So you’ve decided to enter the field of scholastic support and teaching, to put your vast knowledge in the service of students who are having scholastic difficulty? Your love of sharing knowledge has attracted you to this field, where you can participate in the academic success of students.
Before giving your private lessons you must plan ahead:
- Define your teaching level
- Propose a clear course offer
- Utilize current modes of communication
- Develop your network
- Propose high quality courses
When you decide to give one on one tutoring courses and become a private instructor, you generally know beforehand that you have what it takes to provide a quality education to your future students. If this is the case for you, and you’ve recently decided to jump into the adventure of academic support, you know that your pedagogical approach must be adapted to your individual students, so that each one makes real progress.
Obviously, this means mastering your discipline and subject, whether you are a chemistry tutor or a math tutor.
Whether you go to your student’s home to give private lessons in French, school math or even writing tutoring, you must have the necessary knowledge to actively participate in the academic success of your students.
You’ve also defined the methods and fees of your private tutoring. You’ve constructed a schedule and know the number of hours you’ll be able to teach per week.
But, are you sure you haven’t forgotten anything important? Think clearly, there may be a detail you’ve overlooked…
To be a private teacher, don’t forget that you have to find the students! They won’t magically appear the moment you decide to give your first class!
You’ll need to do a bit of advertising and branding to make yourself known to have clients come to you. But, don’t panic: if you follow our advice, you’ll know exactly how to find those students.
And keep them!
Define your level to become a private instructor
You must know that the entire scholastic services market is extremely vast. Tutoring is a huge field with a wide range of formats and methodologies, depending on the student’s needs, age and level.
The most classic type is tutoring with a private instructor. The student having scholastic difficulties will make progress as the weeks go by, thanks to continual work and an individualized course of study. This could mean simply help with homework, study skills, note taking or exam prep, or help with a particular subject, such as school math or science.
There are also intensive training courses, often geared toward one subject or standardized testing prep such as for the ACT, SAT or GMAT. Here, like express training to earn a drivers license, it is typical to concentrate class hours in a short period.
In today’s digital age, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention all the new types of academic services available thanks to current technologies. By this we are referring mainly to E-learning and online tutoring (but probably best to stay away from free tutoring offers). And what better place to start than Superprof!
The level of students who are having academic difficulty or who simply want to improve or go further in their studies can vary widely. From primary school and junior high to higher education, students of all levels can profit from scholarly assistance. You might even find adults who are looking for night classes and who want to improve in a given subject.
So it is essential to determine the level of your future students before starting to look for them. This will allow you to have a more targeted search and to avoid attracting students who you can’t work with.
You must therefore know that it is important to have a superior level in a subject than your students to be able to transmit knowledge that is appropriate to their needs, which can lead them to academic success.
For example, if you have a PhD in physics, you can easily give classes to students in secondary education. But you can also work with students who are completing their MA, or who wish to prepare for college admission.
You would even be in the running to help a learner with his or her doctoral thesis. Sticking with the example of scientific education, you are in a position to give physics classes, math classes or earth science to students in junior high and high school as well as take on students in SAT prep.
However, you can’t help high school students who are at the same level of you. So, even before making yourself known to the public, correctly define the level of students you’d like to work with.
Choose the type of private course you’d like to give
Did you know that there are a thousand and one ways to give a home tutoring lesson? And there is certainly no lack of offer in the field of private tutoring…!
As a private tutor, you must choose what type and form of class will be the most relevant to you and your clientele. This decision will directly influence the way you find students.
As we mentioned briefly above, the different formats for those who wish to perfect their knowledge of a particular subject include intensive training during school vacations, remedial classes, private lessons, small group classes or even class via video-conference or online tutoring.
If you decide to work as an employee of an organization specialized in academic services and tutoring, they will require that you to have a four-year degree after high school. If you select this option, you must know that it is the organization in question who will charge to find you students. This usually means that a commission will be taken from each hour of coursework.
Those who appreciate liberty of choice and setting their fees themselves might prefer working as a freelance self-employed teacher. Simply make an ad that introduces your services. You can advertise in local businesses or on tutoring services websites.
Why not enroll for free on Superprof to have real visibility? You can also decide on your fees as well as your students. With its system of verified profiles and testimonials, Superprof allows for the possibility of all who are passionate for sharing knowledge to give classes under several forms.
Use the Internet to give your scholastic aide courses
We live in a digital age, so ideally you will have a strong presence on the Internet in order to develop your practice.
Whether you leave your course offer on a professional website or you choose to enroll on Superprof, you can increase your number of students easily thanks to your visibility on the web.
You’ll need to carefully construct the advertisements you want to write. It is often said that the first impression is the best one. Don’t forget that this will be the first contact your students have with you.
So make sure to check your spelling (especially if you are advertising your English lessons services!), and clearly explain your qualifications and what you want to bring to your future students.
Do you propose fun and interactive activities during your lessons? Mention it! Do you like to enhance your courses with diverse resources such as documentaries, books and films? Make that clear in your advertisement!
Why not create your own website to list your skills clearly?
It can be a simple site to highlight your qualifications, your educational and professional background, and of course, how you can be contacted. Numerous platforms can help you create a website easily and cheaply. It will be a real bonus point for you. You can boost your Internet presence with social media networks too.
For example, the professional network Linkedin allows you to highlight your education, diploma and your teaching experience. What’s more, it’s an excellent way to develop your network.
And don’t hesitate to make up business cards that connect to your website and Linkedin profile. Always have a few on you to do some “real life” publicity! Need an English tutor or writing tutors on the go?
Don't forget to mention the characteristics that make you a teacher of merit!
Develop your network
Home tutoring courses essentially take place at the home of the student in a specific geographic area.
If you live in Chicago, it’s pretty obvious that you can’t offer one on one tutoring or a remedial class to a student with academic difficulties in Boston. So it is important to advertise in your own city to make it easier for local clients to find a tutor (you!).
The Internet has a role to play of course, but you must take an active, personal role of developing your network in the city in which you live. Prepare business cards that you can leave in popular places where your students and their parents might go to regularly.
You can also make yourself known to certain professors that work in the same discipline as you, whether that’s school math – algebra to calculus – or reading comprehension. If one of their students needs help revising and they know you are qualified and efficient, they might recommend you for home tutoring.
Give high-quality classes
There is one last rule to remember if you want to become a home tutor: your best advertising is you yourself! This includes your friendly demeanor, your punctuality, organization and, of course, the content of your courses.
Concentrate on the pertinence of each lesson that you propose. Enhance your methodology, and don’t hesitate to transform yourself into an academic advisor if you have a student who is preparing for a standardized test or is confused about his or her future, for example.
The relationship of trust and confidence that develops between you and your students over the course of the lessons will allow you to know each other better, and help you to disperse good and relevant counsel. They will know that you are the tutor for them in no time!
And a happy student will usually be more than happy to recommend you to his or her peers. In marketing, we often say that a satisfied client speaks to 10 people in their entourage. And we can also apply this rule to tutors!
If you are punctual, friendly and motivated, your students will learn to have confidence in their studies and their progress will be rapid. Their satisfaction will quickly become your best business card!
So, are you ready for your first assignment in order to become a tutor?