Teaching private tutorials is often a great stepping stone for those looking to become a teacher. It’s also a great way for experienced teachers to earn some extra money each month.
The private tutoring market in the UK is estimated to be worth around £6b and over 40% of children in the capital have already had lessons with a private tutor.
What Makes a Good Tutor?
There are tonnes of academic support organisations and companies offering private tutorials.
While we often think of academic support as solely for students struggling in school, there are plenty of tutorials being taught to gifted students, too.
Tutorials are for good students, average students, and struggling students and can be used to improve their grades in a wide range of subjects.
There are also private tutorials for adults wanting to learn new skills or looking for a career change and a job that suits them better.
There are plenty of different types of students and, as a result, there are plenty of different types of tutorials. Of course, regularly teaching private tutorials isn’t necessarily easy as you do need to be very flexible.
On Superprof, our tutors have to constantly change their offering and their teaching style in order to stay ahead of the curve. A good tutor is one who’s comfortable with the subject they’re teaching and who can adapt their courses to their students. They need to speak to their students in a way they understand, too.
Whether you’re teaching maths, English, foreign languages, physics, chemistry, biology, or helping with homework, you need to be patient with your students and carefully listen to them.
Above all, you mustn’t judge your student and you must remain neutral.
A private tutor should:
- Adapt their tutorials to their student’s age and level
- Choose their content in accordance with the national curriculum
- Help their students focus
- Be available to teach during evenings, school holidays, and bank holidays
- Find a methodology that works for everyone
- Be caring, optimistic, friendly, punctual, and empathetic
A lesson that's too easy will result in a bored student whereas lessons that are too difficult can leave students frustrated.
Since your goal will often be to help students improve their grades or pass exams at school, you'll need to be familiar with what they're supposed to be learning. It's pointless teaching them tonnes of interesting things about a given subject and finding that none of it appears on their exam.
A lot of students struggle at school because they're bored or find it hard to concentrate. You should make sure that your students are engaged during your tutorials as it will help them learn more quickly and effectively.
Parents are paying for a bespoke service. With that, there comes an expectation to go the extra mile. While you won't be expected to be available at every hour of the day, you should be available to teach at different times of the day and days when the students aren't at school if you want to keep getting students.
With each student, you may need to change your approach. While having several approaches may seem like more work, it ends up being less work because your students will learn more effectively as a result. The extra effort you put into planning your tutorials will be repaid through your student's progress.
Even though you are in charge of your student, they don't expect you to be exactly like their teachers at school. Make sure that you're always kind, friendly, and approachable as this will encourage the student to communicate with you and learn in a comfortable environment.
If you want to offer tutorials and keep your students throughout the year, you should keep all this in mind for every tutorial, even as you cast about for ways to tailor your lessons to each student.
How Do You Teach Primary School Children?
Teaching primary school children can sometimes be difficult since you may be expected to master several subjects. A primary school pupil may struggle with things like doing their homework and schooling in general.
Time management, encouraging learning, and building confidence are all essential for teaching students at this age. Regular tutorials can help the student develop social skills since it’s often the first time they’ll regularly socialise with anyone outside of the family. They’ll have to guide their student towards autonomy since they'll have never really done anything on their own before.
Here is a platform to find online teaching jobs.
Tutors should also encourage the student to:
- Develop good work conditions
- Manage their time
- Take care of their materials
- Learn key skills
Academic support tutorials can prepare the child for secondary school and provide them with the knowledge necessary. This can stop them from falling behind when they start year 7.
So what’s special about these types of tutorials?
Firstly, the resources need to be more fun to encourage the student to consolidate what they were taught in class. The tutor can use more enjoyable exercises and teaching approaches (for example, those included in the Montessori Method).
Since there aren't as many students in the class (individual classes or small groups are most common), it's much easier to manage and you can include more enjoyable activities as a result without things getting out of hand.
Academic Support Tutorials for Secondary School Students
Tutors can provide private tutorials to students throughout the academic year. This can help students consolidate their knowledge with regular study (usually once a week or twice every two weeks). The length of the tutorials will depend on the student’s needs.
Every topic in a given subject will probably be covered and they’ll learn to study at their own pace.
Tutoring is an enriching experience for the tutor, too. However, you will need to regularly look for students since you can never guarantee how long your students will be with you. Similarly, it can be very rewarding to see the fruit of your labour.
Teaching a student throughout the academic year can allow you to offer more affordable rates. You could offer a discount for those who book several tutorials at once. We recommend checking your students’ levels once a month so that you can see how they’re progressing, what topics they’re still struggling with, and change their workload, if necessary.
This is especially true when it comes to exams as a student may need a more intensive programme.
Fortunately, if you’ve been teaching them throughout the whole year, they should have picked up a lot of good revision techniques and be able to manage their own learning with a degree of autonomy. This will help them when they move onto sixth form or college.
Join the discussion: is it better to tutor at students' homes or at yours?
Academic Support Tutorials for Sixth Formers and College Students
A Levels can be gruelling and hugely important for students looking to attend university. Students are already thinking about their future career and taking exams that could significantly affect their lives.
You can teach students of all ages and at any age. You can become a full-time tutor, earn some extra money during your degree, or work at it part-time alongside another job.
It’s a great way to earn money while helping someone get some great A Levels results! Those doing A Levels are expected to manage a large workload. With less free time, it can be harder to fit in extra revision if things start going south.
Students will also be learning how to write essays and exhibit analytics thought in their writing.
As a private tutor, I noticed that you have to be very patient when teaching reasoning skills as while they seem very simple once you’ve grasped them, they’re not always obvious to the student.
Your patience, tolerance, objectivity, neutrality, and teaching approach are your most valuable assets as a good tutor.
If you provide academic support or private tutorials, you may be expected to be available during school holidays for catch up tutorials or intensive A Level exam and test prep tutorials.
It can be difficult for tutors to offer their classes throughout the school year. Fortunately, the web means that you can provide online tutorials. You can also keep in touch with your students 24/7 thanks to email, video conferencing, and instant messaging.
Once you've got your students and your lessons ready, you just need to decide where they should take place. Generally, younger students will have tutorials at their own home as they can't be expected to travel on their own or the parents can't transport them to the tutor's home and wait around for their tutorial to finish.
Teenagers can travel to their tutor's home after school or on the weekends. Additionally, teenagers might prefer having their tutorials in more interesting places like a café or the park (when the weather's nice).
Adults can have their lessons wherever suits. In fact, if your students are happy with it, you can even take them to the pub! For language tutorials, this is a great idea, especially since some adults might be nervous about speaking and may need a little something to loosen their tongue!
Now follow this guide to plan your first tutorial sessions...