How do I become a private tutor?

Many teachers are leaving the profession or changing the way they work – perhaps opting for part-time or supply teaching and/or private tutoring. 
We’re increasingly being approached by great teachers who are simply ‘greyed out’ by the politics and paperwork but don’t want to stop doing what they love – working with children.Teachers are looking at other ways to use their skills. Take a look at When was the last time a parent thanked you for teaching their child?
Teacher are looking at new ways of working, often combining things together, such as part-time or supply teaching and private tuition. The supply situation seems to vary enormously across the country, but in Cambridgeshire, there’s no shortage. Ditto with private tuition – demand for private tutors in Cambridge, Ely, Huntingdon and surrounding areas is high.

Here’s a quick guide to setting up as a private tutor:

Where do you want to tutor?

You will need to decide if you want to be a private tutor who sees clients at your home or the clients’ homes. There are pros and cons for both. Being a private tutor at home can be distracting if you have your own family or may work out fabulously because you’ve got all your resources there. You may prefer to travel to your clients so you can be fully focused on your student and not worry about keeping your house tidy! 

How much should I charge for private tuition?

This, again, is a personal choice. Take a look at what other tutors are charging and what you feel is a fair reflection of your time and experience.

How do I find clients?

If you want to find clients yourself, start telling people that you’re going to work as a private tutor. Word of mouth will be your best advertising. If you’re on Facebook, mention it there – even set yourself up a Facebook page dedicated to your tutoring and don’t forget cards in the local shops. You can also register yourself on the various tutor boards.
If you feel uncomfortable about selling yourself or you want to get off the ground more quickly, you could consider an agency. Agencies vary enormously in terms of their approach so speak to a few and see who you feel you ‘click’ with.
Working with an agency means that you won’t have to sell yourself. Go for an agency (such as Tutor My Kids in Cambridge) who visit their clients personally first to ensure you know that you’re going somewhere safe and vetted to work as a personal tutor. Most of our private tutors in Ely, Cambridge, Huntingdon and surrounding areas are women. We think it’s really important that we’ve visited the client’s home first. We only accept clients who we’re happy with and also we do a great job of matching the needs of our students to your skills and experience.
Some agencies simply match you with a client based on your skills and the client’s requirements. E.g. if you teach GCSE maths and the client’s child is sitting GCSE maths they’ll match you up.  Others offer a more personalised service. At Tutor My Kids in Cambridge we view these things differently. It may be a GCSE maths student (especially if taking the foundation paper) may benefit from a primary trained maths tutor who can help fill in gaps that are preventing the student from progressing fully. 

How do I get more clients?

At the end of the day, whether you find clients yourself or through an agency, I’d suggest that you go with your instincts. If you feel that you connect with the family/agency then great. If you’re really not sure at all, then better not to start the assignment.  With the right client or agency, you’ll get more bookings through word of mouth without fail.

How many clients are too many?

This is a personal thing, but if you feel you’re able to fit in the prep and planning before the session to the best of your ability, then you’re about right. If you’re struggling to find the time, then definitely don’t take any more clients on. Doing things well will bring you more clients and recommendations but be careful not to overstretch yourself. 

Feeling Appreciated.

Schools can be tough at the moment, with sometimes little praise. Being a private tutor for many teachers is a hugely liberating thing; it reconnects you with seeing directly the link of your efforts to the child and it’s also really lovely for you to be really valued by their clients and/or agency. 
If you’re interested in becoming a private tutor in Cambridge, Ely, Huntingdon or Newmarket, please get in touch with Rachel Law on 01223 858421 or take a look at the Tutor My Kids Website