To Tutor or Not to

This month marks my one year anniversary with – in that period of time I’ve made about $3,000 of extra cash (I’m far too lazy to go look up what my “year-to-date” numbers are). When I first started a year ago I was making $13/hr and tutoring 2-3 hours per night. I was ROCKIN’ the tutoring. I NEEDED the money to stay ahead of my finances because I just wasn’t making enough to balance my expenses. I’ve blogged about this before, but essentially I NEEDED the money to get my head above water and figure out how I was going to get out of the financial mess that I had gotten myself into.

A year later, and I’m still TECHNICALLY with I have worked a paltry 2 hours thus far in September – and in December 2008 they decreased our payrate to $10/hr (over gradual steps) – that $3/hr was a pretty significant difference to me.

However, I now have a part time teaching gig at a local community college that pays $36/hr – 4 hours/week. I’m not assured this every semester, though. However, it is highly likely that I’m be able to continue with them. Likely, but not FOR SURE.

In addition, now that the school year has started I’ve gotten myself two regular tutoring clients. I charge $20/hr for this, twice a week – so a cool $160/month (hopefully!). The money is more – but also the time constraint is more. I HAVE to tutor them at the designated times each week. No ifs ands or buts about it, whereas with I had the ability to cancel hours when I had an experiment that was going longer than anticipated or get more hours if I found I was bored at home and just wanted to make a little cash.

However, the time that I’m putting into tutoring at is not enough to keep me hired. I need to be putting in at least (I’d say) 10 hours of scheduled tutoring per month in order to be worth their while. I was already been warned at the end of last school year that there was a good chance I would be let go if my tutoring numbers didn’t increase. So I’m trying to figure out whether or not I want to STAY with and put in the work – or just quit.

So here comes our lists of pros and cons!

PROS of working with

  • Flexible working hours
  • Up to 12 hours of tutoring per month in the summer – when I wouldn’t get any from face-to-face tutoring or community college teaching
  • The ability to work up to 30 hours per week during the school year, if I lost my current job or had to quit for some reason
  • Consistant tutoring clientele – sometimes one-on-one tutorees can be flaky and my class at the community college isn’t a sure thing each semester
  • Ability to work from home in my pajamas – or at Mr. Cousin’s house – or at work – or at Starbucks – or while laying in bed. i.e. – A LOT of flexibility.
  • Travel time/money/prep time of one-on-one and teaching – not so with

CONS of working with

  • Low salary for my education level – I get anywhere between 5.50-10/hr depending on if I am in a tutoring session or not – “real life” tutoring I charge $20 – only because the graduate students change $15. In San Diego I could be charging $40, but alas, I’m not in San Diego anymore.
  • Wacked rules for handling sessions – they want all sessions to end in 20 minutes. Sometimes, I want to make sure a student understands the concept, not just gets the answer to a problem – and this can take at least 45 minutes.
  • Already getting alternative money from one-on-one tutoring and teaching at a community college.
  • If I do quit, I can never be hired back on again
  • It is likely I’ll be fired if I do continue working there and don’t put in my minimal hours

So, I’m not clear which wins. Quitting or not. I like that is a sure tutoring gig. However, I’m not using it like I should and as long as I’m teaching and tutoring “in real life” – then there is no reason for me to even be on However, if either of those wells dry up for some reason (which is especially possible with the teaching gig), I’d like to have the ABILITY to make an extra $400-600/month at – which if I tutor 5 nights per week, 2-3 hours per night, is completely do-able.

Alright – so there is all the evidence. You tell me: Should I quit my position at or not?


3 Responses to To Tutor or Not to

  1. TeacHer says:

    Teacher to teacher, I’m going to say no. Don’t quit. It would really suck if you quit, then you couldn’t get another position at community college and other tutoring jobs dried up. I think you should stick it out a little longer and see how permanent the community college position will turn out to be.

    I also partially rely on tutoring money, and I also deal with time constraints, so I totally understand your conflict. But since it’s’ a sure thing, I would err on the side of caution this time.

    • SS4BC says:

      Yeah, this is a similar conclusion that I’ve come up with. Stay with until I find out if I’ll teach in the Spring at the community college. Thanks for your advice. =)

  2. Arturo Ordonez says:

    Don’t quit! I am sure I’m good at math but their stupid timed tests keep getting me. They always have to have four questions I can’t answer and I never pass. I only passed one test, which is stupid. I tutor at the university I go to and make $10 an hour, so I know I would do good. I think they should have the test to see how much you know and not “if you get 4 questions wrong, your too stupid for the subject!” I have always been good at math and have always liked it. That makes it suck. I really need money for school and its hard to get with just this job.

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