Becoming a private tutor- all questions here

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  • geek84geek84 Forumite
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    Hi Simon

    Thanks very much for your advice on advertising. However, I do advertise in the local newspaper every week and registered with about half a dozen websites. I have not got a single student!! The only thing I don't have is a website. I might try that now. However, it is a case of spending more money before gaining any income. I live in Wolverhampton.

    Any advice much appreciated.
  • Sarah2011Sarah2011 Forumite
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    Thanks Simon,

    I have followed the advice given here since I started tutoring in May - I have had about 10 students so far from tutoring websites and my advert on Gumtree (I have been shocked at how successful Gumtree has been) and I am really enjoying it still. I am now starting to get students through recommendation which is fab. I also found out that my local sixth form college uses 'part time variable hour' tutors so I sent them a CV and have been asked to help teach a couple of evening GCSE courses (I will start out shadowing the course tutors for a couple of months then take over the teaching next term and have my own classes :eek:). I am quite nervous but really excited too - it's great experience.

    I was hoping that you could maybe give me a bit more information on how you structure your tutoring sessions. Until July I was doing mostly exam preparation - practicing papers and revising topics they struggled with. That went really well and the students all got great results. Now I have a couple of students who want a tutor for the whole year and I'm not sure where to start. How do you assess your students (I've been using a mix of GCSE bitesize quizzes and exam type questions) and how do you decide what to do in your sessions. I have been using the student book to guess what they will be covering then looking out some activities, notes and exam questions and using those to make sure they know the topic plus helping if they are struggling with homework. I feel a bit unsure but think it's just because it's all new again - I was unsure last year and that stuff went well. Hopefully teaching at the college will give me access to new resources and ideas.
    2018 wins: parrot drone :A £250 GBK giftcard :beer: Ed Sheeran tickets :T Vampirina Microphone :)
  • Sarah2011Sarah2011 Forumite
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    geek84 - what subject are you tutoring. I decided to offer science tuition at GCSE and Biology up to A level or degree. So far I have had 3 students from First Tutors, 2 students from Tutorhunt and 5 students from Gumtree (just a free ad and I rewrite it when it runs out). I haven't tried my local paper yet. I have had cards made up and stuck them up on notice boards as well as handing them to students/parents to pass on to anyone they know. Let me know if I can help/give any more info but I'm really just starting out too.
    2018 wins: parrot drone :A £250 GBK giftcard :beer: Ed Sheeran tickets :T Vampirina Microphone :)
  • To Simon:

    How do you fit the hours in to make it a full time income?

    I'm a maths tutor also and have been for 4 years but always as a 2nd income besides my day job. I'd love to do it full time (and I'm sure I could get enough pupils with a bit more advertising) - but what stops me is the available hours with kids having school in the day etc...........I can generally never squeeze in more than 3 1 hour lessons in in an evening meaning a maximum of 15 tutoring hours Monday - Friday. I'm guessing you have to fill your weekends with lessons to bring it up to enough hours for a full time salary?
  • geek84geek84 Forumite
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    Hi Sarah2011

    Thanks very much to offer help. I teach Maths up to GCSE level. I too advertise my services on First Tutors, Gum Tree, and Tutor Hunt. However, I'm a bit confused about Tutor Hunt. I always get an email stating that someone has looked at my profile. I then contact the relevant person via email but never get a reply! Is that the best way to go about it?

    You mention handing out cards. How do you go about doing that? Do you stand outside a school and do it? What type of notice boards have you had the cards put up on?

    Thanks
  • therivierakidtherivierakid Forumite
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    I hand out cards to my students and their parents so that they a) have my details in case they need to contact me and b) they're hopefully more likely to pass on my information to prospective new students. I also put business cards on various noticeboards in and around my town. Sometimes they get taken down.

    Re Tutor Hunt: I occasionally look on there to see who's been looking at my profile. It's rare to get a response if you do contact someone though.

    Vivastreet is another free ad site - had a few students through that ad in the past.

    Ian4996: Yes, I too can generally only fit 3 kids in after school on weekdays. I do have a few students that I see during the day though (sixth formers with free periods, homeschooled kids and I have 4 hrs a week with a lad in Spain online). Getting students throughout the day is the holy grail though - have you considered offering a discount for lessons before 4pm on weekdays? Filling the weekends is still a necessity though - that's what I'm trying to do at the moment! I work Saturday mornings and then I'm available all day on a Sunday. I leave Saturday afternoons free for socialising etc. The weekend hours do get in the way a bit with family commitments but everyone seems to understand. I wouldn't swap it for a 9-5 chained-to-the-desk job though! I've had office jobs and they weren't for me!
    I pretty much get two months off during the summer, no boss to answer to, virtually no stress and massive job satisfaction. The salary isn't amazing but it's enough to give me and my wife a comfortable lifestyle.

    Sarah2011: Good luck with the new work at college. It'll be very different from tutoring though! Use whatever resources you can get from college... there's always going to new stuff that works well that you could use in your one-to-one work. With regard to structuring tutoring sessions outside of exam preparation periods I would say flexibility is the key. Find out what they have done in class recently. Do they understand it? Would they like more practice? Do they need something explaining? Knowing what they've covered and are about to cover is really important. Giving them a headstart on work they're about to do in class often goes down really well. I also strongly believe that kids should develop into independent learners as soon as possible. Let them say what they'd like to cover in your lessons - it gives them ownership of the lesson and makes them assess their strengths and weaknesses. So to that end I'd always have plenty of resources available because you won't know what they're going to want to do - I always have any relevant textbooks with me and I often take my netbook along to lessons as it has worksheets and exam papers on it. Being a maths tutor I also carry graph paper, rulers, pencils, compasses, protractor etc. I'm generally pretty good at coming up with questions myself (one of the benefits of being a maths tutor!) so I'll often think of things which will keep ramping up the difficulty level if I feel it's appropriate.
    How are you getting on with the physics? If you can offer more subjects then so much the better... have you looked at offering GCSE Maths or help with QTS Skills Test (numeracy)? I've been asked about doing physics tuition from time to time but it's not for me... far too wordy for my liking!
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  • geek84geek84 Forumite
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    Good Morning Folks

    Due to the lack of students that I am getting, I am now considering teaching online. Could anybody suggest good websites to join for this purpose?

    Thank You.
  • Sarah2011Sarah2011 Forumite
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    geek84 - I have had a few e-mails from tutorhunt to say that I have an enquiry/I have been contacted. I always respond as quickly as I can and I have had a couple of students sign up that way. My first couple of students came via First Tutors (and I much prefer that site) but once I had one student through Tutorhunt I started getting a few more enquiries (not sure how that works as you don't seem to be rated on that site).
    I put cards up on the parish council notice boards (outside the library/park/shops). If you know any teachers they may have a board in the school you can put a card on. I hand cards to my current students and have given some to some friends who work in the local schools. I wouldn't hand them out outside the school though. I have no idea about online tutoring, sorry.

    therivierakid - thanks again. The physics tuition went well. It was quite a lot of work for me as its a long time since I did any physics but my student went from an E in her mocks to a B in the exam. I was really pleased and her mum recommended me to a friend so I ended up with another student. I still prefer to stick to biology and chemistry as much as posible but for GCSE it's good to be able to offer all 3 sciences. I have thought about offering maths/numeracy in the future but the college work and science tuition will keep me busy for now.
    I try to keep my sessions flexible and find it quite easy once we get going and I have a better idea of the students learning style, pace and what interests them. It's the first 2 or 3 sessions I find difficult. Parents seem to expect me to assess/examine the kids in our first session and the kids can be nervous so I want activities to get them to relax and start chatting. I don't necessarily know what they are doing in school before the first session so it's hard to prepare (for example one student wasn't even sure which science she was doing). I think it will get easier as time goes on and I have more resources to use and I'm more confident about what I'm doing. Plus I'm still getting to know the different syllabi and how the schools teach them (e.g. one science a term or all 3 at the same time).
    2018 wins: parrot drone :A £250 GBK giftcard :beer: Ed Sheeran tickets :T Vampirina Microphone :)
  • therivierakidtherivierakid Forumite
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    geek84 wrote: »
    Good Morning Folks

    Due to the lack of students that I am getting, I am now considering teaching online. Could anybody suggest good websites to join for this purpose?

    Thank You.

    I use Blackboard Collaborate for the whiteboard and Skype to speak to the student. I just advertise through my own website and through MathsTutors4Me for the online tuition.
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  • I pretty much get two months off during the summer, no boss to answer to, virtually no stress and massive job satisfaction. The salary isn't amazing but it's enough to give me and my wife a comfortable lifestyle.

    That's exactly why I'd like to do it full time! I can understand what you're saying about the importance of filling the weekends. It's always just so happened that nearly all my pupils have just asked for weekdays evenings. I might look into a small weekend discount as an incentive...............if I could get 5 pupils switching to weekends (for example) that'd be 5 more available slots in the week.
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