Now that you have chosen a career as an English tutor, your next step is getting the qualifications that will make you eligible to teach. If you're currently qualified to teach, your next plan is how to find students to teach.

One of the easiest ways is by working in a school. Many teachers opt for the school option because it allows them access to students without stress. The school does all the work needed to get students, and teachers are assigned to a specific classroom. As an English teacher that's already working in a school, all you have to do is to plan for your lessons and deliver it to your students.

However, once you leave the school environment, and you're interested in finding tutoring jobs yourself, that's when you have to worry about finding students. When you start working as a private teacher, there are two main ways of finding students:

  • You can find students for English teachers online, which requires you to take lessons over the internet.
  • You can get students to teach offline. In essence, you'll take your lessons in person.

Before we discuss how you can find online English teaching jobs, let's discuss how you can find students outside of the school experience.

Get to know all about English teaching jobs

Finding Students To Teach During School Breaks and Holidays

Many teachers that offer their teaching services in a school are usually free during school breaks or general holidays. If you're one of the teachers interested in making extra money outside of your school classroom, then you can consider teaching students during the school breaks. Here's how you can get students outside of school activities:

  • Advertise your after-school lessons to your existing students. This is one of the best ways you can get a class outside of your learning institution.  Start the conversation when it's close to the end of the academic session.  In your classroom, tell your pupils you'd be taking lessons over the break, and if any student wants to take extra lessons or would like to cover the syllabus before the new class, you're happy to help. You can also tell your learners to spread to word everyone outside of their class.
  • Spread the message. Outside of your classroom, talk to family members, friends and other associates that have learners that may be interested in holiday lessons. You never can tell, your friends can have other friends who are parents to young learners, and are interested in finding a private teacher for holiday lessons. In any case, don't forget to compile your teaching profile, so that you can be ready to show parents before they hire you for home lessons.
  • Showcase yourself online. Use your social media platforms to reach to a wider audience. Don't forget to explicitly showcase your teaching profile, what your lessons entail and what your learners will acquire during the lesson. Get your friends and followers to help you retweet, repost or share.
  • Print and distribute pamphlets. As a proud teacher offering the best English lessons for learners, don't be afraid to showcase your services via pamphlets. Paste them at hotspots and share with friends and family.
  • Talk to other teachers. From your work colleagues to other teachers outside of your learning institution, tell them about your intent to pass new learning skills to learners during the break. Based on your education experience/expertise, teachers can recommend your lesson to their learners as well.

Learn about your salary and how to set rates as an English teacher

english lessons on social media
Social media exposes you to students interested in your lesson. Photo Credit: Unsplash

Following these available steps will help you find pupils interested in learning during the break.

You can also use these availabe tips if you want to quit your job as an English teacher in a learning institution, and begin your new career as a privte teacher. Being a private English language teacher has a lot of advantages if you know how to find the right student clients.

If you're an English teacher that falls under this category, then you should also consider getting a TEFL certification which can help you access a wide range of ESL pupils interested in taking TEFL courses.

Join A Learning Centre

If this first option is too much work for you, consider joining a lesson centre, or start a teaching centre with a friend. There are several opportunities for English teachers, so you can choose your lesson option from the variety of options available.  You can also work with a class level that will bring you a lot more students. For example, the primary education level and the secondary education level tend to offer more students than the university education level.

Provide Specialised Teaching Skills For Standardized Tests

Years before now,  and years from now, many pupils will take standardized tests. In Nigeria, the 9 years Basic Education Curriculum (Basic 1-9) is divided into three basic components:

  • Lower Basic Education Curriculum for primary 1-3 (age 6-8 years) (grade 1 - 3)
  • Middle Basic Education Curriculum for primary 4-6 (age 9-11) (grade 4- 6)
  • Upper Basic Education Curriculum of Junior Secondary School(JSS) 1-3(age 12-14)  (grade 7-9)

For example, the grade 6 student would need an English teacher to help them prepare for the upcoming Common Entrance exam. While the student in grade 9 would need to study for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE). The senior secondary level learners might require more than just their classroom education to ace their SSCE, JAMB and post-UTME exams. Having experience in this field allows you to access more learners looking for qualified instructors.

You will also come across an ESL student that would love to have a TEFL certification or a student that wants to take TOEFL exams. If you prove that you have experience in these education fields, you can mentor them before their exams. It means training them at home, offering a prepclass lesson, helping them read, study and learn topics that can aid their learning experience and assist them in passing their exams.

Offering your English Language knowledge and teaching experience for their English study will not only help boost your skills but will provide you with the publicity you need to get more pupils. Ensure that as you help each student improve how they read, study or learn their English course, they give reviews and act as referees for your teaching profile.

Check how our tips on organising lessons for each level.

online english lessons
There are several ways English teachers can make money online. Photo Credit: Unsplash

Students For English Teachers: Finding Students For Online Sessions

Apart from teaching pupils English language sessions from home, you have the option of online lessons. The online experience allows you to access a variety of learners all over the world; from ESL pupils to external candidates. Not only does the online experience break the barrier of distance, but it can also be cost-effective since you'll save a lot of transport money.

Online based sessions are so flexible (because you're basically working from the comfort of your home)  and are one of the easiest ways an English teacher can make money. Although growing your reputation requires some patience, but once you become a professional approved online tutor,  it becomes seamless to teach English online. 

Here are ways of finding new pupils to teach:

  • You'll need to sign up to freelancing sites like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, etc. To get the clients you want, ensure you have a juicy profile. Talk about your working experience, take the tests available on the sites and display your scores as a way of proving your proficiency.
  • If you want freelance sites dedicated to just teaching, which will help improve your visibility and they will handle the advertisement, consider signing up with Superprof.  It is completely free to sign up and no commission is taken. All you need do is to make out time to create a professional and trustworthy portfolio. You can also get your former pupils to give reviews about your class activities. To attract more pupils, offer the first hour of your English language lesson for free. A lot of Nigerian parents get attracted to this free session because it allows them to assess your tutorials. On the other hand, you're passing a message that they can entrust you with the learning success of their children. The platform allows you the option of choosing to teach offline (face to face home lessons), online tutoring via webcam or both.
  • Based on the information above, emphasize on your English teaching speciality. Do you have certifications? Is there a special tutoring method that you're certain will attract student clients? Add it!
  • Set your initial rates lower. You can use this to attract more pupils to yourself. It will also give you enough time to accumulate more students to help grow your expertise years and boost your private tutoring career.

Find out how to train dyslexic students

Quick Tips For Online Tutoring

Online tutoring, especially since the era of COVID-19 in Nigeria has become a lot more rampant. To make more money, you can set up a passive income system for yourself. Although you need to put in a lot of work, once you get recognition, you wouldn't have to stress as much.

You can also create a Youtube page where you share information about English courses. You should have a following of trainees before opening your channel.

Youtube English sessions
Having a youtube channel can make you extra money and help you reach millions of pupils worldwide. Photo Credit: Unsplash

In any case, don't forget to promote yourself on your social media platforms, along with other products and services that you're offering.  Also, pay attention to the type of contents you're creating. The more unique your tutoring methods, the higher chances of getting clients who would like to use your services or the products you're offering.


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