You understand education, and are an expert in a specialized discipline, so now you're ready to share what you know. On paper, you have the ideal profile to start giving in-home private tutoring sessions.
And everything is looking rosy, because you've made your decision: you're going to become a private tutor. But between an idea and it's realization, there are a lot of questions the remain unanswered and steps to be taken.
At this crucial point, you might be wondering what are the qualifications, what degrees to you need to have to be a tutor and help your future students in their educations.
In theory, anyone of legal working age can be a tutor. But this is not exactly accurate. Does it mean that a 16 year old math prodigy and early college graduate can give tutoring sessions?
In reality, it's more complex because of the nuances involved. Superprof is here to make sense of them.
Validating Your Competencies
When you decide to get started tutoring and giving private lessons in students' homes, it's generally in a certain discipline or talent. This is how you'll be able to help students progress over the long term.
However, you should understand that it's not enough to simply like a subject to be able to teach it to students.
Put yourself in your students' or their parents shoes as they look for a private tutor in English grammar. They browse the listings online, and see that in the section of one tutor, their training only mentions "loves books." Would you call this tutor? Probably not, and with good reason.
Here is how to become a tutor online.
Liking books, for an English grammar tutor, is nonetheless a good start for new tutors. But you need to be able to prove your skills and knowledge, and explain why you aren't a trained teacher. This usually means having one or more diplomas.
You need to remember that the level of the teacher needs to always be higher than that of the student. This tacit rule makes perfect sense: it's not the student who teaches the teacher.
So, let's stick with the English grammar lessons. You love Herman Melville's language, you read a lot, and you did very well on the language section of the SAT. This is a slightly better qualification, and you can probably help middle or high school students review their lessons.
However, you didn't focus on English in college, so you'll be less able to help a student preparing for a college exam.
As you can understand, the degrees you have will determine which students you can help. It's you and your experience that will determine your work.
You can of course take additional courses to have more qualifications, but there other ways to demonstrate your skills.
If you speak fluent Spanish and want to give Spanish lessons, you can take a certification exam from a language school to attest to your skill level. And there are other examples like this for many subjects.
Required Skill Level to Work for a Tutoring Company
You can find a number of companies that specialize in academic tutoring and test prep and that offer academic support. Among these companies, some are requiring ten or more years of tutoring experience to be considered for employment.
This approach of giving lessons is suitable for those who want to dedicate all of their time to their lessons, and spend less time managing everything. In effect, the companies choose you'll tutor and assign you sessions. Their level can be anywhere from first grade to college.
The rates are also decided upon by the company. You should also know that a commission is taken from the fee for each hour long class. That rate depends on the company and nature of the class.
As you might have guessed, a degree is required to be able to teach with these companies. A qualified teacher has a B.A. at minimum.
You can drop off your resume only if you've got that degree and some form of teaching certification or an equivalent experience. If you do, the process is the same as applying to any other job.
You apply, generally online, along with your resume and a cover letter. If you're not hired, you can move along to another company, or several. Some of them will also ask you pass certain qualification exams.
You need to be very clear when indication the number of hours you want to teach per week, depending on your availability.
While a few companies allow advanced students to tutor students, most prefer qualified and certified teachers. So you have a much better chance if you're a school teacher or retired professor.
They offer private lessons in the students' homes, but they do offer other options. One of which is the possibility of doing videoconferencing or even doing special intensive programs during school vacations.
While this approach is perfect for some tutors, others like to have the freedom to choose their own students and determine their own rates and schedules.
Becoming a Tutor Using Fliers
There are numerous options for offering tutoring services to students wanting academic help. Fliers represent the traditional method for finding students, but it does work very well even today.
You simply leave your flier with your contact information in neighborhood businesses like coffee shops. Make sure to indicate your availability along with the level of students you want to share your knowledge with. Also be sure to highlight degrees, experience, and other qualifications.
But the advent of the Internet allows many sites to post general listings on every day. And social networks have recently decided to throw their weight behind these kind of listings.
That said, these methods don't necessarily guarantee excellent visibility and don't always get tutors attention they want.
Superprof decided to modernize the flier by creating a platform dedicated entirely to helping tutors. It does this by putting tutors in contact with future students. Thanks to the profile that each tutor creates and the reviews posted by students, teachers have great visibility and can easily augment the number of tutoring sessions they give.
To become a private in-home tutor with Superprof, all you have to do is register for free. There's no commission taken from the hourly rate.
There are no minimum education requirements to tutor through Superprof. Once again, all that's needed is a mastery of the subject matter, and beyond that to be truly passionate about sharing your knowledge.
You'll see research assistants giving classes on biology and high school students tutoring younger math students. There are also retired chemistry professors offering review classes to students struggling with the material.
In addition to classical subjects like math, foreign languages, or sciences, there's also the possibility to offer lessons in a wide variety of subjects. So if you understand music, you can help guitar students perfect their skills. Or give lessons in yoga, cooking, or even origami. The possibilities are endless.
How would you set your rates for an hour of lessons in the subject of your choice?
The Pedagogy of Tutoring
Among the degrees and qualifications that will help you become a tutor, a good pedagogical approach is indispensable to being good at your job.
Some of the your students might be having real academic difficulties and it will be your job to help them consistently, to be a valuable resources. You have to have a great deal of patience, and have a great passion for what you're doing.
Having a good understanding of pedagogy means offering your students the perfect method for their learning personality. The first lesson will thus consist of learning about your student, their personality, their needs, and skills. You need to reliable and punctual to help inspire trust from your students.
Then, with fun lessons and interactive exercises, it will be easier to really motivate students in the academic arena. You should send students or their parents regular notes about their progress in relation to want they want to achieve, so they know how they're doing.
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You can even suggest online exercises to do in between lessons as a form of fun homework, or advise them on videos to watch or help them find books that supplement their studies even more.
If your students is working on a long-term project, you can help guide them to proper research materials and theses.
As a private tutor, you are also an educational advisor and you can help your students with their overall progress. If they're getting ready to go to college, you can offer some preparatory lessons.
This pedagogy is just as important as your degree in the sense that this is what will enable you to share what you know. Your students will then recommend your services to their friends and neighbors if they're satisfied with your tutoring sessions.
Word of mouth is always the best form of publicity!
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