Guest Post from Kimberly Davison-Fujioka
“With the recession in full effect, unemployed Americans began returning to school at an increasing rate, boosting demand for tutoring and test preparation services. While this trend is expected to continue, other factors will contribute to the industry’s forecast growth.” reports a May 20, 2010, U.S. Industry Report.
Amazingly, tutors are earning more than ever and while most Americans have little money to spend, they are using it for tutoring either for themselves or their children.
Even the Gifted are Turning to Tutors
According to the Chicago Tribune, “even the gifted are now turning to tutors”. A reporter from the Chicago Tribune stated that, “Today, though, tutoring has evolved way beyond the remedial to a form of instruction for top-level students as well as those as young as kindergartners.”
I tutored for 25 years on and off and in between jobs. I earned a considerable income. There were many years where I earned $1,500.00 a month tutoring, only 2 hours a day between 3pm and 5pm, M-F and Sat. morning.
In this economy many people are in need of fast cash now. Tutoring is a great way to earn money quickly. My book, Tutoring: Complete Home Business Guide, shows you how.
Tutoring is a way to earn fast cash. You can log into local tutoring websites and sign-up as a tutor right away. These big tutoring agencies, that are for referrals only, don’t charge the tutors or handle money; you charge what you want and arrange payment with the customer. They will refer students to you. Since they advertise on TV and in local newspapers, they have a lot of incoming customers, mostly parents looking for someone who can tutor their child on a regular basis.
This time of the year is an excellent time to sign up. Soon, children having difficulties in school will need tutors.
In all the years I have tutored (25 years) I can say that parents are looking for three main characteristics in a tutor. Someone who is: knowledgeable, kind (can interact with their child) and dependable.
If you would like to tutor, here are some tips:
1. Choose a subject area you are good at or enjoy. If you haven’t been in school for awhile remember back to when you were and what you liked. I liked English best so I chose to tutor students in Language Arts which includes English writing, grammar and reading. There are many subject areas such as math, social studies or you can just say you will tutor in “homework help.”
2. Set your price comparable to other tutors in your area. Check the Craigslist ads under tutoring. Nowadays, it is best to charge between $30 and $40 an hour depending where you live. (Don’t fall into the trap of charging too little to underbid the competition because that doesn’t work. Parents will only think you are inexperienced.)
3. When you fill out the online form as part of the registration at a tutoring referral agency, make your profile attractive by adding your photo. You can add other information such as your subject area or areas. If you have a website, add the address to your profile. T
he parent will contact you through an email at the tutoring referral website the first time. You can offer them a free first session, if you want or you can just talk to the parent on the phone before scheduling a tutoring session.
5. Place a tutoring ad on Craigslist in the services section.
6. Make business cards. I use a free service, Vistaprint. They charge to ship only.
7. Make a simple website with your photo and a paragraph or two describing yourself and a list of what you tutor. You can sign up for a free website at many different places. I use Yola where I have websites for my two books. Yola has free tutoring templates with cute images that relate directly to tutoring children. If you make a website, you can put your website link on the tutoring profile so customers can go directly to you.
8. When you tutor someone for the first time, listen carefully to them explaining their child’s problem and situation. Usually the parent will tell you what is happening with their child. Interact with the child in a kind and supportive manner. (They are usually uncomfortable at first and since they know they are not doing well in school, they most likely feel down on themselves.) If the child doesn’t feel comfortable with you, the parent won’t choose you as the tutor. You need to be encouraging and patient. Show the parent during the first tutoring session that you can interact well with their child.
9. Have the parent fill out a tutoring form that includes information you need from them: their name, address, phone number, their description of what they need, how many times a week they want the child to receive tutoring. I call this form the Student Information Sheet.(SIS)
10. Go over your information with the parent. Your name, address, phone number, your fees, cancellation policy and payment policy. I usually require they cancel 24 hrs in advance or they will be charged for the tutorial. I ask them to pay up front for a month. (If a parent is hesitant, I reduce that to one week if they plan to have multiple sessions in a week.)
11. Keep records using the Student Information Sheet (SIS). After the student leaves the tutorial, I jot a few notes on the back of the SIS to remind me what I did in the lesson. I date the notes as a record.
Tutoring online is even more profitable. Many non-native speakers of English, living in Korea, Japan and China are currently seeking English tutors online now. They want to be tutored by a native speaker of English in English conversation. They are eager to improve their pronunciation and vocabulary. They know that they need a native speaker of English to tutor them to ensure that their pronunciation is correct. You can use an online tutoring platform for free. In my book I have two lengthy chapters on this topic: choosing the best online tutoring platform, setting it up with your computer and the best microphone/webcam choices.
Good Luck tutoring!
Kimberly Davison-Fujioka is the author of the book, Tutoring: Complete Home Business Guide at Amazon. The website: http://www.tutoringasuccessfulbusiness.com. The book is also available as an ebook on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Kimberly taught English for 25 years at University of California, Berkeley, UC Davis and two national universities in Japan. She has a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics.