Private tutoring is one of the oldest professions there is, but thanks to an ever-changing curriculum, new technologies, and a constant quest for better results, keeping up-to-date has never been harder. That’s why we’ve compiled a handy list of ways to stay at the cutting edge of your industry.
For any tutor, making sure you are teaching the right materials is vital. However, for those not regularly teaching in a school, finding out how curriculum changes affect you can be tough. In the past year alone there have been major changes to A-Levels and GCSEs, with further changes scheduled for 2016. The government does a reasonable job of recording major changes on their National Curriculum portal, but websites such as SchoolZone present these changes in a more easily digestible format.
Try to pick literature and use resources with minimum gender bias. So many books, including exercise books with examples, refer to doctors being male or women being nurses, for example. By exposing children to resources and examples that show female engineers, male nurses or female pilots, you are helping to address unconscious bias and diversity issues."
Kerrine Bryan, Director and Author @ ButterflyBooks
People use social media for a reason: it’s a great way to stay informed about what people are talking about. If you have an existing tuition business, setting up a Facebook page lets you hear from your own clients and respond to their questions and feedback.
The blogosphere contains a wealth of information on every topic imaginable, and tuition is no different. Following blogs such as the Tutorful blog are of course a must, but smaller, less well known bloggers can often be a goldmine for useful information on more niche topics.
The best way to stay current with new technologies is to try them out first hand. The two technologies making waves today are online tutoring and interactive resources.
Online tutoring can be a great way to teach students who may live too far away to travel personally, and you can get started with little more than a Skype account. Similarly, there are dozens of free resources online that can compliment one-to-one tuition. Khan Academy allows tutors to set homework for their pupils, and track their progress over time. Similarly, TES has an exhaustive list of resources for teachers and tutors, covering everything from creative exercises to practice exams.
For those who like to travel, going to tuition industry conferences and events can be a great way to hear from those at the cutting edge of the tutoring industry, and also gives you an opportunity to mingle with like-minded professionals. The National Tutoring Conference is the UK’s premier tutoring event, with talks on topics such as “The Rise of Tuition Centres” and “The Internationalisation of the tutoring market”.
Scouring through dozens of blogs and online newspapers can be time consuming, especially if you’re only interested in one or two topics. Instead, try out Google Alerts. This is a handy little tool that tells you every time certain keywords are mentioned in news articles or forums on the web. So if you’re interested in “GCSE Maths Results”, set up an alert for that term and Google will keep you informed of all the relevant articles that mention those terms.
What better way to keep up with what’s going on than to hear it from parents directly. The forums on sites such as mumsnet and netmums regularly host discussions from parents. You can browse through, or if you feel like you have something to contribute then you can get involved directly.
Scott Woodley, Co-founder of Tutorful
Scott is a fully qualified primary school teacher who left teaching to set up Tutorful, a site which helps parents and learners find the right tutor for them.
If you are looking to become a tutor, you can easily create a profile with Tutorful. You can set your own price, offer online or face-to-face tuition and begin building your rewarding career in no time.