Concerned some students will have trouble later on from just copying answers etc.

I am concerned some students have just been copying answers and so on and not learning much. I have had tutoring students and tutoring requests in high end math classes in which the student just wanted answers and no explanation. I had to just express my concerns to the student and decline the business. I don’t know what those students are thinking, as they will be in trouble in later honors math classes and taking AP exams etc. This is particularly self destructive in math, and to a lesser extent science classes.

IMO parents should be aware of this and try to make sure students do not do this, but should be understanding of the unusual situation in the country and not be too critical or punitive. It is not just a mater of ethics. Many students are really damaging their college chances etc.

You are doing the right thing in turning down such students. As a parent who pays for an expensive (but highly regarded and experienced) math tutor for my daughter, I would definitely want to know if she was wasting my money by pulling something like that. As a tutor whose skills are very much in demand these days, you have every right to be particular over which clients you work with as their success (or lack thereof) will affect your reputation down the line.

Copying answers from someone or someplace else, rather than doing the work oneself is called…cheating…isn’t it?

Of course this should not be allowed.

Yeh, the cheating has been really bad since March. Some of these students are going to be badly hurt in their grades and test scores by doing that and not learning much for months.

I totally don’t understand what kids in say BC calculus are thinking doing that. They aren’t going to pass the AP exam and likely will not be ready for multivariable calculus or whatever as seniors.

As a tutor, it puts me in a difficult position when a student demands just the answers. Aside from ethics, I can’t take money from the parents and not teach much. How would I explain it to the parents later on? Then if I talk to the parents about it, I could get into a mess with the kid getting in trouble and being in the middle. I could also seriously antagonize the parents if they wanted the kid to be cheating.

Just say NO! You need them to work through the problems and show their work. If they don’t like it, i would terminate my work with them.

I hope you do realize that giving them the answer is NOT tutoring. It’s not.

Do you really listen to the student demands? And then cave in?

I don’t give in, but I don’t discuss it with the parents either. I can’t get involved in turning everyone in.

I can’t understand how this is even an issue. Tutoring is never about giving answers. Even in writing, a tutor should not be directive. For math it is very clear cut. You have to help a kid learn how to do the reasoning that leads to an answer. Process is more important than the answer, at least until your are building bridges and planes!

How do you know about cheating? Are you referring to students giving each other answers?

If kids are demanding answers from you there is something wrong. I can’t even imagine it. You are wise to terminate. If the parents are paying, I would also think you could tell them the student doesn’t want to do the work.

What are you “turning in” kids for? Asking you for answers? Cheating with others?

I am very unclear here. There seem to be two separate issues, asking you for answers, and cheating. Or are they the same?

I’m a tutor. I’ve had parents and students ask me to do unethical things. Just say no, you can’t do it. Explain to both the parent and the student why. It’s not likely they are going to bad mouth you, becasue they know what they are doing is unethical.

I get your concern, but frankly, those who choose that route will get what they deserve.

I really don’t understand the problem here. The word “No” is very powerful.
Student-“Can you just give me the answers today since I got things to do”.
“Tutor” - "No ".

All joking aside, as a parent that has used a math tutor before or any tutor, if after this one “no” the tutor was asked again, this is your responsibility to bring in the parent. You job is to tutor not parent. The kids job is to learn. Make a contract if you need to with the student. If this is happening with more then one student, then I find this problematic.

Maybe you need to get each student/parent to sign a contract with you as a rule. You could lay out expectations for payments, notifications of cancellation, etc. You could have a paragraph about not providing answers, too. I think contracts are a good idea for ANY business. We never take on a client who is unwilling to sign our short contract (we are willing to make changes if reasonable).

The problem isn’t whether to help them cheat but whether to discuss it with the parents. I had existing client when this hit, which I lost because the student just wanted answers.

But that’s a good client to lose. You have ethics which is good.

If the student is under 18 and the parents are paying, I would think you could discuss with the parents. The student should have known upfront what the expectations are (no cheating, no answers) and what the purpose of tutoring is (to help the student be able to do the work, not do the work).

So do you want to talk to parents so that you can keep the client? I think it is better not to work with a client who is demanding that you cheat.

As others have pointed out, you can deal with this preventatively by having tutee and parents sign a contract explaining how you work and what the expectations are, including when you can talk to parents.

I was always good at math and my parents wanted me to tutor my younger sister. I had the same problem somewhat. She would ask me to “just show her the steps” and she wouldn’t want to know why. Those “tutoring” sessions always ended up being a big argument and finally my parents stopped asking me to tutor her.

I always believe that the true learning is understanding “why”.

When you get out in the real world computers are great at just doing the steps. The good jobs are for those who do understand the “why”.

Being professional means discussing it with parents, as awkward as that may be. You don’t have to use the word “cheating” per se. Just explain with an apologetic tone that your business/professional reputation rests on students being a good fit for what you have to offer, and on your clients doing well in the long term. Johnny seems to prefer to limit your sessions to “checking his work”. Therefore, it is not a good use of their money as it is not a match to your teaching style.

Whether they read between the lines or not, at least when Johnny continues to get poor grades they won’t be looking to you for an explanation. They won’t be badmouthing you for being an ineffective tutor - or a vanishing one.

So move on and try to get more clients.
In college students may try to get answers to the homework assignments from the TA, but the TA is supposed to help by reviewing the relevant concepts and helping by solving related problems.

I didn’t really want advise on handling my tutoring business or ethical issues. My point is that cheating has been really widespread with and without tutors. Parents should be aware that many may be in a bad situation, particularly in math, science, and foreign language from missing material the last 3 months of last school year.

Closing thread. The conversation is going in circles.