Singapore is known to put extra emphasis on academics. It is also a well-known fact that Singapore has one of the best, if not the best, educational systems in the world. Students in Singapore spend more time on their homework than their global counterparts and that does not include the time they also spend with other school activities. Such that because of this, the tuition industry in Singapore is also well-grounded and home tutors are always in demand.
With all of that being said, becoming a home tutor seems like an attractive opportunity. You’ll be able to earn a decent wage and the work isn’t as physically taxing. There is also always an opportunity open for you to secure a position as every household seems to be in need of a home tutor for their child. It rather seems like a good idea, right? Of course, it does. However, before you dip your toes into the world of home tuition, there are still a few things you need to consider. Much of the industry relies upon academics, but it doesn’t mean that’s all there is.
We have a list of the things you should consider before diving into the world of home tutoring and finding out if it will be a good fit for you.
One thing to consider and to give great importance in doing so is determining the age group you want to teach. Different age groups require different levels of attention as well as different styles of teaching. What may work for an older age group may not be effective for younger ones. And a strategy for younger ones may bore their older counterparts.
For younger students, you need to realize and understand their hyperactivity. They also have significantly shorter attention spans. It will not be easy for you if you are used to teaching older students and you take the offer to teach a student in primary school. For one, your lesson plans have to include breaks and fun activities for them to absorb the learning points as well as dispense their pent-up energy. They may also need to teach twice or even more for the same topic. As younger children have short attention spans, they may not understand the lesson on the first try and would require repeated instructions or even a change of strategy altogether.
As for students who are older, they also have steeper learning curves and may need an adjustment when it comes to their pace. Unlike younger students who are more into learning the foundations of every topic, older students are learning about the more complicated sides of it. They also have a lot of subjects to juggle at that. Some students who are fast learners will seek to improve quickly and may demand more from their home tutors. They can’t afford to waste their precious time during the slow parts of your lessons. Suffice to say, older students may demand more and if you aren’t prepared may get whiplash from all the demands.
Despite the differences in teaching different age groups, what may be the same for all of them would be that home tutors also have to possess a lot of patience. Learning isn’t instant and there has to be a process to follow when it comes to helping students understand. This would require a level of patience from home tutors that may be similar to a teacher’s patience in the classroom. As such, it will not only be students demanding more from their home tutors to cement their knowledge. More often than not, home tutors are engaged with students who are having trouble grasping concepts and needed the extra help.
As a home tutor, you have to expect the weakest of students to come to you for help. You will have to explain the topic and concept to them step-by-step slowly and sometimes, even going as far as explaining the foundations of the topic. As mentioned before, some students may not understand the topic the first time, so students will need a repeated explanation. When this happens, you can’t lose your cool or get annoyed. It’s only natural that some students have certain troubles with certain topics.
As such, not every student also wants to learn or has a good learning attitude. They may feel they are forced to work with you by their parents and may give you a hard time. Whatever the case may be, it is still your responsibility to keep them motivated in learning the topic they are having trouble with. In the end, the satisfaction in seeing them work on the topics on their own and finally grasping them is immeasurable.
It’s easy to relay the information you have already understood but as a home tutor, you have to make sure that information is understandable by the next person as well. Home tutors need to understand and be able to explain the most basic of concepts effectively. It is one thing to understand the concepts but to communicate them effectively is another.
These home tutors may do well and are an expert in their own fields. They are masters of these topics and they understand them to the very core, the basic ones, and the most complicated aspect. But if they are unable to explain those concepts effectively to their students, then all their knowledge and skills will be counterproductive.
Home tutors aren’t teaching students because they are the best in their field, they are because they possess strong communication skills that will help them teach clearly and effectively to their students. At the end of the day, students need to understand the topic and concepts, not be in awe of your expertise.
Home tutoring requires a level of commitment to your students as well as your career. There is a process that your students have to go through. As such, students also have very packed schedules, and sometimes, they can’t afford to make room for the changes in their lessons because it would also clash with their other activities.
Before engaging in a student or accepting the offer from the parents, make sure you are committed and can commit to the agreed schedule. Make sure that you will follow the agreed class timing as much as possible and also avoid canceling at the very last minute. It will not only affect the student’s learning and schedule if you cancel or don’t come at the agreed time but also reflect on your ethics as a home tutor. If you do so, it may also stain your reputation and may affect your clientele. Of course, you should also never forget that punctuality is given in every job and home tutoring is no exception.
Additionally, you should at least commit to your discussed time period or until the student’s year-end examinations. Finding another tutor midway can be very disruptive for the student as well as confusing. They have already relied on your teaching and teaching style to improve for a time. They may have to start again. As such, it can also be inconvenient for the next home tutor to follow through with what you have failed to comply with. They may have to pick up where you left off and that can be a hassle, adjusting the style and pace that you have established for the student.
Home tuition may be a job but it’s an important one that can make a huge difference in a student’s life and their future. If you are to register and be a home tutor, you have to be considerate of your student and take responsibility for their learning. This is why before you take on tutoring, you should make sure you are ready for the responsibilities that come with it.
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