What Mistakes Should Tutors Avoid Doing?

More and more Singaporeans are participating in home tuition as it becomes a billion-dollar industry and enters the mainstream of education. While students are increasingly accustomed to the idea of taking extra classes with their home tutors, parents are more amenable to the idea of home tuition and engaging home tutors for their children. There are others who are attempting to tutor, whether they are experts in their industry or simply people who want to impart their knowledge.

More Singaporeans are prepared to try their luck with home tuition as more parents are hiring tutors for their kids. For full-time home tutors who have made tutoring students their full-time profession, this is fantastic news. However, there are certain home tutors who struggle to advance in their careers, including those who work part-time or are completely new to the field.

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What mistakes should aspiring home tutors avoid?

Because there is such a high demand for tutors and the pay is so competitive, it shouldn’t be surprising that some tutors struggle to make it in the industry. Tutors must avoid a few significant blunders in order to optimize their career potential and get off to a solid start.

1. Being too lax with time

The majority of new home tutors make the rookie mistake of being careless with their time. This indicates that they frequently left room for additional overtime sessions with their students. When helping a student with their schoolwork, they may allow an additional twenty minutes. This isn’t necessarily a problem if it just occurs sometimes, but since they are new home tutors, they often try to win over their students so they can’t refuse.

Keep in mind that your time is worth something. You will typically receive payment for an hour and a half of tuition as a home tutor. Depending on the tutor’s and parent’s agreement, some people receive compensation for two hours. The issue arises when tutors complete extra work for an additional thirty minutes or so during an hour and a half of tutoring. This is different from working overtime at a 9 to 5 job when you might get paid for it. And you may think that this may all be about the compensation, however, there is more going on here than just the money.

You don’t always teach just one student when you work as a home tutor. You’ll have to teach more students since you’ll require more clientele. You will become fully exhausted as a result of this over time and in combination with other students. This also implies that if you work overtime with another student, you might be more likely to be late for the next scheduled time. As a result, it may be inappropriate to proceed with the next student being late and possibly unprepared. For the following student or the ones after, this isn’t fair.

Even if the tutor is concerned with the student they are spending more time with, they should still be strict with their time. A tutor can set a certain amount of time for homework and another set of time for the actual lesson. Organizing your lessons beforehand also helps with this. If the tutor and the student already know and understand the flow of the session, there will be fewer chances of going overboard with the time given. However, it could be appropriate to talk to the parents about adding more sessions or extending the sessions if the tutor thinks frequently that they need to spend more time with the student to finish a lesson. This would guarantee that the student could complete what was required and that the tutor received whatever compensation they were due for their time and work.

2. Engaging with students who live farther from you

Going to your student’s home to conduct lessons there is a requirement of your profession as a home tutor. This can now be a question of whether you must commute to your student’s home and whether doing so is worthwhile in terms of time and money. Longer commutes can reduce your opportunity to work with additional clients. It’s crucial for tutors to attract as many students as they can. You’ll have more opportunities to sustain yourself, but you’ll also have more opportunities to advance your tutoring career because these students can recommend you and offer you feedback. Nevertheless, if you are eager to find clients who are even further distant from your home, you can still negotiate with the parents for transportation costs and explain the circumstance to them.

3. Accepting last-minute cancellations

Tutoring essentially follows the “no work, no pay” principle. Additionally, last-minute cancellations can be a tutor’s worst nightmare. While it is natural that some students might need to postpone their lessons, doing so will always be detrimental to the tutor, and it will be more detrimental if it happens right before the lesson. The tutor may feel that they squandered a slot that could have been filled by another student in addition to not receiving payment for the canceled session.

Following the drawing up of the contract, the tutor and parents can also talk about the consequences of canceling classes during a specific time frame. For instance, parents may face consequences if they cancel less than a day or two before the scheduled lesson. You and the parents will need to reach a consensus on this. The student will be more reluctant to cancel last-minutely just because they want to play or don’t feel like having tuition if they are aware that there will be a penalty. By doing this, they will have a greater appreciation for and respect for your time.

4. Working with clients who “forget” to pay

It’s a sad reality that some home tutors go through something like this. The last day of tuition is frequently the day before the students graduate, take their final exam, or depart for a trip. Since they are no longer working with the student once the tuition sessions are over, some students or parents have a tendency to “forget” to pay for their home tutor’s services, which can be annoying for home tutors.

There are several ways to stop this. As previously mentioned, creating a contract with the parents can help with this. Another option is to demand payment after each class or even to request upfront payment for the entire month’s worth of tuition. Additionally, paying in advance protects the cost of tuition from last-minute cancellations. But it’s also advisable to talk to the parents about it and make sure that everyone is on the same page.


While many people who consider hiring a home tutor believe it to be a simple method to generate money, that isn’t always the case. There are many seasoned home tutors who excel in their profession, but there are also many inexperienced and part-timers who are still finding their feet. A home tutor can advance their profession in numerous ways. They can attract more students, enhance their reputation with other clients, and be mindful of potential stumbles, particularly when just starting out.

It’s crucial to note, though, that tutoring is about more than just compensation. Tutors must possess a sense of commitment, dedication, and compassion to give to their students because the work is not simple. Tutors should keep in mind that tutoring is, above all things, a tool for assisting students in achieving their academic objectives.


Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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