Long considered the most important profession in the world, the work of a teacher has actually reinvented itself quite a bit
Since classroom teacher is no longer the dream job it once was for many people, the role of private tutor offers lots more opportunity!
Across the United States, the private tutoring business is booming.
Having become an almost 6 billion dollar industry, the American tutoring market is among the largest in the world.
Even now, American students and their parents are still increasing the use of private tutors at an incredible rate as they look to supplement their education.
As an educator, you want to help students do better and you have a real passion for sharing knowledge, so now you want to become a private in-home tutor.
Learn how to tutor math.
However, even though you've made the decision, you're feeling a little lost.
What training do you need to accomplish your goal of helping students succeed academically?
How do you give lessons?
Maybe it all seems vague and you aren't finding answers.
Superprof is here to give them to you!
The Job of Tutoring
Before anything else, it's important to clearly define the job of a private tutor.
A tutor is there to give academic support in the form of lessons, most often in the student's home. Generally, the private tutor gives lessons in the subject that is his or her specialty.
Don't even think of giving classes in German to high school students if you can't even say "hello" in the language of Goethe!
Tutors give lessons, for example, in math, physics, chemistry, or even Spanish. And many more beyond these.
As you know, these are individual lessons given to students of all levels who are often struggling in school or facing difficulties in specific subjects.
That said, there are also very accomplished students who use tutoring services.
They opt for academic support if they want to get the best score possible on college entrance exams, for example, or to help with reviewing materials during college courses. Or simply to become experts in their chosen subject field.
So in order to give private tutoring lessons, you need to have a firm grasp on pedagogical approaches and great capacity for adaptation. The various profiles and personalities of your future students require this creative adaptability.
Although there is no formal training required to become a tutor, that doesn't mean you can dive right in.
Know Your Subject Matter
As you envision the process of becoming a private tutor, it's obvious that it's necessary to have proven competency of the subject you want to teach.
If you want, for example, to give lessons in math, it's preferable to be very competent in math. This is foremost trait you need to be a tutor!
If you want to tutor a college freshman, you should have at least a bachelor's degree in math to be able to provide lasting and effective support.
You should also be able to substantiate your competencies to your future students. Make photocopies of your various diplomas, letters of recommendation, and your resume to show prospective students or their parents. And carry them with you every day.
If you've taken training classes with the National Tutoring Association, make sure to highlight that face, because it definitely looks good.
Apart from your competencies in your specific academic discipline, you also need to think about your status as a private tutor.
There's a huge difference between a high school student who tutors for some spending money and someone with a college degree who does it full time. The training, and remuneration, for each of these profiles is very different.
As an example, let's say there's a high school senior who wants to earn a little money by tutoring a middle school student in science. This tutor's education enables him to have enough competency to give lessons to a student at a much lower level. And since it's only a few hours a week, the student's parents can pay him in cash or with a personal check. It's all very informal and not very reliable over the long term.
On the other hand, an older tutor, a former public school teacher looking to become a full time tutor to have more control over salary and schedule, can become their own employer. This tutor will give invoices to clients for each hour, and can establish a client base that creates a more reliable stream of income.
His degree in English (for example) allows him to give lessons to five high school students a week with no problems. And his reputation ensures more students.
There are, however, many other ways to be a tutor!
Training to Become a Tutor with an Organization
You can easily imagine giving tutoring lessons through a specialized company.
There are numerous companies that help students with homework. Some of them have been around for decades.
If you choose this option for your tutoring career, you should know that you'll need to have a bachelor's degree at minimum. They don't hire students.
But this route guarantees you many types of tutoring opportunities.
If you aren't a trained and certified tutor, in your subject area, you likely won't pass their recruitment screening.
If, on paper, a bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement, you should know that many of these companies favor professional teach profiles, people with degrees in education.
Since there's not always pedagogical training after hiring, it's advised to have some experience with tutoring before applying.
Once you're hired, the process is rather simple. It's the company who chooses which students you'll tutor. You just need to indicate how many hours a week you want to work.
Tutors focus exclusively on the lessons and their content, giving regular reports on students' progress to be used in evaluations.
The hourly tutoring rates are set by the company and they take a percentage of that rate before paying you. The amount of work you can get through a company, as well as the money, varies from company to company.
Choosing to tutor through a company suits those who don't want to have to find students themselves. This option is less suited for those who value their freedom to choose their students and set their own rates.
Tutoring Through Superprof
The method of posting fliers advertising your tutoring services will always work. You simply leave your fliers in and around local businesses where students near you might seem them.
But nowadays, online fliers represent another way to advertise your services along perks, such as discounts for new students. Visibility, however, is far from guaranteed if you do this yourself.
Superprof decided to revolutionize the flier approach by creating an online platform that puts students directly in touch with tutors. Registering is entirely free for tutors, and there's no commission charged for the hour sessions.
And in terms of training, there's no minimum educational requirement to begin tutoring. Everyone can share their knowledge with Superprof!
On Superprof, there's a rating system that gives students the opportunity to rate their tutors. That's it's recommended that you only become a tutor if you have a passion for sharing knowledge, and are competent in your subject material. In order to develop as a tutor, you also need to be serious, punctual, and reliable.
Unlike other companies, Superprof gives tutors the opportunity to give lessons in a number of subjects, and includes things considered less scholarly (like surfing).
So you can give guitar lessons if that's your passion, even if you're self-taught, or art history. Even athletic coaches can offer their services on Superprof.
Once you decide to become a private tutor, you need to be truly motivated, to show a real interest in the material to match your understanding of it. Simply going through the motions won't help students learn the material in any substantive way.
There is no training required, but there are some basic qualifications that are required in order to be able to offer your courses and begin passing along your know-how to the benefit of your students.
As you gain experience, you'll become an even better tutor, and establish an excellent reputation, on Superprof and elsewhere.
Word of mouth will take care of the rest!
Be sure to read this handy guide, full of tips for getting started as a private tutor!