Let’s dispel the media myth and sort the wheat from the chaff. Tutoring is not about educating rich kids on superyachts for thousands of pounds per hour. It is not commonly regular employment. It is not without sacrifices. There is little daytime work.

Tutoring mostly occurs when the school-day finishes in the mid-afternoon to late evening, or at weekends when people are generally off work. It is a service sector working around others’ schedules. The other peak times are, consequently, holiday periods; half terms; either side of Christmas and Easter, and over the Summer break. Good luck finding a time to have your own holiday!

For those still reading this, despite some social compromises, and for those with a strong desire to help others, tutoring can be a hugely rewarding experience which opens up many opportunities.

Foremost for me, it is very rewarding to see others do well through the tuition process and beyond. You are supporting someone’s development and building their confidence, independence and sense of self-belief. I get enormous enjoyment from sharing subject knowledge and, odd though it may sound, I actually learn more, and know more, about my subject as a result. Tuition really does spur not just your student’s interest, but your own. It is especially empowering if you can transmit your passion for that subject because then you are passing the baton on to another generation (and perhaps enabling them to do the same in future years).

A few years ago I tutored a boy who attended a state school. He was despondent in class about his impending Latin GCSE. Under my guidance as a tutor, he received an A* but also acquired a passion for the subject. He pursued Latin to AS, then A2 level, getting the top grade throughout. He is now studying Classics at the University of Edinburgh. As a tutor, you can have a huge impact not just on the immediate need with which you are assisting, but on the whole trajectory of someone’s life.

You may be surprised to discover that you can tutor and teach a variety of subjects to a variety of students, and, as a consequence, meet families from all walks of life. You will learn more about the world of education, the school system and curriculum changes. It is a wide-ranging role and one that rewards an open-minded approach to what can be achieved.

As a professional tutor you will need to be well-equipped with the right resources; to stay updated with subject and course developments; share insights with fellow tutors, and know how to present yourself and conduct yourself appropriately.

Official professional recognition of being a tutor is now available through membership of The Tutors’ Association. Membership gives you a certificate confirming that you are academically qualified, have references and testimonials, have a current DBS check (or give you the means to get one) and have signed up to a professional code of conduct.

As a not-for-profit academic body, and with the support of Parliament’s Education Select Committee, the membership fee is tax-deductible as part of your business costs. The TTA brand is a powerful marketing tool; it ‘kite-marks’ you and offers reassurance to parents, potential clients, schools and all stakeholders in education that you care about what you do; that you conduct yourself to a professional standard, and that you contribute responsibly to the role of tutoring within the broader education landscape.

Whether you eventually choose to tutor as a full-time career or just as a stepping-stone in support of a longer-term goal, I wish you the best of luck and hope you find it as enjoyable as I have done. To find out more and join The Tutors’ Association, visit www.thetutorsassociation.org.uk

 

Adam Muckle FTA
President of The Tutors’ Association

 

Adam Muckle FTA

Adam Muckle FTA

President of The Tutors’ Association

Adam is originally from Belfast and studied Classics at Durham University. After training as a Barrister, a chance conversation led him unexpectedly to tutoring. Over the past nine years Adam has tutored here in the UK, throughout Europe and Asia, as well as online. He has been President of The Tutors’ Association since March 2016.