Three Party Agreement For Students​

Thank you for taking a role in your own learning. I do tutoring pretty differently than most companies. Presuming you decide we should work together, we will need buy in from your parent as well. Let’s make sure we all understand each other in this Three Party Agreement.

Parents typically mean well

Though I have never met you, it is most likely that your parent loves you and cares for you a great deal. However, many parents attempt to make the work you do more like how they would do it with the knowledge they now have as an adult. Unfortunately, they fail to remember that they had to learn from their own mistakes, and that you have to be allowed to make your own mistakes. You need to get to decide how you’re going to succeed because you’re strong enough to do it without their help.

So I should learn from experience only?

No. No one person is “self made.” You should not be without help and structure in your learning, but you should have at least some control over how you do it. We will work as a team to accomplish a worthy learning objective of yours in a way that you have buy in.

“So often, parents want to play Edward Scissorhands and start pruning their child like a tree, but the reality is that your tree has just begun to grow, and you don't even know what kind of tree it is. Maybe it's not a sports tree.”

William Stixrud

What is the Three Party Agreement?

The Three Party Agreement is the formalization of the idea that I act like a coach to you and that your parent is encouraged to be your cheerleader, but forbidden from being your coach. (They will now act more as a consultant) Everyone has skin in the game, and everyone has something to gain. Each party is also capable of terminating the relationship.

What is your role as a student?

Your role in this arrangement is to exert your best effort in accomplishing a worthy learning goal as well as trying to do your best to grow your mind and yourself as a person. We will discuss what assignments would be appropriate for you in light of your workload and schedule for that week. You are expected communicate effectively if something comes up. I will be delivering a measure of your effort to your parents using a metric called a social credit score.

"Don't try to carpet the world when it's far easier to give out slippers."

William Stixrud

What is a social credit score?

Under no circumstances will I teach you if you are disinterested in working with me. I want better for you than that! If your best solution is with someone else, then that is what I want for you. I want to help students that are interested in working together as a team.

I also want to help you to understand that knowing how to do work and doing work are two different things, and that impact hours are necessary for any worthy achievement. If you decide to starve your dream of success due to lack of impact hours, I will encourage you to find a cheaper way of failing, because you will have adopted a failing strategy. Sorry not sorry. 

If your social credit score, which is a measure of your standing as a student, reaches the lowest of three possible scores, all of your tutorials will be cancelled, and work can only begin again if I receive in writing, from you, a compelling reason to do so.

The vast majority of students have absolutely no issue completing assignments and trying their best (or close to it). However, it’s important that we communicate clearly up front, so that everyone is clear before we begin what the expectations are (and aren’t).

What's my role as a tutor?

A fiduciary standard is a promise a person makes to do what is in your best interest financially. Though there is no formal equivalent to education I am aware of, I would like to pledge that I act in your best interest as the student. I also seek to give you control over your  learning objectives wherever possible. My role is also to communicate with your parent about how you’re doing. Remember, they can terminate our agreement at any time, just like you can.

“My dad is the smartest person I know. But his methods don't work for me. I don't have the brain of a middle-aged man.”

Anonymous student featured in The Self Driven Child

What's my parent's role?

Your parents should be doing their best to provide a low stress environment for you at home and to support you in your school work. At the bare minimum, they should not be bothering you about the work we are doing together. If they want to talk about how things are going, they should be talking to me (unless you want to talk to them about it, you are certainly welcome to).

What does each party stand to lose and gain?

It’s important that the three parties all have something to lose, and something to gain. It can really help to foster a feeling of team membership.

You, as the student, stand to gain a more secure future and the chance to prove that your work, done the way you want it to be, can lead to your own accomplishment. I, as the tutor, stand to gain not only in your and your parents’ eventual review and referrals of my services, but also the fulfillment of truly improving your life and your future. I really enjoy when I can drastically improve the life of a student for the better. Your parents stand to gain a more relaxed home life where they can enjoy you and your family, without fighting about school work. Depending on your family’s situation, they can also stand to save a lot of money in college tuition if you are granted a scholarship.

As a student, your greatest risk is a low return on your time investment. While most of my previous students have experienced success ranging from marginal gain to completely remapping their collegiate outlook, there is ultimately no guarantee that you will experience such a change. Your parent puts their time but also their capital at risk. My time is also at risk as is the reputation of my business.

“Without a healthy sense of control, kids feel powerless and overwhelmed and will often become passive or resigned. When they are denied the ability to make meaningful choices, they are at high risk of becoming anxious, struggling to manage anger, becoming self-destructive, or self-medicating.”

William Stixrud

What should we do now?

If your parent has not already done so, they should read this website so they can understand better the kind of arrangement I am proposing. It is very important to have everyone’s buy in before we begin our new roles. Once you both are on board, you should each submit an application here.

Table of Contents

First, may I know a bit about the student?
School Details
Now, may I first know a bit about the parent?
Physical Address
The student and parent must apply together. Please acknowledge below that you are both present.
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