The Limits of Paying to Learn, As Told By a 1k/hour Tutor

Child Development

Child Development in New YorkParents were paying Anthony as high as $1,000 an hour for his tutoring services. He was admittedly no “teaching wizard;” able to impart knowledge to affluent youngsters like no other human being can. Anthony only knew how the standardized tests work, and what it takes to pass them. Around 110 math rules and 60 grammar rules, to be exact. He worked from home and made his own hours, but after only more than two years, he quit.

The Understatement of the Century

In an article published on Vox, 99th percentile SAT scorer Anthony-James Green chronicles the string of epiphanies that led to his decision to turn away from expensive one-on-one tutoring sessions. “The SAT tutor to the 1%” served hundreds of students over the course of his career, earning more than two weeks’ worth of a farm worker’s salary within an hour of tutoring.

But, one-on-one sessions with particularly demanding clients were not Green’s only source of income. He branched into distributing cheaper online SAT review lesson plans on top of serving a “what am I paying you for?” crowd of apathetic parents and irresponsible high school rich kids. Within months, underprivileged yet diligent testers accessing Green’s Dropbox folder were already outperforming his coddled clients.

The Problem Money Can’t Solve

Educators from New York-based CentralParkTutors.com underline the limits of mentorship in Green’s case. They say that tutors can only go so far in helping a child perform better on the SAT (around 400 points), adding that paying more does not necessarily make for a higher score, especially if the mentee isn’t exactly willing to improve.

It was in 2012 when Green started turning down clients to focus on his online lesson plans. In early 2015, he realized how he has been contributing to the problem of devaluing hard work for the people who need to learn about it the most. “America’s Top SAT Tutor” finally released the reins and devoted his 14,000+ hours of experience to help America’s floundering test-taking youth regain what they truly lack: self-reliance.

“Kids are remarkable learners. If we give them the tools they need to study, the belief that they can learn on their own, and the gentle support necessary to encourage the process, they’ll accomplish remarkable things,” Green said.

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