97% of students in Singapore have had a tutor – and it’s no surprise. Singapore has a very high standard of education, and there’s a lot of pressure on children to maintain it.
With this number growing year by year, there has never been a better time to join the profession. Tutors are in high demand, and full time tutoring can be lucrative. Some tutors have reported to make as much as $1 million per year!.
If you are considering it, there are a few things you should know before you sign up.
You Don’t Have to Be An Expert
This depends on what you’re teaching, but in most cases it’s true. You might think you’ve forgotten everything you’ve learned at school. It’s a surprise just how much you remember when you open a text book! It’s far more important that you’re passionate about the subject. It’s even more important that you’re passionate about helping children. Parents will be quick to spot tutors who aren’t pulling their weight. Part of the appeal of tutoring is that parents and children can work closely with you.
Hospitality is Key
For a moment, forget about the lesson plans. Forget about the material. Focus on your students’ comfort like it’s a priority. Because it is. Before you can teach them, they need to be able to trust you. Many children are under a lot of stress Every child is different, and every child will have different needs and requirements. Fail to understand these, and your job will become much harder.
Students have strengths and weaknesses. Some students process information like lightning, while others take a little more time. Some are good at maths; others excel at English. Part of your job is learning to be patient and provide encouragement if needed. While many parents will send their children to a tutor just to keep them ahead in school, some children are genuinely struggling. The extra help and support will mean a lot to them, and it’s up to you to provide it. Lack of encouragement or unfair punishments is a sign of bad teaching, and will land you in trouble.
Prepare For A Challenge
Teaching is hard – especially if you’ve never done it before. As a tutor in Singapore, you have many roles and responsibilities to fulfil. These include:
• Establishing and maintaining a good relationship with both parents and students
• Ensuring children are learning the correct material at the right pace
• Making lessons interesting and engaging
• Push students towards achieving their goals
Find Out What You Want to Teach
You should teach something you enjoy. Your students will sense your lack of enthusiasm if you don’t. At the same time, be practical. Core subjects such as maths, English and physics will be in high demand. Subjects such as geography and history will be in less demand, because less people study them. By focussing on one subject you are likely to become better at it. Then again, teaching multiple subjects to the same student usually pays better.
Learn How To Teach
When doing one-on-one tuition with a student, this isn’t as vital. Teaching groups is different, and can be a daunting experience if you haven’t done it before. It will take practice, but preparation will definitely help.
Some essentials you’ll need before you start teaching include:
• Examination papers
• Assessment books
Ideally, you should always be a few weeks ahead of the curriculum. This ensures the children will feel confident and up-to-date when it comes to learning in the classroom. To find out more, read our previous article on 5 Things All Great Private School Tutors Have In Common
It Can Be Stressful
Being a full time tutor in Singapore is definitely lucrative. At the same time, the job is stressful and busy. There’s a lot of pressure on students to succeed, but there’s even more pressure on you to make them succeed.
It Is Incredibly Rewarding
Perhaps the most important point of all – tutoring is rewarding! There is no better feeling than a student finally understanding something after hours of teaching. Being responsible for their success can be challenging, but it’s even more rewarding when they meet their goals!
It’s clear that being a tutor in Singapore has its ups and downs. It’s important to be aware of both sides before diving in. If you like kids and you’d be happy spending a large amount if time helping them, you’ll enjoy tutoring.