Myths About Tutoring - For Tutors

December 9, 2020

We’ve already set the record straight on a number of myths about tutoring [held by students]( "Myths about tutoring - for students"), so what about all you tutors or “thinking-about-it” pre-tutors out there? If you’ve been contemplating taking up tutoring you’ve probably come across a lot of assumptions, speculation and complete downright myths.

To help you figure out what's real and what’s not when it comes to the world of tutoring, here’s the ultimate myth-busting blog for tutors.

Myth: You can only tutor “academic” subjects

Fact: You can, and should, tutor anything

It’s a common misconception that private tuition is purely for academic success and, therefore, there is only demand for academic subjects. While Maths, English and the Sciences are certainly the most in-demand, and all academic subjects are highly sought after, students are looking for tuition in almost every field imaginable.

For example, we have a huge number of students looking to learn a musical instrument or take singing lessons, so many that “music tutors/teachers” make up about a quarter of UK tuition enquiries. Other more skills-based subjects with high demand include a variety of languages, English as a second language, Public speaking, Photography, Cooking, Sports and even Chess!

Studies have also shown that parents are in fact more likely to spend money on helping their child master their extracurricular activities, passions and hobbies than they are to pay for academic tutoring (although both areas have high demand). So, if you’re an expert in a subject, sport, topic or skill you could well be in very high demand.

Myth: I don’t have time to tutor

Fact: Yes, you do

Ok so if you have a full-time job and maybe a couple of kids then we’re not saying you can tutor full time, but one of the fantastic things about tutoring is the incredible flexibility. You accept the students you want at the times that work for you, making it possible to fit tutoring around your life - however hectic.

Only have time to do an hour every other weekend? No problem. Need to tutor more some weeks than others? Easily arranged. Need to fit tutoring in around picking up kids or another job? Totally doable.

With our easy online platform potential students will message you and you are free to accept as many or as few as you want. You are also in total control when it comes to the times you can tutor, if a student can’t match your availability then we will match them with a different tutor and you can accept a student who does meet your availability.

If you sign up as an online tutor, finding students that meet your schedule is even easier. No time lost to travel, no need to leave the house if you don’t want to, but plenty of students looking to learn online at times that suit you.

So while it’s up to you if you want tutoring to replace your day-job (which we know it totally can), it’s equally easy to fit tutoring around your busy life as a way of making some extra money.

Myth: I’m too old / too young to tutor

Fact: You can tutor at any adult age.

At Tutor House, anyone over the age of 18 who has the relevant knowledge, experience, personality, qualifications and a DBS check can tutor. That may seem like a long list but we are determined to provide our students with the best tuition possible so only work with tutors who we know can do a good job. Also, as we have already covered, you could well already be qualified to tutor and, if not, we can certainly help you get there.

The important thing here is that your age, whether you be 18 or 85, has no bearing on whether you can be a great tutor with us. While there are certainly advantages, like experience, to tutoring at a later stage in life, our younger tutors often find it easier to relate to the students. The most important things when it comes to tutoring are your knowledge, personality and the effort you’re willing to put in. Your age really has no bearing on how in-demand and successful you will be.

Myth: It’s difficult to attract students

Fact: Tutor House make connecting tutors with students quick and easy

While it can be tough to find students if you are taking on a tutoring career solo, signing up with a tuition platform like Tutor House makes connecting with students fast and simple. Our expert team can talk you through the onboarding process and make sure your online tutor profile is top-notch. They will also be able to give you expert advice on writing the perfect bio in order to show off your experience and make you stand out to prospective students.

We have thousands of students visiting our site every week, and our smart tutor-search system means that students looking for a tutor with your experience will be sent straight to a page featuring your profile. Our online platform makes it easy for students to reach out to tutors and for tutors to respond, so the whole process from search to booking  only takes a matter of minutes!

As a result, tutors on our online platform are able to book up all their available slots with students they feel they can really help. In short, with Tutor House, attracting students is easy.

Myth: You can only Tutor Part-Time

Fact: Tutoring can be either a part-time or full-time job - it’s up to you

It is true that many tutors choose to tutor part-time for a variety of reasons. We have tutors who are also mothers with children who need a flexible job that fits around the family. We have tutors who are musicians waiting for their band to make it big. We have tutors who are also teachers, university students, or working another job and just want something to top up the bank account. So tutoring can certainly be a flexible, lucrative, and rewarding part-time job.

However, the assumption that you cannot make a career out of tutoring, that it couldn’t be your full-time job, is completely misguided. At Tutor House, we work with hundreds of tutors who have made tutoring their full-time career and are thriving. As we cover in the myth “You don’t earn a lot tutoring”, our full time tutors are able to live quite comfortably on a tutors salary and for many people the flexibility and rewarding nature of tutoring students makes it the perfect career, whether for a few months, a few years, or a lifetime.

Myth: You can only Tutor kids

Fact: Students come in all ages, levels and abilities

While it is true that most students tend to be between the ages of 4 and 18 (which is already a pretty broad spectrum) students come in all shapes, sizes, and, of course, ages. We help students who are studying for their undergraduate degree, adult learners who are looking to hone skills applicable to their careers, mature students returning to study after a long break, and a plethora of individuals looking to study all kinds of subjects for all kinds of reasons.

As a tutor at Tutor House, you can specify which ages and levels you are qualified and willing to teach. So, if you want to focus your attention on teaching children learning at primary level, those are the students we will connect you with. However if you prefer working with students studying their GCSEs, A-levels, in higher-education, developing professional skills or any combination thereof, we can ensure that those are the students you are matched with.

Tutoring can help students of all ages, so as a tutor you can provide educational support to individuals of any age.

Myth: I’m not qualified to tutor

Fact: You could well have the qualifications and experience needed to be a tutor

Tutoring is currently a fairly unregulated industry (although the government looks set to start cracking down on cowboy tutor agencies) so legally speaking pretty much anyone can tutor. At Tutor House, we pride ourselves in providing tuition of the highest quality and want to ensure our students can safely study with experienced, knowledgeable and passionate tutors. As such, we have a set of criteria we need our tutors to meet before they can go live on our site.

However, while these criteria are non-negotiable, we are happy to help prospective tutors obtain the relevant experience or paperwork needed to work with us. At Tutor House all of our tutors need the following:

An enhanced DBS check

To be qualified up to at least degree level (i.e. to have A-levels or equivalent)

To have tutoring experience (this can include tutoring family and friends)

To be over 18

If a tutor applicant does not have a DBS check but is willing to apply for one, we can offer support and guidance as to the process as well as informing tutors of a variety of payment options.

While we do expect our tutors to have some experience tutoring or teaching, this experience can come in many forms so if you are unsure whether you qualify it is well worth having a chat with one of our expert team on: 020 3950 0320

Myth: You don’t earn a lot tutoring

Fact: You can earn literally thousands tutoring

One of the great things about tutoring at Tutor House is that you can set your own rate along with your own hours, so exactly how much you earn is largely up to you. While most of our tutors charge an hourly rate of between £30 to £60, we do have tutors who charge £90 and tutors who charge £20 (but tend to get a lot of bookings).

Our expert tutor team can help advise you as to what hourly rate is likely to get you the most bookings and while reflecting your knowledge or experience, and you can always increase your rate as you gain more experience or if you add qualifications.

As you can choose to work as many or as few hours as you please, and can set your rate accordingly, how much you earn is really up to you. While it is certainly true that our tutors that only work a few hours a month are generally just “topping-up” their income, our full-time tutors can earn upwards of £30,000 a year purely from tutoring. Then there are examples of “super tutors” and “tutors to the famous or super-rich” that can earn even more.

While we can’t predict exactly how much you as an individual will make tutoring (after all a lot depends on you) it’s certainly a myth that you don’t earn a lot tutoring.

Myth: Tutoring is stressful or Tutoring is boring

Fact: Tutoring will make you feel all emotions, but it is rarely stressful and normally positive

People tend to fall either side of the fence, with some assuming that tutoring is a stressful task and others claiming that it will be nothing but dull. The truth is that both camps are entirely wrong.

For one thing, tutoring is a wonderfully diverse job with each student an individual and each lesson a unique experience. Even with students you have taught for a while, you never know exactly what the lesson will hold, when they will make that all-important breakthrough or when they’ll have you laughing out loud and marvelling at their wit.

It is certainly true that you tutoring can contain some elements of stress, particularly when you are rooting for a student to succeed and they are finding the lessons exceptionally challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding.

Often you will be tutoring students who are really struggling with a particular subject or are under a lot of pressure to do well. However, private tuition really works and the personalised support you will provide to each student will make a huge difference both to their academic performance and lives in general.

At other times you could be tutoring high achieving students who want to push themselves to the next level, and watching a student soar onto new heights of knowledge, understanding and skill is deeply inspiring.

As we have already covered, you could end up tutoring students as young as pre-school or students who put the “mature” in mature student, so you’ll have the opportunity to interact with a range of different individuals, each with their own unique character, habits, learning style and interests.

Many of our tutors end up forming strong bonds with their students, which can make it hard to say goodbye when they are ready to move on to the next step in their lives. However, there is always someone new to help and nothing beats the knowledge that you have made a real difference to a students life and enabled them to achieve goals they once thought impossible.

With tutoring, it is highly possible that you will feel stress, relief, exuberance, frustration, joy, peace, pride, mirth, and a whole lot more - but it will rarely be boring.

Alex Dyer

Alex is the founder and director of Tutor House and has a degree in Psychology. He has worked in the educational industry for 14 years; teaching Psychology for 8 years at a school in London. He now runs Tutor House, after setting it up in 2012. Alex still tutors every week, he writes for the Huffington Post and has appeared on the BBC and ITV to discuss educational topics. Alex is an educational consultant and UCAS expert, he’s worked with hundreds of students over the years. He’s obsessed with squash, but is distinctly average.

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