Useful Tips

How to become a tutor: 8 useful tips for beginners


No one is immune from mistakes. Novice specialists - even 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 errors.

1. Self-doubt

As the saying goes, "you will never have a second chance to make a first impression." Coming to the lesson for the first time, any tutor should make a positive impression, and the beginner - three times. Excessive excitement of a beginning tutor (trembling hands and voice, obsessive movements) can make a strange impression, which he has nothing to smooth out so far, unlike an experienced teacher, who can close his eyes in principle.

Self-doubt and fear of dislike the student can cause the tutor to incorrectly build a line of behavior with him - with “flirting” and blurring the necessary distance in the relationship, which, in turn, will weaken his authority and allow the student to work half-heartedly. You can not go to the other extreme, putting on the mask of an evil teacher, prohibiting and threatening. The mask will fly away 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 remain yourself when they try to confuse you.

Do not be late for the lesson, but if you feel that you still do not have time in time, be sure to call: no one will kill you for the fact of being late, and with your call you will leave the impression of at least a polite person. Do not take all the offers in a row: while your bid is low, on the road from one end of the city to the other you will spend half the money earned on transport, the time during which you could spend another lesson, and the forces that you, of course, still have will be needed.

2. Inconsistency of studies, lack of expressed requirements

Even before the start of classes, you must form a set of rules common to all, and later supplement it with points that are permanent for a particular student. For example, for many students, I strongly recommend that you start several notebooks in the first lesson: to write down all sorts of theories, for verification work, and for homework. Moreover, if you start them, you should lead them with the student at each lesson, and not when you accidentally remember this. The student also needs to be accustomed to order: he must always know where his notebooks and books lie, prepare them in advance and not lose. The loss of a task, from the point of view of a negligent student, is a very valid reason for not fulfilling it. Therefore, if you study not according to textbooks, but according to various handouts, recommend the student to create a special folder for them. Make a diary for yourself or some semblance of a journal: it will be convenient to write down the material you have completed, homework and mistakes of each student, which, in your opinion, should be worked on next time, since you should keep all this information in mind, especially when You will have many students, not so simple.

You must clearly and clearly tell the parents of the students the cost of the classes, the days and times that suit you, the requirements for the child, your position regarding the cancellation and postponement of classes, and also subsequently promptly inform the parents about the poor behavior of the children or their failure to complete homework, they ride on themselves and without regrets say goodbye to them when this begins to happen.

3. Lack of lesson plan

It is a mistake to assume that a good knowledge of the subject allows you not to prepare for the lesson. Especially if you are still at the very beginning of the journey. It is necessary to draw up a plan in which to indicate exactly what you will do in the lesson and how long it will take you to complete each item. But the plan cannot be taken formally. No matter how simple the material may seem to you, you need to study it very carefully, noting yourself the ways to explain it (the more, the better: one is always not enough), possible difficulties of students and ways to overcome them, possible answers of students to oral and written tasks. In addition, you should always be prepared for the fact that the student’s homework may not be done or not completely done, so instead of checking it quickly and starting a new topic, you will have to do something else. Thus, the plan should provide for several options for the development of the lesson. Time for the implementation of plan items must be calculated in advance and distributed evenly, without delving into any one task to the detriment of the rest. It is completely unacceptable to interrupt a student in the midst of completing a task simply because you yourself have not calculated how much time it will take from him.

4. A single approach to different students

If you are a beginner teacher, then you most likely have not yet developed an extensive methodological library, and for you now it is important not to be afraid to learn new things. Different students have different problems and different goals, so you should use different textbooks, and not one or two of the best known to you. Take the time to search and pre-evaluate materials so that you do not waste it on what the student does not need at all. Subsequently, in order to facilitate the search for the necessary material on a particular topic, it will be possible to compile a catalog of available resources.

5. Unreadiness to answer questions

Active, interested students are a real gift for any tutor, but a headache for a beginner. Unexpectedness awaits you at every step: for example, if you teach a foreign language and, studying the topic “Professions”, ask the student who his parents work for, then do not wait, please, that everyone will turn out to be teachers, engineers or doctors. A teacher of a foreign language may encounter a problem of the student’s specific interests that lie outside his or her linguistic competence, and may experience difficulties in translating one or another term (aircraft details, dance figures). In this case, it will not hurt you to familiarize yourself with a particular category of vocabulary, but inform the student that you cannot know everything and push him to independent discoveries. In turn, in a physics lesson, the student may have his own alternative view of the cause of some natural phenomena, and you must put yourself in his place in order to understand his point of view and clarify any questions.

6. Lack of endurance with slow students

On the other hand, students who do not think so quickly need a lot of self-control from the tutor, because you can never yell at them, even if you really, really want to. Shouting and swearing frighten children, block their mental processes and generate complexes. Even if you have to explain the material in twenty-five different ways, before the student understands what they want from him, try to take it positively. You are a super-teacher, if you know twenty-five ways to explain one topic, and Indian yogis would envy your patience! In addition, in the end, you will achieve your goal anyway, and the gratitude of such a student will be much higher.

7. Inadequate material complexity / simplicity

A novice teacher, student, or yesterday’s student may be in some euphoria from gaining new professional knowledge or a new status and from the bottom of his heart wish to teach the student everything at once. With such generosity, he can do harm, and not good, to disrupt the student’s worldview and make him doubt the educational system used in this subject at this stage, especially when it comes to elementary school. A second-grader, as his name, learns that it is impossible to divide by zero, but if the tutor between the cases tells him that this is not entirely true, then a misunderstanding with the school teacher and a decrease in grades are guaranteed. The other extreme & nbs, is to generally avoid any difficulties and terminology, even that which the student must know ("addition", "adverb", "diffusion", "catalyst"), and use descriptive turns instead, so as not to overload his brain . It is necessary to firmly know the program of each class and adhere to it, making an adjustment for the depth of knowledge and ability of each individual student.

1. Start by practicing

Before looking for students, try to “work” for some time as a teacher for a younger brother, sister, children of neighbors or friends. In the first year, I helped to prepare for the exam for a Russian friend of the eleventh grader free of charge: I gave some advice, explained the theory, checked the essays. As a result, the girl received 98 points and entered the philological department of Moscow State University, and I was inspired by her successes and decided to become a tutor.

3. Study the literature

Scroll through school books, go to the bookstore and see what the requirements are for schoolchildren today. If you graduated a couple of years ago, then remember how you yourself prepared for the exams. Read books on child psychology and teaching aids to better build relationships with students. The book by Marina Chibisova, “Psychological Preparation for the Unified State Examination,” or by Robert and Gene Bayard, “Your Restless Teenager (A Practical Guide for Desperate Parents),” is well suited.

If you plan to prepare children for final exams, look at the FIPI website: there are open task banks, demo versions of examination options, plus the latest news on changes in the exam and exam are published. I recommend visiting this site at least once a week.

It is more difficult to immediately start preparing for entrance exams at specific universities - for example, for an internal test at Moscow State University. But if you are a student or a graduate of this university, you yourself have passed the introductory and understand its specifics, then why not try it.

4. Consider an overall work plan.

Programs themselves are best developed for specific children. Until you find them, formulate a general scheme of work, for example, for graduation classes. Think of some chips that will diversify your lessons. For example, my students memorize exception verbs and roots with alternating vowels in the form of small poems, and younger students learn the rules in the form of a fairy tale.

5. Start looking for students

Start your search for students in early August. By September there will be at least a few people, and in a month you will have time to develop a program.

The first students are best sought on word of mouth. Tell us about what you decided to tutor, for example, to mom or aunt: they will tell neighbors, colleagues and girlfriends about it in the fitness center. You can post an ad in the "Services" section on Avito, write posts on social networks - on your pages or in groups where tutors are looking for students and students are looking for tutors. Try to briefly talk about what you can do, about educational and scientific achievements. And if you already have some kind of teaching experience, be sure to write about it.

Another option is special sites for finding tutors, but they often ask for a fee for their services. If you have a good relationship with teachers in your native school, you can throw a fishing rod there too: there are probably students who are looking for a tutor.

Some parents are not eager to give their child into the hands of a student. But I believe that experience in tutoring is not the most important thing. A student who enrolled in a prestigious medical university and excelled in biology knows the subject at the level at which he can explain it and prepare for the exam of a future graduate. So advice to parents: do not be afraid of a young tutor! I think that even after talking on the phone you will understand whether this person can become a teacher for your child. If in doubt, try to schedule a free trial lesson.

Tutoring profession

Tutoring is not as easy as it seems at first glance. Especially considering the fact that many students are restless and poorly absorb new information. That is why the salaries of private teachers are much higher than those of their colleagues from city schools.

Prices are set for an academic or regular hour, and the lesson schedule is regulated at the request and ability of both the student and the tutor.

6. Choose a place to practice

Tutors in large cities have many options. You can conduct classes at home or go to students, study in quiet cafes or anticafe (there you will pay not for tea or coffee, but for the time spent, the average price per minute is two rubles). You can think about coworking - a kind of office in which you rent space for a certain period. Tutors in small towns most often work at home or go to students. Another way is Skype lessons, but I resort to it in extreme cases, when, for example, a student gets sick and cannot work out live. Still, lively communication in learning plays an important role.

Pros of the profession

  • It’s much easier to work as a teacher at home: you don’t need to cope with a whole group of children or teenagers, you work with a specific student.
  • There are no reports and programs that need to strictly comply.
  • No need to report to the principal or head teacher of the school.
  • The tutor himself plans his time and distributes the load.

Demand for the profession

Tutors are especially in demand just before exams. For example, before the exam, GIA, TOEFL, MBA and others.

Find a tutor is very simple: just look at the bulletin board on the Internet or in the city newspaper. Since there are a lot of teachers, it will be difficult to break through to the heights of the profession. You will have to prove that you are a master of your craft and deserve to receive a high salary.

Of course, if you have already worked as a teacher, then it will be much easier to continue activities. However, you may have earned a good reputation with your former or current students.

How to do tutoring

  1. To ensure a good start, determine which area is right for you. Do not grasp the area of ​​knowledge in which you are not very strong.

The most popular teachers of foreign languages: English, French, German. The age of the student, as they say, "from small to large." It can be both preschool children and businessmen. The last category of citizens is more solvent and the most promising for your career growth.

  1. Choose the category of citizens with whom you will work. It can be:
  • Preschool children - in preparation for school.
  • School graduates - in preparation for entrance exams.
  • Students - in preparation for the session.
  • Adultsseeking to improve their knowledge.
  • Corporate clients - This is true for teachers of foreign languages ​​who are invited to companies to work with employees.

When thinking about choosing the age of students, be guided by those with whom it is easier for you to find a language.

  1. Create a training program.

It is very important to do this at the beginning of the journey. Of course, in the learning process, you can correct it. But in order to keep track of students' level of knowledge, an initial work plan must be required.

  • Design a test to check the levels of knowledge at different stages: when the student came to you for the first time, after a month and at the end of training. It will be easier both for you and the student, who will clearly see what he has achieved.
  • It is necessary to purchase the appropriate literature, methodological and visual aids. Some of them can be downloaded for free, while others will have to spend money. A good teacher always has his own personal methodological developments and is guided precisely by them.

One program will not be enough if you study in different subjects and with people of different ages. Try to find an individual learning system for each student.

Many are concerned about the issue of taxes. For your reassurance, you can issue an IP and deduct taxes for yourself. In addition, if you plan to work with companies, most likely, they will conclude an agreement with you, and you will definitely have to report to the tax.

Of course, you can start the trouble of these accounting confused, see how everything goes and if success doesn’t make you wait, get formalized.

But remember, tutoring is considered a form of individual activity, and it is not subject to licensing. Teacher qualifications must be confirmed by a diploma. At the same time, registration of IP will become a mandatory procedure, because private teaching is an entrepreneurial activity.

Therefore, it is necessary to provide that a percentage of the proceeds will be spent on taxes. However, profits can increase significantly if students study in your apartment or through online communication. So you save on transport and have more time left.

  1. Decide on the type of lesson.
  • Online (by Skype),
  • Offline (посредство посещения ученика на дому или его визита к вам),

Первый способ наиболее продвинутый и набирающий популярность в наше время. Это удобно для жителей больших городов: не нужно стоять в пробках и тратить деньги на поездки по городу, чтобы добраться до частного учителя. К тому же учеников можно набирать из различных городов и даже стран.

Surprisingly, the cost of training on Skype is slightly higher than the traditional form of training. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Skype teachers are more modern people who value their time. In addition, this allows you to hold video conferences with several students of the same teacher, share the level of knowledge in the group, without collecting a crowd of people at home. It turns out a full-fledged educational process and a whole class of students.

Speaking about such a specific job as a tutor, it is worth noting one thing - it is important to look for an approach to each of your wards. The teacher does not always use video calling: you can also send the necessary materials and tasks by e-mail, if the student can independently understand them and solve all the tasks.

  1. Set rates for your services.

Being interested in how to start tutoring, many are unsure of their final salary. A very low amount will completely beat off motivation, but an excessively high amount will scare off potential customers.

If you are confident in the quality of your services, do not hesitate to ask for a sufficient payment. In the absence of experience, it is still better to lower the tariffs until you “beat your hand” in the hard work of a private teacher.

The amount will be influenced by several factors:

  • Place of residence
  • Teaching experience,
  • Teacher education,
  • Intensity of classes
  • Teacher guarantees
  • The complexity of the item.

It is worthwhile to discuss in advance whether each lesson, all classes for a month or after a fixed number of days will be paid (for example, after 5, 10, 15 lessons).

The basis of successful activity will be the teacher’s great experience and high quality material. Tutoring may well become the main source of income, and profits are several times higher than the average salary of a full-time teacher.

Of course, starting capital is needed: for the purchase of teaching materials, literature. But he will quickly pay off. You will be able to reach “clean” earnings after a few months of active work.

So, you have purchased the necessary materials and are ready to start work. Let's start with the most commonplace: the search for students.

How to find students for tutoring

  1. Word of mouth. It works flawlessly. Tell all your friends that you decided to do tutoring and you will be surprised how quickly people will reach you. Do not be shy about your profession. At least you do not sit still, but do everything to make money.
  2. Paid Services.

There are many services where you can place a resume. In it, be sure to indicate:

  • the price of one hour (academic or regular),
  • items you are preparing for
  • your education and work experience,
  • areas where you will be most comfortable working.

Leaving your contact information, wait for a call from prospective students and talk with them. Having talked in person, you decide whether you can work with this person or not. It is advisable to immediately clarify the age and performance of the student (student).

  1. Free Services.

If you do not want to work through intermediaries, then you can always place ads on your own in newspapers, magazines or on online message boards (Avito, Yula, hh, rabotu, etc.). And also on online bulletin boards in your city. Go to social networks and start searching for free groups to post on your services.

Get your own page where you post your diplomas and student reviews. The personal page is very convenient not only for painting your regalia and work experience, but also for prompt communication with students. In addition, children love modern teachers who speak the same language with them, so the material is better absorbed.

Tips from experienced tutors

Here are some tips from experienced tutors on how to conduct tutoring:

  • When meeting with a student and / or his parent, immediately clarify that the success of the student will depend not only on you, but also on the zeal of the student. If your child has problems with perseverance or is not serious about classes, do not hesitate to talk to parents about this. Otherwise, after some time, all the barrels will roll on you.
  • Patience is the key to success. Sometimes students will meet, as they say, not a gift. It is important to keep yourself in control and not get personal.
  • Inspire! Try to find an approach to each student. It doesn’t matter whether this is a teenager or an adult uncle, anyone can be rated.
  • Lesson objectives. At the very beginning of the training, specify the objectives of your lessons. What expectations does the student have in your lessons, what does he want to achieve. Share your plans for his training. Set clear goals for him, for example, that by the end of the year, he should learn this and that.
  • Humor. Classes are the work of the mind. Joke with students, take a break and talk on abstract topics. So the information will be absorbed better.
  • Give feedback. If your students are children, then call up with your parents, talk about the successes and failures of the child, because it is not known what he tells about you there at home. If your students are adults, once a month summarize the results of your studies and ask for feedback about your classes.
  • Always have a backup plan.! When preparing for classes, have a clear plan and norms for deviating from it. Do not expect to figure it out on the spot. Have extra tasks in stock if the student copes quickly and there is still time.
  • Do not hold on to negligent students. No need to torment yourself if you see that you cannot find a common language with the student. Do not swear with students, but just say goodbye to him.

Useful articles:

About the author of the article:

Psychologist, family therapist, career coach. Member of the Federation of Consulting Psychologists of Russia and a member of the Professional Guild of Psychotherapy and Training.

How to start working as a tutor: advertise

I do not advise using grandfathering methods - sticking ads or throwing newsletters in mailboxes. Even in our century of new technologies, advertisements for tutoring services hang on almost every fence. What do you think comes to mind a potential student who sees such ads? The teacher does not know how to use the Internet? He does not have enough money to place ads on the site or does not have a computer? He does not appreciate the work of the janitors, who then tear it all down?

There are many free on the Internet specialized sites (this, this or this), which help to advertise their services (but you have to pay a certain amount after receiving a new student), there are forums of residents of microdistricts, where, most likely not for free, you can also post your ad to find students.

Registered on the site, the next stage service presentation. In addition to the standard description of your data and uploading a suitable photo, you need:

  • indicate the price of classes and their format
  • tell you what language you teach (general or for special purposes) and what exams you prepare (if you prepare)
  • do you study at home or away, and also do you work remotely
  • indicate the desired age of students, their level of training and learning objectives
  • tell about yourself

How to start working as a tutor: talk about our services

Price classes consists of several parameters:

  • popularity the language you teach (teachers of rare languages ​​like Korean or Polish have every right to ask for more, because few people know them compared to the same English)
  • your professional experience (and sometimes education - if you graduated from a prestigious university, for example, Moscow State University or MGIMO, you can slightly increase the price)
  • a placeconducting classes (if the teacher goes to the student, the price of the lesson will be higher)
  • reputation and reviews. They recruited students, prepared for exams, they successfully passed them - hung diplomas on the website, published reviews - and you can increase the price of classes. A good tutor is usually more expensive.

Based on these factors, and looking at how much tutors with similar parameters cost in your city, you need to determine duration of your classes. Up to 7 years they usually do 45 minutes, from 7-14/15 to 60 minutes, from 15 years it is better to do about 90 minutes for more efficiency.

You can teach commonlanguage (e.g. General English) or language for special purposes (Business English, Law English, etc.). The latter, as a rule, is more expensive.

More expensive and preparing for exams. An exception to the rule may be, except for the Unified State Examination - a lot of schoolchildren prepare for it, and the student often deals with 2-3 tutors in several subjects at the same time, and the parents ’wallet is not rubber - this exam is paid for in the same way as other classes. But preparing for international exams, such as TOEFL or IELTS, costs more than regular classes.

A strange situation is when the tutor (especially with almost no work experience) writes that he prepares for everything - the USE, international certificates, business English ... One gets the impression that he grabs everything and knows nothing deeply enough. Tutors with experience, as a rule, specialize in one thing - business language training, preparation for the exam or some kind of international certificate, and become experts in their field.

Place of employment. The ideal option seems to me when the tutor has his own office, in which he can create a working atmosphere, where he has everything at hand. After all, in the classroom you have to carry a bunch of things - books (sometimes there are several for one student), additional materials (thank God we have tablets - a large part of the materials for the classes fit there), for younger students - a ball, visual aids, toys, etc. .d.

I will note more classes on skypewhich are now extremely popular. For me personally, their effectiveness is extremely doubtful, although such classes are very convenient for the student and teacher - there is no need to go anywhere, a comfortable environment, cookies and coffee are at hand ...

Many beginner tutors (and this also happened to me) begin to grab at all possible orders, being afraid not to find a job. Do not worry, this is just a matter of time! If you are responsible and loving in your work, the students will be drawn to you. The main thing is to decide which by age you are most comfortable working. As a rule, it is easier to work either with older students or with adults. To work with children, you must have a soul for this, and you need to understand the psycho-physiological characteristics of different ages, so this is a matter of taste.

Do not take students with whom you will later be uncomfortable working, just because of fear you will not find anyone!

How to start working as a tutor: tell about yourself

Potential students already know all the necessary facts about you, now you need to tell About Me. You can see popular tutoring pages and how they advertise themselves. In such a questionnaire, I briefly describe my methodology, which requirements I have for students, and what they should expect in class. This saves both my time and student’s time - it becomes clear whether he needs such a tutor or not. You can also indicate why you chose this particular profession and how it attracts you. Believe me, the student will always notice if you love the subject that you are teaching, and even better if you can infect it with your enthusiasm!

So, the announcement is ready, it remains to track new orders and select those that suit you (better in all respects), so that later classes bring joy to both you and the student!

7. Rate your services

Check out the offers of other tutors in your city and specifically in your area. Pay attention to the length of service: of course, an experienced tutor will have a higher price per hour for a lesson than a beginner. In addition, the cost of an hour of a lesson may vary depending on conditions: the tutor is studying at home, going to the student, conducting a lesson in neutral territory or remotely. After you analyze everything, set a price. You can not specify it in the ad, but write to those who respond.

8. Have a trial lesson

So, you have found the first student. A trial lesson is often done for free. You can invite parents to it: they can look at you as a teacher and understand whether they can trust you with their child. If you liked the child, and you liked him, if you realized that you could cope with the task, then time to think about the frequency of classes. Usually tutors deal with children twice a week, but all individually. The duration of the lesson depends on the age of the student, his level of knowledge and the purpose of the lesson.

Discuss the gaps and problems of the child with the parents and keep them informed of his successes. At the same time, try to make contact with the student himself. I continue to communicate with many of my students who have already graduated from high school. In my opinion, a tutor should be a kind, but fair mentor for a child. He should not be afraid of you, but he must understand that he needs everything that you ask him.

Remember that if you really like the subject you are teaching, your student will most likely fall in love with it. And if you correctly build the program and adhere to the work plan, the desired result will not be long in coming. At the same time, we must not forget that someone catches everything the first time, and someone needs to explain the rule several times. Learn to feel the child’s working pace. I was just rejoicing recently: a boy who came to me a year and a half ago with an assessment between a deuce and a trio got a solid five at the OGE. Children's victories are always your victories.