Inside the world of tutoring for the ultra-wealthy

Sarah Thomas, a tutor to the super-rich, spills the tea on what it's like to tutor the children of the ultra-wealthy. She spent a lot of time on mega yachts and hotels, including an underwater suite in Dubai where sharks swim past the windows. Her patrons, she writes in the British Vogue, were billionaires. "Some had made their money from sweatshops, from authoritarian regimes, and from tech companies with profits hidden safely offshore."

From the article:

  • "I found myself having to wear dirty clothes after being told by one of the richest families in Europe that running the washing machine was 'too expensive.'"
  • "I remember a 'doctor' fastening 20 electrodes to the skull of my pupil Cara, explaining that they'd help her—16, Prada-clad and passive—revise for her biology GCSE exam; Cara's mother telling me that she'd flown him in from Zurich and that the electrodes would stimulate Cara's 'problem-solving brainwaves' as she studied."
  • "I remember one mother telling me, 'Please, Sarah, when you aren't teaching, either stay in your bedroom or leave the property. This is a family holiday.'"
  • On one particularly bad job, the housekeeper and I would sneak to the end of the driveway at night to share cigarettes. We had no common language, but one night she tapped some words into Google Translate: bad family.

Sarah Thomas' novel, Queen K is inspired by her experience as a tutor for the children of billionaires.