“Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.” - Dalai Lama XIV

Like children and teenagers, adults also need training in any given subject or interest,  perhaps even for personal professional goals, more and more adults are looking to private tutors to help them further their education, knowledge, training and skills.

In recent years, the private tutoring market globally has increased and is expected to continue to rise as demand for private tutors grow with the ever changing competitive economic climate.  Adults are also increasingly hiring private tutors to increase their knowledge in a particular field, teach them new skills at work,  or to help improve their job prospects, and also for the pleasure of discovering a new hobby or interest.

Adult Education And the Private Tutor

There are a number of different ways in which you can become a private tutor for adults depending on your education and experience.   One of the best ways to work in private tutoring, is as a freelancer.

We will also look specifically at tutoring adults, the reasons why some would prefer to tutor adults instead of children,  the role experience plays, how you can find students, and lastly the pros and cons of teaching adults as a freelance private tutor.

Why Choose To Teach Adults As A Private Tutor?

Teaching adults as a freelance private tutor can be a richly challenging and rewarding career or  profession. Given a great enthusiasm for teaching, good sound knowledge and education, teaching approaches and methodologies, and of course professional experience, these are all important factors to consider but you will still need to understand what really draws adults to the learning experience and their motivations.

What are the benefits of studying as an adult?
Adults can be more focused learners than children enabling their tutors to teach more. (Source: Pexels)

It's important to remember that  freelancing doesn’t provide as much job security as a steady teaching job, so you have to be highly motivated with a good knowledge of teaching resources.

In fact, success in becoming a private tutor depends on the tutors motivation and commitment.  The desire and motivation to share your knowledge and skills is important when deciding to take on this job or career.   Teaching adults as a private tutor is effectively providing adult learners with new knowledge, or professional skills, but can also be about inspiring a greater passion for a new interest or hobby, like guitar,  for the aspiring adult learner.

Private tutors should also be confident to be most effective, whether in or out of the classroom. It's also important to ensure that you provide instruction in a good learning environment.  Confidence in ones own teaching ability and style depends on ones experience and education, and it takes a certain type of individual  to work for themselves as a freelance private tutor.  Of course as you gain more experience and reputation in private tutoring,  as in any business it may take time but your confidence will also grow.

How to Become a private tutor for adults?

Like all freelancers, you need to create and find your own work, but you no longer need to be employed within one organisation.  As a freelancer you will need to make sure you file your federal income taxes appropriately.

However, in order to succeed and ensure your business can last, you must be a credible tutor with a good knowledge of and some experience in your subject, and how you plan to teach it Especially if you choose to tutor adults, you must have greater knowledge and experience than those you will be tutoring, for they will be looking to you to further expand their knowledge and skills.  Your lessons should be instructional,  comprehensive, and provide a learning experience that keeps your adult learners happy and motivated.

It is also equally important to encourage adults as they learn new tasks,  making sure you take into account the different learning styles of adults opposed to children. Developing and organising the lesson plans are going to be different for adults than for children.  Adults who are in a continuing education course requires you provide knowledge and guidance to students who have already developed critical problem-solving skills, who understand why they're being taught and have chosen to be in the course for the most part, and who have the benefit of life experience that they can use in their learning process.  Therefore, teaching adults may require a different set of methodologies and approaches more complex, comprehensive and motivating on a different level  to teaching children.

Additionally, the instructor or tutor will need to create their own curriculum in some cases. If an adult student isn't studying for a particular exam,  the learning process can be more informal, and you can draw on the student's, as well as the instructors life experiences. Designing the type of activities or lessons, applied to the student's own life can also be rewarding and transformative,  like teaching them a new instrument or art form like painting,  creative writing or even a greater understanding of Mathematics or Accounting and Finance, whatever their need may be!

Teaching Adults: Experience

You need to be motivated in order to become a freelance private tutor for adults. 

However, it also requires a lot of experience since it is highly probable that you’ll be teaching professionals about a subject or skills that they may already have some knowledge or experience in.

Which teaching approaches should you use with adults?
Adults also benefit from lessons that are fun and engaging. (Source: Pexels)

Learning with a private tutor for adults is a great way for them to improve, get training in skills they’re interested in, or learn a new professional skills and improving their confidence. Getting training for a new project is an interesting endeavour and you could be the tutor responsible to help the organisation manage it. 

A freelance private tutor for adults is a trained teacher with the experience and knowledge, to get the most out of enthusiastic students highly motivated to learn new skills. However, being a freelancer isn’t all fun and games! While you’re freer and have greater flexility in some ways, you’re more constrained in others.

Being a Freelance Private Tutor for Adults

While becoming a freelance private tutor for adults is a great way to start teaching others, there are many advantages to doing so but also some disadvantages, and necessary to know exactly what you’re in for before you take the plunge!

What are the most effective teaching strategies to use with adults?
You need to adapt your methodologies and approaches when teaching adults  (Source: eldewsio)

Advantages of Freelancing

Working as a freelancer comes with a lot of freedom and flexibility, allowing a tutor to manage their own timetable. Freelancing does allow some flexibility enabling the tutor to take holidays with some careful planning and organisation with their students. Being able to work independent of an organisations agenda and timetable is why freelancing is becoming more popular in many different lines of work and professions.

While there are plenty of professional qualifications,  no particular qualification is needed in order to teach adults. The greater your education, knowledge, experience and skill that you will be offering as a tutor, the greater your advantages in becoming a successful freelancer, and as you gain more experience the more secure your career becomes.  You can in fact create your own profession and prove its validity with the quality and reputation of your work as a tutor.

In addition, you can set up your schedule as you see fit and choose what kind of work you want along with this greater flexibility. You will have the option to teach part-time, on weekends, after work hours, during work hours at your potential students offices, one on one or perhaps group adult course within a company, the possibilities are numerous.   If you want you can adapt your teaching to recently-graduated students, or mid level managers, organisations for employee courses, you can potentially structure your own career however way you envision it for yourself!  Independence, greater flexibility and being able to manage your own timetable, is at the heart of being a freelancer!  Working for yourself is a great reward and motivation for many aspiring private tutors!

Disadvantages of Freelancing

Every job or career, has its advantages and disadvantages and tutoring is no exception.  there are certainly some disadvantages that require some consideration. 

What are the disadvantages of teaching adults?
The goal of a tutor is to also provide students the right tools to teach themselves. (Source: stux)

Financially, you may have less job security than a regular salary working for a school or company provides, and this can be a great source of stress for freelancers. Although you may be able to manage your time proactively and effectively, you are not always guaranteed to have work to schedule as you desire. 

Teaching adults also requires a higher degree of knowledge and expertise depending on what and who you are tutoring.

Although you are completely independent as a freelancer, with no obligations to a particular company, individual or organisation, this also means that you’re not always guaranteed customers or students.

So teaching adults is an option and private tutoring isn’t just for children.  As a freelancer, a tutor does get to choose what you teach, who you teach, and where you teach!

If you are ready to go, you just need to create your profile on Superprof and start offering tutorials to potential students. You can either teach individual private tutorials, online tutorials via webcam, or group tutorials to multiple students at once. The possibilities are endless!

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Yvette is a freelance Canadian writer living in Paris. She spends her time between Toronto and Paris and likes to travel and learn. She's the proud mom of two strong minded women and enjoys her free time giving back to her communities.