Online tutoring jobs are one of the best means of working in your spare time when you are a college student. It gives you not only the freedom of working at your convenient hours with the people you are comfortable with, but also that satisfaction of teaching online to students just like you!
So, you have decided to become an online tutor. What next?
Well, for a start, online tutoring is quite a bit different from regular traditional tutoring. Where traditional methods of teaching involve you meeting face-to-face with your student, armed with textbooks, at a specific time, online tutoring is done more at a time convenient to you, from the privacy of your space, in the virtual world.
You must have, no doubt, thought things through before you decided to become a tutor. It is not like such ideas just pop in your head and you act on it on a whim. So, by far, you must be prepared to take up an online tutoring job. Yet for your convenience, we made a list of 7 skills that are a must-have for anyone who wishes to teach online:
1. Subject-Matter Expertise
If you are pursuing a graduation in History, you cannot hope to teach Biology to your online students. Deep extensive knowledge of your subject is mandatory to become an online tutor. Whatever subject you decide to teach online, get your basics and concepts right, read on it and prepare your lessons well. You don’t want to be a one-lesson wonder, after which no one would want to hire you.
2. Virtual Communication Skill
Online tutoring is an out-n-out digital profession. Your work is not done if you just own a laptop/desktop, microphones and/or webcams. To become an online tutor, you need to know how to communicate with your students in an effective manner over the computer. You must learn to prepare your lessons on the screen, take online tests and give online assignments.
Harvey, one of our online tutors, makes effective use of Information technology for his online tutoring classes. His students love the interactive online quizzes and the you-tube videos he incorporates in his online teaching sessions.
3. Coaching and Assessing Skills
A good online tutor must be a good coach as well. It is one thing to know your subjects, and quite another to be able to explain that content to students. There is no point in becoming an online tutor if you are unable to put across your knowledge, views and opinions to your students in an easy-to-understand manner.
4. Time-management Skills
It is said a person who has learnt to manage time, has learnt to manage life. Everyone has the same 24 hours available to themselves in a day. Successful people are the ones who make each moment of these hours fruitful and productive. To become an online tutor, manage your time well. Carefully assess your college hours, study hours, leisure hours, and then prepare a do-able schedule for yourself. Most importantly, no matter that you are an online tutor from your home/room, be punctual for your online tutoring job.
“She would be bent on assessing me through tests that I found too difficult. Moreover, there were these 2-3 times when she refused to teach online lessons in the morning as per my schedule”, this is what Linda, one of the online students of Nancy, has to say about her.
To become an online tutor, you must be flexible in your approach- regarding the time-schedules, study methods, assessment methods etc. What suits one student might not necessarily suit the other.
Linda is now, obviously, coaching with a different online tutor.
This skill is a little difficult to come by when you are tutoring online a variety of students from different regions or even different countries and ethnicities, but patience is a quality worth having if you want to excel at becoming an online tutor in the long run.
When you teach online, there will be times when the system crashes down, when your student does not get the hang of a word you say even after much explanations or when you might be pre-occupied with your own pending college assignments. Hold on. Don’t let that feeling of quitting the online tutoring job get the better of you.
Be patient. Easier said than done. If your student is unable to grasp a specific concept say, skip it for that day and move on to the next topic. Even if there is little age-gap between you as a tutor and your student, watching you being patient and understanding will be a lesson for them too, not to mention it might just alleviate your status as an exceptional online tutor.
7. Mentoring Capabilities
A good teacher is first and foremost a good mentor. Just like you, many of your students will also be using the online tutoring job platform for the first time, as this fad is just catching on. Mentor your students while you teach them online. Provide them constructive feedback regularly. A popular online tutor is one who encourages his /her students to give in their best and to aim higher for excellence always.
These skills will hold you in good stead when you become an online tutor. “What about if I don’t have some of these qualities -such as being patient and managing my time well”, you might ask. Well, some of these skills are inherent, though all of them can be learnt and imbibed with regular practice.
So, what’s stopping you? If you think you have these qualities, enrol to become an online tutor today!