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What Is a Private Tutor and How to Become One

What Is a Private Tutor?

A private tutor is an employee of a student or family who may specialize in teaching one subject, such as language, math, or writing, but may also provide instruction for a variety of subjects, especially if the student is of high school age or younger. As a private tutor, your responsibilities include giving one-on-one lessons with the goal of strengthening the student’s understanding of what is being taught in school or furthering their education in other areas. You may be hired to help them prepare for an exam such as the ACT or SAT. Your duties include identifying the areas your students have the most difficulty with and preparing lessons accordingly, as well as assigning and correcting homework. In this role, you’re typically expected to discuss the student’s progress with their parents. Private tutors may also be hired by adults who need extra help in preparing for various exams or certifications, for example, for higher education subjects or advancement in their career.

How to Become a Private Tutor

The qualifications to become a private tutor include a bachelor’s degree and a few years of tutoring experience. While in school, see if there are any tutoring positions available at your college/university library or learning center through which you can enhance your resume. If you’re looking to begin this career, it’s desirable to gain knowledge of various school curriculum you expect your students to learn. It’s also advantageous to have expertise in one subject, such as writing, chemistry, biology, or SAT prep. As technology becomes more prevalent in education, it’s vital that you can use and incorporate new software that is designed to improve math, reading, and writing skills. You should be familiar with researching new learning methods to provide the most effective learning experience and select or modify the best resources to cater to each student’s unique learning needs.

What Is the Difference Between a Private Tutor and a Teacher?

While a tutor and a teacher have similar jobs as far as teaching their students various subjects and monitoring their progress, there are key differences between these positions. Hired by a student or family, a private tutor provides one-on-one instruction to help students achieve their academic or personal learning goals. They work with students on specific subjects, especially the ones they’re struggling with, or to prepare for exams. In contrast, teachers are employed by schools or academic institutions as faculty members. They focus on academic instruction for larger groups of students spanning all ages, from preschool to college, and their responsibilities are vast. Teachers introduce new subjects, create and map out curriculum, assign homework and projects for all of the required education areas, establish learning goals, and much more. Teachers must also be licensed in their state to provide this type of instruction in schools, whereas a private tutor does not need certification to work with clients.

What Characteristics Make a Successful Private Tutor?

Successful private tutors have excellent communication skills, knowledge of cutting-edge learning theories and techniques, and tried-and-true resources to consult as needed. You should become familiar with the school curriculum your students take part in to more effectively enhance their understanding of those lessons. Strong leadership and the ability to motivate and encourage is crucial in this role. Other desired qualifications include patience, attention to detail, and the ability to help students develop strategies to improve self-sufficiency while in school. After determining goals for each student, successful private tutors may set a timeline for achieving those goals and indicating when students make progress to motivate them further.