Tutors are in high demand nowadays. It is estimated that approximately 95% of students in Singapore have had a tutor at some point. This is not surprising considering that there is a lot of pressure on students to maintain high grades in order to be considered for popular courses in top universities.
It is estimated that the tuition market today is worth approximately $1 billion, so if you are looking for a profession that is in demand and rewarding at the same time, tutoring might be for you. We have an article on 6 reasons why tuition is necessary in Singapore to further elaborate on this.
Of course, not everybody can become a tutor. You need to have relevant education and experience. Below you can see the steps you need to take to embark on this journey.
Related article: MOE Teachers vs Full-time tutors: Which job pays better?
1. You need to graduate from a Junior College or a Polytechnic.
To be able to work with students, you will need to hold at least an A-level certificate or a diploma. Anything less than that and the parents most likely will not consider you as a potential tutor for their child.
University education - If you hold a bachelor's degree from a local university, you will be able to ask for a higher tuition rate.
Individuals who hold a degree in such fields as mathematics, science, and English have bigger leverage when negotiating the price as these subjects are considered to be essential. The better your qualifications, the more money you will make, so do not settle for the bachelor’s degree and go for a Masters or PHD if you can.
2. How to gain the necessary experience for your CV?
If you are new to the field and you have not yet had a chance to gain any relevant experience, it may be hard for you to get assignments because most parents tend to go for experienced tutors. Novices can gain experience by volunteering at various organizations for a period of time.
You can volunteer at non-governmental and non-profit organizations, as well as child-care centers or even churches. These organizations are constantly looking for people who can tutor less privileged students. This is a perfect opportunity for you to do some good for the community and gain tutoring experience at the same time.
3. Show your positive track record.
It is important to show parents that you have a history of helping students improve significantly. Positive feedback from your past students (i.e., recommendation letters) and a demonstration of specific achievements (i.e., student’s improved test scores) will persuade potential clients to pick you from the crowd.
4. Advertise your service and set your rate.
Once you have proved that you have relevant qualifications and a successful track record, you can use this information as leverage to set higher rates. You can also raise your rates if you can prove that your method of teaching secures distinction for students.
In order to reach new clients, you can join tuition agencies or advertise your services on different platforms. But the best way to gain new clients is via word-of-mouth. If you do a good job with one student, they will definitely tell their friends and classmates about it.
At this point, you do not need a special certificate to work as a tutor in Singapore. The majority of tutors come to this profession from various other fields such as education, business, research, accounting, and so on.
However, having an international teaching certificate on your CV may help you stand out from the competition. If you wish to acquire a certificate, make sure that it is given out by an accredited institution.
A few more things to keep in mind before becoming a tutor.
6. You don’t have to be perfect.
By becoming a tutor, you take on a certain responsibility; however, you don’t need to be absolutely perfect. It is more important for you to be passionate about imparting knowledge to your students. So don’t panic if you make a mistake. As time goes by and you gain more experience, you will iron out those small wrinkles in your methodology.
Your students need to trust you!
It doesn’t matter how good your lesson plan is, or how detailed the materials you prepared are if your student doesn’t trust you or has some sort of negative feeling towards you then the tutoring session will not be successful.
So make sure that your students feel comfortable around you. And remember that tutoring is not a one size fits all approach. Each child has different needs, and you need to make adjustments to get through to them.
Patience is the key when you’re working as a private tutor, especially if you’re teaching small children. Some students will acquire new information much faster than others. Rather than getting annoyed at children for not following your schedule, be patient with them, and highlight their achievements to encourage them to push forward. Positive reinforcement will give you better results than punishment. Besides, if the child was not struggling, the parents wouldn’t need to hire a tutor in the first place.
7. What to do during this session?
You should always prepare in advance for each of your tuition sessions. If you are new to this profession, it will take you some time to get the hang of it, but in general, there are some elements that should be included in each of your sessions. Prepare a lesson plan in advance so that you know which topics you will cover. It is also advisable to have some extra materials or notes in case you cover the topics quicker than you planned to.
Choose appropriate assessment books for each of your students. Even if your students are of the same age and in the same class at school, they may require different assessment books depending on their abilities and knowledge.
If you have been hired to help students prepare for the exams, you need to be able to source mock examination papers. You also need to be aware of any relevant changes that have been made in that year’s exam.
Being a tutor in Singapore is certainly no walk in the park; however, it is incredibly rewarding to see one of your students succeed after months of hard work. So if you are the kind of person who enjoys paving the way to success for the next generation, you will certainly enjoy tutoring. Start your tutoring career by joining us today, registration is free.
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