks notice (or a month if you can) to your current tutor. Let her know that you've decided to take a break from tutoring because you feel that it is not having the result that you expected. It's okay. Best of luck!

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This is a difficult situation, but you have to do what is best for you and your child. You can tell her that you would like to stop the tutoring sessions for now. I do believe it is important to work with a tutor that is well-prepared, passionate, and actually teaching your child. We match families with highly qualified tutors that are not only subject matter experts, but they are remarkable teachers. If you would like to work with one of our tutors, please reach out to me. Thanks, Deju Green Edge Education Consultant www.edgetutoringservices.com

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User in New York, NY
Sept. 4, 2016

Tell her you are looking for a better fit, and are happy to provide a recommendation highlighting the things she did well (punctual, warm, etc).

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I would make very sure you are right in your assessment. Sometimes it takes time to work with a child to get the results you want. However... If you are quite sure that your child isn't getting what you feel they need, I would speak to the tutor first. If she can't show you how the child is improving, or what her plan is for him going forward so that you can have expectations that are reasonable, while seeing the improvement as well, then you may need to find someone else. I have been in management most of my life in the "corporate environment. I never like firing someone, so don't think it's just you. (smile). It never got easy for me, and honestly I don't think it ever should. When you are dealing with people and their feelings, you need to be considerate of them. The fact that you are asking this question says you probably are. When you speak to her and get a response you like, or don't get the response you want, it will make it much easier for you both to part ways by letting her know that you can both agree that your child isn't progressing as you would both like. Good luck! :)

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User in West Bend, IA
July 27, 2016

Give her a chance to live up to your expectations. If she has not done that already, then kindly tell her she is not meeting your expectations or the goals you have for your child and that you would like to find someone else.

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User in Laurel, MD
July 27, 2016

Yes, find a new tutor. Be polite and firm, "We have decided to move onto a new tutor with more experience. Thank you so much for your time."

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User in Tustin, CA
Aug. 9, 2016

I think that you should address the tutor and tell her nicely about how you are feeling about the situation because when she hears how you feel about the situation and tell her that you might have to let her go if she doesn't come prepared then she might work harder. Also, if you are going to let her go then tell her that she may be a great tutor for someone else but your child doesn't seem to be learning much from her and people sometimes learn in different ways and better with other tutors and other children just because each person learns differently.

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User in Covington, GA
Feb. 11, 2016

I would talk to them in a nice way and tell them that you would have to fire her for what ever reason.

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User in Haughton, LA
July 16, 2016

The person is making time to come. I would not just 'fire' her. Communicate your concerns just as you would want any employer to. Let her know you are wondering why she chooses to approach the tutoring the way she does, and if she could come up with more innovative ways of approaching the job. Let her know you are wondering if her 'approach' is really effective. To me this is just following the golden rule. If you do not care for her response but she is not defensive or rude, then tell her you feel you are paying too much for the approach she is choosing and you just don't see how it is going to help your child improve right now. Perhaps give it a bit more time if there is a chance you are not seeing something that is really the way to go with things - sometimes we don't know why a teacher does what a teacher does. Something subtle could take time and not be comprehended by someone not trained in how to teach a subject/in general even. If you really feel certain of your own evaluation and feel you have given the tutor a chance, and don't want to give it any more time, and her response is not concerned with improvement or making changes in approach, then next time she comes let her know you see no point in continuing. Tell her you hope she will find someone who will benefit better from her approach but it does not seem it is for your child.

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Be honest with your tutor. Explain what you think your daughter is lacking and if your tutor can provide a stronger lesson in that area. If she's nice enough like you say, she'll be agreeable. After all you are paying her for a service she is supposed to provide. If things haven't changed after you've spoken to her, then it's time to move on. Just tell her nicely that the relationship is not a good fit and find someone better.

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User in Buffalo, NY
April 28, 2016

Out of respect for her as a professional, I would be clear about your expectations.  If you do let her go, I wouldn't use the word "fire."  If your daughter likes her, I would give the tutor another opportunity to improve.

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You don't have to tell her she's being "fired", you can just be honest and say that you need to move to another direction because you're not seeing much improvement. Also, being nice does not always mean that she's a good tutor, especially with math, many teachers do not have a deep understanding and are not able to make real life connections to abstract material so as to foster a deeper mastery of the topic

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Kathy in Lakeland, FL
April 29, 2016

Have you tried to have a frank but gentle conversation with her regarding what you mention in your post? If not, I would recommend that you try this first and tell her you are giving her one more chance. Your child's success is vital. By speaking with the tutor and offering one final chance, you may be providing the young woman with a chance to better herself as well. Or she may realize she is in over her head and back out all on her own too thereby resolving the situation without having to fire her. Ultimately, if it comes down to that point, please be kind and tell her that you like her as a person but just feel she wasn't the right fit for your situation.

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Find a new tutor. Tell the young woman you no longer need her services but thank you.

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