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What Qualifies you to Start Working as a one to one Home-Tutor?

From Ellen, published on 02/05/2017 We Love Prof - UK > Tutoring > Advice for Tutors > What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Private Tutor?

In the UK, there are no legal requirements to have any specific qualifications to become a private tutor.

In general, tutors of a specific academic subject will normally have a background or qualification in that area, usually to degree-level or equivalent. It is not compulsory to have a degree, but it is naturally quite an important component for providing a great tutoring service and obtaining tutoring jobs London, Manchester, Glasgow and elsewhere.

Many tutoring jobs at agencies will recommend that you have at least a university-level knowledge of the subject you wish to tutor. They might also prefer that you have first-hand experience in certain subjects that might be more specialist.

Many parents of students, might well prefer that you have some sort of academic qualification in the subject you tutor, depending on the level you teach.

If you are teaching maths at A-Level or university-level, for example, it would benefit both you and your student to have a significant academic background in maths. This will usually entail having a degree in the subject, ensuring that you have the ability to teach it properly with a perfect understanding yourself.

This is important because learning goes far beyond the school syllabus. As a tutor, you should encourage your students to ask questions and gain a wider understanding of the subject they are studying. This is made possible when you can offer that wider knowledge, and are able to teach beyond the curriculum.

There are other instances where qualifications and extensive experience can be very useful. Many skills don’t require a strict academic knowledge, such as more vocational and creative subjects.

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Tutoring is more than Pure Academia

Perhaps you tutor a musical instrument. In order to give music lessons, it is not necessary to have any official grades in your instrument – just skill and great teaching strategies. However, if you are preparing your student for instrument grades and exams, it’s important that you understand the grading and assessment systems, and that you can help your student pass.

Students look to take up new skills as a release or just for fun all the time. Home-tutoring doesn't have to take place at home. Tutoring can be broader than school subjects. Source: Upsplash

Tutoring doesn’t just revolve around academic subjects or teaching school children. Many adults seek private tutoring to help them develop a particular skill or subject either for professional development or just for fun.

Many tutors specialise in music, art, marketing, business, and computer skills such as software and coding.

If you offer tuition in one of these more specialist subjects such as IT-based or media-based skills, for example, it is more likely that you will have extensive experience in this area, be it academic or professional. It is not necessary to have any qualifications, but students will naturally be drawn to tutors who have the technical experience to teach in that area.

For this type of tutoring, it is almost always preferable that you will have industry-specific experience and knowledge. Particularly with adult students, teacher training and qualifications are rarely sought after in a home tutor.

Therefore, with most tutoring companies there are no minimum or maximum qualifications required to start working as a home tutor. There are all sorts of students just as there are all sorts of tutors. All you need to do is create your profile and start advertising, and students will choose a tutor based on what suits their personal way of learning.

Personal Qualities can Make or Break a Tutor

Being a private tutor requires a certain level of skill and expertise, but it is up to you to advertise your credentials accordingly and decide whether you are competent to tutor in a certain subject.

Above all, it is important to remember that experience and human qualities are what really qualifies you to be a great tutor.

When considering a career in private tutoring, ask yourself if you have the following qualities and skills:

  • Perseverance, patience and a flair for teaching
  • Creativity and enthusiasm with teaching strategies and lesson planning
  • Passion and talent for your subject
  • A love for teaching and helping people learn at various levels

Tutors should be creative and encouraging! There are no necessary qualifications – just an inventive way of teaching! Source: Pixabay

Students learn in all sorts of ways. The true sign of a great tutor is the ability to create individualised methods of learning that are tailored specifically to the student.

If you feel as though you have these qualities, and that you can boost students’ grades and cultivate skills in an easy, positive environment, then you are qualified to be a home tutor!

Do you need Teaching Experience to Become a Tutor?

Many tutors provide a private tutoring service alongside a teaching job. It is common that current and retired qualified teachers offer these services, and they are often the preferred choice among school students.

Many students do find that their way of learning is better supported by someone with different experience and skills to offer, so teaching qualifications are not only unnecessary, but sometimes undesired too.

Students and parents sometimes find that tutors who are not qualified teachers can offer a different approach to teaching. It is often preferred to have a tutor with industry-specific experience and work-based knowledge.

It is also common for students currently studying a degree to tutor alongside their studies. It is not necessary to have finished your degree to start tutoring, and many students – particularly of secondary school age – tend to find this level of tutoring well suited to their way of learning and understanding.

Tutoring for Specific exams

When tutoring exam-specific course subjects, such as GCSE, A-Level or International Baccalaureate courses, it is important to have a good knowledge of how they work. Familiarising yourself with the course structure, content and assessment will help you prepare your student great results and academic success.

It might be a good idea to have the main course texts or textbooks for your subject, particularly if you tend to tutor a specific academic level such as GCSE or A-Level. Having these resources means that you can learn the syllabus and assessment structure.

You should also familiarise yourself with the different courses available to certain age groups. For example, the difference between A-Level and International Baccalaureate courses can be huge, and the syllabus and exams can focus on completely different aspects of the same subjects.

As a science tutor, you might teach students who are taking a BTEC course or similar, which can also be completely different to standard sixth-form studies. Although you don’t need to know these courses inside out, you should be able to learn quickly and adjust your teaching to suit certain courses.

You might also find past papers and mark schemes for exams that your student is preparing for. This will enable you to give exam-focused help and guidance to your student which is specific to their syllabus and exam assessment board.

Having the extra knowledge and resources that are available to school teachers means that you can understand how your students learn in the classroom and what is required of them, and in turn you can learn what is required of you as a home tutor to help them succeed.

As a tutor, you can use this knowledge alongside any work or industry experience you might have, so your student can get the best from your skill set and expertise.

You might also create your own resources to help your student learn in a different way to how they might at school, with a less rigid structure. You don’t need any qualifications to show some initiative and creativity with your tutoring sessions, and often having no standard teacher training can help you approach teaching differently and better suit how your students learn.

Can a Lack of Qualifications be an Issue?

No requirements for qualifications means that tutoring can be simple and easy to get started with. But it can, of course, present certain problems too.

With no official qualifications or training it can be more difficult to deliver a particular standard of teaching that some students and parents will expect. With no teacher training, it’s up to you to decide if you’re right for the job and if you can deliver an outstanding tutoring service.

Because of this, it’s important to consider buying insurance for you and your business – particularly professional indemnity insurance – which is a form of protection against any legal liability as a result of professional malpractice or misconduct.

In the event that a client might want to sue you for misleading or incorrect teaching, you will be covered for any legal fees or compensation.

For this reason, it is crucial that all the information you give, and skills or qualifications that you advertise, are accurate and honest. You must be able to verify and provide proof of any qualifications that you claim to have.

If you do have any qualifications, you can upload them to Superprof to be verified by our team. Once they have been checked, you can advertise your qualifications on your tutor advert to help attract prospective students.

There’s a huge array of teaching resources and ideas available to help you start teaching at home. From books to online blogs and videos, you can find inspiration to provide attentive and informative home tutoring sessions.

Subject-specific expertise and strong teaching techniques are important to making your tutoring business thrive, and will make your service stand out – regardless of which qualifications you have! The ultimate qualification is your ability to help your students learn and enjoy the subject you love.

Now you have been inspired to start tutoring and sharing your knowledge with others, read up on the legalities of giving 1 to 1 tuition, how to report you income as a home-tutor and whether you should obtain a DBS check for your tutoring business

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