Being a tutor and being a good tutor are two very different things. So how do you make yourself stand out from the rest? Teaching English is an exciting and rewarding career path that allows you to help others gain the foundations of a new language, enter lucrative MBA programs, enhance job opportunities, and grow in their English proficiency.
As a successful English tutor, you can also enjoy the direct benefits of your efforts. English tutors in Canada can earn up to $66,300 per year and the job outlook for English teachers in Canada is good, especially in British Columbia.
There is a fair amount of competition to be an English teacher or English tutor in Canada, with an estimated 50,200, while 53,700 new job seekers through 2028. You can stand out from the crowd and attract a client base using the following seven tips to become a successful English tutor in Canada.
1. Decide which subjects you’d like to tutor.
Now that you've committed to helping students with their studies, it's a good idea to narrow down your client base so that you can become more specialized and offer them a better service. If you’re set on teaching English, you can narrow your offering and cater your services to specific target audiences.
Ask yourself the following questions to narrow your English teaching pursuit:
- Will you teach private school students or public school students or both?
- What age range will you work with?
- What grade level or course will you familiarize yourself with?
- Do you want to teach ESL classes or prepare students for their GMAT?
Teach a subject and group of people that you will enjoy working with. Do you love children? Perhaps you can display past job experience you have caring for younger children and market yourself to parents who are looking for English teachers for their children.
Are you interested in teaching English as a second language? You could gather information about ESL classes and gain an ESOL certification to become a market leader for teaching English to non-English speaking individuals.
Your qualifications will prepare you to work with different demographics and English levels. Research English certifications to better understand the ideal qualifications you will need to achieve your teaching goals.
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2. Familiarize yourself with the curriculum.
The curriculum is the guide to all your teaching materials and the structure and content of the courses you will transmit to your students. Teachers spend half their time preparing course content and reviewing their curriculum to excel in the teaching environment.
Once you have determined who you want to each, you should familiarize yourself with what they want to learn and build a course structure that meets their needs.
Write down your students’ primary needs, the best course structure, when their exams will take place, their strengths and weaknesses within the subject and more. Create a detailed plan around the core subjects you will teach, from foundational English writing exercises to basic conversational English practices.
Should you become certified in order to teach English? Find out more in this article.
3. Establish your own teaching methods.
Every teacher is unique in how they use their job experience, personality, and strengths to convey their teachings. There's no one correct way of being a teacher. Anyone who has worked with children will tell you that you often have to adapt your teaching methods from class to class, from student to student.
Students will respond to you differently and you should be agile to accommodate your students’ individual needs. People learn in different ways. For example, many younger children like to learn through songs, games, and visual imagery. You can amend your teaching methods to fit the class and student you’re interacting with.
Many adults who are learning English for the first time may excel with the help of written documents with translations, auditory tapes, or basic one-on-one conversations. It’s up to you to come prepared with various teaching methods for your diversified set of students and age groups.
The more you teach, the more natural it will come however it is always good to establish your preferred teaching methods before you embark on your tutoring journey.
Find out more about qualifications needed to tutor English.
4. Encourage good communication with students, parents and teachers.
Feedback is one of the most important tools for guiding your students to improve areas of weakness and commend areas of strength. Positive feedback may help students feel motivated and encourage them to continue learning and growing.
The feedback that focuses on areas of improvement is equally helpful and points out where students can concentrate their efforts to become well-rounded English speakers. For example, a student may be extremely proficient when it comes to reading and comprehending English but needs improvement in their conversational language skills.
You can make good communication a habit by scheduling routine meetings with your student or student’s parent to discuss progress and performance. This pre-arranged phone call, email, or in-person meeting can help keep everyone informed about the impact of your private tutoring sessions.
These meetings can also highlight growth opportunities and ways you can amend your teaching style to meet your student’s needs.
Learn more about choosing the right English qualifications.
5. Become a certified tutor.
If you want to gain recognized certifications that will help you market your tutoring services and provide better lessons to your students, join a tutoring association. The Learning Specialists Association of Canada (LSAC) are, “professionals whose work in higher education institutions supports and furthers students, faculty, staff, and administrative goals by providing comprehensive learning development support through a variety of assessments, methods, strategies, and programs that are developed using scholarship, empirical data, practical experience, and sound pedagogy.”
The members of LSAC are starting a conversation about developing a Canadian Tutor Standard. The College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) also offers several certifications for tutors in Canada, including:
- International TUTOR Training Program Certification (ITTPC)
- International PEER EDUCATOR Training Program Certification (IPTPC) (formally known as IMTPC)
Becoming a certified tutor is beneficial to you and your students. According to the CRLA, earning a tutoring certification can help you accomplish the following:
- Certification provides recognition and positive reinforcement for tutors’ and peer educators’ successful work;
- Certification sets professional standards of skill and training for tutors and peer educators.
- Certification increases program credibility for administrators and institutions.
6. Join a tutoring centre.
Working as a sole proprietor involves entrepreneurial initiative. You have to learn how to network, market yourself, and be self-motivated enough to recruit clients. If the process is slow to start, it may beneficial to join a tutoring platform or centre.
Tutoring platforms like Superprof can put you in touch with hundreds of new clients with the click of a button. All you need to do is upload a photo, create a brief biography on your profile, and list the services you offer. It’s that easy!
You can set your own rates, disclose if you teach in-person, remotely, or both, and set yourself as available to get started. There are many benefits to working with a tutoring centre, including:
- Save on marketing costs. Tutoring centres run their own marketing so that teachers and students can find their services online.
- Associate yourself with a credible name. Working on a site that screens your profile will give students peace of mind, rather than posting your services independently online.
- Connect with more students. Tutoring sites already receive traffic from students who have the intention to learn. You can quickly connect with more prospects by joining an existing platform.
See the available English-speaking lessons on Superprof.
7. Be flexible.
Do you want to meet students face-to-face and offer local tutoring in your area or expand your market internationally and teach online? You could also combine both and teach Canadian students in your city as well as international students from across the globe.
If you choose to teach local, you have many questions to ask yourself:
- Will you tutor from your own home?
- Will you travel to your student’s house?
- Will you pay to hire a room?
- Will you work from an unused classroom at a nearby school?
- If you are able to travel, will you add expenses for mileage?
It’s important that you offer your students flexibility. Allow students to select their optimal day and time slot to learn. Many students will be pursuing school or working full-time and the best hours to offer to tutor could be after the typical workday ends.
You can also encourage student enrollment by making your payment plan flexible. Allow students to send online payments and pay as they go, rather than paying a larger upfront fee.
As an English tutor in Canada, you can enjoy the advantages of flexibility. You have the power to create your own work hours, take days off, and work flexible hours throughout the week. Do you want to work longer days and work a four-day week? You can master your own schedule and experience the freedom of flexible work.
Get Started With Superprof
Do you think that teaching English is the right career path for you? You can get started easily by building your profile on Superprof. Superprof hosts thousands of teachers and hosts hundreds of subjects on the platform, from painting and singing to data science and English language lessons.
Every teacher on Superprof is carefully vetted and reviewed before they are able to teach students. After gaining more experience, you can receive reviews and recommendations from former students and build your profile to increase your clientele.
Teaching online has never been more simple. Start your teaching journey today by building a professional profile and help students across the world learn the English language.
We hope this information helps you as you set up as a tutor of English!
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