Steps to being an effective and successful online tutor
The world constitutes about 18% of youth population; meaning 1.1 billion people are school/college going humans. The shortcoming of education systems of most countries is a well-established fact- it SUCKS! Well, it doesn’t if you study in the land of the midnight sun; but everywhere else is pretty much the same. And assuming that most students are actually aware that their educational requirements aren’t being met at their respective institutes, they would forage for additional aid. This aid could be a study group, the internet or drumrolls!!! – A professional tutor.
Since College pirates www.collegepirates.com specializes in tutors of the online kind; here’s a step by step on how to become one of the people who are successful in their online tutoring endeavors amongst hoards of people fighting for the attention of this 1.1 billion younglings. (Relax, we’re not trying to scare you!!)
Step One – Get a computer
This one is pretty obvious but just for the sake of it, we’re mentioning this. It is preferable that you have a laptop or another portable device when you’re planning to teach online for the ease of moving around and connecting to potential students in a few seconds. With desktops, you’re more likely to have a fixed time when you’ll be able to sit in to tutor and not have any family member or cat or both disturb you. With a portable device, you can choose to change your ambience when you like; stroll in a park and teach math online or go to a wedding and teach English online. Actually, do not do the latter; but you get the gist.
Step Two – Digital Accessories
These basically include a working pair of headphones, a microphone and a good resolution camera. All laptops presently come with a good enough camera but we’re NOT talking about that. Neither do we mean the earplugs that you got with your iPhone. If you’re going to be an online tutor, you need to invest in some good quality recording devices- camera with high pixel quality, microphone and headphones of the corporate kind; all it takes is a blurry image with screechy sounds for a listener to find another person for the job.
Step Three – Teaching Accessories
We have been one of those people who sound like they’re bad mouthing traditional teaching methods, but we assure you; College pirates www.collegepirates.com is old school and just believes a little up gradation is in order. And nothing, absolutely nothing beats the effect of chalkboard/whiteboard and old fashioned notes taking.
Ergo, in that interest, we suggest you invest in an actual whiteboard or simply use an online one. Once you have thought of teaching online by yourself or wanting to become an online tutor for one of the brilliant websites out there, you also have to find a portal where you can send heavy files with ease. Dropboxes, Gmail drives and a few others are commonly in use.
If this all is too difficult to understand, College Pirates has a help section for its teachers to ask questions or simply get aid in sending heavy notes or arranging whiteboards online- it’s like an admin section of a school where tutors get all sorts of queries resolved.
Step Four – Set your schedule and quote
This would include your timings of availability, what kind of notes or material you’d be providing if you’d be providing any; how many students you’d be entertaining, how many questions are permitted in your query session or regular class, how much do you charge for queries and most importantly, not very stringent but a vague idea of your quote. College pirates for instance, gives the student a fixed number of questions per session and additional questions cost a particular amount and cashback/free questions in certain cases. (Find out how it works here- Become a Tutor Online)
Becoming an online tutor entails a lot of students calling you at ungodly hours or students not being available for their sessions, so, you need to set a fixed time of your online status; displayed by College pirates for you. And lastly, most new tutors are flexible with their fee; however, you should evaluate what amount you demand for you service and set higher-lower limits of flexibility. (Again, check our link – Become a tutor online)
Step Five – Be Present
This one is more subjective in nature. By being present we mean that you actually make the teaching process a step ahead than classroom education. As an online tutor you need to have the following skills:
- Expertise in your field – self-explanatory
- Relevant documents showing your said expertise – while most websites ask for certificates for obvious reasons, it is also for the students &/or parents who are browsing the list for a good tutor; there’s no better sweet to attract your potential flies than a list of good qualifications.
- Good communication skills – students are turning to online tutoring for the lack of the aforementioned, so it’s quite a necessity that you know how to take the concept you know and vibrate the air molecules just right so as it becomes a clear concept to the receiving ears.
- Listening skills- this is a big one. Classrooms, being full of students; causes the teachers to vomit out their knowledge without the understanding or caring for individual learning styles and speed. So, in addition to understanding that each of your students has a different pace; you need to pay attention to what they are thinking when you’re asking them to.
- Tech-savvy – since you’ve chosen to become an online tutor in lieu of becoming an actual teacher, you must have a steady understanding of how things work in the virtual world. If not that, you need to be open to change and learning the ways of the INTERNET GENERATION. Being the grumpy old teacher who fights the winds of novelty whilst holding their calculator helps no one- neither your students nor your unpaid bills. Change is the mother of creation aspiring tutors; embrace it.
We hope with these few tips you can make a change in your online tutoring methods and if you feel something is missing from the list, let us know in the comments below.