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Breaking into the Working World of Tutors

In every college in the country, there are ambitious and starry eyed youngsters who are preparing for a career in tutoring.  At some point that army of graduates will hit the streets to find jobs in the field of tutoring.  What is not often taught in colleges are the real world skills of how to actually find and land a good tutoring job right out of school.  And while there is always a need for good tutors, the new graduate should develop some skills in finding the kind of tutoring job that they always dreamed of so even from that first engagement, their career in tutoring gets off on the right foot.

There is a lot you can do even before graduation day to get your job search moving and to make yourself desirable as a tutor so when school administrators get flooded with applications from newly graduated tutors, you stand out as the one they want to call in for an interview.  One thing you can do at any time during you academic career is to intern as a tutoring assistant and volunteer to teach in underprivileged schools. 

You can teach just a few hours a day and work it around your academic work.  By taking on the working world of tutoring even before you have your degree, you will be able to present yourself to employers post graduation as someone who has real world experience in the classroom and “knows the ropes” of getting through an academic year with real live students.  That is tremendously valuable to a school administrator with a spot to fill because it reduces the concern that a new graduate who has never faced a classroom full of restless children might wash out  when the reality of what tutoring is really like.

Another way to get a jump start on the market before students flood the schools for jobs is to start your search early in your last semester of school.  Schools know by February or March if they will have jobs to fill for the next academic year.  So if you begin your search for a tutoring position in March or April, you can often land an interview or even secure a position for the fall long before many of your contemporaries in school begin their hunt for their first tutoring job.

Becoming proactive like this always gives you the advantage in finding the job you really want rather than just “any job” in the tutoring profession.  Spend some time narrowing down exactly what kind of tutoring position you want and at what level you feel your personality and tutoring style will benefit students the most.  You may do much better with young children than with teenagers or you may wish to focus on high schoolers because they are more intellectually equipped to grasp the subject matter with you.  By knowing well in advance where you want to teach, you can target those kinds of positions in your job search and improve your chances of finding that perfect tutoring job.

You should make the phrase “leave no stone unturned” your motto for hunting up the tutoring jobs that are open in your community.  First of all, be very proactive in your search. Just because you are graduating, even with honors, with your tutoring degree, that doesn’t mean the schools will seek you out with jobs.  So you take the search to them before someone else does.  And in doing so it will be you that gets the premium tutoring positions rather than have to take “what’s left” after the good tutoring positions are snatched up by more aggressive graduates.

There are lots of ways you can flush out those tutoring jobs.  Check the HR or employment offices at the schools you would like to be a part of and keep an eye on their employment bullion boards.  Use the internet wisely, watch the newspaper and even get in touch with placement agencies who are known for placing new tutors. 

But above all, network, network, network.  Use every contact you have and forge new relationships to get the inside scoop on jobs before they even become public.  Networking is the number one best way to find great tutoring positions so you should use it extensively to find a position to get your tutoring career off on a great start toward a great future of success in the field of tutoring.


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Can You Teach as a Tutor if You Are Old?

If you are just preparing to enter the ranks of professional tutors and you are not a recent college graduate, its easy to feel a bit insecure and ask that question, “Can you teach if you are old?” Its a fair question even if you are not so far along in life that you consider yourself to be “old”. But it is easy to feel old if you are a middle aged or senior adult among 20 year olds in teacher college and if the competition for the teaching jobs are kids that could be your own sons or daughters.

There are a lot of jobs where there is a noticeable age bias against older workers. In the business world, sometimes companies prefer to hire younger workers because they work cheap and if they work out, there is such a longer career life ahead of them. But even in the business setting, many forward thinking employers are beginning to realize that the ranks of older workers contain a group of workers who are stable, hard working and devoted employees. So too schools are realizing more and more that hiring an older worker is not a disadvantage at all but that you bring a lot of good with you that the school should be thrilled to have.

If anything the profession of tutoring is a perfect environment for someone who has seen a bit of life and who has matured and perhaps raised children of their own. Tutoring full time while rewarding can be a huge challenge because it is sometimes hard to establish your authority in the class room and there are so many ways for a disruption to hurt the flow of tutoring that is so important to accomplish your academic goals each day. An older worker is less prone to panic about disruptions or sudden problems that might come up as you teach and you have the experience and maturity to handle the problem efficiently without upsetting the rest of the class and get everyone back on task quickly.

It could be that one concern those who hire new tutors might have with an older worker is energy. Younger workers are able to keep up physically with children and they need to know that you won’t tire during a long school day and that you have the physical stamina to get through a school day and come back for more tomorrow. There are a number of ways you can demonstrate that you are in shape and up to the challenge of teaching. You can put on a show of energy and enthusiasm during the interview. Or you could go so far as to offer to substitute teach or be a tutor assistant for a day so the administrator can witness first hand our energy and ability to “keep up” with those kiddos.

There is a good chance that not only will you encounter no age based bias or discrimination from school administrators, you will find that they already have a number of older tutors on staff so they know the value the school gets from that experience and wisdom. But the relationship that may give you more concern is whether the students can accept an older teacher and give you the same respect and regard that they would give to someone just out of college.

It may come as the biggest surprise of them all that children and even teenagers really do not mind older teachers or older people for that matter. After all, to a child, every adult is an older teacher so they may not even notice that you are 20 years older than their last teacher. To a kid, old is old so what’s the difference? Moreover, children have relationships with parents, uncles and aunts and grandparents that are loving and respectful so if they lump you in with those role models, you have it made.

What students don’t like are older people who try to deny that they are old, who are ashamed of their age or who try to act younger than they are. Youth crave honesty. And youth are also quite aware that older age awaits them down the road so the last thing they want to see is you showing shame or discomfort because of your age. By being honest about your age with the kids, they will embrace you easily and you will have no difficulty teaching them.


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Becoming a Truly Professional Tutor

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There is something so satisfying about working with a true professional in any line of work. When you have a professional on the job in any area of specialization watching that person in action is like watching a work of art. They exude the knowledge, the skill, the devotion to doing a top notch job and the confidence that they are the professional who can do the job that is missing in a lesser talent.

That is the level we all want to reach in the field of tutoring if that is your calling. Not only do you want to be a true professional in your area of specialization which is tutoring, you want your students to notice your professionalism and recognize that it makes a big difference having a professional running the class rather an a lesser talent.

When a professional is on the case, everybody relaxes because they know the job will be done right. In the movie, Pulp Fiction, when the gangsters needed help because of a killing, they called in Mr. Wolf. And Mr. Wolf was well known for being the man that always knows what to do, who moves fast but is as courteous as he is efficient and who knows how to get the job done right. When Mr. Wolf was on the scene, the problem was as good as solved. And even though that movie was a bit grisly and profane, Mr. Wolf is a great example of true professionalism at work.

So how do you show your professionalism as you go about your craft of tutoring? For one thing, you dress the part. Take pride in your wardrobe and present to yourself to your class each day in a garment that says, I came ready to teach so you should come ready to learn. That is what happens when a professional is on the premises. Everybody wants to get on board with the program.

A professional always knows what to do both long range and right now. That means you come prepared. Your lesson plans are in order, your room is prepared and you paperwork is organized so at no time do you have to pause and get yourself together when you are into the process of tutoring your students. This will take some time for you to get to that level of organization when you walk in the door of your classroom the next day. But putting in that hour or two each night so you are that organized not only makes you a better tutor, it lets the students know that this is a professional operation so be ready.

Students, particularly youth and children can tell the difference between someone who knows what they are doing and someone who is floundering. As the saying goes, they can smell fear. It gives young people confidence and a sense of security that you are organized and not only know what you are going to do each moment of the teaching day, you know what they are going to do as well. That is professionalism and it will make a world of difference in how your tutoring goes.

A professional tutor also responds to interruptions and even disturbances calmly because you have seen it before and you know what to do. Of course developing a history in teaching to where you really do know what to do in each circumstance takes time. But if you are completely prepared in every other respect, interruptions won’t throw you because you can address them and be right back to you lesson smoothly and calmly.

A byproduct of being consummately prepared and so well versed in what your lesson plans say and what you are tutoring is that it gives you a calm confidence that frees you up to be relaxed and even humorous with your students. When your students see you smile because everything is going exactly the way you want it to go, they will respond and open up to you because they sense your confidence and they want to see where you are going to take them. And because you are relaxed and at ease, your students are at ease as well and they can ask you questions and interact with you as you teach. And that kind of interactive dialog is what makes the difference in the lives of students and makes you a true professional tutor.


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Start Your Career in Tutoring After Covid

Not everybody goes into tutoring by getting a degree right out of high school and making it a profession from there on out. Many wonderful tutors take on the profession as a second career. There are a lot of reasons it happens like that. Perhaps you are unhappy in your current career but you keep doing a certain job because it pays the bills. It is very easy in youth to just fall into a job niche because it happened to be a job you got, Then after you developed a resume and got additional training, you found it difficult to leave that job to pursue your passion.

Tutoring is as much a calling as it is a profession. As a profession, its often a career that does not attract the best and the brightest to become tutors because the pay is low and the frustrations and demands are high. So many people who may at heart be “born tutors” spend some of their adult life in other professions. If this is your story, you may be coming to a place in your life when that inner tutor is struggling to get out and get you into the career you of tutoring young people full time.

The good news is that in this modern time, much progress has been made to offer you a way to get the degree, the education and the certification to make that transition from your current career to a life of a tutor with little disruption to your life. One such way is to get your tutoring certificate from an online website as a remote student In that way, you step through all of the requirements for your certificate using the internet and eventually get that degree so you can easily transition into a life of a full time tutor.

It used to be considered far fetched to get an entire degree online. But almost every university in the country now offers a remote study program so you can satisfy every aspect of a degree plan on your own schedule using the internet as your classroom and your tutor. The lectures can be presented as video files and you can even participate in group projects and discussions via chat, message boards and wikis that the instructor can set up to bring you along through each class.

The good of this kind of program is that you can go about getting your teaching certificate while continuing to hold down your full time job. Because the “classes” you take are online and recorded, except for live events such as team meetings, you can take each session when you get home from work and even pause them to deal with family issues and then continue when things quite down. This is an ideal situation for adult education when quitting your job to get another degree is just not practical.

The hard part about getting your degree online is that, like study by mail programs, the discipline to keep up, to “attend” class and to do your reading and homework is entirely put on you to stay with. Its very easy for life’s demands to draw you away from your degree plan and to slow or stop you which then makes getting the momentum going even more difficult.

But if you enlist the aid of your family and establish times when dad or mom are “in class” even if you are just locked in your study doing your online coursework, that regimen can help you get through your classes and successfully graduate ready to start a career in teaching. And when you are finally doing the job you feel is your calling to do teaching youth, the hard work of taking that degree from an online program will pay off.


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How Phycology help you to become a good tutor?

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If you are working as a home tutor or online tutor, you are getting a lot of great education that will give you the knowledge and the skills to teach young minds in the not too distant future. But you may not entirely know what kind of minor to declare or what kind of elective classes to take that will harmonize well with your concentration on becoming a home tutor or online tutor.

One suggestion that would help you tremendously would be for you to add a concentration in psychology. Psychology is a field of study that can give you invaluable resources and abilities to manage a classroom full of students that otherwise might not be available to you. The reason psychology would help you so much is that when it gets right down to it, teaching and learning are very human events. And you don’t just teach the mind. You teach the heart and the soul of the student as well. So by learning how the minds of your students “tick”, you give yourself yet another advantage in you quest to maintain control of that classroom at all times.

When you are teaching a group of students, even if not a word is being said, they are talking to you all the time. And part of psychology is learning what they are saying to you with their body language. In general, students will send a signal of blocking you or being open to you based o how their arms are positioned, how relaxed they seem, whether their legs are crossed or open and particularly through their facial expression. If you can learn to understand the language of body language, you can use it to take a boring lesson or lecture and suddenly transform it into a lesson that captures the student’s imagination and holds them for as long as you need to for the sake of the lesson.

Psychology will also help you understand how to use your body language to send messages to your students. The thing about body language is that it delivers the message whether the other person is aware of it or not. You no doubt know that standing in front of a group of kids and teaching is about a lot more than what you say or even how you say it with your voice. You are communicating all the time with your body language, your posture and your movements. And if you know a little bit about human psychology and how your students will react to movement or sudden changes in your physical demeanor, you can use the power you have over them to capture their minds and hold them on the subject at hand. In that way psychology can be a powerful aid to your teaching.

Now you are not looking to become Sigmund Freud in your study of psychology. But if you know enough about the human mind and how what is going on inside a student can be expressed externally, you can be a big help to a student who may be in emotional trouble but unable to communicate it. If you can spot the signs of emotional distress and get that child to counseling and the help he or she needs, you could literally be a lifesaver for one of your students. And that is a wonderful feeling and all the reason you need to make psychology part of your college curriculum plan.


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Homeschooling and college

As children grow out of their little pants and are ready to begin
their teens, many parents wonder if they should continue with the
homeschooling program. They fear that colleges may not give equal
opportunities to a child educated at home.

Many fears of this kind were put to rest when 2 homeschooled boys
got admission into Harvard. Harvard does not require a high school
diploma for gaining admission to their degree program. Many
colleges are more interested in the knowledge and behavior of the
homeschooled children rather than their high school diplomas. In
fact, other things being similar many colleges prefer
homeschoolers because of the diversity and richness they bring to
their college life.

Admission requirements may vary. While some colleges require the
child to appear for the SAT, others may need a general equivalency
diploma. And some may not care for any tests at all. The criterion
may vary depending on the college that you wish to apply to. But,
college courses really do not require any high school background
or special training.

It is common to come across parents who frantically try to shift
out their homeschool children to high schools because they fear
unavailability of college admissions. But college admissions are
open to all educated individuals, regardless of whether they are
educated at home or at a public school.


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Homeschool – Field trips

If you are going over a particular subject with the family and
feel that a field trip would be beneficial, then that’s what you
should do – go for a trip. If you are attached to a support group,
you can plan to include other children too.

Here are some guidelines that will help you plan:
1) Collect the rates
2) Allowed ages
3) Special highlights
4) Size of the group
5) Timings
6) Eating facilities

Inform your support group of all these details well in advance so
that the necessary circulars may be sent out. On the appointed
day, arrange to meet with other parents and children in a
particular place. Plan the mode of travel and reach the place at
least 10 minutes in advance.

The field trip is not just fun. So, let your kids bring their
writing material. Allow them time to stare and admire. Do not
hurry them along. Collect data beforehand so that you can clear
doubts. Get help from a guide, if necessary. And most importantly,
have fun and enjoy the time you spend with your children.


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Why Do People Home School Their Children?

Of course in India there are many options to educating our children. There are public schools, private schools, charter schools, Montessori schools and, of course, the option of home schooling. There are advocates of both home schooling and public schooling. Those of us who don’t home school, which is still the majority of Indians, need to fully understand the reasons why people choose to home school their children.

Religious or Philosophical Convictions:

Religion is not permitted in the public schools. Many families feel that religion needs to be a larger part of their child’s education than that which the public schools allow.

People who have deep religious beliefs show great passion. These are the individuals who are passionate about their children’s education and feel that only they are able to teach them to the best of their ability and the content that they feel they should be learning. The home schooling parent is in charge, they call the shots and they like it that way.

Socialization:

Some people that don’t understand home schooling believe that it is confining rather than socializing. But those individuals that believe that are stuck in thinking about the stereotypical socialization of an age-based classroom. Children that are home schooled are exposed to social situations in a mixed age range. They have “age-mates” instead of “class-mates”.

Many home schoolers feel that their children need to be exposed to the appropriate ways to behave not inappropriate. They feel that their child should be exposed to the model behavior of people who have learned to make decisions and handle themselves in various social settings. By being exposed to appropriate modeling of social behavior, home-schooled children will learn how to act appropriately.

Parents of home schooled children can also see when their child “gets-it” when they model for a younger child appropriate behavior.

Home-schooled children get a reality based social lesson. On a daily basis they see adults they know, love and trust manage and balance life day to day. Modeled for them is academics balanced with real life chores; caring for a sick friend or neighbor, shoveling the driveway and walkway, doing the grocery shopping and dropping of the dry cleaning, cooking dinner while folding laundry, putting laundry away and talking on the phone with Aunt Sara. These are real life situations that home schoolers are exposed to and public school children are often sheltered from or are privy to a controlled school environment.

Academics:

Home schoolers have several advantages over publicly schooled children. The curriculum is designed specifically for them – not for children their age and what children at a particular age are expected to know and learn. Public schools differentiate instruction the best they can. However, a home-schooled child has a curriculum tailored to their needs. They may read at a 4 th grade level, spell at a 3 rd grade level and complete math at a 6 th grade level.

A home-schooled child is neither rushed nor not given enough time. There are no other children to “keep busy” so they are free to work at their pace and move as quickly or as slowly as need be.

Much research has been done on how children learn best. A home-schooled child is not only taught by the person who knows them best in the entire world but also since they are the only student, the learning style never has to be varied. If a student learns best through music, then the curriculum of a home-schooled child can be tailored to meet their needs so they will be more successful.

Home-schooled children get to spend more quality time as a family. They are not trapped in a traditional school setting for 6 hours a day but are free to spend quality time as a family every day.

It is said that parents are a child’s first teacher. Families that home school want to continue to be their child’s teacher because they feel that their children need the guidance of their family and God and not the guidance of someone hired to do a job that is naturally theirs from the day their child was born.


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Home Schooling in India: Cost Analysis

When parents decide to educate their children at home, it usually costs much less than either a private or a public institution.  By home schooling your child, you will save time and gas because there is no commuting involved.  There is also less or no expense for day care due to one parent staying home full time.  In addition, clothing is inexpensive because there is no pressure to keep up with fashion trends.  Home school expenses include books and supplies, which can be very reasonable, especially when you use your local library.  Eating meals at home is also cheaper and much healthier than either buying meals at school or making lunches for school.  Other expenses include music lessons, sport supplies, and other fees for hobbies.  Computer equipment and programs are also an extra expense.  Some parents who home school also pay for private tutoring to supplement their teaching.

Public schools have no tuition and do not charge for books, but parents must pay for supplies.  Extracurricular activities also have fees associated with them, same fees as home schooling.  Children who attend public school can either ride the bus, which is free, or commute to school, which can be costly with rising gas prices.  Sometimes, there is a fee for computer classes in public school, depending on the school.  Lunches cost more, especially when parents do not know if their children are throwing the food away or sharing it with other children.  Clothing expenses are high because of peer pressure and popularity.  Often, parents need day care for their children until they are done with work.

Private schools do charge tuition, which is usually $1000 to $5000 per year, depending on the school.  Private school also charges for books, but not usually supplies.  Music and art lessons are usually included in tuition.  Computer software is an extra fee, along with any sport supplies or after school programs.  Private schools do not offer transportation, so that is an extra expense. 

Overall, parents who home school spend the least amount of money, while parents who private school spend the most.  On the other hand, when a parent decides to home school, a full time job is usually out of the question (or very difficult to include in a daily schedule).  This means there is less income in the family.  Nevertheless, the choice to home school should be based on your child’s ability to thrive and learn in a home setting or school setting.