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  • Mr. Douglas Teng

#SS2: How much is your tutoring service worth?

I’ll be the first to admit it - tutoring services are not cheap. Whether that’s attending an after school class or working with a private tutor, prices range anywhere from $20/hour to $200+/hour!


You can think about your tutoring service as an investment. It should pay dividends!

So what are you actually paying for? Well, it depends on who you hire and what they can do for you.


“Why do you charge so much?” I simply reply with, “Why do you think my students are willing to pay this amount?”

Around 6 years ago, when I first started tutoring I was charging students $40/hour. In hindsight, it was a bit steep for who I was and what I could offer at the time. I was a fresh face out of high school and knew nothing about teaching or mentoring students. Even though I was a “good student” with an impressive list of academic achievements, I knew absolutely nothing about what makes a successful student or anything about communicating these elements to another student.


As you can imagine, this resulted in large number of cases where my students would tell me that I was no longer required after a few sessions. I soon wised up to the fact that I was let go because I sucked.


Despite these setbacks, I was determined to improve my skills. I learned to listen to my students to understand what they needed and what was valuable to them. Just as I instructed my students on English, maths and the sciences, my students gave me lessons on how I could improve as a tutor. It was a slow and painful process with no one to teach me but myself.


Fast forward 6 years and now I have parents asking me, “Why do you charge so much?”


I simply reply with, “Why do you think my students are willing to pay this amount?”


My mission has always been to build Serofox into the tutoring service I wish I had when I was still a student. And this means that I have to constantly ask myself if I would personally be willing to pay this price for my service. Hence, my focus is not on the price my students pay, but on the value I provide to them.


I didn’t want to be the tutor my students dreaded to see. Tutoring shouldn’t be treated as a chore or something that was necessary because “Mum made me do it!”. A student shouldn’t feel more drained, stressed and less motivated from a tutoring session.


Most of all, I don’t want to be the tutor that students work with for a term only to see no improvements in their results.


When I look at my students, I see individuals who are confident, resilient and excited to learn. I see students who feel comfortable enough to ask questions and make mistakes around me to progress. I see students who are learning to organise their time, set goals and manage their stress in a healthy way.


When my students are intrinsically motivated to learn and work hard, improvement is inevitable.


It never fails to put a smile on my face when my students tell me that they’ve achieved a top mark or crushed a goal that we set. In fact, I sometimes get embarrassed from the praise. We work hard together, and I even provide students with my private contact e-mail to reach me for support outside of our sessions. Even though it's tough proof-reading essays at a moments notice at 11pm, I just love to see my students succeed which is why I am so driven to continue improving my capabilities as a tutor.


So the next time you are looking for a tutor, ask yourself: “What is this tutor or tutoring service worth?”


Are you looking for a tutor just for the sake of getting a tutor or are you looking for a tutor who can provide you with the value and support to help you reach your goals?


Keep working smart,


Mr. Douglas Teng


P.S Enrolments are currently open for our afterschool classes at Rossmoyne SHS every Thursdays during Term 1 for ATAR Chemistry and ATAR English! Click here to enrol now!


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