Many of us can teach other people something. The desire to impart knowledge usually encourages people to become teachers and work in schools or universities. But there are other ways to go. For example, to become a teacher or a private tutor.
A tutor is a fairly free person; he does not have supervisors in the form of, say, a head teacher or a vice-rector. However, in such a seemingly free and creative work as a tutor, there are all sorts of nuances that should be taken into account and for which you need to prepare, before deciding to teach someone at home.
I have been teaching philology and literature to children and adults for two years now and I want to share some experience. If you have decided to become a tutor, you should first place an advertisement.
Specify the area, if you choose offline teaching – this way you will eliminate clients that live far away. Add your last name, and the level of trust of potential customers will increase. It is also desirable to attach your own photo, not a picture of a sweaty schoolboy.
Now we will understand what you need to be ready for when you take to help someone learn science, even if this science – mathematics in primary school. I’ll tell you an example of how to teach a schoolboy.
Basics of a tutor in college job
- Immediately explain to the parents of students that you are not a magician and can not instantly turn a anyone into an excellent student. You need to make that clear so that there are no complaints later. There are people who sincerely believe that if they have paid money, it means they have bought knowledge and good marks at school.
- Not all students will like you, but you have to like them, otherwise they will just leave. So you – a free sculptor of children’s minds – will have to sweat to find an approach to each of them, without showing negative emotions. Of course, to compel a child, if he does not do his homework or is late, you must, most importantly – do not overdo it. Do not humiliate students, be kind, joke, and they will respond in the same way.
- Always exchange feedback with the parents. Even if you think learning is going smoothly, there is progress, parents may have different opinions. Besides, you don’t know what the child says about you at home. Call, talk, share your thoughts on the student (but express your dissatisfaction very tactfully). In general, let the parents see or hear you. They need to know that their money is not going into an empty space.
- Work hard to prepare for class, make a plan. You don’t have to count on improvisation and your own teaching talent. In every case, discipline and consistency are important. In education, perhaps most of all. Do not worry that you may not know something, not understand the question. Ask the student to clarify this point.
- If a student behaves badly – whining, not doing tasks, looking at the clock every two minutes, snapping, etc. – say goodbye to him. There’s no need to torture yourself. In the end, you can fall for the child, and then you will come from your parents. Why ruin the image? Politely explain to the parents that the child may not be ready for individual lessons with a tutor in college yet.
- Students, especially young children, are physically unable to complete an hour of classes, and they can’t do it one-on-one with the teacher. If the child, who is generally responsible and smart, yawns and slows down at the end, shorten the lesson time. Be sure to let your parents know, they will probably not mind. Accordingly, the payment will be reduced, but for us, the main thing – the result, not the money, is not it?
- If after the lesson the student forgot to pay, feel free to remind him. Don’t think what he’ll bring next time. What if he doesn’t? Not enough: forgot, lost, spent on nuts. And at home, you might not even know about it.
- Get ready for your class schedule to change all the time, you’ll have to adjust to the students. Moreover, students will be late or even miss classes, often without warning. It is advisable to remind them of the class the night before with a phone call or message.
In tutoring, as in any other work, responsibility, diligence and a focus on good results are important. But above all, the freelance teacher is a creative profession, sometimes devastating even a significant reserve of spiritual and physical strength.
Respect your work and that of your students. And remember: sometimes it is more difficult to teach someone than to study.
How does a freelance teacher increase hourly rate
For any tutor the issue of raising the cost of classes is always very difficult. It is more likely that it is not so hard to raise the price than just to tell the clients. Many teachers think that because of this, students and their parents will resent him and stop attending classes or move on to another teacher.
But, as you know, the pricing policy of the tutor usually depends on the situation in the economy and it is logical that there comes a time when we need to talk about a new, higher cost.
What factors make up the cost of an hour?
- The region of residence. It is no secret that in the capital the price is sometimes two or even three times higher than in the suburbs.
- The social status of the teacher. A teacher who works in a university or has a scientific degree always pays higher prices than an ordinary tutor.
- The subject being taught. A foreign language tutor usually pays the highest fee, but less demanded subjects are always cheaper.
- Tutoring experience. The more it is, the higher the price.
- The place where the classes are held. If the teacher goes to his student, the total price always includes travel expenses.
- The purpose of the class. When preparing for exams, especially if there is very little time, always take more than, for example, simple classes due to the fact that a child misses classes due to illness.
- Socio-economic factors. These include the price of electricity, heating, paper, printer ink, etc. Usually, if these figures crawl upwards, the price of classes will inevitably go up.
It all depends on the confidence of a freelance teacher.
It is self-confidence that is fundamental to the tutor. It happens that experienced and qualified teachers are simply shy to set high prices, but quacks often, on the contrary, without hesitation take the highest bar. You always need to be confident in yourself and your professionalism.
If you are just getting started, take a closer look at the prices on the educational services market in your region and determine the average figure. This will be your lower limit, but you can always take a little more.
If you are embarrassed to say these things to people’s faces, then make it a rule to make a kind of contract which will set out the terms and conditions of working with you and the prices. This contract can be given to the client before the start of classes or at the beginning of the new school year, and he will get acquainted with all the nuances.
Mistakes of beginner freelance teachers
No one is immune from mistakes. Beginner specialists – all the more so. But in some professions: engineer, doctor, teacher and others – mistakes can be expensive. This article is an attempt to give some tips that may help to avoid these mistakes.
As they say, “you’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression.” When coming to class for the first time, any tutor must make a positive impression, and a beginner – three times. Excessive excitement of the novice tutor (trembling hands and voice, obsessive movements) can make a strange impression, which he has nothing to smooth out, unlike a teacher with experience, some features of which in principle you can close your eyes.
Uncertainty and fear of not liking the student may force the tutor to build a wrong line of behavior with him – with “flirting” and erasing the necessary distance in the relationship, which, in turn, will weaken his authority and allow the student to work halfway. You cannot go to the other extreme by wearing the mask of an evil teacher, forbidding and threatening. The mask will come off sooner or later, exposing your true face, and this will allow the student to behave with you without any respect. Before you go to class, do a little exercise, take a deep breath, raise your head and smile at your reflection in the mirror. You have enough knowledge to pass it on to others, charm to please people, and confidence to be yourself when they try to confuse you.
Do not be late for class, but if you feel that you will not be in time, be sure to call: for the very fact of being late, no one will kill you, and your call will leave the impression of at least a polite person. Do not take up all the offers in a row: while your rate is low, on trips from one end of the city to the other you will spend half the money you earned, the time during which you could spend another lesson, and the forces that you will certainly still need.
2. Lack of consistency, lack of express demands.
Even before the start of the class, you should form a set of rules common to all of them, and later supplement it with points that are constant for a particular student. For example, I strongly recommend that many students start with several notebooks in the first lesson: for recording all sorts of theories, for test work, and for homework. And, if you start them, you and your student should lead them at each lesson, not when you accidentally remember about it.
3. No proactivity of classes, absence of expressed demands
Even before the start of the class, you should form a set of rules common to all of them, and later supplement it with points that are constant for a particular student. For example, I strongly recommend that many students start with several notebooks in the first lesson: for recording all sorts of theories, for test work, and for homework. And if you start them, you and the student should do them in each lesson, not when you accidentally remember about it. The pupil also needs to be accustomed to order: he should always know where his notebooks and books are, prepare them in advance and not lose them. Loss of the task, from the point of view of the careless pupil, is a very respectable reason for its failure. Therefore, if you do not work on the textbooks, but on various handouts, recommend the student to have a special folder for them. Start a diary or some kind of journal for yourself: it will be easy to write down the material you have passed, the homework you have done, and each student’s mistakes which you think should be worked on next time as it is not easy to keep all this information in your head, especially when you have a lot of students.
Parents of students, you should clearly and clearly communicate the cost of classes, the days and times that are appropriate for you, the requirements for the child, your position on cancellations and postponements, and subsequently promptly inform parents of children’s bad behavior or failure to do their homework, not to let them ride on their own and not to say goodbye to them when it starts to happen.
4. Lack of a lesson plan
It is erroneous to think that good knowledge of the subject prevents you from preparing for the lesson. Especially if you’re still at the beginning of your journey. Make a plan to specify what you will do in the lesson and how long it will take you to complete each item. But the plan should not be treated formally. No matter how simple the material may seem to you, it must be studied very carefully, noting how it is explained (the more, the better: one is always not enough), the possible difficulties of the students and how to overcome them, and the possible answers of the students to the oral and written assignments. In addition, you should always be prepared for the student’s homework to be incomplete or incomplete, so instead of quickly checking it out and starting a new topic, you will have to do something else. Thus, the plan should provide several options for developing the lesson. The time to complete the items in the plan should be calculated in advance and distributed evenly, without going into one task at the expense of the others. It is absolutely unacceptable to interrupt a student in the middle of a task simply because you have not calculated how much time it will take.
5. A unified approach to different disciples
If you are a beginner teacher, you probably have not yet developed an extensive teaching library, and for you now it is important not to be afraid to learn new things. Different students have different problems and goals, so you should use different textbooks rather than one or two of the ones you know best. Take the time to search for and pre-evaluate materials so that you don’t later spend it on something that a student does not need. Subsequently, a catalogue of available resources can be compiled to help you find the material you are looking for on a given topic.
6. Not Ready to Answer Questions
Active, interested students are a real gift for any tutor, but a headache for a beginner. Unexpectedness awaits at every step: for example, if you teach a foreign language and, studying the topic “Professions”, ask a student who his parents work, please do not expect that everyone will be teachers, engineers or doctors. A teacher of a foreign language may encounter a problem with a pupil’s specific interests that lie outside his or her language competence and therefore have difficulty translating a term (plane details, dancing figures). In this case it will not hurt you to get acquainted with this or that category of vocabulary, but to inform the student that you cannot know everything and to push him or her to independent discoveries. In turn, in a physics lesson, a student may have an alternative view of the cause of some phenomena of nature, and you must put yourself in his place to understand his point of view and explain any questions.
7. Lack of patience with slow learners
On the other hand, students who are not so quick to think, require from the tutor a lot of restraint, because you can never shout at them, even if you really and really want to. Screaming and swearing frighten children, block their thinking processes and give rise to complexes. Even if you have to explain the material in twenty-five different ways before a student understands what they want from him, try to treat it with a positive attitude. You are a super teacher, if you know twenty-five ways to explain one subject, and your patience would be envied by Indian yogis! Besides, in the end, you will still achieve your goal, and the gratitude of such a student will be much higher.
8. Inadequate complexity / simplicity of the material
A beginner teacher, student or yesterday’s student may be in some kind of euphoria from acquiring new professional knowledge or new status and may wish to teach the student everything at once. With this generosity, he or she may do harm, not good, to disturb the student’s world view and cast doubt on the teaching system applied to the subject at this stage, especially in the case of primary school. The second grader, as his or her name, learns that it is impossible to divide by zero, but if the tutor tells him or her that this is not quite true, the misunderstanding with the school teacher and his or her grades are guaranteed. The other extreme is to avoid any complexity and terminology, even that which the student should know (“supplement”, “adverb”, “diffusion”, “catalyst”) and to use descriptive turns instead, so as not to overload his brain. It is necessary to know firmly the program of each class and stick to it, making adjustments to the depth of knowledge and abilities of each individual student.