Change can start with the smallest of steps — re-arranging your teaching space, for example, can have an instant effect on your student’s levels of interest and engagement. Here’s 3 tips on building a successful tutoring business.
1. Never stop learning, never stop growing
One of the many reasons we love to teach is that it’s never dull. We are lucky enough to meet and work with people from all corners of life, each with individual learning styles and unique educational needs.
However, the variety of situations and people you encounter as a tutor can also be confusing and difficult to manage.
- How can you ensure that you are meeting the specific requirements, expectations, and needs of every student?
- How can you consistently deliver fresh, relevant, and exciting lessons?
There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to teaching.
This is why the very best teachers are active in their own education. Even after extensive training and years of teaching, there are always new things to learn.
Some of the best sources of knowledge are other teachers. However, unlike working in an institution, freelance tutors can’t swap ideas with colleagues or ask for help from senior staff members. It is up to the individual to find their own support network.
Websites such as Meetup.com allow groups with a shared interest to get together, and can be a great way to find fellow freelance tutors in your area. A variety of online forums also allow teachers to share lesson plans, gain advice, and solve problems.
Whatever approach you take, sharing ideas, swapping materials, and brainstorming issues with fellow teachers is one of the very best ways to keep yourself learning and developing as a tutor.
Your passion for the subject inspires your student more than you may think
2. Listen to your Students
Feedback is the key to a better relationship between you and your student and also an ally to faster learning.
Learning from other teachers is crucial, but so too is learning from your students. Most students are keen to take an active role in their own education.
However, asking your students for honest feedback can be a daunting prospect — what if they don’t like your teaching style?
What if they criticize your lesson plans or complain about your materials?
The fear of negative feedback can be a significant stumbling block in your development as a teacher.
Rather than viewing your student’s comments as a terrifying critique, try to approach feedback as an opportunity for improvement. Not only will honest dialogue help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, but it will also benefit your student-teacher relationship.
From your very first lesson, students should feel comfortable to share their thoughts and feelings. Make sure you take the time to discuss constructive feedback. Invite students to share their opinions, either verbally or on paper.
Excellent communication will ensure your students know you care about them and will help you create lessons that respond to their specific needs.
No teacher is perfect, and there is always room for improvement — rather than fearing student feedback, make excellent student-teacher communication the foundation to your teaching practice.
Feedback is the key for a better relationship between you and your student and also an ally to faster learning.
3. Embrace Change
As teachers, when we find something which works, we tend to stick with it. However, doggedly clinging to the familiar could be holding you back.
We all have a comfort zone — a way of teaching, which is predictable and well-worn. Perhaps you’ve been using the same materials for years, maybe your teaching methodology has barely changed since your teacher training.
It could be time to step outside of the familiar — to challenge both yourself and your students with something different.
Embracing change will not only reinvigorate your lessons — it will help you become a more flexible and adaptable educator.
Instead of reaching for the same old lesson plans, give yourself the time to research fresh materials, new methods, and the latest teaching methodologies. Change can start with the smallest of steps — re-arranging your teaching space, for example, can have an instant effect on your student’s levels of interest and engagement.
Don’t be afraid to use new technologies — the use of tablets and mobile phones can be fantastic with younger learners. Successful tutoring relies on adopting multiple methodologies, try changing thing up once in a while.
Learn to love change, and both you and your students will feel the benefits.
On top of it all. If there’s a platform taking care of the mundane tasks every business entails – reap the benefits, become a tutor and just focus on growing youself as a teacher.