Online tutoring is emerging as a feasible profession for many people. It offers almost the same satisfaction as teaching, and the pay is competitive. With improved technology and high expectations from students in a very competitive curriculum, tutors are at an all-time high demand.
Luckily, you don’t need to set up an office or have a location with tutoring. You can do it online. If you’ve been considering online tutoring but don’t know how to do it, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know about how to tutor online.
Getting Started with Online Tutoring
Once you decide to tutor online, there are several other decisions you will need to make in the short term that will enable you to set up your online tutoring profession. You will need to decide what subject you will be teaching and also the tools you will be used for tutoring. Would you like to tutor alone, or would you like to be part of a team? All these choices will determine what trajectory your online tutoring profession takes.
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When choosing the tools to use for tutoring, your primary concern should be how you want to interact with the students. For online tutors going solo, there are various options available for video calling. You need to assess each option and determine how suitable it is for the level of interaction you want.
If you’re working in a collaborative space, or you are part of an online tutoring service, most services have comprehensive tutoring tools that provide you with all the features for long-distance, online tutoring.
Understanding the tools you’re using is critical. At times, you might need to guide your students through how to use them. So only use tools that you’re completely comfortable using and you know inside out. If you don’t, you can take some time to understand the tools. Some tutoring services go as far as having tutorials on who to use their platform, which can be extremely helpful.
Decide on Your Rate
Most tutors charge by the hour. However, the actual rate depends on various factors, including your qualifications and the difficulty of the subject you will be tutoring. Deciding on the rate is critical. It could either get your clients or make them shy away.
If you choose to work with a tutoring agency, you don’t have to worry about the rates because that is already done for you. All you have to do is set up your payment options, and you’re good to go.
Preparing for the Lesson
Preparation before the lessons separates good tutors from great tutors. You should always be prepared for your class, especially when you’re new to tutoring. You might easily forget some materials for your class which could disrupt your flow. Some of the few steps you could take during preparation include:
- Finding a teaching-friendly spot that is quiet and conducive for both you and the student.
- Ensure the student is aware that the lesson is happening. Timely reminders are critical and always ensure the student confirms attendance for the lesson.
- As an online tutor, you will be relying on technology which at times can fail and prove unreliable. Always ensure you have a backup in case technical difficulties arise with your primary option.
Run Some Practice Sessions
You don’t want to wait until your first lesson to figure out you needed something. You can save yourself the embarrassment by running practice sessions before going live with real students. During these practice runs, work on your tutoring skills and troubleshoot various aspects of your tutoring tools.
The practise sessions will also help you determine how to best position your camera, among other important details. Ask for honest feedback to help you improve on weak areas and improve on your material. Don’t take the criticism personally. It will help you offer the best online tutoring services to your clients.
During the Lesson
One of the primary qualities of a good online tutor is adaptability. Working from home means distractions are more likely to occur, and the technology might fail. You have to be prepared for almost every scenario. Some of the most common mishaps include:
- The student’s camera or microphone is not working
- The student not being able to access online resources
- Keeping the student engaged throughout the lesson
- Refocusing the student after a sudden distraction.
Always have a lesson outline for each session. It will help you take a structured approach to every session and have a clear guide on what you want to achieve with the student.
Simplicity is an often-overlooked quality among tutors. Using the simplest and clearest way to communicate goes a long way in helping the student understand the concept.
You should also know that with video calls, the audio can be slightly unclear. So, you want to take your time and slow down when explaining concepts. You can also try repeating key bits of information which can go a long way in reinforcing the vital information.
After the Lesson
Your work continues even after you’ve completed the lesson. One of the things you should do after a lesson is to provide the client with feedback on the class and give pointers on how they can improve. Most tutoring platforms will have a tool that makes reporting more accessible and faster.
If the online tutoring platform you use gives you the option of recording lessons, consider using this feature. You can record the lessons and send them to the student, who can use them to go over parts of the lesson they are unsure about.
You can also create additional materials like short videos that explain particular topics or problems that the student is struggling with.
Refresher quizzes are another vital resource that you can send out to students before each lesson to help remind them what you covered in the previous sessions.
At the end of each lesson, schedule the next one. It helps with planning and is a reference point for follow-up.
Online tutoring is an excellent profession if you have the skills and zeal to pursue it. It just needs persistence and excellent organizational skills, especially when working with multiple students. With this guide, you have everything you need to start this new journey and become successful at it.