So you’d like to enter the world of private instruction and tutoring? Great news! Welcome to our group!
But it’s not always easy to begin and to have confidence in yourself as a teacher… Your plan to teach is still just a project, and you still have a number of doubts and questions.
Whether you decide to become a math tutor, writing tutor or general educator, prefer small group tutoring or one on one lessons, or specialize in remedial courses, you’ll need to make decisions about your education, business and teaching methods.
What better place than Superprof, a platform for online tutoring with so many talented instructors in a vast range of topics and disciplines, to begin the journey? There’s no need to follow an expensive and time-consuming certificate course (although it can help to be a certified teacher): this article will allow you to brush up on some key points, and learn the main secrets of the trade of one on one tutoring (or small group tutoring) and academic success.
Here you’ll find a response to six main problems that you’ll face in the beginning, that we hope will help you start your new career off well! If you don’t have a local tutoring center, Superprof is a great platform to find out information and tips for tutors, tutoring jobs and other supplemental instruction.
Why give tutoring courses?
What attracted you to tutoring?
Of course there is the financial aspect. The remuneration received from private tutoring might seem particularly attractive.
But this is not enough: those who are only in it for the money won’t last long in this field, they won’t obtain sought after results from their students, and they won’t stay in a profession that is so incompatible to their personality.
Tutoring and education services are before all else human relations experiences.
The same impulse behind tutoring is that which impels young people to volunteers, out of the goodness of their hearts, to go on humanitarian missions to help children in countries in Africa, Asia and South America.
To succeed in this career path, you’ll have a taste for scholastic human relations and the desire to work to make a difference in the lives of others. You’ll need a positive attitude to affect and spill over to the high school and primary school students (or any age for that matter) who you teach!
Qualities necessary to become a tutor
We wouldn’t want to discourage you… but it’s important for us to let you know that the qualities and qualifications necessary to be a tutor are particularly numerous.
Of course there are necessary academic qualifications for every teacher. You’ll need to have a wide knowledge of your subject (or subjects if we are talking primary education) in order to teach another person. Certified teachers, and those with graduate degrees, this means you!
Teaching programs will instruct you on different methodologies to use as well as how to clearly communicate your knowledge – both the main ideas and details – to a range of different ages and levels. This is nearly impossible for those without the virtue of patience!
Punctuality and methodical organization are two other important traits for every teacher to possess. Without this, you may quickly lose clients and have negative testimonials!
Like a traditional lecturer or a tenured professor, private instruction professionals (who are probably not paid as well!) are also expected to have many human qualities. Listening, communication and flexibility are at the heart of all one on one tutoring.
Do you embody the same characteristics as the best tutors?
What education is required for tutoring?
The private instructor holds a particular niche in this world. This is a respected and time-honored profession.
But before getting started, it is essential that you publicize your skills and services in order to attract clients.
In a market where much is on offer, all the more so in urban areas, the ability to mark yourself and stand out in the crowd (in a good way, of course!) reigns supreme. So we encourage you to let your natural, brilliant personality shine! Your students will respond to that.
While no particular education is necessary, you should be at least 14 years old, the minimum legal age to begin to work a little bit.
It is important to be excellent and unrivaled in the subject that you teach or that you hope to teach. To enhance your profile, it’s always good to put your certifications and work experiences first. Those looking to find a tutor will be particularly interested in those.
In the same vein, we recommend that, before you begin working, get advice from a well established professional (or from a private specialized organization) who works in a school or as a freelance instructor, so you’re not forgetting to brush up on the fundamental pedagogical techniques…
Of course, if you have recently graduated yourself, there should be a career counseling service in place in your own institution where you can address these fundamental questions.
Do you need a diploma to be a tutor?
This question is really a continuation of the preceding one. Logically, there is no specific education or training to become a tutor or private instructor, but there are a few points to make about diplomas.
You shouldn’t be content to get away with the minimum!
A CV with no qualifications will turn off all responsible parents. So make sure your recognitions and qualifications stand out. Associates, Masters and doctoral degrees, language or other specialized training… all are impressive and should be listed on your CV and advertising!
And know that most companies who specialize in private tutoring services require a four-year degree at the least.
Starting out “small”, in homework assistance for example, can also lead to a more significant career in education. But it is important to get those pertinent diplomas along the way to supplement the “practical” experience you’ve acquired in the workplace.
Different types of tutoring services
We’ve been discussing private instruction and tutoring services for several minutes now, but we still haven’t defined what we mean by those terms!
Tutoring is a huge field with a vast 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 collective courses, for adults and young adults. Although somewhat less individualized, this option is also probably less expensive than a one on one tutoring session. But they normally should be limited to small groups of 10 students maximum.
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.
There are also intensive learning programs with the goal of learning a foreign language, for both children and adults. These can be found in a range of schools, associations and other institutions. You’ll simply need to do a research in your local area. Also, for foreign language training, such as French tutoring or Spanish tutoring, language study trips abroad allow for total immersion for learners.
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 E-learning and online tutoring (but probably best to stay away from free tutoring). And what better place to start than Superprof!
You can also enroll for free on Superprof in order to be put in touch with your future students in private tutoring! Superprof is an international platform exclusively dedicated to private courses, and allows students and instructors to establish a close, confident relationship thanks to a system of certified testimonials and verified profiles.
A range of Internet sites offers free academic support resources for the online tutor, with the slight disadvantage of being slightly less individualized than home “in person” tutoring sessions. Machines can never replace a human presence!
Learn more about the different forms of scholastic support you could provide!
How to find students for private tutoring
Perhaps the most difficult (yet fundamental) task for a private tutor is finding students to teach! Unfortunately it takes some knowledge of marketing and branding to be a private instructor if you are not affiliated with any tutoring programs – it’s not just about scholarly work and book knowledge.
So don’t hesitate to get professional advice on your local market and competitive pricing! Remember to ask specific questions – the situation will not be the same for all the tutors, a French tutor does not earn the same as a reading tutor, for example! Math, science based tutors or test prep instructors tends to earn more…
The first step is to target your market. For this, an objective assessment of your level, qualifications and limits is absolutely necessary. Once you’ve decided on this information, you have to publish your course offering in a way that is clear for your potential clients to process.
Is it aimed at a primary school audience, or at high school or college students? Do you specialize in college tutoring, peer tutoring or home tutoring? For which subject? Are you a math tutor or writing tutor, or do you specialize in a range of subjects? Or do you offer other types of training, including homework help, SAT prep, ESL training, etc.? Perhaps you are geared towards professional advising, such as CV writing. And what is your fee? These are the types of information that should be clearly explained on your flier or professional website for future students.
In order to give maximum visibility to your advertisement, take high advantage of new means of digital communication and your network (your family, friends, acquaintances in addition to your professional contacts).
It’s also impossible to escape the client satisfaction factor: your course quality will make the difference (as well as your attitude and preparation), to get you those positive recommendations and client testimonials that you’ll need to grow your business, whether that’s for math tutoring, exams prep or general academic tutoring. The power of word of mouth clients is not to be underestimated.
Satisfied parents will speak about you to those they know (how the tutor they’ve found is wonderful, etc.), and a loyal circle of clients will form.
There you have it, we’ve said it all! We recommend that you study the questions we’ve listed above, taking into account your personal situation. We hope this has given you ideas on how you plan to structure your new professional trajectory.
They are bound to help, whether you are a chemistry tutor, an English tutor, a writing tutor or provide homework help or free tutoring services. You will surely win the “Best Tutor” award now! Happy teaching!
Now discover how to set your rates for private tutoring...