Helping students with their math or English seems so simple, yet you know there is more to it. Read this article to see how the skill of tutoring is only one part of the profession.
In order to start tutoring you must find out what parents and students want. The job of tutoring seems fairly straightforward. But in fact people have many as many different reasons for needing a tutor as you might have for wanting to be one.
Among other things, parents seek tutoring solutions for children who struggle with learning disabilities, students who refuse to apply themselves, to get into the best colleges, and to avoid failing classes.
Why are you interested in being a tutor?
Perhaps you love helping kids learn or love to teach. Maybe you are looking for a flexible job income source or trying to pay for school.
It is always healthy to understand what motivates you, but it is critical to understand what motivates your clients.
And what better way to learn what they need than to ask them! This information shows why your tutoring services are valuable, but also allows you to better understand how to be the best tutor you can be for them.
The “Why tutoring will help” question now leads you to the “How tutoring will help” solution.
It is a basic foundation of the tutoring profession; so basic some people do it automatically without even thinking about it.
The next steps give a few more specifics to help start tutoring.
Get To Know Your Students And Families
Your clients should not have to pursue you to make sure their son or daughter is getting the personal tutoring they need. In fact, it should be very evident that you are acting as a “Tutoring Private Investigator” as you find out information about your students. (and they will become “your” students)
When you start tutoring it is important to get to know students, their families, and their needs right away in order to begin making an impact in their lives. Whether it be mastering a subject, learning to read, or learning study skills, your knowledge of their situation will greatly help your ability to help the total person.
Represent Your Profession
Demonstrate that you are a tutoring professional.
Show parents and students that you have earned the respect the position deserves.
Tutoring is an honorable profession, and your understanding of that will go a long way in encouraging families and getting them to “buy in” to your solution. After all, they are coming to you seeking a solution they were unable to find or make for themselves.
Do not be the wacky nutcase with disregard for the entire educational establishment. Instead learn to put your own unique spin and personal flair on being a tutoring professional.
Show Your Authority
It is important to show your authority as a tutor to parents and students. (but not in a “do this because I said so” way)
Instead you should think more in terms of ”competence”. You are the authority in Biology, Reading, Math, Spanish, and how to learn these subjects and related skills. You understand the learning objectives necessary for their child. You know how to show a struggling student their error in thinking and set them on the right path.
This level of competence allows you to be an authority in your profession and does many things for you as you start tutoring. It will help you:
- Get clients to choose you over other options
- Encourage parents that there is hope
- Show students you know how to help them be successful
- Prepare a plan to help a student reach their goals
- Be a positive influence on students and families
Teach Them To Meet Your Expectations
At this point you have explored the foundation of why tutoring is necessary and how you can best provide the solution students and families need. As you start tutoring, understand this background information sets the stage for you to begin working your “magic” as you help struggling students.
It is more than just teaching how to solve a few tough math questions.
It is teaching students a way to approach problems in math and in life. It is giving parents and students new resources to solve challenges they face. It helping kids reach their dreams and teaching others to dream.
You must have high expectations for your clients and you must teach them to meet those expectations. Now here is what I mean by that.
Just like I teach my kids to put away their dirty dishes when they are done with dinner you will need to teach your parents and students the procedures of working with you as a tutor. Remember, you are the authority. They are jumping in and running with your game plan.
And just as I teach my children the proper way to brush their teeth or ride a bike, you will teach your students the proper ways to complete their math, read a book, write an essay, or speak a language. Help them grow beyond their expectations, to experience the higher goals you have set for them.
And as I teach my children how to deal with anger and frustration, and how to persevere until a task is done, you will teach your families and clients that you expect a great attitude, hard work, and their best effort. Teach them the challenge is worth the reward, and then help empower them to reach those goals.
So Where Do You Go From Here?
You can start tutoring quite easily and keep the job as simple as you want. Give some help working through some problems and learning some new skills and move on.