In addition to substitute teaching, tutoring students after hours and during the summer can also be an enjoyable, flexible and financially lucrative addition to your work schedule and professional resume. With spring already here, and summer on its way, if you’re interested in tutoring, now is the time to plan, search for future students and build a clientele.
If you’ve never tutored before, it would probably be a good transition to start out with a small load and then build upon that as you get used to the new routine. There’s a few things to consider and keep in mind as you start this new adventure. One thing to think about is what subjects and grade levels do you want to work with?
If you just want to be a general tutor for lower grade level students, you’re probably familiar enough to help them with multiple subjects. On the other hand, you may have, for example, an expertise in a particular secondary math subject and feel that you only want to teach that one subject. That choice is yours to make depending on what you’re comfortable with and what subjects you enjoy teaching.
The next thing to tackle is getting your message out there to the parents. You can do this through social media, word of mouth, an online ad targeting your individual community or any other creative method that you may come up with. Make a catchy little business name, sell yourself!… and you will find students that need your help. Additionally, the schools that you substitute teach for could supply you with some leads and those campuses may also offer student summer services that require tutors.
If you’re freelancing and working for yourself as a tutor, I suggest that when you conduct your tutor sessions, do so at the student’s home with a parent present! Unfortunately, in this day and time, this must be mentioned just for liability purposes. I’m sure you’ll probably never encounter any unwanted situations but it’s better to stay on the safe side!
If you’re working with a senior, for example, he or she may feel more comfortable meeting at a coffee house, but if you choose this option, I’d have the parent attend and they can sit on the other side of the coffee shop, read, enjoy a cup of coffee and wait. I only add this “coffee shop” idea for the older kids who are more mature, and who would more likely agree to tutoring in a trendy atmosphere.
These points about having the parent present are not meant to alarm you; it’s just a matter of professionalism in your field, and it’s no different than a doctor or dentist having a nurse or assistant in the room with a patient. It’s just a safety precaution. And additionally, having the parent present allows them to ask questions, and know what the assignment is, should you give one.
A last point to mention is maybe a small group “Arts and Craft” session, for you art enthusiasts! With things as simple as some small river rocks, inexpensive paints and brushes, and a can of Mod Podge spray, you could design an art class. A perfect place to do this would be in a city park where there’s plenty of parking and picnic tables. The parents could bring their kids and you could show them how to decorate their rocks with the different colors of paints. They could paint bugs, flowers, rainbows, or whatever else they choose. You could teach them about how these rocks got so smooth over the years and the paints drying, and soon they’ll be ready to be sprayed with the Mod Podge spray sealant which will preserve their rock paintings and make the rocks shiny. Lastly, the kids will have their own rock to take home with them. Parents love this kind of stuff, and plus, it gives the moms and dads a chance to sit in a chair and have to down time for an hour or so! You can be creative and think of plenty of different ideas for these Arts and Crafts lessons and do a different one each week!
So these are a just a few ideas to help you with a tutoring job/business that can put cash in your pocket, to the tune of $15 to $25 an hour per student, or more, in addition to, strengthening your professional resume and boosting your confidence as a teacher!
By tutoring, you’re not only gaining experience but you’re also meeting parents that could be positive references for you for future resume purposes.
Good luck with your new tutoring business and keep SubSidekick in mind for all your substitute teaching needs and feel free to contact us should you have any questions about our services. We look forward to hearing from you!