Being an online tutor is fulfilling in many ways—the job pays well, and at the same time, you help a child unlock their fullest potential. That said, it’s not a simple job. People think it’s easy because you merely repeat the lessons you learned years ago, but online tutoring demands much more than that.
The lessons you have learned before are different from the lessons that today’s children study. Just think: there are years of advancement between your time in school and theirs, so the lessons probably had an update. Moreover, you are trying to sustain the attention of a child over the internet. That’s a job in and of itself.
So before you advertise yourself as a tutor, here are some mental and physical preparations you have to accomplish:
Develop a Plan
Once you’ve decided on a private online tutoring platform (or decided to offer independent services), develop a business plan. It might sound complicated, but it only means that you should set a goal and process goals to achieve them.
For example, you have to analyze what type of students is more likely to hire tutors. Would those be preschoolers who can’t keep up with their lessons, high school students who need extra tutoring in certain subjects, or kids in higher education who have a hard time in their advanced classes?
Identify your unique selling proposition, which is the factor that sets you apart from other tutors. For example, if you’re bilingual, you can teach students who are not yet well-versed in English. You may also offer flexible hours or have a course model that’s focused on games. Leverage these unique points when advertising yourself.
Choose Your Prospects and Subjects
After determining the students who are more likely to need your help, dig a little deeper and discover these students’ characteristics, like their age, behavior, location, and more. You’ll need these pieces of information to put together an interesting program. For example, if you’re tutoring high school students, you have to understand what time of the day they are more likely to be engaged. What assessment methods would appeal to them? What situational examples can they relate to?
Choosing the subject matter should be easy, too. As much as possible, stick to one or two related subjects, like science and math or English and literature. It would ease the burden of research and teaching on you.
However, if you think you’re a jack of all trades and can handle both grammar and biology, then do it! Some students prefer having one tutor for all their tutoring needs. If you have an advanced degree or specialization in these topics, use it as your unique selling point.
Consistency is critical in keeping students interested. Say you have acquired students from self-advertising or the online platform you subscribe to. The first few weeks can be exciting, but the following ones may be boring. Teaching (especially online) does take a toll on a person, so try your best to stay motivated. If you have started the program by gamifying the lessons, maintain it until you finish the last lesson.
Also, don’t fall into the trap of spoon-feeding your students. Often, when the tutor is exhausted, they resort to merely filling their students with information. Steer clear of this method; always engage your students, so they won’t forget what you taught them. Remember, they hired a tutor to help them understand things that they can’t understand in school.
Being a tutor is rewarding, both financially and professionally, but it demands hard work and patience. Just like a teacher, you would have a strong influence over your students, so it always counts to do your best.