One more year, and I would have been teaching for a decade — a career that sums up my adult life.
I’ve experienced a wide variety of lessons, class size and student levels, and has been exposed to many other different cultures.
Being an English tutor can be a lucrative job — in fact, I can earn my daily salary (I work full-time for a BPO company) in just 2 to 3 hours. But even though it sounds like an easy way to earn money, it took hard work and dedication to get to this point.
If you’re an aspiring English tutor, let me share with you some things I learned about teaching:
(1) Teaching is a huge responsibility.
Your students are studying English for a reason, and it could be either personal or work/school-related. They are willing to shell out thousands because they expect to learn the language and use it for whatever purpose they choose. With that in mind, you should do your best to help your students achieve their goals.
Golden rule: Do not take advantage of your students.
(2) Teaching English is not just about conversations.
It’s not enough to teach your students what to say in certain situations or how to respond when asked a particular question. Teaching expressions without your students’ full understanding of the usage and connotations of the word or phrase is just the same as translating the expressions for your students. Thus, you need to find a way to make sure your students can use the expressions accurately and carry a conversation on their own at the same time.
(3) A well-designed curriculum goes a long way.
Creating your own lesson materials is an important skill that you, as an English tutor, should possess. I cannot stress enough how lesson materials can make or break your students’ success in their English study. Your curriculum is the most important tool in your class, and it will set the learning path for your students. Hence, your lesson materials should guide your students in achieving their learning goals.
(4) Understanding your students’ level, needs and goals is a key factor in creating an effective curriculum.
Your students’ progress depends on how well you take advantage of their learning curve. An Intermediate student, for example, can experience stagnation (a.k.a. plateau) and unless you find a way to push past what seems like an impasse, his/her English skill won’t move to an advanced level.
(5) Teaching English as a freelance tutor pays well, but it does not guarantee a stable income.
If you have a full-time job and you work as a part-time English tutor, it’s wise to do your best to keep your full-time job. Sure, you can earn a lot by teaching BUT you have to know that it’s a seasonal job. Students come and go — they might have planned to study long-term, however they usually change their mind once they feel like they have reached their target level. This is the reality of freelance teaching. So do not give up your full-time job unless you have made a name for yourself and you have a steady stream of students.
Hope this helps. Cheers!
Until my next post,