“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other” - JFK
Nowadays, there is an increasing number of people who've considered becoming a home tutor. They can help students at primary school, secondary school, university, and even adults by offering home tutoring services in a huge range of subjects. In fact, whether it’s a German lesson, a guitar class, or even exam prep, each private tutorial or group class taught by a private tutor takes the specific needs of each student into account.
Adults are no exception to this rule. They can attend private tutorials and group tutorials just like children do. Whether it’s a private tutorial at home, a support class, online tutoring, a catchup class, or preparation for exams, anyone can get better, regardless of their age.
For the tutor, the teaching methods have to change as teaching adults is very different to helping kids with their chemistry homework or physics revision. You need to think about how to teach adults “well”.
In this series of articles, we're looking at how you can start teaching adults, the differences between teaching adults and children, the advantages of teaching adults, and how to teach tutorials to adults in the workplace.
How to Become a Tutor for Adults
You really have to specialise and consider freelancing if you want to provide academic support and tutorials to adults. If you’re a good teacher, you can head down this path and start teaching even some of the most qualified students. There are a number of benefits to teaching adults as a freelance tutor, as you’ll soon see.
It’s great being a freelance tutor, something which motivates a lot of people to do it. In fact, being a freelancer makes making these kinds of career changes much easier than they would otherwise be if you had a regular day job.
Teaching older students such as sixth formers, university students, and adults is much easier if you’re passionate about what you’re doing.
A passion for sharing knowledge is at the heart of private tutoring and tutors strive to help their students progress. Be it exam prep, their first French tutorial, or booster classes during the school holidays, you get to choose exactly how they work.
Being a private tutor for adults is all about passion and experience. In fact, if you want to be a credible tutor, you need to have self-confidence and also a profound understanding of your subject in order to give your students the best tuition and advice. Adult students have far more specific questions than a child so you need to be ready for them!
As a freelancer, you can make ends meet by offering private tutorials at a student’s home and even provide lessons at different businesses. One way for an experienced private tutor to spend more time teaching is to broaden their offering to include adult classes.
The Difference Between Tutorials for Adults and Children
There are a lot of differences between teaching private tutorials to children and to adults. In fact, even though the fundamentals of teaching will remain the same, the finer details are where the differences are most noticeable. Whether you’re looking to improve your speaking skills, find a job, or just improve your own skills, there are plenty of great reasons to get into teaching private tutorials.
Teaching a child is quite different from teaching an adult. The younger a student is, the more immature, unpredictable, and spontaneous they’ll be. The questions they ask are usually more direct than those from an adult and it’ll force the tutor to change the way they conduct themselves.
Adults are far more likely to ask complex questions and rely on their tutor for support, regardless of the age difference between the two. Tutoring adults relies a lot more on the dialogue between the tutor and the student than it does with children.
For example, an English tutor can come up with a broader range of topics for students as they know that they'll have more life experience. In fact, this is one of the reasons one on one tutoring with adults is so rewarding.
This is also really useful for teaching science and mathematics. It's much easier to explain complex topics like algebra, calculus, geometry, trigonometry, and economics to adults and biology tutors won't have to worry about explaining the birds and the bees, either.
What Are the Advantages of Tutoring Adults?
“To teach is to learn twice.” - Joseph Joubert
While we said that the fundamental teaching approaches will remain the same, there are a number of advantages of teaching adults over children. This is why there are so many business training courses. Adults don’t often need intensive lessons as often as children do, for one.
Unlike a child, adults choose when to get their private tutorials, which means they’ll be more attentive and focused than a child who may have spent the whole day studying. The rapport between the tutor and the student is more fluid and natural, allowing the lessons to be more constructive.
An adult student will be better at assimilating new concepts than a child. This means that adults can learn in distinctly different ways to children.
The key advantages of teaching adults are:
- Ease of learning
- The speed of assimilating new concepts
- A genuine interest in their own progress
- A passion for what they’re being taught
- A real dialogue with their tutor
Regardless of the subject, the tutor is teaching, they can create a more constructive relationship through deeper exchanges with their student. Whether they’re teaching Italian, maths, or IT, a tutor can delve more deeply into their subject when they’re teaching adults.
Adults are generally more respectful in the classroom, too. They understand why they need to succeed and why they're being tutored, made the decision to get private tuition, and are ready to listen to your coaching and guidance.
Our Advice for Teaching Tutorials in Businesses
Providing private tutoring in businesses in becoming increasingly common. From general classes to specific skills such as team-building exercises and working in groups, anything can be taught in a business.
When you provide tutoring in a business, your goal is to give a group of professionals a new skill they can use in their working lives. You’ll act as a supporting figure and a guide in order to provide them with these new skills and knowledge. A lot of businesses want to find a tutor to provide instruction to a small group of their staff in order to make them more competitive.
In most cases, these businesses will look at tutoring companies to help them. However, there's nothing stopping the best tutors from getting their foot in the door of businesses as a freelancer or independent educator and scheduling some lessons at a company.
You need to have self-confidence and a mastery of your subject as the people you’re teaching will also probably already know quite a bit about it. A tutor teaching in businesses needs to be both a master of their subject and an impeccable teacher.
In fact, when you’re teaching adults in a business, it’s important to maintain a regular dialogue. You need to know how to talk to adults and make sure they don’t feel like children when they’re being taught. That said, you can sometimes be surprised by how little knowledge people retain from school.
The main goal of teaching these types of classes is to help the students progress. After all, the business wants their staff to become better, which will make the business more competitive.
As you’ll have understood, teaching adults is a rewarding line of work which can be both complicated and stimulating at the same time. The tutor will find themselves faced with teaching challenges and the students will have to re-familiarise themselves with the idea of attending a class, something which they mightn’t have done for quite some time.
Who said teaching was just for kids?
If you're interested in teaching adults, you can create your profile on Superprof quickly and easily. You just have to state what subjects you teach and where you teach them. This will allow potential students and businesses to find you.
You can also teach online tutorials via webcam using software such as Skype. This is a useful way to save on travel costs and allows you to offer tutorials at a more competitive rate to students.