, ,

First – thanks to all of you who regularly read my little blog. I need some feedback from you.

Tutoring is one of the fastest growing professions in the world. There are many reasons for this – with which I will not bore you at this time (but I might later).

j&R Tutoring Academy of Indiana, LLC is about to enter its fourth year of existence. Our little endeavor is growing. We have established a good foundation, found our stride and have enjoyed many successes. We have also had a few failures and going forward we need to learn what we can do to avoid additional ones.

Here’s where I need your input. There are some attitudes or behaviors that I find confusing, and as a result I do not know how to react. About a fourth of the people who make appointments to bring their child in for a diagnostic do not show up and do not call to cancel or reschedule.

Has our society lost basic politeness? I always call them and leave a message where I assume that I made the mistake and had the wrong time. I know I didn’t, but I do try to provide a way to return my call gracefully. Would you do that to your doctor? What gives?

Although we charge for the diagnostic, if the parent enrolls the child in tutoring, we apply the cost of the diagnostic to the first month’s tuition. Seems like a very fair arrangement to me! Am I wrong? What do you think?

We purchase an excellent diagnostic from an international curriculum development company that is used by school systems all over the United States and Canada. This diagnostic tells us where the child “is” in the educational process. Our responsibility is to discover how and why the child got to that point. Why are some skills weak? Why are others missing? Then we fill in the gaps.

In order to do this effectively one must possess the skills that professional educators have. This is why we only employ former teachers with classroom experience and a master’s degree in education. The combined classroom experience of me and my other three tutors is 70 plus years!

The numerous national franchises advertise “certified instructors.” What they don’t tell you is that it is the franchise that certifies them. And these franchises charge considerably more. My question to you is why would a parent spend more money with a franchise?

A little side note on the national tutoring franchises – one of them has a radio commercial that I seem to hear daily stating that one does not need any prior experience in education to own a franchise! Would you take your child to a hardware store to have their teeth fixed? Then why would a parent employ a tutoring agency where no one has a background or degree in education?

I worked for a time for one of these franchises, and I was the only one with any educational background, including the owner!

Another aspect of tutoring and parenting for which I would like some input regards time. Many children who need additional help have developed diversions. Simple things like dropping a pencil or forgetting a book – anything to keep from doing their work. These behaviors have to be unlearned before new ones can be learned.

There is no way to know how long it will take. I have had more than one parent become frustrated with me because after three months – one after just one month – I had not made enough progress.

I try to be patient and understanding because I know how frustrating it is to have a child who is struggling. I had one. The child did not arrive at the current situation in one or two months, and it will take more than a couple of months to correct it. Is there something else I could be sharing with parents to explain this?

What would you like to hear from me if you brought your child in for some help? What don’t you care about? What do you want to know before you call?

Jackie and I started this business because we saw a real need to help children establish a solid educational foundation. Help us bump up our efforts with your feedback! Thanks!