Why even be an online tutor? At some point in your life, you have probably longed for a job that was more flexible, paid you for the effort you gave, and let you be your own boss. That is exactly what happened to me. I eventually got tired of serving tables and dealing with belittling managers. Since I was doing well in school, I figured there was a way to use my knowledge to pay my bills. That is when I got the idea to google on how to become an online tutor.
Online tutoring was a great alternative to my waiting career. I get to choose my own hours, brush up on what I learned from previous courses, and help others with their academic pursuits. It doesn’t hurt that the pay is good too. Tutors can fetch up to $30 an hour. Not all tutoring sites are created equally though. Some of the best sites I have found are WyzAnt, StudyPool, and TutorVista. If you plan on going down this path yourself, here are some tips from my personal experiences.
Tips for getting the most out of the experience
Tip #1 – Always put in your best effort in answering student’s questions.
Even if a student can’t spot sub-standard work, doesn’t mean you should take advantage of this situation. If you are only a tutor for the money, then it’s time to look for a new day job. Part of the experience of being a tutor is helping others learn and grow in their academic endeavors. If this interest you, tutoring can be a fulfilling job that not only makes you money but also feel good at the end of the day.
Tip #2 – Plagiarism is Not Okay!
You would think this is common sense, but some people still try to take the information they have found on the web and spit it out verbatim to their students. This is not ethical. If a student wanted to find this information, they would have googled it themselves. The reason why students pay you for tutoring is to get YOUR expertise and knowledge. Make both their experience and yours worth wild.
Tip #3 – Build a Reputation
This advice ties back to the first and second tips. If you make the effort to give quality tutoring, you can build a following for your tutoring service. Happy students are more than willing to tell their friends about you. Students who appreciate your help can become your regulars. Having regulars will give you a steady flow of income, and their recommendations will lead to you making more money.
That being said, there are also ways to negatively affect your reputation. Plagiarism can completely ruin your career as a tutor. Students will be left feeling tricked and scammed, and with the internet, word gets around fast.
Tutoring is also considered a customer service job. So when interacting with students, make sure to be friendly and considerate. Even when you are feeling frustrated and not respected by a student, do not lash out. Put on your happy face and carry on. If you keep these things in mind, your reputation will sky rocket!
A cool thing about online tutoring is that it is the easiest way to market yourself as a tutor. Sites like Studypool let students leave reviews about your work and allows them to add you to their list of regular tutors. Plus, there is the added benefit of a whole customer base at your figure tips. Tutoring has never been so easy.
Tip #4 – Think from the Student’s Perspective
Just because something worked with one student doesn’t mean that it will work with the next. People learn and think differently, so you will have to customize your approach to each student. It also helps to approach answering student questions from their perspective. Take the time to learn what they already know and think of what you would need if you were at their level. As an IT major, sometimes I get carried away with thinking everyone is computer literate. You’ll come across situations like teaching a nursing student with no computer skills how to build a presentation, and with no Google Docs or PowerPoint background – you’ll be taken off guard. Just be sure to learn about your student before trying to answer their questions. This will save the both of you time in the long run.
Hopefully, these tips will get you started in the right direction to becoming an awesome tutor. Never be afraid to try something new. If you’re already an online tutor, let me know about your tips and tricks.