A+ FAQ For Tutors
General Tutoring Questions
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For Questions and Answers on this website please see the main FAQ page.
General Tutoring Questions
- I am looking for work as a home tutor. How do I start?
- Do you have any tips for tutors?
- Where should I advertise?
- I've only got one student at the moment but I'm wondering if it will pick up after the Xmas exams?
- Do you see any general trends over the year with respect to the number of students you are teaching?
- How Much Should a Tutor Be Paid?
- Going between England and Scotland: I am thinking about becoming a tutor in Scotland. I used to tutor in England and would really appreciate your advice on where to start.
- I am not a qualified teacher but I do have a good degree/higher degree. Do you think the lack of a professional qualification is a problem?
- Are tutors needed in my subject?
- What do I do about Tax?
- Do I need a Criminal Record check (CRB)?
- Am I too late to get work within this academic year?
- How I can get my hands on teaching material at the various levels that I intent to teach?
- Goods books which can be recommended to students.
- When should I turn away a student?
- Would I be at a disadvantage going straight into private tutoring after PGCE?
- One or more subjects? Would it be advisable or better for me to offer more than one subject, or just stick with the one subject?
- Home or Travel? Is it best for pupils to be taught at my home address, or for me to tutor at their home addresses?
For Questions and Answers on creating your own website please see the next FAQ page.
General Tutoring Questions
I am looking for work as a home tutor.
How do I start?
Do you have any tips for tutors?
Where should I advertise?
I've only got one student at the moment but I'm wondering if it will pick up after the Xmas exams.
Do you see any general trends over the year with respect to the number of students you are teaching?
How Much Should a Tutor Be Paid?
First of all, advertise here! Only kidding. It is easy to become a tutor. All you have to do is advertise your services and people start phoning you. Of course, you don't always get many phone calls, but when you do just answer their questions. After a while you learn what to expect from the phone calls so you learn to sell yourself better. See also "How Do I Pick a Tutor?" in the student FAQ.
Please see A+ Tips For Tutors.
Well, there are the obvious advantages of this website but also consider putting up signs in local shops and post offices. They frequently allow window advertising for between 20p and £1 a week. You can find sample signs on the resource page for tutors. Another good place to advertise is in your weekly free newspaper. However, this can be expensive and costs around £10 a week.
Definitely - if you advertise in January and February. Most students are only interested in tutors once they, or their parents, start to panic. Of course, by then it is so late that they expect miracles... This year and last year students came to me as short as four and two weeks before their exams.
Generally I find it very difficult to get students before the rush starts in January. Good, established tutors however, can find themselves fully booked throughout the year by word of mouth alone.
Hourly costs when there is no travel for the tutor.
|Level||London||Rest of UK|
|GCSE / S'Grade||£20-£25||£18-£25|
Please note, the above rates are based on the rates advertised on this site (October 2005). It is important to note that rates are always negotiable. Many tutors charge too much because they want to be on par with other tutors in their area. However, the amount a tutor is paid should depend upon tutoring experience (just because someone is a subject expert does not mean that they will be an effective tutor). The other thing to consider is the range. If a tutor charges more for an hour with one student than they do for another then they must be able to justify the difference.
Going between Scotland and England.
I am thinking about becoming a tutor in Scotland. I used to tutor in England and would really appreciate your advice on where to start.
I do not think that you will have a problem switching between the Scottish and English syllabuses. I have tutored the different systems and the subjects are always the same. You just have to go over the exams and identify their individual styles for yourself. The SQA exams have a common style, which makes life a lot easier than the great variety of styles you find between the different English exam boards.
I am not a qualified teacher
but I do have a good degree/higher degree. Do you think the lack of a professional qualification is a problem?
Definitely not. Some parents specifically look for teachers who tutor, as this is a safe bet, but teachers do not always make the best tutors. Normally students need a different approach to that used in school. The best tutors are people who know the subject well and can explain it in the way that the student needs. The only problem with not being a teacher is that you sometimes have to sell yourself a little bit harder.
Are tutors needed in my subject?
Yes. Tutors are needed in all subjects as there isn't a perfect subject for everyone. Of course, the less popular a subject, the harder it becomes to find a student but it also becomes harder for a student to find a tutor! This site is particularly good at helping students and tutors in this situation. So far the only subject that hasn't worked on the site has been "Dance" but, having said that, the site is most successful with academic subjects.
Please see the FAQ for students: Vetting Tutors
No. It does not matter when it is - there are always students looking for a tutor. However, most students look for a tutor after their prelims/estimate exams. This means that most tutoring work is between January and June and that most students who need a tutor find one by March. That isn't to say that there are no students looking for a tutor after March. I have had students beg me to take them on two weeks before their exam! I even ended up giving them more tutorials then some of my other students.
It is never too late to advertise.
It is never to late to get a student.
The reason some students do not get help sooner is that tutors are not always easy to find. This website definitely helps those students who don't know where else to look because the internet is a natural place to look for help.
How I can get my hands on teaching material at the various levels that I intent to teach?
To get my hands on teaching material I tend to go into good book stores and see what they have for the various levels that I am teaching. I then pick out what I feel to be the most appropriate for a tutoring environment (my tutoring environment in particular). This is frequently different to the materials used in schools but not always. If you can, you could also ask a teacher for guidance.
I have asked tutors in the past to recommend books and resources that they use in tutorials but have never received any feedback (see below).
Goods books which can be recommended to students.
When should I turn away a student?
This is a difficult question to answer fully but the easy answer is to go with your instincts. If you are finding yourself complaining about a student to other people then it is time to let them go. Also, don't keep students on who you aren't helping! It is very important for both you and them to let them go. You can suggest that they try another tutor from the site or, if you honestly think that there is no hope, then come up with some options (e.g. the parents pay the student to work instead of paying you).
Unfortunately it can take a long time to recognise when you should let a student go. Students can be quite clever at disguising their slow progress. Tutors can also kid themselves that everything is going well. As a rule of thumb you should know within 5 or 6 tutorials. Have a checklist, goals or aims that a student should satisfy after 5 or 6 tutorials. Most of these should be shared with the parents and student from the outset.
It is always important to maintain a healthy dialog with your students and the parents (or who ever is paying for the tutorials). Also, everyone loves regular written progress reports.
Would I be at a disadvantage going straight into private tutoring after PGCE? Especially as I would be only 24 at the time. Would it be better if I was involved in class teaching for a few years?
Tutoring is different to teaching as it tends to be 1-to-1 and targeted to the needs of the individual student. It therefore requires a slightly different skill set and your expertise in it develops separately (with some cross over obviously).
However, as I say elsewhere on the site. Inexperienced tutors shouldn't charge as much as experienced tutors as they can not offer the same level of expertise.
Would it be advisable or better for me to offer more than one subject, or just stick with the one subject?
Most tutors offer more than one subject. Sometimes one subject does not provide enough students. Sometimes a tutor needs a break from tutoring the same thing all the time! Offer as many subjects as you want, just as long as you are competent in each and do not stretch yourself too thin.
Is it best for pupils to be taught at my home address, or for me to tutor at their home addresses? It's just I know there are issues about child protection, and I do have my enhanced CRB disclosure.
However, as you point out, there is also a question of vulnerability. Having a CRB doesn't protect you or your student - it's just a piece of paper. Whether you travel or not, there needs to be trust between you, your student, and their parents. All of you need to feel comfortable with the environment in which you choose the tutorials to take place. Remember, you are as exposed to false allegations as your student is potentially exposed to abuse. It is very important that you behave professionally at all times with your students and their parents. So you need to create a safe and comfortable environment. When I started tutoring I drove to my parents' house and tutored in their lounge with the curtains open and them at home. Also, if their behaviour is inappropriate then it is important that you handle it appropriately right away.
How do I tutor online?
Unfortunately I do not know. I have never had any direct experience of the online tuition market, and it has never been my focus, so I do not know how it actually works...
If you don't mind I'll ask you the same question! If you learn more could you please pass it on to me? I would love to put a page on the site telling people all about it - how it works and how to do it.
|FAQ - Questions on A+ Tutors||FAQ - Website Questions|