Wednesday, December 15, 2010

You'll Never See That Money Again

A tutor. That's what you need, right? Pay someone to help your kid and then you don't have to. You're absolved. Forgiven. Without sin and worthy of praise.

And yet, what if your child is failing my class? When I call, you explain you've gotten a tutor. You fail to explain why your kid does no homework, or why your kid is failing every test, unlike 90% of his classmates. Sometimes, I hear the kid doesn't have a tutor, but attends an after-school academy. My advice? Fire the tutor. Stop going to the academy. You're wasting your money either way.

Sometimes the tutors are barely older than the high school kids I teach. Why would they want to go over homework or practice who knows what when they could just chill and hang out? And who on earth knows what goes on at these academies full of unlicensed instructors and kids who may or may not be inclined toward schoolwork?

It was particularly tough when I was preparing kids for the English Regents exam. I'd regularly get papers my students had clearly not written.

"Who wrote that?"

"My tutor."

"How the hell are you going to pass the test if you can't bring the tutor with you?"

Sometimes kids don't understand that line of questioning. The tutor, being a knucklehead, assumed I wouldn't bother questioning who wrote the paper, despite the fact I'd been reading that kid's writing every single day.

Once I caught a girl I really liked plagiarizing on a critical lens essay. I found the entire thing on Wikipedia. The English AP wanted to let it slide until I mentioned how sticky it would be if such a thing were reported to the state. When I saw the girl I asked her how and why she did it. She'd stored it on her electronic translator. (Thankfully my school no longer allows them.)

"Who told you to do that?"

"My tutor."

Would you let just any fool babysit your children? If not, don't let just any fool tutor them either.
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