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Not family, but not sure how to respond?

I began tutoring a junior high girl in mid-October after her father saw my profile on a tutoring website and liked me because we have the same alma mater. I ended up being hired for this side-job and they agreed to pay a nice wage of $30 per tutoring session since it would help me out and not break their bank. I should mention they initially said I would tutor until the summer. I really liked the girl and we clicked, and she was able to discuss her school problems with me...and her mom and I would talk extensively before or after tutoring about her daughter's issues as I had the same problems when I was her age. I thought I became close to this family, the parents are the age of my parents and since I am far from home it felt like an adopted family. I was happy to tutor the girl and I had been looking forward to having them over for a holiday dinner to meet my husband. However, shortly before Thanksgiving the girl had a test in the subject I was helping her with and she didnt do well...a C, or on par with how she had been performing in the class. After this, the mother informed me they were pulling her from school and homeschooling her (possibly due to the bully issue too) and that they would contact me after the holidays about starting tutoring again.

On Thanksgiving, I texted the mother to wish a happy holiday and received no answer. On Christmas I texted Merry Christmas and to say hello to the girl, and received a text back as though I was the girl's uncle. I responded oh no, wrong number, this is X the tutor! And she replied that she didnt have my number and is glad I texted so she would have it again and that they would be in touch. It is now mid-January and I havent heard anything from them. I don't know if they meant to dump me, if my cost was too high (I never tutored outside volunteering during school and just threw out a number and they agreed to it...but if it was too much I would think they could have brought that up), or if the girl's performance didn't change as indicated by her test score (I only had 9 session with her though), or if she is simply being homeschooled and they no longer need a tutor. I don't know if I have a place to ask what is their plan for continuing using me as a tutor, and I probably wouldn't care except that I felt I got close to the family and I care about the health of the girl. Considering how her mom and I would talk about confident issues I feel like I was close enough to at least give a respectable good-bye to if they don't need my service anymore. Should I text her and ask pointedly? Should I drop it? I'm not sure what to do and I feel part slighted and part hurt.

Re: Not family, but not sure how to respond?

  • Sorry you didn't make the grade, so to speak.:( Evidently these people are heading into another direction; try not to take it personally.

    Pulling a kiddo out of school and going the homeschool route won't work if there there is a bullying problem. Even in the days before the internet, you could be here or there around town and you can still meet up with the same nasty kids.:(

    You are free to write the parents a letter and ask if your services are still needed; that's well within your rights.

    Something may also be going on at home. Maybe there is something other than a bullying problem and a we-need-a--tutor problem. GL.
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    Honestly, I'd let it go.  I think it's pretty clear that they aren't going to use you.  And while they did confide in  you and YOU feel you became close - in the end, it was a business relationship and there may be more going on that you don't know about. 

    I agree that it would have been nice of them to TELL you they won' tbe using your services, but as they didn't.... oh well.  It happens, right or wrong. 

    You seem to want "closure" but this really isn't something I'd push for closure over.

    Oh, and for the record, I think $30 is very fair. VERY fair.  My DH tutored briefly and while HE was only paid $30 an hour, the woman he worked for charged him out at $75.  A friend was charged out at over $90 an hour!! 
  • Some people don't know how to end relationships. It's clear they'd not like to continue with your tutoring. It's a shame that they can't come out and say it. I don't think you did anything wrong so don't worry about it. 
  • It might be worth asking for references, hopefully that would open the door to any constructive feedback they might have. And provide some closure without making it look like you are hanging on too long.
  • Thanks for the input, at least I feel better! It was weird to be cut off so suddenly from the same people who insisted on cooking me dinner-to-go every time I came over after work to tutor. I even still have her tupperware from the last meal she gave me.
  • You are taking this way too personally. The subject you were tutoring her in, after 9 sessions at a total of $270 didn't make a difference to their child in that subject. You were clingy and completely crossed professional boundaries with the whole "adopted family" thing. You can be friendly, but not friends. Then you wouldn't take the hint that they didn't want to use you any more and continued to text and contact.

    You are taking this way too personally and if you want to do tutoring you need to set yourself professional boundaries. Mostly so you don't end up getting hurt like this.

    Chronically hilarious - you'll split your stitches!
    I wrote a book! Bucket list CHECK!
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