Becoming a tutor can be a great way to help support yourself while you are in school. If you excel at a particular subject and have a desire to share that knowledge with others, tutoring could be right down your alley. Plus, you might be surprised at how rewarding it can be. So how do you find one of these elusive tutoring jobs at your university or another nearby school? Read on to find out.
Every university or college has its own set of criteria for becoming a tutor. Start by visiting your student services center or an academic advisor to find out more about the application process. In general, most schools will require the following in order to be considered:
- A “B” average, or 3.0 GPA
- At least sophomore status
- A letter of recommendation from a faculty member
- An in-person interview
In addition, you will of course be required to be on time for all tutoring sessions (a deal breaker), as well as follow the school’s policies set forth in its tutoring manual.
Where to look
Tutoring jobs can be found in any number of educational institutions, not just your college campus. You can tutor for local learning centers, after-school programs, community colleges and adult education schools. Online tutoring is also popular, but can include more stringent screenings.
“Summer Tutoring Jobs: Five Suggestions for Where to Look,” a May 9, 2012 post by Scott Cronenweth to Socrato! offers great advice on places to start searching for tutoring positions.
Benefits of tutoring
Of course, getting a paycheck is an upside of tutoring, but there are more benefits to becoming a tutor than meets the eye. Perhaps one of the most important advantages is being able to put your tutoring experience on your resume. Tutoring demonstrates not only your ability to carry a job, but also shows leadership ability and interpersonal skills, which will be invaluable for any workplace.
Helping others achieve their best is another big motivator. In a June 5, 2012 post to HeyKiki.com, “The Personal Benefits of Being A Tutor,” writer Sarah James outlines some of the major “pros” of taking on the role of a tutor.
“Tutoring is a noble service that lets you help students in need as they are not able to grasp much of the topics taught in the crowded classrooms,” James wrote. “Since education is the basic necessity for success in life, you are helping out students to make their lives easier in the long run. Tutoring is something that you can feel good about doing.”
Other advantages, include:
- Developing patience working with different personalities
- Improving communication skills and self confidence
- Cultivating a deeper understanding of various subject areas
- Meeting new people
Master a subject
Another advantage of tutoring, not to be overlooked, is the opportunity to master the subject you are teaching. In order to tutor your students, you need to understand the material inside and out. This will require additional reading and research, but if it is a subject you are already passionate about, then it should be fun! This is especially useful if you are studying for an upcoming exam in that subject area. You will get faster at answering questions and constantly learn new things in order to stay on top of your subject.
One way to increase your credibility in the tutoring world is to get a tutor certificate. A certificate can help you in a number of ways:
- Enhance your teaching skills
- Keep you up to date on best practices
- Increase your pay scale
- Set you apart from other tutors
The American Tutoring Association and the National Tutoring Association are two organizations that offer certification programs. Also, the College Reading & Learning Association certifies university tutoring programs. Just be on the lookout for illegitimate organizations and be sure to do your research to ensure that the certificate(s) you are interested in securing are accepted at institutions where you apply for a position. A post to the Houston Chronicle, “How to Get Your Tutor Certificate,” by Miranda Morley offers pointers on researching certificate options.
Finally, once you become a tutor, try and keep up on your tutoring skills by reading tutoring blogs. “10 Tutoring Blogs You Must Join” has a useful list that will keep you on your toes.