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Tips for Getting Started?

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by thethiefoftime, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. thethiefoftime

    thethiefoftime Occasional commenter

    Hi all,

    Is it possible to quit a full time teaching job and survive financially as a private tutor - or am I living in Cuckoo Land?

    Also, what top tips would you give to someone wanting to get started with tutoring people in English?

    Thanks so much
     
  2. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    It very much depends what you teach, where you live, and how much you need to live on. I'm mortgage free and live in London, which means that I can probably command a higher rate and need less money.

    Bare in mind that the world of tutoring bares a strong resemblance to the unlicensed cab world. The number of people, who really shouldn't be allowed to tutor, offering their services, at knock down rates, often seems like a biblical plague of vermin. Every man and his dog seem to think they can teach maths, because they scraped a GCSE in it. Fortunately for me there are less conmen in my other two subjects: chemistry and physics. I don't know what the situation is like for English.

    What the schools are like in your area will also affect your potential customer base. Almost all the schools in Enfield, where I live, are absolute rubbish, including most of the supposedly good ones, so I get plenty of opportunities to pick up the pieces from qualified teachers who really can't teach their subject.

    One final thing to bear in mind is that some students will mess you around. You will always get a few lazy ones with unrealistic expectations. They come for a few weeks, but expect to improve by simply attending, but without putting in any effort whatsoever. When, surprise, surprise, they don't get any better they blame the tutor, and often don't turn up again without even giving any notice.

    One tip I will give you. Unless it's inconvenient for you, insist that students come to you. Otherwise, once you have taken travelling time and cost into consideration, you will be working for a pittance: which is the hallmark of most of the rubbish tutors out there. Good tutors, who are in demand, are usually far too busy to spare the time travelling to students. Also, by insisting students come to you, you will avoid most (though not all) of the spoilt lazy students who expect everything to be easy and handed to them on a plate: and often they are the product of equally spoilt and lazy parents.
     
    thethiefoftime likes this.
  3. doctoryes

    doctoryes Occasional commenter

    In my area there is a lot of demand for English tutors especially for GCSE so if you are a secondary teacher this could work.
    If you a primary teacher it may be more difficult to teach secondary age children but there is some demand for KS2 particularly in preparing pupils for independent school entrance exams or (if this applies in your area) preparing pupils for the 11+.
    Would perhaps suggest reducing your hours and working part-time to see how it goes at first. You can then tutor full-time if it seems to be working well.
     
    thethiefoftime likes this.
  4. owltutors1

    owltutors1 Occasional commenter

    I am living and working in London as a full time private tutor. I am a fully qualified primary teacher and after working part time supply and part time tuition, I was soon able to move over to full time tuition.
    If you register with the right agency, you will be able to become a full time tutor in a matter of months - as long as you are flexible with your working hours!
    For example, I don't take holidays during the school holidays, and as a result I did 100 hours of tuition during half term. I specialise now in purely 7+ tuition and would be more than happy to help you should you have any more questions.
    Good luck!
     
    thethiefoftime likes this.
  5. thethiefoftime

    thethiefoftime Occasional commenter

    Thank you so much, @ftb07154 That would be really helpful. I am secondary and A Level but would really appreciate some tips on how to make the initial transition. Perhaps you could PM me when you have time?
     
  6. owltutors1

    owltutors1 Occasional commenter

    Hi,
    Not a problem at all. I will send you a message just now, and am also considering posting a blog with tips and advice on becoming a full time tutor if this would be of interest to others in a similar position to yourself.

    Does anyone know if the TES Community has opportunities for blogging?

    Thanks very much
     
    Mathsangel and Jellybeanz6180 like this.

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