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NER: Compensated for Time?

I need some advice, ladies. 

Until I find a job here back in the classroom, I am doing private tutoring, and I go to the kid's school during his study hall to tutor him. He doesn't really need help with his work; basically he needs someone to sit there and make sure he gets it done. 

Today, he was about 15 minutes late b/c his sister had forgotten a school project and he had to drive her back to get it. When he finally got there, it turns out he had already done all of the work he needed to do over the weekend. So I just made him show it to me, we looked over his grades, and talked about work he has coming up, etc. I was there for about 30 minutes total.  This has happened a few times. I go only to find out he has no work to do in study hall. It's not a long drive (about 10 miles), but sometimes the traffic is horrible, and it takes me awhile to get back home then. The last couple days it took me an hour to get home. It's such a waste of time for me to go there when this happens.

As I was leaving, one of the office staff commented, "That was fast," and I said, "Yeah, when he does his homework over the weekend, there's nothing to do on Monday morning!" She said, "Yeah, but he was late, and you were here this whole time. Do you still get paid?" I said, "I guess so, but I feel guilty." She said, "Don't you dare feel guilty! That's not fair to you."

So my question is, what do you think I should do? I have been charging his parents for 15 minutes when I get there and there is no work. Even though we don't DO anything, I feel I should be at least partially compensated for my time on those days. But what about today? Do I charge them for 30 minutes?  Should I ask his parents what they think? I don't ever want to be perceived as taking advantage, and I feel strange taking money if I don't do any work with him. 

Thanks!
What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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Re: NER: Compensated for Time?

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    I think you should charge for the whole 30 minutes. It was his fault that he was late, not yours. If you had been late, yeah, only 15 minutes, but by him being late, it still took up your time. Did that make any sense?
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    In Response to Re:NER: Compensated for Time?:[QUOTE]You should absolutely charge for the full time you are there, regardless of if he's there on time or not.I would also talk with the parents and see about either skipping Mondays or coming up with a system so you can find out if you need to go or not. nbsp;If they won't go for that, let them know you'll need to charge them for the full hour on Mondays even if it doesn't take the whole time because you spend more money than you make driving there and back for 15 minutes time. Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]

    I agree with this.
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    Unfortunately, it isn't just Mondays. They are on a block schedule, so he has 4 classes one day and 4 classes the next. On "A" days, I meet with him starting at 8. On "B" days, I meet with him at 1:45. Sometimes when I go on a B day and there is no work, I go ahead and cancel with him for the following morning b/c if there was no work as of last period today, there will  obviously be no work as of 1st period the next day. 

    Also, I have access to this online thing where the teachers are supposed to post their assignments, and when they do, it's great b/c then I know if we have work and can cancel if we don't. But sometimes the teachers don't put it on there, and he has work and I don't know it.Sometimes I email them to find out, but they don't always get back to me in time.  And he is TERRIBLE about writing down or knowing if he has work or not (part of why he needs a tutor, for organization). So I have been trying to go every day for at least the 15 minutes even if just to touch base with him and find out if he thinks he MIGHT have something. On the days I know for certain there is nothing, I let him know I won't be coming. 

    OK, I think I will just talk to them about it and let them know what I've been doing time/moneywise so that I will ease my conscience about feeling like I'm getting paid for nothing. I will also have him text me if he has done all of his work already. 

    Thanks for the help!


    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    you get paid for the entire time you agreed to tutor whether he shows up late or you finish early.
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    I work at a daycare and parents try and do this to us all of the time. It is a flat rate of one hundred and thirty dollars no matter when you are here on not. Unfortunately whether your child is out that day or not he or she is enrolled and taking up a spot  another child could fill for that day. We have some parents who will even pick them up two hours early one day and ask if they can have part of the payment reduced for it!

    You should be paid the full amount no matter what. I understand feeling guilty but you need to get paid!
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    Where I tutor (and I don't do it privately because it's easier to get students through a company - although I admit I could make a lot more money privately...), the student pays for the full time he or she is scheduled for even if he or she doesn't bring anything to work on.  On those days, I spend time reviewing old material, even if there isn't an upcoming test.

    I wouldn't feel guilty charging them for the whole study hall time.  After all, you were there.  If you want, you could institute a cancellation policy.  "You must cancel by 5 PM the night before tutoring" or something might be effective.  It would keep you from having to go out in the traffic.  But it would also keep you from getting money...
    I guess, to tell you the truth, I've never had much of a desire to grow facial hair. I think I've managed to play quarterback just fine without a mustache. - Peyton
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    I have been tutoring to supplement my income for a few years, here are my policies:
    1. You pay for your slot of my time, if you cancel for any reason (other than holidays with ample notice) I still get paid. Otherwise I could've filled that time with someone else.
    2. If I cancel, you don't pay.
    3. Minimum of 1 hour sessions, 2x a week.

    I'm not sure how this would translate for you, since it seems like the schedule is a little off. Are there things you could work on with him when he doesn't have any homework? Building up organizational skills, math or reading fluency, writing skills (planning, editing) for example.
    Having a few extras with you may help with the guilt when he doesn't have any work. But I definitely agree with PP, you deserve to get compensated for your time!! :-)

     

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    I totally agree with what Blue&White says above. If he didn't have any new work to work on, try to spend the time reviewing old material, or even maybe helping him get ahead and start looking at what will be worked on in his classes in the future. Otherwise, I don't think it's too much to ask for the student to text you the night before to let you know if there truly is nothing to go over.
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    Ditto PP's about having a minimum time amount and a set up a standard cancellation policy. If you show up without being notified that you would have no work, you should still get paid because that's time you could be using to make money another way. They are paying you for that time and if the student "dismisses" you before the time is up, it's not your fault becaue you are making that full amount of time available for him. I was a tutor for math and writing during college that was funded by the college and free for students to use.

     For math, we would tutor the same student in one level of one subject for the entire semester and were given a syllabus.. If we were notified with less than 24 hours or the student didn't show, we got paid for 30 mins. If they showed up, we got paid the full hour regardless of how long it took. There was a 15 minute no-show wait time.

    At the Writing Center, we were given the course name professor's name and would get the syllabus from the file we kept.  The majority of appointment were one-offs, but many of us had several repeat clients (I have one that I still tutor a year after graduating, but this is more of a favor to help a friend than a money maker). We had a 24 hour cancellation policy and were paid for the full hour if the appointment was cancelled or student didn't show up; there was also a no-show penalty for the student, but no penalty for a cancellation (But this could be inflicted if the student cancelled within 5 minutes of the appointment start time, based on our discretion) . There was a 15 minute no-show wait time here as well.

    That was time that we set aside to earn money from one job and it wasn't fair that we had to give up working hours somewhere else to possibly not get paid through those programs, KWIM?

    I agree with Blue&White and Hummingbird - maybe try reviewing old material. Do you have access to a syllabus/major assignment schedule? Maybe you could use this to help plan out review days and schedule them with him. For major assignments, maybe to research and citation reviews, have in depth discussions about the topic and use that for free-writing material, presentation practice, or lightning round study time?
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    I'm a teacher too, and I say ditto PP. You are a professional and deserve to be paid for your time. 
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    Definitely charge. I teach private ballet lessons and I get paid for the full time, even if they're late, etc. And if they cancel within 24 hours of the lesson, they are billed for half of the tuition.
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    Thanks for all of the suggestions!  Having a minimum is something I hadn't thought of. I think that would be a good idea!
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    I teach violin privately and the students are charged for the full hour, whether they are late or not. IF I have no-one afterwards and can afford the extra time, I try to "make up" their time - since I like them as human beings and don't mind spending a few more minutes. But if I have something else to do/go to, then they have to leave when the hour is over. 

    Similarly, if they cancel without 24 hours' notice (unless it is a true emergency), they are charged for the hour - I cannot possibly fill their time-slot with only 24 hours' notice. If I have to cancel, they are obviously not charged and we carry over their pre-paid hour to next week. 

    You should be compensated for your time. Also, if you are travelling to them, your fee should reflect your gas mileage. 
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_ner-compensated-for-time?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:935ba71a-4d71-4247-b9c6-6573ccf35f8cPost:83021894-934a-4d7e-bd67-95856881f2b3">Re: NER: Compensated for Time?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: NER: Compensated for Time? : I used to be a tutor, also (through an agency, though).  If the parents cancelled within 24 hours of the appointment, I could still bill them.  If the mom texted me to say the student's grandfather just had a heart attack and they were going to the hospital, I obviously wouldn't charge.  We charged at a minimum for a 30 minute block. <strong>Also, Addie, do you have a business for tax purposes?  I kept track of my mileage driving to and from the students' homes and included them on my taxes.  It definitely helped with my return!</strong>
    Posted by TXKristan[/QUOTE]

    I was going to add mileage too!   When I used to teach dance at community centers I would also get paid extra for the travel time when it included heavy traffic.  Having to leave 1.5 hours early for a class that is 15 miles away and I'm only there for a 1 hr class was not worth it!  But adding the xtra pay made me not hate the drive as much.  So you may be able to also filter something like that to cover your time.  
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_ner-compensated-for-time?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:935ba71a-4d71-4247-b9c6-6573ccf35f8cPost:ca0ca16c-518a-41d8-93cd-3ebbeabec80e">NER: Compensated for Time?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I need some advice, ladies.  Until I find a job here back in the classroom, I am doing private tutoring, and I go to the kid's school during his study hall to tutor him. He doesn't really need help with his work; basically he needs someone to sit there and make sure he gets it done.  Today, he was about 15 minutes late b/c his sister had forgotten a school project and he had to drive her back to get it. When he finally got there, it turns out he had already done all of the work he needed to do over the weekend. So I just made him show it to me, we looked over his grades, and talked about work he has coming up, etc. I was there for about 30 minutes total.  This has happened a few times. I go only to find out he has no work to do in study hall. It's not a long drive (about 10 miles), but sometimes the traffic is horrible, and it takes me awhile to get back home then. The last couple days it took me an hour to get home. It's such a waste of time for me to go there when this happens. As I was leaving, one of the office staff commented, "That was fast," and I said, "Yeah, when he does his homework over the weekend, there's nothing to do on Monday morning!" She said, "Yeah, but he was late, and you were here this whole time. Do you still get paid?" I said, "I guess so, but I feel guilty." She said, "Don't you dare feel guilty! That's not fair to you." So my question is, what do you think I should do? I have been charging his parents for 15 minutes when I get there and there is no work. Even though we don't DO anything, I feel I should be at least partially compensated for my time on those days. But what about today? Do I charge them for 30 minutes?  Should I ask his parents what they think? I don't ever want to be perceived as taking advantage, and I feel strange taking money if I don't do any work with him.  Thanks!
    Posted by AddieL73[/QUOTE]

    You should charge for the whole time, even if he 'no shows" because you designated that time to him when you could have made money elsewhere. I think it is totally fair.

    You mighht want to "make a policy" and tell parents up front...
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    Just jumping in to say I took voice lessons throughout middle school and high school, and I was charged no matter if I was late or didn't show, etc, unless I gave enough notice. This really shouldn't be alarming or insulting to the parents.
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    Definitely charge for the whole time.  You are giving him that time out of your life whether he comes or not.

    I would make it a policy.  You can even charge a no-show premium to make it clear that there are consequences for no-showing.
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    For any kind of appointment with a professional where you pay by the time slot -- whether a music lesson, a counselor, massage/bodywork therapist -- you pay the same amount whether you're there the whole time or not, and there's usually a fee for a late-cancellation or no-show.

    I'd suggest a "per session" charge (similar to the time segment suggestion in PP).  Whatever you want the minimum unit to be, the parents commit to a length of time and pay for it, regardless of whether the student shows up on time, etc.

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    I agree with all of the above, and would add that one of the ways in which you can 'encourage' your students to be prompt and considerate is to have a fixed rate hourly fee.  What I think is, the parents are the ones paying and even though they are not responsible for him showing up late, they are responsible for raising him to respect your time and therefore treat you with respect.  If they suffer the consequences of a child who is often late or does not show up, it might result in them speaking to that child, and that child learning there are consequences when you are late for important things - which is a  lifeskill that transcends your tutoring....and again, which really is about respect.

    Good luck
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