Whether you get your news from social media, the dailies or from the telly, you could hardly miss what's now being called the Great Resignation. People are simply tired of working for the benefit of others while gaining very little for themselves.
It seems we're poised on the brink of an economic revolution. Thanks to COVID and the many lockdowns it engendered, workers are no longer willing to return to their old jobs and settle for what's on offer; they want satisfying work that pays a decent wage and leaves them time and energy to explore life and all of its possibilities.
Many such workers have gone into business for themselves. Thanks to the internet, it's now easier than ever to launch oneself into a web-based business.
Perhaps, as they were confined to their homes, they took on some freelance assignments and realised that they could make ends meet without a standard paycheque. Others have availed themselves to MOOCs - massive, open online courses to learn new skills so they can transition into remote work.
Teachers endured baptism by fire. Some (most?) might have never delivered lessons online before. Over the past year, by trial and error, they adapted to the technology used for distance education, doing their best to conduct lessons online.
For the most part, teachers are glad to be back in the classrooms. Some, despite that glee, want to continue their online teaching adventure.
Superprof offers those teachers - and any other skilled, qualified instructor a platform to advertise their services.
Let's find out how that works, shall we?
Becoming a Superprof Tutor
Whether you're a traditional teacher who, over lockdowns, came to appreciate the joys of distance teaching or someone with a non-academic skill who has never before taught anything online, you can become a Superprof tutor after just a few formalities.
You might wonder who we mean by someone with a non-academic skill...
The Superprof tutoring platform started as a way to connect academic tutors with students in need of a mentor. Since then, the range of subjects offered on Superprof has expanded to include any discipline from yoga and personal fitness to hobbies and leisure activities such as sewing, gardening and learning how to play a musical instrument.
You should really check out all the subjects available on Superprof. Fair warning, though: be prepared for amazement. Virtually any skill that can be taught, there's a Superprof who teaches it.
What that means is even if Maths, English or Science aren't your forte - but maybe Pilates, Zumba or weightlifting is, there's a place for you at Superprof.
The Superprof profile includes those with years of experience in their field as well as students still enrolled at university who want to earn a bit of cash to see them through their last years of formal education. Superprofs can also be exceptionally talented bakers and chefs, tailors and dressmakers with years of experience and artists who have found a measure of success exhibiting their artwork.
Obviously, the more experience you have and the higher your credentials, the more sought-after you will be. But you don't have to hold a PhD in art history to teach art or history. Once word gets out about the calibre of your lessons via your students' testimonials, other learners will beat a path to your... page.
There are a couple of administrative matters you need to address before becoming a Superprof tutor.
The first is registering yourself as a sole trader with Her Majesty's Royal Customs (HMRC). As you are in business for yourself - Superprof only provides the platform for you to advertise your tutoring business, it's your responsibility to pay any taxes owed on the money you earn as a tutor.
Also, though it's not required, you should submit to a Disclosure and Barring Service check.
As a tutor, you have a duty of care over all of your students. If you aim to tutor children - with or without special needs, or adults on the autism spectrum... anyone with any type of 'other-ability', you should prove that you are aboveboard and that your clients risk no harm in your presence.
Even if you only plan to tutor adult learners who are not other-abled, it's a good idea to show your DBS certification. It's just one more indicator of your good character and openness.
Establishing Your Profile
As mentioned above, the more detailed and informative your Superprof profile is, the more likely prospective clients are to select you for their supplemental learning needs.
Uploading a picture is a great place to start. Did you know that profile pages are more than 20 times more likely to be viewed if they feature a photo?
Ideally, your profile photo would clearly show your smiling face, possibly with something related to the subject(s) you teach in the background. For instance, if you teach art history, having the Met, the Tate or the Louvre in the background is a good idea.
From there, you should:
- indicate what type of lessons you offer - group or individual
- your delivery methods: online, students' home or your home; maybe a local gym or studio
- the subjects you teach - don't limit yourself to just a couple!
- the levels you teach at - primary, secondary, adult education and so on
- a short bio that includes your pedagogy and teaching experience (or experience in your field)
- give a breakdown of your rates (more on rates in a mo)
- answer interview questions
Superprof lists interview questions you may answer to further enhance your profile so that prospective clients can know more about you. You have all the room you need to be as candid as you'd like so don't be bashful about explaining how you're the Superprof for students in need of your knowledge.
Setting Your Rates
Understand that Superprof is a platform that connects tutors and students. You have the option to pay for premium placement of your tutoring advertisement for higher visibility but that is by no means a requirement. Beyond that choice, Superprof is free for your use; you will not have to pay a portion of your earnings to us.
So, as you set your rates for each hour of instruction, you only need to consider how much you have to earn to make your tutoring business viable.
Let us give you a few points to consider as you determine how best to set your per-hour fees.
Your location matters if you plan on delivering in-person lessons. If the cost of living is high, as it is in London and several other major cities, you may get away with charging a bit more than if you live in a rural area. It's a good idea to check out your competition to find out how much they charge and set your rates accordingly.
What you teach matters. If you tutor in a subject that everyone seems to need help in, you might charge a little bit more than if you taught a niche skill or one that is more of a leisure pursuit. Again, that depends on the competition. If the market is saturated, setting your price a bit lower than everyone else might be a better strategy.
Your availability matters. If you're only available for lessons on weekends or just a couple of evenings per week, lowering your rate might compensate for not being as available. On the other hand, if you're available at the drop of a hat, you might charge a bit more because you'll be around when other tutors are busy.
Finally, although you'll not be charged any fees for advertising your tutoring business on Superprof (unless you choose premium placement for your advert), you should still know how Superprof's payments and charges work so that you can set up how you'll collect payments from your students - and help them save money along the way.
Superprof encourages tutors to offer their first hour of lessons at no cost. It seems counterintuitive - you didn't go into business for yourself to give the goods away, after all. However, studies have shown that students tend to prefer tutors who offer their first hour free of charge.
No worries, you'll get a charge out of that initial contact. You won't believe how thrilling it is to receive your first message from a new student!
To be an effective tutor, you have to spend some time discovering what your students need from you - hence, that first hour at no charge. That's the time when you get to ask each other questions about what you need and hope to achieve through these lessons.
Before then, you should have a plan for how you'll conduct lessons.
How much of your lesson time will be spent on reviewing study materials and how much will you dedicate to new knowledge? Does this student need academic coaching as well as tutoring in their subject? Do you have it in you to deliver lessons as a tutor while taking on the role of a mentor?
Ultimately, how well you work with your students is your formula for success. They will leave a rating and, hopefully, a testimonial of your teaching style and knowledge level; their positive review will, in turn, bring you more students who need your particular brand of teaching.
It's our pleasure to connect learners and teachers and provide a platform for independently-minded workers to make their skills benefit them - rather than their employer.
The platform that connects tutors and students