Have you ever thought about becoming a maths tutor, teaching the guitar, or offering a language course?
Here are some top tips for those new to tutoring jobs who are finding their feet.
This article will tell you all you need to know about teaching, including how to find clients and establish a good relationship with them, how to structure your lessons, and what steps to take to get the most out of your new job!
Feeling lost? Worry no more! Let us give you a helping hand on the way to your academic tutoring career ¦ source: Visualhunt
When you are giving one on one, individualised lessons, you must keep in mind that you are providing a service. As a private tutor, the notion of service is very important because you are ‘at the service’ of your students.
In order to make the best progress towards achieving your student’s goals, you must first build a relationship of trust.
This is an essential quality of a good one to one tutor and achieving student success.
Having such a relationship with your tutee will help you to get to know them better and therefore deliver a more personalised learning programme.
The majority of private tutors have first-hand experience of their chosen topic, meaning they hold a qualification in it or they are currently studying it at university.
Of course, you can’t teach the piano if you’ve never had a lesson yourself! It’s down to common sense and whether or not you feel qualified to teach your chosen subject.
Want to be a science tutor? Maybe you have a degree in physics, but if you are also bilingual in English and French, but are without a certificate to prove it, nothing can stop you from teaching French as a foreign language as well.
Just bear in mind that your qualifications will have an influence on your earnings as a private tutor.
In case you were wondering, you don’t need to have any particular degree to give peer tutoring – a good level of knowledge in your subject is enough. There are no legal requirements that may prevent you from becoming a tutor, however it is recommended that you obtain a DBS certificate for peace of mind.
To legally earn money through tutor jobs, you’ll need to observe a few formalities depending on how you intend to do business.
If you are tutoring as an individual (rather than as part of a tutoring company or business), you’ll need to register as self-employed with HMRC.
Being self-employed means keeping track of your earnings and filling out your own self-assessment tax return at the end of each tax year. This is to make sure that you pay the correct amount of tax based on what you earn.
Get public liability insurance to protect you in the case of injury or damage claims that may be linked to your work as a home tutor. Having insurance isn’t a legal requirement for private tutors but it can give you peace of mind.
Working for a business can take some of the work off your shoulders. In the case of tutoring services, the organisation will find your students for you, so you are always guaranteed work, however sometimes, like with other jobs, they need a minimum level of qualification.
While some agencies just ask for a good level of experience in your chosen subject, others only recruit tutors from top universities.
Working for an agency has many benefits. You get to don the cape with their name and they do the paperwork for you! So all you need to worry about is getting your payslip at the end of the month.
You can also work for an online tutoring business such as Superprof.co.uk! This will allow you to build an online presence and gain a reputation.
Now you know a bit more about what is required to become a tutor, you need someone to teach!
But where to find them?
There are lots of different ways to get your name out there, and we recommend that you use all of them to cover every base and gain more clients.
Going away for a few weeks and want to keep in touch with your students? Why not improve your accessibility and become an online tutor?
All you need to tutor online is a computer, a webcam with a microphone, and a Skype account!
Teach via a webcam connection as well as face to face ¦ source: Visualhunt
Online tutoring is just as effective as in-home tutoring or small group sessions – it just demands a different setup. As always, the productivity of a lesson, whether online or in person, depends on the student’s level of motivation and the teacher’s capabilities.
However, we advise that you invest in high-quality webcam equipment to ensure that your online sessions are of a high enough quality that they are without interruption or misunderstanding. This way, they can be as effective as they would be in person.
You can even find new advantages to modernising your teaching methods: use screen sharing, Google Drive, and applications like Whatsapp to make sure that your pupils get the most out of your hourly sessions.
And guess what? You won’t even be out of pocket! Average rates for online lessons are the same as those for lessons delivered in person.
This means you can keep your clientele and expand your services to the wider world!
The most obvious place to help your student develop academically is in their own home.
It’s often easier to teach a pupil who is in a familiar space and therefore more relaxed, however sometimes the family environment is not ideal for studying.
You should use your imagination and find new and interesting places that have the right atmosphere to be a good learning environment. From kindergarten children to A level to college level, changing the place of study can have positive effects: it adds an element of fun, stimulates the curiosity of the student and will do wonders for their confidence by teaching them to adapt to different environments!
Here are a few ideas:
There are no limits to teaching – so get creative and find out what works best for you and your pupils!
As we mentioned earlier, maintaining a good teacher-pupil relationship is essential to providing the best level of support and to get more jobs after teaching.
If a student is taking private lessons, it is because they need individualised academic support, not because they need a rehash of what they have already struggled to understand in class! Therefore, tailoring your classes is key to successful tutoring.
To begin developing a relationship with your student, we recommend that you organise a pre-lesson meeting with them. This is an opportunity to ask them about why they wanted to find a tutor, the type of progress they hope to make and what specific goals they have in mind.
You can also use the student’s parents as a guide: figure out how they are feeling about their child’s academic career and address any worries they may have. After all, they know their child better than anyone and are usually the first ones to seek help after spotting any difficulties.
Every student has their own learning styles and it is important to adapt to each of them ¦ source: Twenty20
Explain your approach to teaching and be sure to involve parents in their child’s progress. This is also important for the child, who may need to feel supported to fulfil their potential.
It’s common for children with specific learning difficulties or disabilities (SpLDs) such as dyslexia or ADHD to turn to supplemental instruction to help them learn how to cope in the classroom. As an educator, it’s your job to teach them how to learn by equipping them with a learning style that suits them.
It’s also important to recognise your student’s strengths as well as their weaknesses, to avoid demoralising them. If you only work on the problem areas, you risk harming their self-esteem and setting them back even further.
This is why it’s best to analyse your student’s strengths and incorporate them into the learning strategies so that your pupil feels confident in themselves.
The tutor can use their student’s strengths and weaknesses to personalise the learning process. This part of home tuition can be the best help for the student, who can take the new learning skills into the classroom and feel more confident among their peers.
When coming up with your advert, look around you and get inspired! You can look on tutoring websites (such as Superprof.co.uk) or even in your local shop to see what other people have done.
Have fun creating your flyers and adverts! Get creative and let your subject take centre stage ¦ source: Visualhunt
Who hasn’t taken ideas from a good CV when writing their own? It works the same way with your flyers!
For the leaflets to post through letterboxes, you make yourself stand out. Do the same thing for the posters you’ll display in shops, on community notice boards or at the school gates.
Keep it concise! Adverts should a short and sweet, a bit like a CV. People won’t spend long deciding whether they want to consider your services, so don’t keep them long!
Don’t forget to mention specific areas that might interest people. For example, if you’re advertising as a math and science tutor, promote your ability to provide trigonometry, calculus, algebra, or geometry homework help.
Humanities undergraduates can make fabulous history tutors or writing tutors for people looking for academic tutoring in a specific subject or in a general area such as reading and writing. So target your flyers towards people who are looking for a reading tutor for their child, for example.
As an undergrad, you are equipped with the perfect knowledge to help people in the education system with test taking.
So exploit the skills you have gained through all those years of education and help others to succeed.
Expand your reach to get the maximum number of clients. Use the same to-the-point adverts in the local paper as you do online to create a recognisable brand for yourself.
There are several qualities which are essential to a successful teaching career:
Display good organisational skills by creating a structured and personalised learning programme for each of your students. Every pupil is different and you must be able to adapt your work to each of their situations and goals.
Guide your students to academic success and set them on the path to independence ¦ source: Visualhunt
Of course, the methodology stays more or less the same since it is the solid base which can change to align with the specific needs of your students. You will know your teaching strategies like the back of your hand, so they are yours to chop and change to create tailored lesson plans for your client.
Among the qualities of a good tutor lies the psychological approach. Put yourself in your student’s shoes and ask yourself questions about what to do differently to get the best results.
Build a relationship of trust so that your student can help you as much as you help them. Openness in the teacher-pupil relationship is key to maintaining a positive atmosphere.
Try to have routine appointments with your students so you can follow their progress in the long term. This is the best way to achieve the student’s goals since they tend to work harder when they know they are being tracked, and the longer you follow them, the better you will get to know them!