Why become a tutor?
Out of all the jobs out there, why are you considering tutoring? I was asked why I did it and I think this is the best explanation I can give.
Everyone goes to work for a reason. For most of us it’s to earn the money to pay the bills, for others it’s nothing more than to get out the house, meet people and pass the time of day:
- Good income: I admit, tutoring isn’t up there with the wages of a solicitor, doctor or rocket scientist, but a good tutor can expect to earn a reasonable wage. Although any good tutor will spend an element of time preparing for the lesson, the wage can still be considered by most to be a respectable income.
- Flexibility: Most jobs offer either a reasonable income but very little flexibility, or the flexibility but little more than the minimum wage. Yet tutoring does both. This means that tutoring as a second job in the evening or weekend, is perfect as that is when there is the highest demand. There are also an increasing number of children been home schooled who require additional support in certain subjects during the day. Your diary is yours to set, you can decide in advance the hours you wish to work and there is normally an element of give within this week by week.
The ability to work from home
- The flexibility continues with capability to work from home. Providing you have a table and a room where you can be left in peace to work, tutoring is the perfect job to carry out at home. You will reduce your travel costs and time, consequently increasing your over all income. It also means you have all your resources to hand, so if you have planned one thing but the student requires something different you can easily adapt. To be honest I’ve never worked from home, I like to get out and about. I enjoy driving through the fantastic British countryside and visiting new places. But that’s just my personal preference. I also believe that if the student is in their own familiar environment it will make them more relaxed which reinforces a state of mind which will encourage them to remember what they are taught. It also helps already busy parents fit the tutoring into their existing routine.
Every lesson is different
- I was asked the other day if always doing the same thing with people gets boring. Yet I very rarely do the same thing more than once or twice a week. I work with children from as young as 7 up to adult. The range of support needed is as you would imagine huge. I admit, I play a choice of games in most lessons, regardless of age (if you read my book: The Essential Guide to help Parents and Tutors; Supporting children with reading and spelling, the reasons why would become apparent) but in every other respect every lesson is different. Every one of us is an individual. Consequently every person we meet will be different. Some will be chatty, some will be quite. Some will want to go back to the very basics of something; others may have got an understanding of the basics, but can’t get their head around some of the more complex ideas of the subject. I have shared lessons with cats, dogs, chickens (I would have to draw the line at pet spiders). I’ve sat on the floor of a house as the family has moved out. I’ve sat in the conference room in a rather stately home. I use a range of resources, depending on the wishes and needs of the tutee. I love this variety and this brings me nicely onto point…
- Jobs where you can be this creative on a daily basis in the world of education, are very limited. I can’t draw and I’m not artistic but this job has definitely allowed me to be more creative than I have ever been in any other job I’ve had. I think of games and activities we can do to keep the learning on track but in a varied manner.
Meet fantastic people
- Over the past few years I have met some really fantastic people. I’ve met a whole range of people who need tutors for a remarkable range of reasons, but without fail they have all been really lovely people. In fact I would probably say that it has been the people, which have made the job as enjoyable as it is and you are never in any doubt that the effort you put in is completely appreciated.
Enhance the knowledge and understanding of another person
- Another key element about tutoring is that you are able to enhance the knowledge and understanding of another person in a subject. Very often people will find a tutor because they don’t understand a subject or an element of a subject; quite possibly they will have exams coming up or just need the support to get through everyday schooling or life. When they find that understanding there is definitely a sense of pride and achievement, that you have supported them in finding this understanding.
- I think it is also fair to say that if someone doesn’t understand something, they normally don’t enjoy it either. This is one of the reasons outlined in my book, why I use an element of games and various other activities. If you can start to break down that feeling of dislike and resentment towards something, you are probably more susceptible to learning and acquiring new knowledge. Like I say, this is discussed in greater depth in the book, so I won’t dwell on it here. But seeing a new enthusiasm for something that they previously loathed and couldn’t see any point behind is I think a great feeling for both tutor and tutee.
The support can be life changing
- Some people need a tutor’s support to get them through an exam. For some, this qualification could change their lives. It could give them the access onto a university degree course to qualify for the job that they dream of, take promotion, continue with their education or just keep up with their peers. Whatever the reason, for many people this support can be life changing. I once worked with a lady who wanted to return to University to undertake the training that she needed for a new job. Her first step was to go to the local college and sit a maths test to get her onto the access course. She failed and was told she wasn’t likely to pass. She got in touch and she asked for help. I’ve never seen anyone work as hard as she did that summer. At the end of the summer she retook the exam and passed. I have great admiration for her and what she achieved in those few weeks.
Improve your own knowledge
- I have found over the last few years that people will get in touch and ask if you do the “chunking method”, “partitioning” or the “grid method”. This was all completely new terminology to me when I started. I have found that my own knowledge has increased significantly over the past few years of tutoring in other subjects as well. Children will often say they need to write a report in another subject, can I help them. This then becomes an issue when you realise they have no knowledge on the subject, so between you it is necessary to find something to write. My history, geography and science have all improved dramatically.
You don’t need to be a qualified teacher
- When I first looked into doing a childcare and education qualification carrying out a full time teacher training course wasn’t a realistic proposition. I had three young children under 5 years old. But to be a tutor you don’t need to have Qualified Teacher Status although a background in education is beneficial. As long as you have good subject knowledge and are able to support others in gaining this knowledge, you have the basic qualifications. (Obviously a DBS check is paramount to ensure people are allowing suitable people into their home. Especially when working with children).
- Many teachers love their role in supporting someone’s learning, often for similar reasons to some of those I have mentioned above. But in schools there is an increasing amount of bureaucracy and paper work which detracts from time you can spend preparing and supporting the children with their education. At the time of writing this there is no such bureaucracy in the UK for tutors.
There you go. My own personal twelve reasons: Why I became a tutor. Everyone would probably have different reasons. I would be lying if I didn’t say there were days when it’s cold and dark and you just think “I can’t be bothered” but isn’t that the same in most jobs? Hand on heart I can genuinely say I love my job. It has given my kids and I some great holidays and experiences through the money I earn as a tutor. I like the flexibility of my days and the fact that no two days are the same. I love the people I meet and the fact that I feel the work I do is genuinely appreciated and making a difference to someone’s life.
If you have read this far you are clearly giving tutoring serious consideration!
If you need a hand to get going or maybe you have started tutoring and you are lacking inspiration and motivation, why not check out “The Tutor’s Tutor”.
The Tutor’s Tutor is a place where you will receive a new training bundle each month to help you to grow your tutoring business.
There are annual awards to be won which will prove to the world what a great job you do. It will inspire you and also others to be tutored by you.
It is a place where like minded people can join, share ideas, inspiration and motivation.
A place to grow and find the support you need in creating the business of your dreams.
For more information: click here
I look forward to meeting you there