In Singapore, the tuition industry is well-grounded due to the strong emphasis on academics in our society. Tutors are always in demand.
Becoming a tutor seems like an attractive opportunity, doesn’t it? The pay is decent and it doesn’t seem very physically taxing… right?
Hold on! Here are some things you need to consider before you set your foot on becoming a tutor.
It is very important that you determine the age group that you’d like to teach because different age groups will require different levels of your attention and different styles of teaching.
For younger students, you will need to understand their hyperactivity and shorter attention span. Your lesson plan needs to inculcate breaks and fun, yet simple activities in which they can absorb the learning points. Are you able to match your explanations to their level of abilities?
Students of bigger ages have steeper learning curves and need you to adapt to their pace. With the many subjects that they are juggling, the faster learners are seeking to improve quickly, and cannot afford for you to waste time during the lessons. Hence, it is a good practice to prepare your lesson plan beforehand.
Just like school teachers, tutors also need to possess a lot of patience. Furthermore, in a tuition setting, most of the students are there because they have trouble grasping the concepts and need extra help.
You need to expect the weakest of students who will come to you for help, and explain to them slowly, step-by-step. Some students may need repeated explanations before they can understand, and you cannot lose your cool.
Not all students will have a good learning attitude too. In most cases, their parents are the ones who were worried and signed them up for tuition. It is hence your responsibility to keep your students motivated in the subject and want to learn as well.
Understanding of foundational concepts & communication skills
As it goes without saying, tutors need to know and be able to explain the most basic of concepts. However, you’d be surprised at how many tutors overlook this.
These tutors could do extremely well and attain very high grades in their advanced level examinations, but are unable to explain the basic concepts to their students.
You also need to possess strong communication skills and teach clearly, in order for your student to understand the concepts.
Being an uncommitted tutor is unethical. Nowadays, students have very packed schedules and cannot afford for you to always make changes to their lessons.
Before taking on a tuition assignment, make sure that you can commit to your student on the agreed schedule (e.g. weekly). Adhere to the agreed class timing as much as possible and not cancel on them last minute. Of course, punctuality for lessons is a given for any job.
You should at least commit until the discussed time period or until the student’s end-of-year examinations. If not, the student/parent will have to find another tutor mid-way and that can be very disruptive and confusing for the student’s learning because they rely on your teaching style to improve.
Tutoring is an important job that can make a huge difference in the students’ lives and their future.
As a tutor, you need to be considerate to your student and take responsibility for their learning. Before you begin your tutoring journey, make sure that you are ready to take up these responsibilities.