You’ve received a call from a parent and a have a potential student.
There are some important topics you should discuss and take notes on during that conversation:
- The child’s name, age and grade
- The name of the school they attend
- Where they live
- Days and times available for tutoring
- Concerns of the parent(s) and or teacher(s)
- It is also helpful to find out which curriculum is being taught (see story below)
Sometime during that first call, let the parent bring up the topic of what you charge. They usually do. Know the rates in your area and what you want beforehand, then be confident when you quote your price.
Lastly, arrange to meet. We always offer this first face-to-face for free. It’s not a tutoring session but a time for introductions and to meet the student, look at their work, and get a sense if this is a good fit for everyone.
We offer a free questionnaire that list these and other questions to ask during that first call. You can get it here.
Karen’s Story – I received a call one day from a mom who wanted some help for her daughter in Algebra 1. No problem, I thought. I had been teaching Algebra 1 and 2 to homeschooled students for the past 4 years, and tutored a public schooled student in Algebra 1 as well at the time. Because I had been referred to her from another client, the mom said she did not need to meet first, but just to come and tutor her daughter as she had a test coming up. I agreed and met at their home a few days later. The student presented me with questions, some of which I was not able to answer. Yikes! Some of the work was not altogether new but material I had not seen in a long time. I stumbled to help. I found out, during the session, that the curriculum she was using was one I had access to, and if I had only asked over the phone during that first call what it was, I would have been able to review it first and been fully prepared. Amazingly, I have had other session with this student and you can bet I was ready! Through this, I learned a huge lesson the hard way. Now I always ask during that first phone call what text or materials are being used as well as the current topics.