Private tutoring has grown popular over the past year. Since the pandemic hit, students and parents are looking for alternatives and support during their education.

The job of a tutor is to provide one-on-one educational assistance to students in whichever topic the person requires guidance.

If you become a school tutor you should be prepared to guide students in any class or subject they might have. Nonetheless, you can always choose a specialty, for instance, math, and teach it at any level you wish.

However, if you choose to only focus on teaching math then you should probably be prepared to help students of all ages and levels. That way you can find more students to help and earn more from having multiple clients.

A common misconception of tutoring is that tutors are available only for students, however, there can be tutors for any area and topic you can imagine and a person doesn't necessarily have to be a student to hire a tutor and learn something new.

People who become tutors usually like kids or enjoy working with students are skilled both in the subject and teaching, have a degree in education, or have experience teaching. If you want to become a tutor you probably have a passion for helping and supporting others during their academic life.

student, tutor, learning, class
Kids who need tutoring programs are usually doing badly in school and they need the help of a private teacher to impart their knowledge to do well in school. Photo by Josefa n Diaz on Unsplash

Now, the question is, how do you get started? To find your answers check out our guide on becoming an online tutor.

Tutors today have two options, they can teach online or in-person. If you're trying to figure out which modality works best for you continue reading and learn the benefits, disadvantages, and similarities between the two modalities.

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Online tutoring

Online tutoring has a lot of great benefits and some disadvantages.

One of the first benefits of online tutoring is that you get to pick the place or space from where you want to work. It is up to you whether you want to stay home, be in your bedroom, or sit at the dining table. You can also look for a quiet cafe, a coworking space, or if you have access to a college campus, you can even book a classroom and use the school's wifi.

Choosing your working space has great benefits because you know where you feel comfortable and which environments help you study better.

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Tutoring services are available across the world but you can start teaching and offering lessons right here on Superprof, all you have to do is create a profile. Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Another great benefit of online tutoring is that you get to look for clients across the country. With technology, communication systems have evolved so much that you can teach a class from New York to someone in Miami.

This has an amazing financial impact because you can look for students everywhere (with time difference restrictions). If you teach face-to-face you have to narrow down your search of students to students in your area. However, if you teach online, you can reach students who aren't in your area and get more clients.

One last benefit is that all you need to give lessons online is access to a good internet connection. However, this can be negative too. We've all had an awkward experience with video calls, and these awkward moments are not going to stop happening.

If you teach online you need to make sure you have a good internet connection and that the kid does too because there is nothing more annoying than trying to hold a conversation or a class with audio or video cutting constantly.

Besides, if you have lessons where you spend 15 minutes of the time trying to connect and reconnect the call then you're wasting your and your student's time.

However, you shouldn't worry too much, everything is a learning process and you'll learn to manage the ups and downs of online tutoring. If you have more questions go check out our article on how to become an online tutor.

Face-to-face tutoring

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You can use any teaching skill you have to tutor kids in school or young adults in college, and you don't necessarily need access to a classroom or a college campus. Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

The greatest benefit of face-to-face or in-person tutoring is that you get to meet the person (kids, children, teenagers, young adults) you will be working with.

When you have the opportunity to meet the student it is easier to connect with them and their improvement can happen much faster compared to online tutoring. The personal contact will help the child trust and feel comfortable with you, and this most likely will reflect in their school assignments.

Also, when you hold an in-person class it is much easier to get the child's attention, especially when they drift off; it is also easier to notice if you lost their attention or interest.

It will be easier to revise their work if you're doing math exercises or to check their homework because you'll have it physically in front of you. If you hold the class online you'll have to ask for pictures or scanned copies.

The same goes for any bad grade the child got, if you have the test or essay in front of you it will be easier to spot mistakes and help them correct them for the future.

However, the downside to face-to-face tutoring is the commute. You would have to move around the city to get to the meeting point and that can be tedious and a waste of time. You'll also have to settle for students who live close or semi-close to you.

Another disadvantage is that you'll have to adapt to other people's working environments. If adaptability is not one of your skills then you should consider working as an online tutor and avoid having to work on other people's spaces.

Finally, you can also find it hard to arrange your schedule if you're meeting with different children throughout the day.

Learn about the tools you’ll need to give private tutoring lessons online.

What are the similarities?

It might be hard to think of any similarity between online and face-to-face teaching because they are such different methods. However, you might forget that essentially the job and responsibilities are the same.

These two are just options you can adopt to achieve the same goal —which is for teachers or tutors to teach.

Whether you teach through a computer or right in front of a child does not affect the main objective of helping and guiding a person through their academic years.

Even though the methodology is different, teachers prep a tutoring session the same way. They must go over the material, know what topics the student is learning about, prep the lesson, come up with activities, be ready to answer questions, grade their performance, check previous homework, and so on.

Your behavior around the students has to always be the same, regardless of the format in which each session takes place. You must be professional, gain their trust but understand that you are not their friend, you're their teacher, their tutor.

student, folders, class, classroom
Tutoring programs and services were created to support students during their academic journey, however, you don't have to be a student to hire a tutor to teach you something new. Photo by javier trueba on Unsplash

One final similarity is the learning process of becoming a tutor.

Whichever format you're using, you'll have to learn to do the job. You'll gain experience managing students and parents, develop methods to grade their homework, share your skills and knowledge, teach them to do well in class, or give them useful study tips.

Becoming a tutor is all about learning how to teach someone else something you know, and as simple as it might seem, it's a challenging job to master.

Which format is best?

There is no way for us to tell you what is best for you but we hope that the information we've given you is helpful at the moment of making a decision.

To know how to decide you should first define what works better for you. Try to answer the following questions to start defining what works for you:

  • Do you like working from the comfort of your own home or are you okay with commuting and working in environments that you don't control?
  • Do you and the kid you're tutoring have access to a good internet connection?
  • Do you value meeting the person face to face or are you okay with meeting them through a video call?
  • Is it important for you to have physical access to a student's school work?
  • Are you comfortable with technology?

How you answer these questions can define what type of tutor and classes you'll offer.

Continue reading to find out how you can advertise yourself as an online tutor.

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