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End of year gifts for tutors... and kids job interviews questions


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Two questions this afternoon for all the moms who been there

1. Ds had tutor this year for his Japanese he met either weekly or byweekly depending on everyone's schedule. Meetings were done through Skype or Facetime, not in person. Do I give teacher an end of the year gift, a gesture of appreciation. If so, what do we do/give? We do not live in the same city- I think it is about an hour drive between us.

2. Ds (10th grade) applying for apprenticeship with local electric company for the summer. It would be a full time 40 hours a week job with a good portion of it outside in the southern sun and humidity. My question is, am I allowed to go in and ask "mom" questions when he goes in to turn in paperwork and interview. "mom" questions meaning things ds might not think about like particular shoes he may need, or how extreme heat is handled by the company (how they handle heat stroke possibility outside and all that), maybe other safety questions due to the job itself. Things like that that usually do not come on the priority list for many teens.  Or would it be seen as a bad thing if mom shows up to the interview and starts asking questions.

Thank you for any advise.


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My take:

1. Yes, get a gift of appreciation for tutoring. It doesn't have to be large - coffee gift card, mug, something related to a hobby or interest, etc. It's a thoughtful gesture, and while not socially required, is a polite means of saying thanks for the year of hard work.

2. No, you are definitely not allowed to go to the interview and/or ask any questions. Coach your son on the questions to ask if necessary, but any work related activities must be done by the student ALONE. We are employers and dealing with parents would be a huge red flag for us that a teen was not mature or independent enough to handle a job and the necessary soft skills required to communicate successfully.

Hope that helps!

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Eh, I would not give a gift or tip to the tutor unless they went above and beyond in some way, like accommodating you with a constantly shifting schedule or putting in unexpected hours to prep for a contest or something. If you're very pleased with them, you can offer to leave a review if they have a website or serve as a reference. (spoken as a tutor and mom to a tutor) 

An apprenticeship that accepts minors is almost certainly going to have this covered in the paperwork. Ask nothing. If he gets the job and doesn't come home with relevant paperwork, tell him to ask for it before you do. 

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Do a gift if you like to do gifts. Gift cards are great for this sort of think. Is there a Japanese restaurant or grocery store in their area? 


Absolutely, do not, engage with the potential employeer. If a teen applied for a job at my work and the parent contacted me, they would be cut from my list immediately. I wouldn't even bother to interview them. I am hireing the teen, not the mother. If the teen is not capable of asking pertinent questions, then they are not capable of doing the job independently. If the teen came to the interview and had a list of questions, even if they were obviously from a parent/internet/counselor etc that would be fine. As long as the teen understood the question and could understand the answer I wouldn't think twice. 

I will give you one heads up on one common interview tactic to help him with. When I interview, I often ask 3 part questions. For example...Tell me about a situation that happened at work where you felt someone asked you to do something unethical. How you handled the situation and what the resolution was.  The situation is only half the points I give this question. The other half  is whether or not they answered all 3 parts.

If the teen hadn't worked before and said to me "This will be my first job, but I have an example at school/at church/at sports etc." I would be just as happy to hear that example. But what I am looking for is an appropriate answer and especially the 3 separate parts to the answer. 

It doesn't have to be elaborate. An example I was given recently to this exact question " My boss told me to put some clothes on a specific display, which just a week prior our district manager told us they didn't want clothes on that location. The district manager gave us a new plan-o-gram on paper so I retrieved the plan, and asked my manage for clarification on what she wanted. The manager used the diagram to show me a different location to put the clothes instead. " 

A teen might say something like "A friend asked me to help them cheat on a test by letting him copy my answers. I said no, because I didn't want to get caught and get a zero myself.  During the test, I turned my paper away from him, to prevent him from copying from me."

The reason I ask 3 part questions....is to see if a person can follow 3 part instructions. 🙂

Edited by Tap
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