Whether you have taken up tutoring to supplement your teaching salary, help you finance your university studies, or even if you offer free tutoring sessions, there are plenty of opportunities to become a tutor. If you don’t have a local tutoring center, look no further than Superprof to post your tutoring jobs!
That is why we are happy to provide you with a range of resources and articles to help as you embark on your supplemental instruction adventure and learn to be the best tutor you can be! This applies to all tutors, whether you work in drop in tutoring programs, a learning center, a writing lab, in study groups or prefer to work as an online tutor.
From elementary school to high school to college (and beyond!), students will call on your knowledge and expertise to aid them in their scholastic successes.
In addition to it being an interesting economic prospect for you, one on one private tutoring courses are a great way to train for the teaching profession and other education fields. You can improve your teaching skills and refine your pedagogical approach!
To embark on efficient scholastic training, you must come prepared: if you are not a certified teacher or have no professional education, if might be complicated to know how to structure your course.
Superprof therefore has compiled a list of rules for you to keep in mind as you embark on your one on one tutoring adventure!
See how to become a tutor online here.
Define your student’s private tutoring goals
Before starting classes officially, it is essential to identify the needs and goals of your student during the at-home tutoring session.
Often, these needs should be defined and discussed in the first session: this is why over 90% of our Superprofs offer their first hour for free! This will encourage new clients to enroll in your private tutoring services.
Therefore, this session doesn’t have an educational goal exactly, but serves more to introduce and open up the line of communication between you and your new student.
Also discuss how private tutoring will contribute to your students' success...
To create your individualized tutoring program, begin by asking your student a few basic questions:
- What is your level of studies?
- Do you need to prepare for any exams (a final exam in school or a standardized test such as the PSAT, ACT, SAT or GMAT)?
- Do you prefer to work in a small group or a large class?
- Do you prefer to work at a regular or intensive work rhythm?
- Are you looking to increase your average in a particular school subject?
- What environment do you prefer working in (library, café, home, etc)?
- Do you need to use specific resources (dictionaries, manuals…)?
- Have you enrolled in a university or other training program?
Also, don’t hesitate to have a discussion with the parents of your student: as these are the people who are often your main clients, you must also respond to their expectations! They might not be familiar with the one on one tutoring or supplemental education world either, and it is your job to ease them in. Show them that they have hired one of the best tutors out there!
You must equally learn to determine a student’s learning capacity. If your student has trouble with memorization, try some simple memory training exercises, for instance. You are on your way to creating a top-notch individualized learning program!
Lastly, take the time to establish a schedule with your student and to organize your scholastic training vis à vis school vacations. Scheduling is key to success.
Identify your student’s shortcomings
Over the course of your one on one learning sessions, you will become able to identify and hone in on your student’s weak points and shortcomings.
Be careful! While it is important to point out these errors, do not demoralize your student: each negative observation should come with a positive comment.
At the beginning of each class, it is important to take about ten minutes to revise. You should at the same time ask your student to report on what you did during the previous session as well as report on any assignments you gave out afterwards. This is the same for all subjects, from school math to SAT prep.
And it is vital that your tutoring session takes place in a positive ambiance that is conducive to learning! As a private tutor it is your role to be a source of positivity and motivation.
By quickly putting your finger on your student’s learning difficulties in a one on one setting, you can more easily help him or her improve in the following subjects:
- English class,
- French class,
- Spanish class,
- German class,
- Chemistry class,
- Math class,
- Biology or Earth Science class,
- Philosophy class,
- History and Geography class, etc.
Adopt the same attitude with your student’s parents: be honest and strict!
Of course, take the time to reassure mom and dad. Thanks to your training approach and discipline, you will help their child achieve academic success in no time at all!
It couldn’t be simpler to identify your student’s problem areas. Try the following:
- Have your student recite lessons,
- Ask your student to explain the ideas you’ve gone through,
- Assign your student simple scholastic exercises.
Very quickly, you will notice your student is weaker in certain areas of the subject and class than others (for example, in math tutoring class, he or she might be weak in geometry but strong in algebra and calculus).
While making sure not to neglect any area, highlight the shortcomings of your student. But make sure that for every negative comment, you encourage your student with positive reinforcement. You don’t want to interfere with his or her motivation!
If there are areas or points that are particularly challenging to your student, you must discuss them, explain why something is wrong, and offer other solutions. By understanding a problem deeply, by going beyond the simple “this isn’t right” or “that’s wrong, try again,” students will develop their own capacities to resolve a problem. This applies as much to small group math tutoring as it does to one on one college tutoring.
Also discover more tips to plan consistently for great tutoring sessions!
Reinforce what your student has learned in private lessons
As a general rule, children are not fans of at-home tutoring lessons: they typically result from low grades or poor performance in the classroom. Perhaps they need help with note taking or study skills?
So it is up to you to reconcile your student with the education system! You have the power to motivate and instill confidence in your student.
So you must try to make up for the shortcomings of your students, but it’s also essential to insist on his or her skills. If you notice that your student is very strong in one area, help him or her perfect this aptitude via homework help, test prep and other forms of home tutoring.
Thanks to the perfectionism and individualized of your one on one tutoring, your student can dream of high honors!
Try to relay mnemonic or other techniques and provide your student with more advanced exercises of one on one academic tutoring.
If your students sense you believe in them, their motivation will triple: instead of feeling like one anonymous face in a crowded class, he or she will feel like a “special” learner and will keep striving to do better. Show them why you are the tutor for them!
Certain skills are indispensable to scholarly success. For example, is the case with:
- Reading, etc.
These areas relative to the English language must be mastered so that you can excel in all of your assignments. And who knows, perhaps you can mold your tutee into a prodigy who speaks the language of Shakespeare, able to win any argument through eloquent reasoning!
Make your courses fun through online tools
During our digital age, why not take advantage of all the Internet has to offer us?
In national teaching institutions classes via the Internet are becoming more and more frequent. Some junior high schools even offer coding classes for future computer programmers!
If you want to have a brilliant career in education, you cannot escape it: you must master the tools of IT. You can also hold video-conference classes via webcam, and have students all around the country. For other online tutoring opportunities why not try Superprof?
During your at-home classes, you can propose a different learning experience with the help of new technologies.
Bye-bye paper and pens: it’s the digital age!
Its super simple to inject a bit of fun into your classes. Why not try:
- Installing applications on a Smartphone dedicated to education,
- Proposing online courses,
- Sharing exercises online,
- Using video libraries (such as Youtube, Dailymotion etc.),
- Give a test online,
- Install educational software for children, adolescents etc.
Whether you are a French tutor or a math tutor, whether you are providing online private tutoring or giving private lessons at home, your student will be drawn to digital resources. By using a language that he or she knows well, it will be easier to pique his or her attention and succeed in studies!
To enliven your foreign language or math courses, scholastic assistance must be both informative and enriching for your students.
Get to your computers!
But remember to supplement the digital with other high-quality, innovative revision materials, that are enjoyable for students if possible (especially for the youngest ages). This will help keep your students’ motivation high, as well make a good impression to your clients. These can apply variously to a range of education topics, including reading comprehension, standardized testing such as the SAT, or grammar.
Join the conversation: do you think private tutors should assign work between lessons?
Be an attentive and efficient private instructor
All private instructors will tell you: to give a productive and efficient course, the golden rule is to listen.
In fact, this is the principal reason parents have called on you: because their children don’t get the attention they need in the classroom. It is up to you to be attentive, because their main teachers are too overwhelmed with their coursework!
If you feel as thought your student is in conflict with education, you must try to understand why!
To be an educator, here are some techniques:
- Take time to discuss your feelings about education,
- Try to reestablish a dialogue between your student and their school teachers,
- Demonstrate the usefulness of your assignments in everyday life,
- Explain all the doors that will be opened when you have a diploma,
- Assume an advising role and guide your student,
- Explain that there are no “stupid” questions,
- Make sure your exams and assignments have clear-cut goals,
- Make sure your student understands all aspects of the course, etc.
To be a competent private tutor you must consolidate the skills of your students. So whether you are a writing tutor, an algebra tutor, an English tutor or a chemistry tutor, it is important to motivate your student by forging an honest dialogue!
Always have confidence in yourself! This is a definite prerequisite to a successful teaching practice! Human qualities are at the heart of this process. A healthy dialogue and respectful tutor-tutee relationship, coupled with your confidence and preparation, and your personalized, made-to-measure study program, is a surefire way to come away with satisfied and loyal tutoring customers!
Another good idea would be to encourage your students (especially pre-adolescents) to get to know themselves better: it is easy to find exercises on the Internet that will allow your students to learn what type of memory they are most compatible with (hearing, kinesthetic, visual, sensory, short term, long term…). From there, you can better implement individualized techniques that chime with their personality and learning process.
From primary school to high school, your students will need to feel like they are not alone: by studying and learning together, you can deepen their knowledge and help them learn new skills that will be useful throughout their studies.
To assure your student’s progress, there’s nothing like a good dose of individualized education, whether that’s at home tutoring or online tutoring! So we hope you’ve accepted your “assignment” from us, and are working towards your goal of becoming a private tutor.
Now read more thoughts on the quality and value of at-home teaching...
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