If 2020 was the year when remote learning was our only option, 2021 has been the year when, for many, it has become the first option they will seek out when looking at their ideal learning experiences. As a result, the online tuition industry has grown exponentially and more and more people are considering its many benefits.
For parents looking to support their children, online tuition allows many more options for gaining access to the best tutors, at a time and place that works for them, and for a price they can afford. For those already working as a tutor or those looking to begin working with students, delivering tuition online offers a whole host of possibilities to work with students in a way that suits their experience and expertise, availability for work and aims for their own career.
Whether a qualified teacher, experienced tutor or simply someone who wants to support others by sharing their knowledge. Understanding the key aspects of online tuition, the different options available and ways to utilise them when working with students, will enable you to build a career that is not only highly rewarding, but also perfectly suited to you and your needs.
Explore the options
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to what an online tutoring role looks like. Tutors may work with students privately, through an agency or provide additional support to students in schools. Furthermore, there are many different options available when it comes to the video conferencing software. There are many online learning platforms or other applications to construct virtual classrooms. Before beginning work as an online tutor, you should take some time to reflect upon the way in which you are looking to work. Discover which technical requirements you have for sharing your expertise to ensure you are able to make choices that reflect your professional aims. You can then offer your students the best possible learning experience.
Fully understand the role
A tutor’s primary responsibility is to support students in achieving their academic or developmental aims. Whilst many teachers do work as tutors, there is no requirement (unless by a specific employer) for a tutor to be a qualified teacher. Therefore, the support that a tutor can provide – particularly when working with a student remotely – is truly unique.
The relationship between a tutor and their students is often highly collaborative, and so it’s perfectly suited to a virtual classroom. When engaging with students here, you are able to act as a coach as you guide your student through their learning. Rather than simply dictating what learning is to be carried out. A good tutor will develop their own skills in order to provide sessions that are engaging and informative. However, you should also ensure that they have a clear understanding of the aims, through consultation with the student and any other invested stakeholders, such as parents or teachers. This is to make certain that the learning experiences you offer are building towards these goals.
Master the technology
Once the virtual classroom has been established, you should consider all of the different ways the technology can be used to enhance the learning experiences you might offer. Whilst those who have more experience working with students in a traditional classroom or face to face, they may initially lack confidence in transferring their skills to online teaching. Take some time to explore all of the possibilities that working with students online presents, you will soon discover new ways to engage students and offer the chance to share knowledge and develop skills in new and exciting ways.
As with tuition in person, a positive working relationship is at the very heart of what makes tutoring such a valuable experience. If a student can see that a tutor is invested and there for them, they are likely to engage with the content of the sessions and work hard to develop their skills. Whilst some may initially worry about how to build this connection remotely, the nature of the online world actually offers an extremely personalised experience. You should aim to use your facial expressions and tone of voice in a manner that captives and grabs the attention of your students. The other features of a virtual classroom includes on-screen chat or interactive whiteboards. This allows both the student and you as the tutor to communicate in different ways to establish a connection that supports the learning process.
Whether you are someone who has already worked with students remotely, or someone looking to begin your career as a tutor, taking time to learn about the different ways a tutor can support a student online and keeping up to date with developments within the industry. As it evolves it will provide you with the knowledge to become a tutor who offers the very best tuition to students. You style reflects who you are and how you want to work.
Written by Rebecca Cracknell, education consultant, and Connex Education Partnership tutor, guest author and writer for our sister company, Thirsty Scholars Partnership. Rebecca has written our recently launched course: How to Tutor Online