As a home tutor, you should know that stress is also an inevitable part of the job. It might be caused by the many works you have to catch up to or the stress from the lessons that are just not working for the student. There are also instances with the student acting up or even outside factors such as your life outside of work. Many factors contribute to stress and there are also many negative outcomes if stress is not dealt with properly.
But while stress in home tutors is inevitable, responding to it can be the difference between a long-lasting career or one cut short by a burn-out. It’s not only students that can suffer from burn-outs. Tutors, too, suffer from burn-outs every now and again.
We’ve compiled some tips to help home tutor cope with stress.
Stress isn’t the same for lots of people. There can be different situations that trigger different responses to different people. The first step in coping with stress is to identify the situations that gives you stress. Know what makes you tick and what helps you lessen the stress.
Make a list of events, even in your daily life, that leaves you feeling drained. Once you’ve identified them, make a counterplan on how to deal with them. When they happen, you can also use them to practice your stress-management techniques such as eating healthy or exercising when you get stressed. Some people even turn to cleaning the house when they get stressed. Work on this and identify the causes first so you can work on your solutions.
As home tutors, there will always be different schedules every day and even different students that you have to deal with. By prioritizing yours tasks for certain days, you’d spend less time cramming and stressing over situations.
Make a list of the tasks you need to accomplish and set them in order of importance. Make a checklist if you have to. And then once you’re done with them, tick them off. A simple accomplishment of a task will do wonders for you even if it’s just a small task.
However, you must also limit yourself to what is realistic. You may think that you can finish off all your tasks in one day, but if there are too many, that will just be impossible. If you can’t finish all the tasks for today, put them in another list for tomorrow. If you push yourself to do more than you’re capable of, you’d be more susceptible to burnouts.
Imagined insults will only hurt you more. One, because you would be overthinking it. And two, because you are essentially the one insulting yourself. Think of it this way. If you are thinking too much about something unsaid by another person, then you would only be telling this to yourself. Being sensitive to something you’re imagining is a waste of time and energy.
If you are truly bothered by these thoughts, talk to someone you trust. They may share an outsider’s insight on the situation and provide you with a more logical response to these “insults”. Or better yet, give the person who threw in the “insult” the benefit of the doubt. Let go of thinking too much about situations that you made up in your head.
Related article: Tips for Handling Stress for Teachers
Breathing exercises are really underrated when it comes to stress management. Many people don’t take this advice seriously because it’s very simple and there’s no way this could work, right? In actuality, this could actually work on anyone, not just home tutors.
Teaching a child can cause sensory overload. Add in other factors that causes you stress and you will just be a ticking time-bomb waiting to explode. By practicing breathing exercises at the first signs of stress, you’ll be coping with it before it can burst out.
Taking deep breaths can help lower stress and regain control of the situation. If you are feeling stressed out, try taking a deep breath and put your hands on your stomach to feel it expand out for four seconds, then exhale evenly for another four seconds. Keep this up for about 2-3 minutes until you feel yourself relaxing.
Not only will this help you take a break from the stressful situation, it will also supply your brain with its much-needed oxygen to help you think clearly of the situation.
Home tutors are generally organized individuals who prefer to be in control of the situation, may it be planning the lessons to schedules to make sure the teaching and learning goes as smoothly as possible. However, there will be instances that those will not go the way home tutors have initially planned. Don’t get stressed out when this happens. Focus on the things you can control and what you can still do rather than wasting energy on something that you can’t possibly have seen or predicted to happen.
Dwelling on your mistakes and things you can’t control will only sap away the energy that you are trying to set for the tutoring session. Make an effort to change the mood and move past your mistakes. Let them be lessons you can learn from rather than something to hold you back.
Some home tutors have a hard time saying no. Home tutors only want the best for the students they are teaching and will do their best to give the best the can also. However, there is a limit how much you can give as a tutor. Some home tutor accepts tasks just to feel accepted or liked. As a home tutor, you should learn to set some boundaries.
If a parent wants to extend the tutoring session and you can’t because of your schedule, learn to say no and turn them down politely. There is nothing wrong with saying no to requests that are unreasonable. It’s better to know your limits and work on what you only can rather than suffer the repercussions just because you can’t decline.
Express and discuss your feelings and thoughts to the person who is causing you agitation and anxiety. If they are the parents of the student you are tutoring, fix the issue with them directly. Talk to them why they are giving you the treatment and suggest solutions that will both be beneficial for both of you.
If it’s the student, talk openly to the student and find out the reasons why they are giving you this treatment also. Tell them how you feel about the treatment and find a common ground you can both work on to improve your relationship.
Don’t bottle up emotions and hold on to grudges. Although some people might say that it won’t affect their tutoring, it will still indirectly do so. Sometimes, the home tutor may not even be aware of it. Aside from that, it will also affect your work relationship with them.
Home tuition should be done in a welcoming environment. If the student sees the hostility between their tutor and their parents, they might also get distracted by this. If the student and the home tutor also don’t get along, teaching and learning may prove to be difficult.
When everything else fails, it’s time to take a step back and take a break. Set aside a time for activities only for you, may it be a hobby or watching a movie. Do something that completely has nothing to do with the things that causes you stress. Try meditating and exercising to recharge for another session. Do something that relieves the stress or gives you a sense of accomplishment. As a home tutor, do something after tutoring sessions to help you relax, and use this as a reward for your hard work. This will help you recharge, increase your learning capacity, and deal with the new day easily.
The final tip is to always think positively, even if it’s not the best day. Smile whenever possible. It’s a free and effective way to improve how you feel. Home tuition may be a stressful job but you could always find the positive side of every situation, even when you already see its fault. Visualize situations you have dealt with well and hold on to those memories when going into a stressful situation. It’ll make you feel better about the situation because of the memories of the things you have achieved in the past despite the stress. If you got past it then, you can do it again.
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Being a home tutor is not an easy job. Many people think it’s easy because you only teach for a short time unlike teachers in school. But people don’t realize that there will be times that tuition can get really stressful, not just for the student but also the home tutor. Sometimes home tutors may even question their abilities and skills as a home tutor.
However, teaching is said to be a vocation. Home tutors choose to teach because they love teaching and they want to lend their skills, knowledge, and abilities to help struggling students reach their goals. With the tips stated above, we hope we gave some insights on how to deal with stress for home tutors. Home tutors should also prioritize their health to be the best home tutor they can be for their students.
If you are interested in becoming a home tutor, click here to apply. FamilyTutor is the best home tuition agency in Singapore. We offer home tuition and online tuition to students from pre-school and even beyond university level students. We offer over 200 subjects for our students, which means whatever expertise you can offer will be utilized for the students also. Check out our tuition rates here!
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