What Skills Do I Need to Become a Tutor?
Thinking about becoming a tutor? Whether you’re looking for a fulfilling part-time job or seeking to make a career of it, there are many opportunities available in the tutoring industry.
Tutoring allows for flexibility, meaning you can organise sessions around your schedule, which is ideal for those with other commitments. It also gives you the chance to make a real difference and is a great addition to your resume.
While many qualified educators become tutors, there are no formal qualifications required. Not just anyone can become a tutor though. To be successful in this field you need to possess the following skills:
Advanced subject knowledge
If you’ve got formal qualifications or can demonstrate a strong aptitude and interest in a particular subject, then you’re off to a good start. Perhaps you completed a degree you’re not using in your current job, or you’ve gained subject-specific skills through your career. Maybe you’re at university, or you did very well in a subject in high school and want to share your knowledge. If you’re passionate about a field and can prove this, tutoring might be the right job for you.
Excellent communication skills
Tutors need to explain concepts and ideas clearly to students. To be an effective tutor you need to ask probing, open-ended questions to gauge a student’s understanding. This role also requires strong listening skills. You must be able to adapt your communication style when needed to suit each student’s needs. It’s your job to establish a rapport with your students and their parents and to offer regular feedback and encouragement.
Strong organisational abilities
As a tutor, you need to follow a schedule, plan sessions and keep track of student learning. All these things require good organisational skills. It might come as a surprise to learn that your role as a tutor is not just about imparting subject knowledge. You also need to help students develop their own organisational skills. This involves teaching them to keep track of homework and assignments, organise their workspace and break tasks down into manageable steps. Many students are failing to meet their potential because they don’t have the skills to organise their work.
Problem-solving is an important skill that all tutors need. This is because you must gauge each student’s subject knowledge and competence level, and adapt sessions to suit them. You also have to determine if your strategies are working and modify them if required. You need to be able to identify the source of any learning issues and provide advice and guidance for families. If a student seems unmotivated during your sessions, it’s up to you to find ways to help them become engaged with learning.
Passion for learning
A passion for learning and education is a must-have for this field. Tutoring is a dynamic, interesting job that requires continuous learning and development. You must be ready to stay up-to-date with changing curriculums and teaching methods and have the desire to update your own skills and knowledge regularly. This is what makes tutoring such a fulfilling area to work in for the right people.
For those with the right personality and skills, tutoring can be an excellent option.