There are many benefits to becoming an online tutor, it is not only a great vocation but it can give you an extremely flexible lifestyle and a job that you can come back to time again. Generally, you can work from home and at times that suit you.
However, launching a successful career in online tutoring is not as easy as it might seem. It requires preparation and dedication. Here are seven tips on how to become a successful online tutor.
Practice what you preach
At a very early stage we recommend taking a few courses yourself. This is a good initial test as you might realise you just don’t like this format of learning or it might re-affirm your desire to become an online tutor. Find an online tutor that specialists in something you’ve always wanted to learn and give it a try.
When choosing a tutor, look for the ones with the best rating, but also take a class with someone whose references are quite poor. You need to learn both what you should and shouldn’t do. Don’t just use this to learn a new subject, use it as research.
Personalised, planned and interactive
When you’re planning your classes, make sure that each one is tailored for the specific needs of each of your students. Getting to know your students in any number of little ways helps relationships and learning. Every student has their own learning style and it is up to you to recognize it and nurture it.
One thing, however, that should be common to all sessions is for them to be interactive. Allow the student to actively participate both by doing and by asking questions, while you guide them and pay full attention to what they are doing.
Express yourself and be enthusiastic
When skyping friends, it is very easy to just lie back in your chair and answer the questions they throw at you. In professional tutoring this is unacceptable. Your body language plays a huge part in engaging the students with the material. Keep your eyes focused on the student and not their surroundings.
Keep your posture straight, and your body animated (as much as possible in these conditions). If you seem bored, they will also become disengaged. You can only expect as much interest for the material as you yourself show.
Make yourself available
Once you have a base of students interested in getting regular tutoring, make sure you are available at times that they need help the most. In many cases, those will be at later night hours, when they are studying for an exam or finishing their assignments. You might also have students from different time zones.
Making yourself available can also come in the form of having FAQ and resources available to answer student’s frequent questions. Respect your own time, but keep in mind that students have their own way of functioning and that the best tutors adapt to their students’ biological clock.
Establish a solid base before growing
Even though online tutoring might seem like fast cash, don’t immediately book 10 classes a day. Start small so you have enough time to prepare. In the beginning, it might take you a while longer. Ideally, you would also start with lower to medium fees, depending on what you can offer.
As you get more practice, and receive more and more positive reviews, you can start charging higher fees. Do make sure to ask your students to leave a review, they are essential attracting new clients.
Taking this initial time to build up your systems and resources will also make future working run more smoothly and take up less of your time.
With these five little tips, building a successful career as an online tutor should be a realistic goal. Just remember to also bring something of your own into your work, because that is what will distinguish you, even in the group of the very best.
Annabelle is part of the Content and Community team at SmileTutor, sharing valuable content to their own community and beyond. Annabelle’s passion is connecting parents & children who are looking for English tuition in Singapore.