Tutor Overview

For some kids, in-school lessons just aren’t enough. Tutors work with students on improving specific skills—usually math, reading, writing, or test prep—in small groups or one-on-one. 

Most tutors work with students after school or on the weekends, so if you’re in school yourself and get along with young people, working as a tutoring is an especially good job.

Responsibilities

  • Facilitate learning. Whether you’re working on your own or for a company with a set curriculum, your main goal as a tutor is to set learning objectives and engage your students with activities to achieve these objectives. Sometimes you’ll instruct students on a specific process, other times you’ll show them how to organize their homework.
  • Check work and provide feedback. As a tutor, you’ll review student work and clearly explain how students can avoid making mistakes. You’ll be expected to keep track of student progress and report to parents, teachers, and others.
  • Maintain a positive learning environment. Getting to know your students is crucial in motivating them, but you’ll also need to set expectations and redirect poor behavior.
  • Attend trainings. Being an effective tutor means learning the best practices and strategies for making progress with students.

Skills

  • Strong academic skills. To tutor students in any subject, you need to show some aptitude for it yourself. While companies provide instruction to their tutors, if you already have exceptional math or writing skills, you’re more likely to interest them.
  • Problem-solving and communication. Being a tutor isn’t always straightforward. It’s best if you’re ready to approach problems from all angles and can explain the same concept in many different ways.
  • Professionalism. Lots of tutors visit students in their own homes or work with them privately. Knowing how to conduct yourself appropriately is extremely important.

Experience

Companies hiring tutors are always looking for certified teachers or people with a year of tutoring experience, but if you’ve volunteered or worked with kids in an afterschool setting, many employers are happy to train you. It doesn’t hurt to have earned your bachelor’s degree or to have a background in education, and in many cases, it’s a huge plus to be bilingual.

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