Becoming a private tutor and giving face-to-face lessons to is not the same thing as teaching a school curriculum or a university course. While tutoring is not necessarily complicated, it does require certain skills. It’s important to bear in mind that the teaching methods are not all the same for every student. Private tutors provide a service: they work for their students and must adapt their teaching methods in the best way to meet their student’s needs. 

The same is true whether you’re a Math tutor, English tutor or even a music instructor. There is a difference between teaching high school curriculum, a university course, or giving private lessons

While all jobs require you to be professional, hard-working and a good communicator, private tutoring requires you to be like an academic coach and adapt your teaching style to your students, rather than just giving lectures. 

Whether your student is successful will depend on your student’s willingness to learn and how well you are able to motivate them. So are you ready to learn how to plan tailor made classes for each of your students? 

This article will help you to learn how to plan your own tailor-made lessons for each of your students. 

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Accommodating your Lessons: A Guide for private tutors 

In the traditional education system, every teacher is obliged to follow a set curriculum and finish it before the end of the year. While teachers aim to adapt their classes to the majority of students in the class, this system doesn’t always account for each individual students strengths and weaknesses.

How do I advertise one on one classes?
A sign saying “this way to a private French tutor” is not enough any more.

For those with higher aptitude in a particular subject, the classes may not be challenging enough. For others, the pace of learning may be too fast and they can risk feeling left behind and losing their motivation. 

Many students are too embarrassed to ask for help or to bring up any issues they are having in school. Students may then feel unmotivated and risk achieving low grades because their classes are not well suited to their personal learning needs.  

If you want to become a private tutor, one thing you have to be able to do is to adapt your lessons to your students. This is surely one of the best ways you can find a private tutoring job in Canada. 

How to deal with one-on-one private tutoring and online lessons ?
The best advice to teach effectively.

Accommodating to your students needs is one of the most important qualities of being a private tutor and helping your students succeed and overcome their learning difficulties.

Whether you are teaching math, english, science or music, tailoring your classes to your individual students’ needs are essential in order to: 

  • Becoming one of the best tutors
  • Maintaining a long-term relationship with your students
  • Building your student base: if your student is successful, their parents could refer you to other potential customers.
  • Providing an excellent service and helping your students succeed
  • Getting the most out of your tutoring sessions Rather than giving the same lessons each time, it’s more interesting to create a unique lesson plan and keep things interesting for you and the student.

Once you have written your own personal tutoring ad that will help you to find students, it’s time to take your first step to become a tutor and start giving private tutoring lessons.

Find out more about how to create the perfect tutoring ad to advertise your teaching services.

Why you should give Pre-course interviews before you become a tutor

By setting up an interview with a potential student before agreeing to future classes, you can better understand their needs and this will help you to  develop a study plan.

The interview does not have to be a formal lesson (less than an hour would surely be enough time), but it can allow you to get to know the student better. Below are some tips to prepare for the interview: 

  • Discuss the student’s needs in the subject you will be teaching: what does the student find challenging about a particular subject? What would they like to improve? Would they be interested in online tutoring
  • Ask the student to share the work they have been doing in a particular subject: have a look through past tests, homework and assignments. Try to identify any difficulties they have been having and where they can make improvements 
  • Evaluate your student: you can ask your student to answer some questions or prepare a practice test. Explain to your student that the test is not a marked assignment, but it will help you to better evaluate them and their needs. 

Once you’ve gone through the interview, you might want to think about the best place to hold your tutoring lessons. 

How can I improve a student's progress with one on one tutoring?
Going over marked exams can be useful for improving and monitoring the child’s progress in school.
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Involving Parents in your tutoring lessons

 Usually parents are the first point of contact for a tutor or tutoring company when their child is having difficulty and struggling at school.   In order to best understand your students’ needs, It’s important to communicate as much as possible with the parents. It is the students parents who can best tell you about their child’s strengths and weaknesses and address any issues they are having at school.


Should I work with my student's parents for peer to peer tutoring?
Working hand in hand with the student’s parents can make them advance more quickly!

It could also be a good idea to involve the student’s parents in the pre-course interview with the student: 

  • Address the learning needs of the student
  • Explain your teaching style and how you plan to tailor your lessons to the student’s needs
  • Encourage your students and reassure them of their ability to succeed
  • Get feedback from your student and their parents. This will help you better plan your tutoring sessions and help your student to feel more involved.

The ability to adapt to your student’s needs is just one of the most important qualities that make a good private tutor.

Private tutoring: how to address a student’s strengths and weaknesses 

By identifying your student’s strengths and weaknesses you can better tailor your lessons to suit their learning needs. 

How do I customise one on one classes for my students?
Just like a tailor measures their customers to make a suit, you should measure your student’s abilities in order to provide classes adapted to their learning!

 To identify where a student may need more help, use of practice questions and tests can identify where your student may need additional help. It’s important to keep your student motivated, so make sure to also include questions that you know they can also excel at. 

As a private tutor it’s important to sometimes think outside of the box! If you are a language private tutor, encourage your students to read books and magazines, or watch films to help them learn other than from a textbook, this would make learning more fun and motivating.  if you are private tutoring in Spanish, you could encourage your student to learn new vocabulary in series such as Pablo Escobar and Narcos! 

 One of the secrets to being an excellent private tutor is to adapt your lessons and encourage and develop a curiosity for the subject outside of the a formal textbook. 

Tutoring Jobs at Home: Ensuring Long-term Sustainability

One of your main objectives as a tutor may be to teach your students over a long period of time, rather than regularly changing students. This way you can develop a relationship with your students and oversee their growth and development, through primary school, test preparation, high school and on to university and college applications! 

What are the advantages of developing a long-term relationship with your students? 

  • Greater productivity- you won’t lose time searching for new students
  • A sense of pride: by accompanying your student throughout different stages of their life, you’ll feel a sense of pride in helping them achieve their learning goals. You’ll also be able to get great testimonials! 
  • A good relationship with your student: you’ll get to know your student well and their learning styles, so you’ll be able to tailor your lessons to suit their needs

In summary, 

  • The key to success for private tutoring is tailor made tutors! Whether you are giving tutoring lessons in person or online, tailoring your lessons is essential. 
  • Identifying a student’s strengths and weaknesses before starting regular tutoring sessions is a great way to plan your lessons beforehand. By giving a preliminary interview where you assess the student’s learning needs, this will help you to set goals and a lesson plan for your students. 
  • Good communication with a student’s parents can also help you to better determine the students’ needs and help ensure their success! 
  • When possible, aim to maintain a long-term relationship with your students 

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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.