To become a highly sought out tutor in your area and niche, different skill sets are needed in combination with technical skills in the subject/subject area in which you specializes in. It is important that you have both soft and hard skills for you to stand out among your contemporaries in your area of speciality.
Most tutors often mistake having technical skills or holding a degree in a given subject as the surest way of becoming an expert in that area of study.
Obviously, that is a misconception.
As a good tutor, it is expected that you have other human relation skills and communication skills to enable you to impact positively to your potential students.
Whether as an in-home or online tutor, the quality of a teacher has either a positive or negative effect on the academic success of the student.
This is why it is important to acquire the necessary skills needed to become a private teacher in Nigeria.
Qualities of Every Good Private Tutor
The private tuition industry in Nigeria is now booming as more people tend to get involved in the field of in-home and online tutoring jobs. In recent years, there has been a sharp rise in the number of student/pupils who are willing to pay for the services of a private tutor.
In fact, some rich people in Nigeria now prefer having a full time live-in private tuition to public or private schools.
To be an effective private teacher that can motivate and make a student successful, one must possess the following qualities.
One important quality that distinguishes a private tutor from teachers in most public/private schools is the never give up attitude that they are expected to have toward their students.
- Maturity and Morality
Another important quality that a private tutor must have is to be emotionally matured. Emotional maturity is an important quality for obvious reasons. Parents would not trust their kids with you if you are impolite, talk about inappropriate things (sexual exploits), cannot pay attention, tell rude jokes or laugh inappropriately.
Avoid touching your students as far as it is possible, winking at the student, hugging or even kissing the students. These are unethical behaviour that should totally be avoided. If you are by chance engaged in theses immoral acts, the chances are that you will be fired and be left with a bad review.
Remember that maturity is not a function of age but how you carry yourself.
- Ability to put the students at ease
You need to have the ability to put people around you at ease. For the students to be able to learn from you, they must be comfortable sitting around you. Most private tutors seem to act like drill sergeants making the students feel so unequal with them. Learn to maintain a positive and friendly environment yet in a professional way.
- Proper Hygiene
Maintain good and proper hygiene at all time when going to meet your students or clients. If your French teacher has a breath smelling like French onions, I’m sure that the French class won't last for long. When you look unkempt, smell bad, or lack proper oral hygiene, be rest assured that you won’t get many or any student.
Remember that if you stink (literally), no one will want to stay close to you for a very long time.
- Good Listening Skills
As an excellent tutor, there is a need to develop a good listening skill. There is a need for you to understand before you are understood. A good tutor should endeavour to listen carefully to parents, and students need to enable them to discharge their duties effectively.
- Good Communication Skills
Any great tutor should be an excellent communicator. You must not necessarily be an orator, but you need to know how to convey information to your students without watering down the original concept.
It is important as a private tutor to take the issue of punctuality seriously. Perpetual late coming can strain their relationship with the clients and might even lead to the termination of the contract. If you stay in cities like Lagos, it is understandable that traffic might disturb you most times, but to help you to keep to your appointment, give yourself a little extra time for moving to your teaching destination.
Personal Qualities That Can Make or Break A Tutor
Being a private tutor requires you to have a certain level of expertise, experience and human qualities. These are what qualify you as a good and professional private tutor. In considering to take up a career as a personal tutoring job, you must ask yourself if you have the needed qualities that will help you model the lives of your prospective students both academically and morally.
Some of these qualities that can either break or make you as a private tutor includes
- A natural love for teaching and helping people to learn a need skill at various level
- A great passion and aptitude for the subject matter
- Creativity in planning your lessons and implementing your teaching jobs methodology
- Flair, Perseverance and enthusiasm
- Patients and empathy
- Deep intuition to seek out underlying causes of your tutees
It is, therefore, necessary as a tutor to increase their thirst for knowledge by ensuring that they deploy all the needed resources in ensuring that proper education is met with a reinforced positivity.
With these personal qualities, you can ascertain if the students are disadvantaged socially as a result of one or more disability, suffering from peer bullying or economically disadvantaged.
Your enthusiasm and positive attitude, coupled with your very human qualities of empathy and understanding, is the one-two punch that will kick your tutoring jobs into high gear.
Tutoring Jobs and Learning Styles
As a professional tutor, it is important to understand that students learn in different ways. Some learn better by seeing, touching, hearing or by reasoning. A good tutor should have the ability to create individualized methods of teaching which should be tailored specifically to the target students needs.
To create this rapport with each student, it’s important to understand the peculiarities of each of the student’s temperaments, likes and dislike as it relates to the subject in question.
To tailor your teaching styles to these students needs requires you to consist of an initial interview of the intake. Jumping straight into the class without exchanging of ideas by both parties would amount to an effort in futility.
It's therefore essential to pay attention to every detail during each session which will give you a clue to the students preferred learning routes.
Details that you need to determine before commencing the class should include knowledge of the student's emotional temperature (is s/he nervous, eager to learn, upset or depressed?). All these will help you to model your teaching methodology to suit the tutorial sessions.
Possession of these qualities and the ability helps to boost the student's grades and help to improve their learning skills in an easy and positive environment.
Remember to avoid any action that could lead to poor feedback, such as negative reviews that could destroy your business.
Tailor-Made Programmes for Home Tutoring Services
In carrying out your tutoring services as a private tutor in Nigeria, several factors should be put into consideration. Some of these include
- The Student Academic Level: A private tutor for either a home or online classes should understand that the academic level of different students differs. The styles to use to teach a secondary school student preparing for their WAEC examination should differ from an undergraduate medical student preparing for their Medicinae Baccalaureus (Bachelor of Medicine) examination.
- Students Personality Adaptation: Remember to adapt the programs and academic teaching styles to the student’s personality. Ensure that you have established a clear methodology that is adjustable to the personalities of the students that are sitting in front of you. Remember that you can always change your methodology as the tutorials advanced.
- Adjust your teaching rhythm: Make sure that the teaching rhythms are adapted according to the learning circumstances. The teaching method for a student needing help to write their homework will differ from another student that needs helps for their test preparation to pass an examination.
Ensure that you learn how to juggle between different learning phases which make up the students knowledge base, the revision phase before they take part in their final examination.
Do Qualifications Hinder you from becoming a Private Tutor?
In Nigeria presently, there are no legal requirements for one to become a tutor. Of course, to decide whether you're fit in to teach any subject(s), it is important that you are passionate about the teaching profession and having common sense.
Therefore, tutoring skills are important as much as an academic qualification or knowledge about the subject you intend to teach.
To help the tutor standout in the absent of academic qualifications, you must ask yourself these questions that your prospective clients might ask you during the interview session.
These questions include
- What skills and qualities make you ideal to be a private educator?
- What highest level are you comfortable to teach in relation to your skills and qualifications?
- What is your previous teaching experience with respect to the subject in question?
Understanding your skill level will help you to understand your suitability for the tutoring job and to help you to market your skills.
Standing out as a Superprof Tutor
Breaking into the tutoring market and understanding all the tips and best practices might seem like jumping headlong into the field of tutoring, and that can be a daunting task.
That is why the Superprof Platform is there to make the task easy and effortless for you.
The platform is an online website that helps to connect students to professional and verified tutors by providing each of the tutors with a verified profile page.
On the profile page, you are offered the opportunity to discuss your teaching methodology and experience. The platform allows you to state the amount that you are willing to charge per hour of the teaching of the subjects that you tutor and the grade level.
The platform also offers you the chance to tell the potential clients your preferred tutorial locations (In your house, in their house, online or any other agreed location).
Note that in helping students to improve isn't just a victory for them, it's also a great feeling for their tutor.