While school is still out for the summer, it's the perfect time to put a game plan together before school begins again in late August or early September. Many parents have had a child struggle through the year with math, reading, science or some other subject. And what college student, at some time or other, doesn't need some extra help getting through one of their classes?
You can offer personal one-on-one tutoring in person or online. If you're going to offer face to face tutoring, you need to decide where works for both you and your students. Do you have a place free from distractions where you can work with a student in your home? Would it work better to go to their home? You may be able to make arrangements to meet a student in a classroom after school. If those aren't options for you, try your local library or other quieter public place, even a Starbucks. The location needs to be comfortable for you, your students, and the parents. If parents don't know you personally or by reputation, not all parents are going to allow their child to go into a stranger's home.
Put together a plan
- Think about what you're good at and how you can use it to help people. What are your areas of expertise? Or what subject/subjects are you confident would help a student? Are you able to communicate what you know in a way that others are able to understand? You don't need a special degree in order to tutor, but you do need to know your stuff in order to be successful.
- Go over your schedule. When are you able to set aside times during your week to tutor? Don't forget about any prep time you may need. Plus, include time it may take for you to travel outside your home.
- Set a fee. Most tutors can reasonably expect to charge $20-$30 an hour.As with most services, rates are tied to the level of expertise you bring to the table.If you're tutoring a more difficult or rare subject, you should be able to charge more. If you need to travel any distance, consider adding gas money or travel time on top of your hourly fee. Even at a lower fee of $20 an hour, tutoring 5 hours a week, will pay $400 a month. That should cover an extra bill or two each month.
- Who else in your community is tutoring? You can get an idea of what the “going rate” for tutoring is by responding to tutoring ads in your community. What are other tutors charging?
- Get business cards made up with your contact information and what you have to offer. You can usually get a great deal on inexpensive business cards from Vistaprint.
- Have references ready for anyone that may ask for them.
- First, ask your kids. Most kids know who the “smart ones” are and which kids need help. You may already know some of the parents. Approach parents with tact in order to avoid offending them. They might not appreciate someone else knowing that little Johnny needs help. Also consider students that are gifted and talented and may need to be challenged beyond what they are getting in their classrooms. Teachers and parents alike often don't have the time or ability to help these students go further.
- Working through referrals and word of mouth advertising usually works better than doing something like putting together a flyer.Every time you get a student, ask for referrals.
- Try Craigslist or other local community online ways to advertise. Be specific about what you're offering and also what you're charging. This will cut down on time being taken up with calls only asking what you charge.
- Use your social networks. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others are great ways to let those who know you help get out the word about what you're offering.
- How did you find out who in your community is tutoring? Consider advertising the same way.
- There are plenty of places online that hire people to tutor.Most require that you have a degree or have completed some college. You may not need a degree in the specific field that you'd like to tutor, but a degree, nonetheless.
- Sometimes having scored really high on standardized tests qualifies you to get you a job helping students prepare for testing likeSAT, ACT, PSAT, etc. The biggest portions of standardized tests are graded by computer. But written portions, like essays, need to be graded by a person.So, if you're not interested in tutoring individual students, grading papers is an alternative.
- Most colleges and universities offer free online tutoring to students by tutors that are paid by the college. Getting A's in a particular class may be enough to qualify you to tutor other students taking that class. Sometimes you need to take a special tutoring class or pass a certification test, or both, in order to qualify.
- If you decide to work through an online tutoring website, carefully and thoroughly check them out to find the best fit. Each one will have a different set of standards and requirements, as well as pay scales.
Tutoring can be very rewarding all by itself. Add some income on top, and it could be just the most satisfying thing you'll ever do!