Tutors make use of their knowledge and expertise in a specific area to teach students outside a classroom. In most academic institutions, tutoring is considered an extra-curricular activity for both the Tutor and the student. Tutors may teach individual students or small groups depending on the demand. In many cases, the Tutors and the students may be peers of the same age and grade, although, in most cases, the Tutor is older than the student.
Tutors may be hired by schools, colleges, libraries, and community services to assist students having difficulties with any given subject. They may also work independently giving private lessons to students at their own residence or at the student’s home.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Tutors are required to complete.
- Providing private lessons to individual students or groups:
- Improving their academic performance through study and practice;
- reviewing class materials and lessons;
- discussing texts, solving problems, and reviewing assignments;
- providing clear and concise explanations of the subject;
- answering questions in a clear and assertive manner;
- assessing students’ progress throughout sessions; and
- rewarding students using positive reinforcement and feedback.
- Developing alternate approaches for students presenting difficulties:
- Identifying students’ individual learning and behavioural needs and responding to their styles, skills and abilities; and
- supporting students and parents with alternate strategies and providing additional assistance with daily assignments and projects, as needed.
- Scheduling and planning tutoring sessions with students:
- Programming appointments with students and parents;
- preparing lesson plans to fulfill students’ needs and goals; and
- researching and recommending textbooks or other learning materials.
- Organizing the tutoring environment to ensure maximum productivity and learning:
- Liaising with schools, libraries, and community centers to use their facilities.
- Maintaining records of tutoring sessions, including subjects discussed and students’ progress:
- Discussing students’ progress with parents and teachers; and
- writing and submitting reports on students’ progress to schools when needed.
- Using a variety of teaching techniques including modeling, observing, questioning, and reinforcing.
- Reviewing class materials and notes so as to plan and prepare lessons.
- Assessing each student’s individual needs and difficulties.
- Adapting lessons to better suit the learning style of students.
- Explaining difficult and complex concepts in a clear and concise manner.
- Keeping records of all lessons and presenting written reports when required.
- Discussing lessons and progress of students with parents and teachers.
The average Tutor salary is $33,454 per year or $17 per hour. This is the same as the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $23,000 while most experienced workers make up to $47,000. These results are based on 759 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
- Outstanding knowledge and skills in the subject they teach:
- Understanding and explaining basic and complex principles of their subject.
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills:
- Communicating clearly and confidently, both in writing and verbally, in order to accurately impart knowledge and give detailed instructions to students;
- using tact, patience, and good judgment when communicating with students and parents to maintain effective and collaborative relationships; and
- being a great listener, as well as being able to easily and efficiently identify students’ needs and difficulties (e.g. learning and behavioural difficulties).
- Strong sense of empathy and compassion:
- Demonstrating sensitivity to the individual needs of students;
- displaying an inherent ability to make others feel cared about; and
- being able to work within a multicultural environment, showing consideration and respect to a diverse range of students and families of all backgrounds and abilities.
- Excellent organizational skills:
- Researching classroom material and lessons;
- preparing lessons to cover and complement classroom activities;
- organizing study and practice activities to maximize learning; and
- being able to work with several students at the same time.
- High levels of creativity, initiative, flexibility and responsiveness, as well as strong leadership skills:
- Adapting well to changing demands;
- using creativity and imagination to develop new insights and to apply new solutions to problems; and
- being able to model healthy student-teacher relationships and positive discipline.
- Strong technology skills and the ability to apply them as an instructional tool to support learning.
- High levels of honesty, integrity, and reliability.
Job opportunities for Tutors are available in communities, schools, colleges, and universities. Due to the nature of the job, most opportunities are available during the school year.
Tutoring is a common job for high school and college students looking to obtain extra credit and do volunteer job, by helping their peers or younger students with schoolwork. Since tutoring is usually done as a Part-Time job, most Tutors still have the necessary time to focus on their own studies or other activities. Tutors usually excel at the subject they teach and, therefore, possess the necessary knowledge to impart classes in a rather informal setting. However, many adults and professionals also offer tutoring services in their community.
Many schools, libraries, community centres, colleges, and universities employ Tutors for special programs designed to assist other students to improve their grades. Working as a Tutor is a great way for students to obtain the necessary experience and proof of skills that they’ll need later in life when applying for more formal jobs.
The regular work hours for a Tutor are after school. Depending on the number of students, their needs, and how many lessons a week they require, some Tutors are required to work evenings and sometimes weekends.