Physics is an exciting and mentally tasking science course not just for students but even for tutors. Students who are interested in or excel in this thought-provoking course are considered brave, and those who teach it are geniuses.
Physics explains how things in the world around us work. For example, why does the swimming pool seem shallower than it is? How does a light bulb function? Why does a ball drop after being kicked into the sky? How is electricity generated? What is Matter?
It answers all these puzzling questions and forms the basis for several other courses and inventions - old and new. Thus, physics has contributed significantly to technology. Being in a position to answer these questions and impact knowledge on humanity is fulfilling and exciting. But, to answer these questions, you must first learn and understand the answers and the theory surrounding them.
Teaching a science subject like physics is not a day's job because it takes years of determination, passion, and learning. Here, we will discuss what it takes to become a physics tutor. See how to teach science subjects.
What You Need to Become a Physics Tutor
Your job as a physics tutor is to teach students the concepts of physics. This includes the concept of energy, gravity, material force, matter, and other related laws. This can either be taught in group settings or one-on-one sessions either online or physically. However, to do this, there are some basic qualifications you need.
The requirements and qualifications needed for you to become a physics tutor vary. It depends on several factors, such as the type and class of students you want to tutor, the country you intend to tutor, and your intended specialty in physics (the subfields).
As a physics tutor who intends to teach high school students, you will require at least a high school diploma with good grades in physics. However, most times, schools give preference to tutors with a bachelor's degree in physics. So, it is advisable that you also get a bachelor's degree before applying.
To tutor university or college students, you will require more than a high school diploma. It would be best if you had a bachelor's degree and advanced experience in physics. You can also teach specialties in physics if you have a doctorate or master's degree.
Such higher degrees open you to more opportunities beyond teaching high school students and undergraduates. It allows you to tutor a selected few in professional schools. This includes people who also want to specialize in or gain more knowledge in your area of expertise, which ultimately increases your earning potential.
In Canada, teaching certification is usually required. Different provinces have their teaching boards, and if you want to work there, you need to take specific exams to obtain your teaching certificate.
Tutoring organizations and platforms usually require a bachelor's degree and some teaching experience to register and teach with them. However, prior teaching experience is not always compulsory. Degrees and teaching experience in other related courses such as mathematics, engineering, etc., are also beneficial in your journey to becoming a physics tutor.
Essential Qualities Every Physics Tutor Should Have
Physics is a vast and seemingly difficult subject. Its complex and puzzling concepts, theories, and calculation make it an intimidating subject for most science students and even physics majors. Demystifying these concepts and simplifying their calculations take more than your understanding of it. It takes certain qualities to achieve.
Like every other tutor, physics tutors require some key qualities to effectively share their knowledge in the simplest yet precise way possible. A few of these qualities include:
Anyone who intends to become a teacher requires patience. Given how mental tasking and challenging physics is, physics tutors, top the list of tutors who need the highest level of patience. Patience is crucial because students may not always grasp topics or concepts as fast as you expect them to.
Some students may be quick learners, while some may be slow. This makes it challenging to teach all students at the same pace. Taking time to explain these topics repeatedly and helping your students understand them in-depth despite their learning abilities requires unwavering patience.
For first-time tutors, this may be hard. But, as your experience increases, so does your patience level.
Good communication skills
The multiplex nature of physics requires that you communicate in the best way possible while teaching. Good communication skills are necessary for imparting knowledge simply and understandably. Misinformation resulting from bad communication skills can result in poor understanding, confusing concepts, and a faulty learning foundation.
As a tutor, you should assess your student(s) to determine the best way to communicate and impact knowledge. Assessment should be based on their education level, method of learning, and individual learning pace. For example, the way you communicate with a high school student varies from how you would with an undergraduate. This goes beyond oral communication; written communication is also highly important.
Experience and knowledge
Experience teaches you how to handle students and quickly identify their learning peculiarities. If you are new to the teaching profession, this shouldn't bother you. You can gain some experience through volunteer jobs, online tutoring platforms, etc.
Teaching and knowledge go hand-in-hand. The primary factor that qualifies you as a physics teacher is your knowledge. However, this doesn't apply only to theoretical knowledge. Good knowledge and understanding of physics’ practical and technical aspects enhance your teaching skills as a physics tutor.
This includes laboratory practical, laboratory reports, and other related topics.
Some other key qualities of a physics tutor include attention to detail, passion, adaptability, resilience, strategic planning, creativity, organization, etc.
What is Your Job as a Physics Tutor?
Your job as a physics tutor isn't just teaching; it entails more. However, the nature of your job depends on the institution or platform where you work. Some of your responsibilities as a physics tutor include:
- Developing and delivering a lesson outline - for the session or a specific topic
- Ensuring decorum and discipline among students.
- Developing an effective teaching strategy depending on the learning ability and pace of your student(s).
- Giving an assessment of quizzes or tests, homework, exams, projects, and other student activities.
- Working hand-in-hand with other teachers, academic administrators, and guardians or parents to secure good educational performance of students.
- Keeping up-to-date with recent physics-related concepts, theories, and knowledge.
- Keeping track of new educational methods and implementing them.
- Ascertaining that your student(s) achieves the school or state curriculum goals provided or completely understands the topic or concepts (private tutoring).
Where Can You Tutor as a Physics Teacher?
You have numerous teaching opportunities. The need and study of science and the discovery of inventions are on the rise, so is the need for physics tutors. Where you decide to tutor depends on you. Generally, you can tutor in:
There will always be science students; thus, the need for physics tutors will continue to increase. You can tutor high school students either in public or private schools. As mentioned earlier, the basic requirement for this is a high school diploma.
Colleges or universities
With a bachelor's degree, doctorate, or master's degree, you can teach undergraduates in colleges or universities. While teaching in these schools, you can also perform physics-related research, write and publish academic papers and books.
A master's or doctorate degree in physics subfields allows you to teach in professional schools where you share specific knowledge and teach advanced physics.
Online tutoring platforms
If you don't want to work as a conventional physics teacher or if you need a source of extra income, you can register with online tutoring platforms - this is where we come in. At Superprof, we connect you with students locally or anywhere across the world virtually from the comfort of your home to teach science subjects.
You can either hold one-on-one sessions online or teach multiple students at once. You can also arrange with your students who live within your local area to organize private physical classes. Superprof helps you to become a private tutor with ease.
Other Job Opportunities for Physics Tutors
In addition to tutoring, there are other job opportunities for you as a physics tutor. As you move up the career ladder and gain more certification or education, you can easily delve into these job opportunities which include:
- Academic Advisors
- School principal
- Assistant principal
- Education consultant
- Educational administrator
- Instructional coordinator
- Education policy analyst
- Lab technician or manager
Outside the education sector, physics tutors can also take career paths as data analysts, laser engineers, IT consultants, systems analysts, accelerator operators, and several others.
The career path you decide to take depends on your career goals. You can either start and finish as a physics tutor or venture into something different in or outside the educational sector.
To start your journey as a physics tutor, register with Superprof today!