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How to Find Your Niche as a Successful Tutor


by Lois Monson


man and student at table in library

Tutoring Success

Students who need help come from every age group, including adults who attend technical schools. Reading, comprehension, language practice involves every age group.

 

Getting Started

Talking with schools about what programs they offer, gives you a chance to reveal what you can offer them!

If you are interested in volunteering, contact a teacher at the school. It's best if you know that person or know someone who knows a teacher. If you'd like to be paid, it is best to contact the school administration. Ask if there is a "homebound" program or other tutoring type of program. See if there is a mentor program where help may be needed. Be aware that you may be required to hold current teacher certification.


Finding Your Niche


Homebound Method

In the past, homebound tutoring involved picking up assignments, taking them to a student's home, seeing to it that the assignment is understood and returning the completed work. Since legal and behavior issues as well as learning problems have resulted in an increase in homebound study, this area can be a very challenging. Such students may be far behind and for various reasons may have negative attitudes and expect failure. Many school systems have programs designed to help these students. If you work with them, be sure you are aware of what has been tried in the past so you do not repeat a failed effort. (Note: Always require that another adult be in the home when you work with a student.) Remember, it is impossible to "correct" emotional problems, family situations and the like. If you are the type of person who easily becomes involved in these issues, tutoring is not for you.

Correspondence Courses Approach

Some states provide correspondence courses, a way for a student to re-take a failed high school course. This program will require a local teacher to oversee the lessons and tests. These students sometimes need help in completing the lessons.

Learning Styles

Success as a private tutor depends on an ability to show how learning can be interesting, fun and even funny. Study learning styles. Often students have problems because of the way they comprehend or process information. Also, observe what interests the student. Go from there with related lessons. They'll end up helping you! This works well with any student.

Learning Centers provide teachers for all sorts of educational areas: test anxiety, PPS tests and preparation for other college entrance tests, and comprehension, to mention a few. In this situation, a teacher is asked to follow an established program that is tailored according to test outcomes and goals of the student.