Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tutoring on the dark side...

Push for A’s at Private Schools Is Keeping Costly Tutors Busy

"Private SAT tutors have been de rigueur at elite New York private schools for a generation, but the proliferation of subject-matter tutors for students angling for A’s is a newer phenomenon that is beginning to incite a backlash. Interviews with parents, students, teachers, administrators, tutors and consultants suggest that more than half of the students at the city’s top-tier schools hire tutors, an open secret that the schools seem unable to stop." (Anderson, Jenny. June 7, 2011. (accessed June 8, 2011).

I can barely keep my head on.  

Unable to write coherent sentence.

Just read the article.  There are tutors in NYC charging $195-$795 per hour...nay...per 50 minutes. 

One the one hand, we get a sense of sweet freedom...a beckoning, a reminder of a distant bright possible future....of buying a gorgeous condo from the tutoring fees for one class alone....

On the other hand, it feels skeevy and wrong.

But to be fair, these companies also provide pro bono services, so the rich offset tutoring for poor kids.

There is so much to discuss here.  Why does Riverside high school discourage tutoring--that alone is enough for a Phd thesis.  Why is there a need to evaluate kids based only on the information disseminated to them whilst in your presence?  If we want to test or grade them only on what they could have possibly learned in your classroom, then forbid them from reading the newspaper, from trolling the internet, from visiting the library.

Why is a mother paying SIX FIGURES to tutor her child through high school?  What high school is that hard?  For six figures, those tutors had better be cloning themselves, getting face transplants to look like the student, and taking the tests themselves.

Also...does it make you as a student feel dumb when it takes $100,000 for you to get "A's"?

One sentence pops out at me:

"Michael Michelson, director of academic studies at Riverdale, said the school’s policy was to discourage tutors, and to make teachers accessible for extra help." first this seems innocuous...but the word "make" clangs in my brain.  I'm sure they do "make"--as in "force"--the teachers to be available for extra help.  

I sincerely hope these teachers leave work promptly at 3 pm or whenever their work day officially ends...and make their way speedily to a tutoring center not terribly close to their own primary place of employment...and charges 500 bucks an hour for their services (oh, had I read the entire article FIRST..I would have seen that they are doing this!  SCORE!  NYC private school teachers... you make me proud...)

One almost feels tempted to barter a solution.  All the parents band together and pay the teacher(s) to make the class(es) less difficult.  If you were going to spend $10,000 on tutoring for ONE teacher could stand to make millions!  I feel a dystopian novella coming on...

But to me, the saddest part of the story is how people feel unable to exercise their free speech rights: more than one parent in the story seems to feel squeamish about speaking to the press because the schools which their children attend discourage open communication.

(Thanks to L for this head-up.)  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Calculating Your Salary-seventy cents per student

Calculating Your Salary....

is interesting and fun and depressing and eye-opening.

Of course everything is relative, we all have enough to live, no teacher is starving, yadda yadda, simplicity, Oprah, be content with what you have, Om Shanti and Namaste.

Moment of Zen over.  (Ever notice how practitioners of certain professions are advised to be content whilst others are advised on how best to preserve their wealth during a volatile market??)

Okay...back from Other Musings...

Let's say you make $40,000.  That's a lot of money.  At least, it sounds like a lot of money to me, right now.  More on this later.

What is your per kid wage?  How much are you being paid per child you care for?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Selling Lesson Plans (hiatus over)

Selling Lessons Online Raises Cash and Questions

To me this is entirely non-controversial.

Do you sell cookies you have made at home (occasionally)
Do you sell private music lessons?
Do you sell your expertise on your off-hours in such endeavors as plumbing, yardwork, painting houses, how to do algebra, et cetera, times a million?

Then why in a million universes would you not be allowed to sell lesson plans?* 

I commented:

"I'll tell you who doesn't own my intellectual proerty--the school system. And as soon as schools begin laying claim to this intellectual property, teachers need to demand 1) higher salaries, 2)profit sharing in the materials developed...or they need to WALK. Teachers need to think seriously about the implications of this--what if you write a book about your classroom experiences--something unobjectionable, uplifting, non-defamatory. Perhaps that book might even land you on Oprah--you could become rich. Does the school system own the copyright?

All of this needs to be spelled out to teachers BEFORE they sign their yearly contracts. College professors know precisely what their intellectual property rights are and avail themselves of multiple opportunities to profit off of their expertise, on the lecture circuit and through publishing."

Dear Readers: forgive my typos--I was in an apoplectic fit!

So, finally, after weeks if not months of promising, I will begin to compile where and how you can increase your hourly wage.  Thanks to the NY Times, I have found these two websites:

Soon I will be posting how to earn money delivering instruction online; however, I personally have found this terrifically difficult to break into.

Most radical--starting one's own private school, charter school, home school, tutoring company-whatever you want to call it. 

"Unschooling-inspired commune slash ashram."

More to come.

*Obvious reasons why (not):

  • you did not write the lesson plans--this is called plagiarism--DOI!!
  • you co-wrote them with other colleagues--hey--split the profit!  Get their permission first!
  • the school system paid you to write them - still unclear--a newspaper may pay you to write an article, yet you STILL OWN THE COPYRIGHT!!!!  It's called an anthology--I writemusic criticism, and do plan one day tocollect these and other writing togather for publication.  I'd like the newspapers to try to stop me.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Laugh, then cry, then laugh again.

Who here is so exhausted they can't see straight?  Anyone?  Anyone?

Try laughing:

Rated G:

Why does this not exist for teachers?

Rated PG:

Rated PG-13: [Is The F-word "PG?" I don't know and am too lazy to look it up...]

This is the funniest thing I've forever, and I can't even LOOK at the "Owl" posting because it makes me laugh so hard I thought I'd have to go to Patient First....

Rated R:

In brief, this site saved my life many times.

On Twitter: Please follow "TeensAreMorons."  I just discovered Twitter, oh, 7 1/2 minutes ago.  Turns out a good friend of mine, a teacher as well, has this tweet.  Actually, I think she changed it to: "Moronic Teens."