Even though my paychecks arrive in summer as well as during the school year, I become restless during the months of June, July and August, and I have found that tutoring is an excellent way to spend the hot summer days.
You might not realize it, but tutors with teaching degrees are in high demand all over the country. Both on the Internet and in person, students strive to make up for work they have missed or to bring up a less-than-perfect grade achieved during the school year. Teaching a class of thirty-two students is never as effective as teaching one-on-one, and you might find that tutoring offers a sense of accomplishment not found in teaching a classroom.
Although summer school is certainly an option, you might find that tutoring is a more lucrative prospect. Tutors currently make up to $40 per hour for their services, and if you tutor five or six children each day, that is a hefty addition to your teaching salary. You can also organize study groups that meet after summer school, which allows you to reach more students at once.
Why Are Tutors Needed?
Students’ grades are declining, not improving, and parents are beginning to turn to tutors for help. In a 2005 survey, it was determined that 56% of parents with children thirteen and older wish that they had a tutor to help them. More than 86% of those parents admitted that they didn’t know how to find a tutor.
This means that you not only need to become a tutor, but you also need to advertise your services. Send out a bulletin to all the parents of students at your school informing then that you are offering tutoring. You could also get together with five or six other teachers and offer tutoring as a group. Your response might be so incredible that you need all of those teachers in order to respond to the demand.
What Qualities Make a Good Tutor?
You must not only be able to lecture in front of a classroom, but also find different ways of explaining a concept to a student. Since most tutoring is done one-on-one – though sometimes in small groups of two or three – you will have to respond to very specific questions.
You should never offer tutoring in a subject with which you are not familiar. For example, if you are an English teacher who failed math in high school, don’t advertise yourself as a Geometry tutor. You’ll be doing a disservice to both the student and his parents, while your expertise could be well served elsewhere.
In addition, you should be a great listener who cares about the successes or your students. You should not be easily frustrated, because many students in need of tutoring have difficulty grasping certain concepts, and it might take several sessions before an idea sinks in. You should be punctual and committed because parents count on you to be available for your students, and you should never cancel a session except in the case of an emergency.
Where Can I Find Tutoring Jobs?
If you are a teacher, I would say that your school is the best place to start. But if that idea won’t work, here are a few others:
1. Advertise in your local paper. A short, two-line ad displaying your name, phone number, price and subjects you tutor will be sufficient. So many parents read the paper that you’ll have to install a new phone line.
2. Search Online. There are plenty of tutoring websites available that are constantly looking for new teachers. In most cases, you will be paid by the website administrators rather than the parents, so you might not have much leeway with pricing.
3. Send Out Flyers. Nothing gets the word out like a good old-fashioned flyer, and you can distribute them almost anywhere. Ask local businesses if you can put flyers in storefront windows and send them to neighborhoods in which families with children live.
4. Community Pools. You wouldn’t believe how many kids and parents spend four or five days a week at their community pool. Stand inside or outside the gates and hand out your business card, or just talk with parents. This is a great way to generate leads.
5. Word of Mouth. Believe it or not, you won’t need to advertise after one summer of tutoring. Parents talk with one another, and word about your services will spread like wildfire. You can even ask that parents send your name along to friends; if they like your work, they will be more than happy to give referrals.
Tutoring during the summer is a great way to put extra money in your pocket and to spend the time between semesters of school. You’ll meet great kids, earn quite a bit of satisfaction and keep your skills sharp for the upcoming year.