It is important to agree on the ways of working when you start tutoring a new learner. A tutoring agreement can help with this. A tutoring agreement spells out the roles and responsibilities of you, the parents and the learner. It also provides you with a safety net and positions you as a seriously professional tutor who means business (first impressions last). Typically the effort required to write one puts people off. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered – download an editable version here free.
A tutoring agreement is super important. Tutoring a new learner can be daunting. Not only do you feel responsible for the progress of the learner, but you also need to have some awkward conversations.
How much you charge (hourly rate, extra time, travel fee, cancellation fee). What you do. How you do it. What happens if the learner fails. Your expectations of the learner. The process to cancel a lesson. What happens if someone forgets to cancel a lesson. These are important things to think about and agree upon at the start.
This is where a tutoring agreement is super useful. A tutoring agreement is there to explain what you expect from the parents, what you expect from the learner and what the learner can expect from you. We know it can be a mission to set one up, but the mission is so worth it. We have provided a few reasons below.
There is also a gift for you – a free, editable tutoring agreement for you to download. All you have to do is change the highlighted text and presto, you’re an instant tutoring professional. Now let’s get to why it’s important to have a tutoring agreement.
Defines roles and responsibilities
There are a couple of things to make very clear at the start of your tutoring relationship. These include:
- Fees and payments
- Lesson structure
- Learner preparation
- Learner performance
- Termination of services
The tutoring agreement helps to address these important considerations clearly and confirm agreement from parents in writing.
Facilitates the awkward conversations
Yes, the above considerations are important. No, they are not easy conversations to have. The tutoring agreement helps to overcome this hurdle by raising these important talking points in a professional, assertive way. Although you are there to support a learner in a relaxed and fun way, you are a professional and offering a paid-for service. Therefore, you need to have the awkward, business-related conversations at some point. Why not do it at the beginning, in writing.
Gives you a leg to stand on
There will come a time when something bad happens. Perhaps the learner’s performance deteriorates (or worse he/she fails a test), you aren’t paid what’s due, or you regularly find the learner unprepared for your lessons. The tutoring agreement gives you a starting point to address these issues. Here are some examples of how:
- Learner fails. The tutoring agreement provides a disclaimer stating that you are there to help, but cannot guarantee improved learner performance. It’s ultimately up to the learner to apply what you teach. You don’t write the tests, after all.
- You aren’t paid. The tutoring agreement explains how much is due, how it will be billed and where it should be paid. This is a handy reference to make when querying the parents on when you could expect your payment.
- Learner is continuously unprepared. The tutoring agreement is very clear on what you expect from the learner. Remind the learner about what you expect and make reference to the fact that the learner has agreed to it.
Makes you look super professional
First impressions last. As intimidating as this statement is, it’s very hard to argue with. By presenting a well articulated, comprehensive tutoring agreement to the parents and learner before the first lesson, you have already succeeded in establishing yourself as a professional, who understands the tutoring process. Now go out there and make that unbelievable first impression.
Download yours – our gift to you
It’s all well and good to know the importance of a tutoring agreement. But it can be massively time consuming to develop one, particularly from scratch. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
We have already thought through all of the important considerations and have developed a handy template that you can download for free. All you have to do is replace the highlighted text, add or remove provisions specific to your case and presto, you look like a slick and smooth tutoring professional.
Your gift to us
The best news is, we want nothing from you in return. We just want to see you excel as you spread your knowledge.
If you are keen to give back to us, then consider joining us as a tutor or contributing an article to our blog. This is an epic way to connect with potential learners and grow your own tutoring business.
If not, we wish you only good things as you continue to disrupt tutoring.
The former Kearney strategy consultant is currently an educator at St David’s Marist Inanda in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Passionate about education, Disrupt Tutoring is the culmination of Jedd’s dream to provide access to quality education to everyone with the burning desire to learn.