With many aspiring home tutors, you would think that tutoring is an easy job. There are many benefits that go along with tutoring that are all very attractive to people hoping to make a career while also maintaining their work-life balance. With home tuition, tutors have more freedom and flexibility when it comes to their time. They can make their own schedules and basically work whenever they want. They also get to meet many different types of students. Of course, the satisfaction that also comes with helping young students achieve their academic goals is the cherry on top.
Qualifications for being a home tutor are also flexible. Many home tutors are professionals and experts in their own fields but they also want to share their knowledge and skills with students. Tutoring is a skill that can be both learned and nurtured. However, despite the many benefits of tutoring or the expertise of a person with regard to a certain subject, tutoring can also be as draining and stressful as any other job.
Tutors can get overwhelmed with the demands from their students’ parents or the responsibility of dealing with a disrespectful student. Aside from that, there’s also the matter of travel time as tutors have to move from their student’s house to the next to give tuition.
No one wants to continue with a stressful job however, there are also many ways for aspiring home tutors to deal with and work their way around tutoring to make it less stressful or not at all. In this article, we’ll walk you through some tips you can use to make your tutoring experience (and career, hopefully) stress-free.
Tutoring gives you the power of freedom with how you manage your time and energy. But this may also come with consequences if not done properly. With managing your own time, it can also be difficult to find the right balance between your personal life outside of work and work. At some point, some tutors’ personal lives may mesh together with their work. And when this happens, problems may arise to your relationships with your loved ones, rest time (or lack of), and even hobbies and interests.
At this point, you may be wondering, am I trying to dissuade you from being a home tutor? Definitely not. Instead, we speak of what will happen if there is no boundary between your work and personal life. With that being said, how can you set work and personal life boundaries?
The first step to creating boundaries is to visualize them and what better way to do that than to create schedules? Schedules allow you to see your appointments during certain days. This way, you will also be able to see which days you can allot for rest and other personal activities. However, make sure to also stick with your schedule. This means that when you have personal activities, refrain from anything that is related to work. The same also goes for when it’s time for work. This will allow you to remain productive with your work on time and relaxing during your scheduled rest days guilt-free.
In the same way a home tutor must help their students avoid distractions during tuition, they also need to do the same. This can be whether they are at work or during their rest days. It’s easy to get distracted by your phone. You find yourself looking up something on Google and the next thing you know, you’re scrolling through Facebook. Identify things that may distract you and avoid them as much as possible. Nothing says unproductive more than spending more time online than grading papers like you have in your schedule or sleeping during rest days.
It can be easy to say to set your boundaries and stick to them, however, there may be instances that you have to prioritize over. For example, you’ll have to think about which is your priority: emergency make-up sessions or a family trip that’s long been planned. With knowing your priorities and weighing one over the over, you can be flexible and not beat yourself up when unexpected things happen that will put a dent in your plan.
If you are still wondering how to properly set your boundaries, we have an article that dives deeper into some ways to help you do just that.
One of the most common factors that contribute to the stress tutors’ experience is their relationship with their students, and in this scenario, not having a good one. As a home tutor, you will give 1-to-1 lessons to your student, which means you’ll have to spend time with them. Because of this, uncooperative students and those who don’t listen to you can be problems and may test your patience.
More often, students act this way because of the lives they have outside of tuition. They may have some other situation going on with them that may affect how they treat other people like their parents or tutors. Sometimes, students can act out because they are stressed as well.
So, how can tutors deal with students and build a good relationship with them? The very first step is to communicate with them. This doesn’t just mean to speak to them, but also listen to them. By getting to know them better and hearing what they are feeling or going through, tutors can understand them better as well. As such, communication and knowing what makes them tick can also be one of the ways to make tuition stress-free for tutors and students alike.
Aside from communicating with your student about their feelings and interests, home tutors should also make it a point to assess the student’s capability when it comes to lessons. Maybe the lesson is too advanced for the student and that could be the reason they are uncooperative. Perhaps, the student needs to master the basics first before moving to the more complex topics. Maybe they need more time with learning a particular topic or the lesson can be too draining and boring for them.
There are many factors that can contribute to the way they act towards their home tutors. Fortunately, as a home tutor, you can also use several techniques that will help boost your relationship with your student. As a rule of thumb, ask them questions about themselves first to help them open up to you. When they are comfortable enough, you can move to more questions directed to their lessons.
A home tutor should not only be knowledgeable and committed to teaching but also show exceptional organizational skills. There is a reason for that as well since it effectively reduces stress. Before you leave for your tutoring class, do you make sure that you have everything needed for the session with you? There are many things that can be left behind if the tutor is not prone to organizing the things they need. Once you have everything you need, double-check. It can be distracting and stressful for you and the student if you realize you’re missing materials in the middle of the session.
If you are an online tutor, you should also be able to prepare your materials as well before the start of each session. For example, if you will be using PowerPoint presentations, you should make sure that the file is ready for screen sharing.
Some other tips to help you prepare for the tuition sessions are to set a clear goal and main objectives with every lesson or topic you are teaching. This way, you can plan your lessons around those goals and objectives. With planning your lessons, you should also keep in mind the type of learning style that works best for your student. If your student is a fast learner then perhaps you don’t have to give an in-depth lesson on those he’s already mastered. If the student learns more through visuals, you can incorporate videos into the lesson or even hands-on experiences. If the student is more troubled with Math, you can split the lessons so they have more time to properly master the lessons.
Afterward, when the student has fully understood the lesson, you can conduct a short assessment that would also reflect the goals and objectives you have first set out for the student at the beginning of their lessons. A structured lesson plan like this will help the tutor keep things organized thus, lessening stress, and also the student as they will also already know what to expect.
Students will also have more confidence in their home tutors if they see that they come to tuition sessions prepared. As you will also be imparting time management and even dealing with stress to students, it’s also important they see you as a model.
Other tutors like this too: Tips for Handling Stress for Teachers
Indeed, tutoring can sometimes become stressful however, it shouldn’t become the norm. As we have mentioned above, there are many ways to make tutoring a stress-free endeavor. We hope that the tips we have listed above will help greatly in alleviating the stress of the job so it will not trample over the joys and satisfaction of tutoring.
Related article: 9 Fantastic Stress Management Tips for Tutors
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