Too much spare time on your hands? Discover the benefits of tutoring...
First thing’s first. To be a tutor, you need to be qualified to teach. A wealth of knowledge on your chosen subject is essential with a vast amount of years teaching under your belt able to give you a great head’s start. Starting your tutoring business is hard work, but once you have a steady stream of clientele you will find yourself reaping the rewards.
The most important question when considering becoming a tutor; How on earth do I get started?
If you are already a full-time teacher, taking on one-to-one tutoring sessions is not recommended. This will add too much pressure on your already heavy workload. You simply don’t have enough hours in the day. However if you are a part-time teacher, tutoring can be beneficial to your students, you and your bank account.
- First thing you need to ask yourself is what are you going to teach? There is always a market out there for Maths tutors so if you’re rusty on your algebra, try taking a course to swot up. Or just stick with what you know best. Limit the number of subjects you can teach leaving you time to really research the subjects you’re already comfortable with.
- Consider the age group you wish to teach. High school tutors are the most popular with those studying their GCSE’s after the most help. Exam requirements regularly change so it’s worth re-capping your topic to ensure you know everything there is to know.
- Figure out how much you’re going to charge. Don’t be tempted to go too low when you’re first starting out. In the end, this will leave you with different clients on different rates and these clients may talk. Take a quick look at typical tutor rates and what you feel is appropriate for your services.
- Are you going to tutor from your home or travel to your clients? If you’re going to travel, consider where your clients live and whether it’s worth the trouble getting to and from. Once you’ve built up a creditable reputation, you can have tutoring sessions solely around your house. If new clients are interested for you to go to them, suggest how your home will be a calmer atmosphere with less distractions.
- Promote yourself. If you live in a residential area, send flyers through doors. You may be surprised how many responses you get. Other effective methods revolve around using your community. Stick posters up in shops and pay for a small advert in your local newspapers. Carry a small handful of business cards around with you just in case. Soon, the neighbourhood will be doing the talking.
- Put yourself on a tutoring list. Take a look at uktutors.com or hometutorsdirectory.co.uk.
- Treat tutoring like any other job and ask for references. Once you have a number of long-term clientele, you would have gained your confidence and your creditability. Don’t let it go unnoticed.
The most important factor of tutoring
Word of mouth. As your client list grows, focusing on a more contained residential area means your name will travel quicker.
Top tutoring tips
- Get to know your students. Find out their likes and dislikes. Building up a rapport will make the experience satisfactory for everyone. From this, you will discover if they absorb information visual or verbally and can redesign your lesson plans depending on which.
- Discover your student’s level. Find out what they already know and what they struggle with. Be prepared to throw out your original class plan to adapt to the student’s abilities.
- Keep outstanding communication. Make sure your student is telling you if they don’t understand. Make it clear that it’s up to them what they learn. Revise certain areas if they’re in doubt.
- Finish with a lighthearted test. A quick test with a mixture of easy and difficult questions from the session will indicate what you need to look back on.
- Reward your students. At the end of the day, they’re missing out on valuable playtime with their friends. Make it worth their while with biscuit breaks and games. If they’re having fun, they will learn more too.
Tutoring may benefit your bank account, but the real prize will be interacting with your students on a personal level giving them faith in subjects that previously stumped them. Above all, don’t forget all your hard work at creating a small community based business...