Frequently Asked Questions

When starting up a new business there will be many questions that you will want answering before you start. Below I have answered some of the ones that we are most frequently asked. If you have more questions do get in touch and we will answer them for you. I look forward to speaking soon.

What is a tutor?

A tutor is defined by Wikipedia as:

“A tutor is an instructor who gives private lessons. Shadow education is a name for private supplementary tutoring that is offered outside the mainstream education system. Typically, a tutor provides academic assistance to one or more students on certain subject areas. Some forms of tutoring include after-school tutoring, home-based tutoring, online tutoring, and private tutoring.”

Should I become a tutor?

Is tutoring for me? That’s a question many people viewing this website are no doubt asking themselves. Over the coming paragraphs you will learn why several completely different people have chosen tutoring as a career path and why it has worked so well for them:

Becoming A Tutor with Starr Tutoring

For me, it was not a hard decision to become a tutor – teaching has always been a part of my personality as I used to teach my teddies how to behave when I was young. It might not be such a natural progression for others, so I would like to share my experiences of being a tutor so you can see how rewarding a job tutoring really is.

My favourite part of being a tutor is seeing my students grasp and understand what we are studying – to see their face change from a look of confusion to one of relief and understanding is an experience that I see daily and it never gets tiring. Schools today can be too focused league tables and quickly getting through the curriculum, forgetting that not everyone learns the same way – leaving some students hesitant to ask for help. Through tutoring students I can find out what style of learning suits them and tailor sessions to them – no sitting down listening to me waffle the entire session, instead we are interactive, fun and diverse.

For the younger students, we play lots of educational games – making sure that every session is fun but also valuable to their learning. My favourites are a maths fishing game, and washing line fractions. For the older students, we find fun resources linked to their interests to make their sessions as dynamic as possible, and throw in the odd game here and there like Murder Mystery Maths. For students revising for their exams we provide an experienced set of eyes to guide them through their final push and alleviate any concerns they have about their learning.

As a tutor, every day is different, every student is different and watching them respond to you and your teaching is immensely gratifying.

By Ally Burman

Fits in with family life

Anne is a native French tutor and also a qualified teacher. However, Anne describes teaching as having: “an insane workload and tremendous pressure, whilst working 12 hours a day.”

This is why having completed her QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) Anne has decided to go back to tutoring as it fits in so well with her family. Tutoring means she has flexibility around her children and can be there to be “their taxi”. Anne has also learned from working in a classroom that you can make far more of a difference working one to one with someone than when you’re working in a class of 30 children. “You can build so much more confidence when working one to one” and this is something I have learned Anne is passionate about.

By Anne Le Romancer

A change of career

After completing her GCSE’s Lisa left school, hating it with a passion. She had been bullied and detested learning by rote.

For the next 15 years, Lisa worked as a professional broadcaster. During this time Lisa found she changed and considered herself becoming quite a “nasty person”. She asked herself if this was really her.

After a gap, Lisa decided to go into education, something she had dreamed of many years before.

In 2014 she returned to college and within 3 years had completed:

  • an NVQ in Business and Administration
  • her PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) positioning her to work with adults
  • An assessor’s award
  • Functional skills in both maths and English
  • And a qualified teaching assistant

Many of these courses were self-taught! During this time Lisa also worked for the Shaw Trust to cover maternity leave. Whilst here, Lisa also qualified to work as a mental health first aider.

Lisa now has a passion to help people and feels she can do that through education.

By Lisa Bloom

The Starr Tutoring association may be worth considering if you are looking for support in starting or growing a career tutoring.

Do you need to be a qualified teacher to tutor?

No, you don’t need to be a qualified teacher to be a tutor. Experience of working in education definitely helps though.

Not being a qualified teacher was one of my biggest concerns when I got started but a friend pointed out to me that: very often teachers are trained to teach something a specific way. If the learner doesn’t grasp that method it sometimes needs someone to come in with a new approach to explain it.

Many years ago when I was sitting my GCSE’s I couldn’t grasp solving equations in algebra. The teacher had gone over it several times and it still seemed like double Dutch. She was clearly feeling exasperated and I was feeling like a complete failure so I pretended I “got it”.

Fortunately my dad had the patience of a saint. That night he sat me down and explained that it was like having a set of scales which I had to keep balanced at all times. If I took something out of one side, I had to do the equivalent to the other side until I was left with nothing more than the value I was looking for.

It made perfect sense. A new perspective and it was as clear as daylight. I don’t know if he ever knew how grateful I was for the help he gave me but it is the technique I now use to explain it to the children I work with. That different explanation is still turning on lightbulbs for people today.

How do I start a tutoring business?

With the benefit of hindsight there are a few things that would have helped enormously when I started tutoring.I go into them in more detail in the 7 day tutoring challenge but as a quick overview here goes:

  • Get to know a hypothetical version of your ideal tutee really well. This is really important as it will help you with marketing your tutoring services and help you create a resource library that can be used time and again.
  • The importance of having a Facebook page for your tutoring website
  • Cheap but effective marketing
  • Telling people what you are doing; shout it from the roof tops!
  • Build an email list so you can send regular emails to potential tutees so they can get to know, like and trust you.
  • The advantages of having your own website.

Why are you supporting other people to become tutors?

There is such a huge demand for tutor’s that at Starr Tutoring we cannot support every person that needs help in every subject.

We do believe though that every person who needs support deserves the best support.

My mission is to support people in building their own tutoring businesses that offer a fantastic service so that there is the support for those who need it.

Can I be a private tutor?

At the moment there aren’t any regulations in the UK determining who can be a tutor.

You will need to get a DBS check done because of working with children (previously known as a CRB check).

You will also need sound subject knowledge and a background of working in education is advantageous though not essential.

One of the key aspects of supporting someone’s learning is having the ability to share the information that you have. You need to be able to go right back to basics to explain something and approach it from many different angles until it makes sense to the learner.

How profitable can a tutoring business be?

“How profitable can a tutoring business be?” Is a difficult question to answer because there are so many variables.

What are you aspirations for the business? Will it just be you tutoring as an additional income (as many tutoring businesses are) or will you have tutors and a team of employees working for you?

You will also need to know your numbers: the costs which will be involved in tutoring and what you need to earn. How many people do you want to tutor? How many hours do you want to work?

Will you have travel expenses or will the tutee travel to you? Will you pay for a business mentor or additional training? How much will your insurances cost? What other expenses will you incur?

What type of resources will you use? Is there a means of creating a passive income through your tutoring business?

Once you have got these figures you will be able to establish what your hourly wage needs to be.

Attached is a download to help you work out some of the answers to these questions and help you establish your income and what you need to charge.

REMEMBER: YOUR INCOME FROM TUTORING MAY DECREASE DURING THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS. You will need to budget for this.

How do I get into home school tutoring?

If you want to focus on tutoring children who are home-schooled you will need to concentrate you marketing on parents of home-schooled children.

Be very specific on how you can help them.

There are an increasing number of support groups for parents who have decided to home school their child. If these are online forums drop in and offer friendly advice. Don’t do a hard sell, let people get to know you and trust you. Then when they are ready they will approach you.

If the groups you find are in the physical world, you might be able to pop in (via arrangement) and run a workshop with the children so that the parents can get to meet you and see your teaching styles. Again ask if you can keep in touch but DO NOT spam them as you will lose any good will and potentially a good source of tutees.

Where do tutoring lessons take place?

There are 4 places where lessons are commonly known to take place:

  • Via the internet: using a platform such as Skype
  • At a central tutoring centre
  • At the tutor’s home
  • At the tutee’s home
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    How much do I get paid to be a tutor?

    This is a difficult question to answer as there are so many variables.

    Will you be tutoring online or in the physical environment? Will the lessons take place in your home or theirs? What resources will you use?

    You will obviously need to charge more if you are incurring travel expenses and your experience will also be a factor in what you can charge.

    Your beliefs and personal reasons for tutoring will also be an influence on your price.

    I know Starr Tutoring is not the cheapest tutors in the area but we are definitely not the most expensive. For what we provide I believe we are offering the best value for money.

    Why don’t I put our prices up?

    Because I believe that support should be available to every child that needs it and not just those who are lucky enough to have parents on a high income.

    You need to decide what your principles are and price your lessons accordingly. But if you want you tutoring business to be a great success, whatever you charge you need to ensure you are offering the best value for money that you can.

    What is the dress code for a tutor?

    As a tutor you are presenting yourself as a professional person. Therefore you ought to dress accordingly.

    Several years ago I had a tutor come to the house to do an hour’s tutoring with my son for an Economics exam he had coming up. The tutor arrived with his shirt undone to roughly halfway down his chest and a chunky medallion. The medallion sat on top a thick mat of chest hair.

    I don’t mean to offend hairy chested men; I just feel that having his shirt revealing so much of his chest was inappropriate. A top button undone is more than acceptable but if a lady dressed with that amount of chest showing, especially when working with children would have created quite a stir….

    What tutoring resources do I use?

    There are some fantastic websites which will allow you to download their resources for free.

    Two I use most frequently are TES and Teachit maths and Teachit English. There are other Teachit websites for other subjects but the resources available here are great as they are very varied: games, quizzes, etc. I also use Rummikub for teaching odd and even numbers and sequenes and I keep a bag of bananagrams in my bag that can be used for spelling and vocabulary skills.

    Making my own resources is something I do a lot of. I create a lot of games especially for things like multiplication which needs a lot of repetition but needs to be kept interesting in the process. I play these games with children aged from5 to 16 and also with adults. I find age isn’t a restriction here, more the student’s attitude to learning.

    One game I play a lot and can be easily adapted is noughts and crosses (tick tack toe). You need to start by drawing a noughts and crosses grid: 2 horizontal lines which are crossed by 2 vertical lines. Then in each square I place a number (when focusing on times tables). Choose which number you want to multiply by then before you claim your square you need to multiply the number written in it by your chosen times table. The first person to get a row of 3 wins.

    The squares could also be filled with letters: think of an antonym / synonym starting with that letter, a word ending in or starting in. The square could have a date or a name: What happened on that date or what did that person do? How are they relevant? You could put a word in the square that needs translating, a maths question that needs solving or a term that needs defining are also options. It’s fun and takes very little preparation. It also acts as a really good gap filler and revision technique for the end of the lesson.

    Tutoring Jobs

    At Starr Tutoring we are always looking for fantastic Maths and English tutors. Are you looking for a secondary income or maybe a fulltime job? Are you looking for a new challenge? Could building confidence in maths and English with people from reception to GCSE (Inc) be your calling in life? Is creativity something you embrace? Can you work as an individual and as a team?

    We are looking for tutors who are willing to travel to the tutee, tailor make every single lesson so it is relevant to the needs of the individual tutee. Starr Tutoring strives to be the best team of tutors in the UK. Our mission is to boost confidence and knowledge in maths and English in the comfort of the students own home.

    There is so much to love about tutoring. Every day and every person you work with is different. You can feel you are making a genuine difference to the lives of people.Although the hours you work will predominately need to be on an evening or weekend, they actual will be fairly flexible.

    There are an increasing number of families who are looking for additional support for their children and as such there is a huge demand for tutors who are passionate about helping people to learn.

    If you would like more information about becoming employed by Starr Tutoring send me a covering letter and a copy of your CV to info@starrtutoring.co.uk

    If you think you would rather build your own tutoring business than work as an employee, we also have options that could help with this. Starr Tutoring Brand Associates: Build your own tutoring business with complete training and support. You would be eligible to use the Starr Tutoring Brand to help you promote your business to get started.

    The Tutor’s Group: This is an online group offering resources and support in growing your own tutoring business.

    Where should I advertise my tutoring company?

    This largely depends on where you will be tutoring: online or in the physical world. However, some of the things I have found have worked best for Starr Tutoring include:

    • Having my own website which allows parents to exchange details and get to know you properly for free.
    • Having a Facebook page and the use of Facebook ads
    • Dropping fliers through letter boxes in the areas that might ideal tutee might live.
    • Magnets on the side of the car giving the Starr Tutoring name, number and our mission statement: To build confidence and knowledge in maths and English in the comfort of your own home

    What age range can I tutor?

    Regardless of the age range you tutor, you will need a DBS check to be carried out.

    The age range you can tutor will rely largely on the tutoring style you choose to adopt. Clearly the resources you use with a younger child will be considerably different to those used with an older child or adult. With the younger children and many of the older children, I will use a lot of games to support the children’s learning. For older children with exams on the horizon I will incorporate past exam questions but use games and other various activities to reinforce any areas with which they are less confident. Also think about the sort of person you are. Could you work with a younger child with a shorter attention span or could you work with the “monotony” of less varied resources. Who do you relate to better? All these things can change so be prepared to change with them.

    Initially, choose an age group and focus here. That way all the resources you make will be age/ ability specific and it will save you a lot of time in preparing something new for every single lesson

    Can I tutor adults?

    Yes, you definitely can. There are a growing number of adults needing support in order to return to education to further their career path.

    When working with adults it is advisable to have a DBS check in place but it is not a legal requirement unless you are working with vulnerable adults.

    When you are marketing your business you need to ensure the adverts you create are focused on working with adults rather than children to ensure you reach your ideal tutee.

    What can I tutor?

    What you can tutor is dictated by your particular skill set rather than the subjects required by other people.

    There are 2 main reasons for this.

    • Firstly, you need to have a passion for the subject and the ability to transfer your love and knowledge of the subject to someone else.
    • Secondly, the world is a huge place and the people in it all have different requirements. Regardless how niche the subject that you want to teach is, there will probably be someone needing support with it.

    What hours would I be expected to work as a tutor?

    The hours you will be expected to work as a tutor will predominately be evenings and weekends as children are normally at school during the day.

    Increasingly there are a number of home-schooled children who need support but these are still very much in the minority.

    Some tutors work in local schools and again will find some hours during the 9 to 5 working day, but you must be prepared to work unsociable hours if you want to be a tutor.

    Is tutoring a full time job?

    That’s up to you. Most tutoring takes place on an evening or weekend unless you are working with home-schooled children or within a school environment. You will also need to dedicate some time to organising the resources for the lessons.

    But from what I have experienced the number of hours you work is at your discretion. There is enough work out there for a good tutor to have more work than they can cope with or you can just decide to limit yourself to a couple of hours a week.

    Decide what suits your lifestyle and work with that

    Should I find a tutoring mentor?

    “I’ll tell you now that the best strategy in almost any case is to find a role model, someone who’s already getting the results you want, and then tap into their knowledge. Learn what they’re doing, what their core beliefs are, and how they think. Not only will this make you more effective, it will save you a huge amount of time because you won’t have to reinvent the wheel. You can fine-tune it, reshape it and perhaps even make it better.”

    (Anthony Robbins: Awaken the giant within. Page 25)

    I’ve always had role models and it’s inspired me. It’s been someone to admire and as bad as it sounds compete with and hopefully earn their admiration for what I have achieved along the way. That person owns a completely different type of company to me but that doesn’t matter, I can still watch and learn. I listen to the families I go to and listen to what they deem to be important. I watch other tutors and learn from them. I’m inspired by their ideas and motivation. This moves me on, it helps to inspire me and move Starr Tutoring forward. I want to be the best and I can do this by learning from what I need to mimic and what I need to improve.

    If you want a mentor the Tutor’s Group could provide that for you. It will be a place where you can learn from me and others. It is a place to find resources and inspiration. A place where there is someone to guide you when times get challenging. If you want to find out more about the Tutor’s Group, click HERE.

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