It's widely accepted that private one-to-one tuition is the most effective and productive method of learning at all levels of academic or creative development. Personal mentoring helps students with confidence, enthusiasm and skill-building, all essential to academic and career success. Whether it’s helping with homework or preparation for primary SATs, secondary school GCSEs, A-level, college entrance exams, or whether it’s for someone who wants to further their education and skills, the tutor is the mentor who’s there to help achieve that person’s dreams.
A private tutor will have the experience and resources to provide a student with guidance that’s particular to them and designed to be easy and accessible, suiting the student’s learning abilities on an individual basis. This is by far the best way to nurture learning skills and therefore improve grades.
It starts with listening to your student’s primary concerns and goals and assessing their strengths and weaknesses, in order to determine a teaching plan and the best way forward. The tutor’s teaching strategies must be specific to the student’s learning style to help them achieve their goals. For example, if they’re able to remember key facts but find it difficult to recall details, try to develop their knowledge in a way that they’ll want to expand on those key facts.
Good communication skills are essential to one-to-one tutoring, and having a thorough knowledge of syllabuses and exam formats will inevitably help you tailor your tuition to the student. Ask the student to read the National Curriculum, or subjects that are to be studied, and get their interpretation, so that you know which direction you need to take in teaching it. Also, explain what the questioners are actually asking. Interpersonal skills, adaptability and creativity will help your student learn. You’ll then be able to analyse how best to develop their learning skills with originality and innovation.
There'll be tough times, there’ll be easy times, but recognising a student’s particular learning strategies will enable you to offer consistent encouragement. It may be that the student responds well to visual learning aids or speaking out loud, so use visual or auditory teaching methods. This will help them remember the important content for exams, but it will also instill confidence to help later in life.
So, what kind of tutor do you want to be? What age group do you want to teach? Are you going to work from home or do visits? If the latter, how far? Is it to be one-to-one or small groups? Will you tutor online while working from home?
Whichever you choose, this will be your business, and success comes with good recommendations, so make sure your teaching environment is clean, safe and devoid of distractions. Make sure as well that you have a reliable means of transport, and invest well in equipment for your lessons and any online tutoring that you may do. Good equipment will save you money and enhance your reputation.
While all the above are necessary conditions, the best measure of a good private tutor is the passion they have for their subject. Teaching isn’t just about sharing knowledge, it’s about the enthusiasm and the fun of learning. This will rub off and create the next generation of excited and interested learners.
So how do I market my service?
Apart from your personal website or your social media presence, there are many online platforms. At TutorExtra, we offer access to a wide audience, so make sure your profile includes all the information that a prospective client would want to see. Try to imagine what that might be. Once you’re happy and have made sure that you’re addressing the right audience, it will go live to everyone searching for the service that you offer.