Becoming a private tutor- all questions here

in Boost Your Income
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  • Sarah2011Sarah2011 Forumite
    188 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    One more question - when do you do most of your tutoring? I can tutor anytime over the weekend but during the week I couldn't start until 5.30pm at the earliest, probably nearer 6pm if I had to drive to the tutee's house. Is that a bit late?
    2018 wins: parrot drone :A £250 GBK giftcard :beer: Ed Sheeran tickets :T Vampirina Microphone :)
  • slightly OT,
    if there are any experienced business/IT tutors looking for work, drop me a PM.
    A family member has a training business and theyre always looking to add quality trainers
  • I have joined this agency, there's a lot of really useful information about how to become and tutor on this website below.

    There's also an FAQs page which answers questions about private tuition generally.

    I have worked for quite a few agencies and can honestly say this one is the best - mostly because they don't take commission at all! Plus they give you access to some really useful maths worksheets.

    Check it out. Good luck.
  • Sarah2011Sarah2011 Forumite
    188 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Hi all,

    After a few weeks of nothing I have had three responses to my tutoring ads this week :j. Typically they have all e-mailed me during the one week I am on holiday so I have replied and arranged to call them when I get back into the country this weekend. I am so excited to get started but also really nervous. I'm really really hoping at least a couple of them decide to go ahead with some tutoring sessions once I speak to them. I'd be VERY grateful for any tips or pointers for the initial call or meeting. Two of the potential tutee's are doing GCSE combined science and the other enquiry is from a mature student doing an Open University biology course.

    Keep your fingers crossed for me please!
    2018 wins: parrot drone :A £250 GBK giftcard :beer: Ed Sheeran tickets :T Vampirina Microphone :)
  • leftieMleftieM Forumite
    2.2K Posts
    Hi Sarah
    I began tutoring when my girls were small and I began teacher training. I had been out of education for some time although a similar background to yourself (post docs, uni teaching).
    Did you find the specifications? Follow those, not the schemes of work. You are not teaching as such, you are supporting them to understand what they have already been taught.
    What I do is I go through questions with them. At this stage in the year it's exclusively past papers which you can print off. Use the mark schemes to check that the wordings are spot on. Pulling them through the past papers is my tried and tested method to improve their grade. I've tried teaching instead but it was not as effective. Part of tutoring is building confidence as well.
    Stercus accidit
  • Sarah2011Sarah2011 Forumite
    188 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Thanks leftieM :beer:

    I have 1 tutee doing GCSE science and 1 doing A level biology (both AQA) so I've read the specifications and printed off a couple of past papers (+ marking schemes) for each. Hopefully that will get us started. I have my first session booked for Monday so fingers crossed it goes well!

    The other student is a bit more complicated - she moved schools part way through the year and it seems that her old school covered the units in a different order to her new one. She is doing GCSE science and has basically been taught biology twice but missed the physics section so her mum wants a tutor to help her go through the books and notes to catch up. I'm not sure how much she has done so far or what she has from the school so I think I'll just have to play it by ear. Just a shame it's physics which is the subject I dropped earliest in university and am least familiar with the syllabus.

    Thanks again for your help!
    2018 wins: parrot drone :A £250 GBK giftcard :beer: Ed Sheeran tickets :T Vampirina Microphone :)
  • Sarah2011Sarah2011 Forumite
    188 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Hi all,

    I really just wanted to say thanks for all the great advice on this thread. I started advertising as a private tutor (Gumtree and First Tutors) in February and I now have 6 students which is about all I can manage for the moment. It has been hard work getting to know the different syllabuses/exam boards and brushing up on the areas I hadn't covered for a while but I am really enjoying the work. I've had some great feedback and reviews on First Tutors and two of my tutee's have had mock exams and have both improved their marks. It is really satisfying when you are going over an area the student struggles with and you just see it 'click'. I am really going to miss my students once they sit their exams in May/June (I will be really nervous for them) and I guess you don't get much/any work over the summer.

    So far I have plenty of enquiries from Gumtree and First Tutors and I'm hoping that I will get some work via word of mouth if these students do well. On the other hand this is surely the busiest time of year and I wondered whether it was worth signing up with an agency (e.g. Fleet Tutors) as another source of work for after the summer - any opinions??? I probably can't take on more than 5-6 students at a time and I'd be happy with 3 or 4.
    2018 wins: parrot drone :A £250 GBK giftcard :beer: Ed Sheeran tickets :T Vampirina Microphone :)
  • Hello all,

    Hope you are having a good summer!! I would really appreciate it if someone could help me with my situation.

    I have completed my A-Levels and am interested in becoming a private tutor. How do I do so in terms of promotion and licensing?

    I have excellent communication skills and so on
  • I was wondering if someone can advise me please. I have found myself in the unfortunate position of becoming a single parent. As I don't have a degree I was wondering what my prospects are when it comes to tutoring. I have an A'Level in English Literature (amongst others) as well as GCSE's. I have just enrolled onto an Open Uni degree as well but haven't chosen my specialism, it will be either Law or English Literature.

    Will it be possible to offer my services as a tutor teaching English Literature (GCSE)?

    I really hope someone can offer some advice on this matter. x
  • therivierakidtherivierakid Forumite
    323 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker

    I started this thread nearly 6 years ago and I come back to it now and again and it's great to see that it's helped people! I'm now a full time maths tutor (maths degree but no QTS) and in busy periods I can often be working over 35yrs per week. In fact in May this year I did a few weeks of around 50hrs per week (not including travelling time!). So it really can be a viable full-time career...

    However, you do need to be in the "right" part of the country I believe. Affluent towns and cities are best, preferably with grammar and/or independent schools nearby - yes, the parents of independent school kids will pay even more to top-up their kids education. I cover about a 10 mile radius from where I live and some kids come to me from even further than that, so don't limit yourself to just one town (unless you're in London!) if you can afford the time.

    Promote yourself and advertise as much as you can. Get your own website, fill it with content and information and get it as high as possible up the organic Google rankings. This is probably to number one thing you can do to advertise yourself as a tutor. I'm currently paying about £25 a year for the hosting and domain of my website so it's not megabucks! Get listed on tutoring agency websites as much as you can (watch out for how much commission they charge) and advertise in local papers/magazines if you think the readership is high enough. Get a CRB/DBS check if you can... I got mine through a well-established local tutoring agency. I had to pay for it but it's definitely worth it when parents ask to see it.

    As for being a successful tutor I think you need 4 things: subject knowledge, communication skills, empathy and patience.
    * Knowing your subject inside out will reassure kids and their parents that you know what you're talking about. Part of this is also knowing the exam syllabus so keep yourself updated by visiting the exam boards' websites often.
    * Speaking clearly to your tutees and their parents is a must. Pitching your language at the right level, whilst still using technical terms when necessary is key. I speak very differently to a very bright 10 year-old than I do to a C/D borderline GCSE student.
    * Empathy - just knowing that they're struggling with something that you found easy is a massive plus. I'm sure there have been times in your life where you've struggled to understand something. Just remembering that feeling brings a lot of empathy to the relationship and helps immensely.
    * Finally patience... very important! It takes time for our brains to makes sense of new information, knowledge and skills and kids can take a long time to get to the point of understanding. I always find it a fine balancing act, knowing when to step in a give them a nudge in the right direction, when to just show them and when to let them persevere. Perseverance is a fine characteristic to have but when they're obviously on the "wrong path" some intervention is needed.

    Even 5.5 years after starting out as a tutor I'm still learning, still finding the best way to explain something, still finding more modules and courses that I could offer and brushing up my knowledge in those areas. Never stop improving basically!

    Simon Williams, Tutor
    *removed by forumteam - please do not advertise in signatures*
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