Are you looking to become an online tutor?
The private tutoring industry has exploded in the last decade, with more and more students seeking private tutors to help obtain better grades in their subjects. I started out as a private tutor, traveling to individual students’ homes across Central Scotland.
You can imagine how much of my time was taken up with travel. Add to that time needed to prepare for each session and you are significantly reducing what your ‘hourly rate’ is. Private tuition across all subjects has seen an increase during the pandemic, but maths tutors in National 5 Maths as well as National 5 Chemistry tutors in particular are in high demand.
Teaching maths and science is very rewarding, and it is now also much easier to become a private tutor with most private tuition/teaching having gone online as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
At first, I found the prospect of teaching online quite daunting as I had done all my tutoring sessions face to face, and had never thought about teaching online. However, after now having taught online for 2 years, I know that I won’t go back to teaching face to face.
Our Top Tips for Tutoring Maths Online
Tutoring online requires a completely different skill set to in-person. Aside from a passion for teaching and expertise in a particular subject, there are some key pieces of equipment that you will need to get started as a tutor online. This should include:
The best Tablet for Online Tutoring
A Tablet for drawing. You can’t really teach online and have interactive lessons without a tablet you can write on. There are lots of different brands of tablets for drawing. I personally own a UGEE M708 tablet, which works very well, and would highly recommend it. Here is a link to the UGEE product.
But there are also other tablets such as the Wacom tablet model, which is very versatile and highly recommended for teaching. In terms of functionality, there isn’t much difference between these two tablets, where both use Stylus type pen, compatible with Windows 7,8 10 and can be hooked to the monitor. Pressure sensitivity and resolution are slightly higher in the UGEE M708 model, but this doesn’t make much difference when tutoring.
Skype/Zoom (online phone calling). This is essential to ensure that you can share your screen and content with your students. Without this, it would be difficult to perform interactive online tutoring sessions. Both Skype and Zoom are free, however both have business and premium options available.
I use the free version of Skype and students find it easy to use. Another option is Microsoft Teams, which has many of the same functions as Skype and Zoom.
A good microphone (and a quiet room). Having a good microphone is essential to ensure that your student can hear you properly throughout the sessions, and, if you decide to make video content, using a good microphone will ensure high quality sound on the video.
A very good microphone is the Blue Yeti USB microphone, which is very good for recording, streaming, and podcasting. However, you don’t have to go for as an expensive option as this to as these microphones are approximately £80-£100 (plus). You can get a standard microphone on amazon for approximately £30-£40, which is perfectly acceptable for teaching.
Best Screen Recorder for online tutors
Having a Screen Recorder/Video editor isn’t essential, but it does give you an opportunity to record your screen and make online video tutorials for your students. In my opinion, students prefer online video content, and understand it better because they can pause and rewind as often as they need.
Personally, I would recommend purchasing Camtasia, which is a video editor and screen recorder with the added ability of being able to quickly share your video files once you have created them. Once you have recorded your video on Camtasia, you can also export the video file as an MP4 and upload it to YouTube. Camtasia screen recording software can be found here: CAMTASIA
Best Whiteboard for a tutor online
Having a whiteboard to write on when doing the session is essential as this will allow you to draw examples/graphs/ equations or whatever it is that you are teaching at the time. Once you share screens with your student, either using Skype or Zoom, you will then conduct your online session using your collaborative whiteboard.
There are many options for collaborative whiteboards, such as Smoothdraw (Free), Ziteboard, Mural and Bitpaper.
I personally use Bitpaper as it’s very easy to use and gives you lots of storage to save lessons upload/save/share files. Bitpaper is no longer free, however it has been well developed and I would highly recommend it as a whiteboard for teaching. All my students that find it interactive and easy to follow, and it is especially good for teaching maths – where drawing graphs and illustrating complex diagrams is done with ease.
Here is the link to Bitpaper:
Tutors need to be reliable, and your equipment/set up for online tuition should be well researched to give you the confidence that you can deliver sessions effectively and professionally. Take your time to learn how to use your equipment and familiarise yourself with all the functionality of both hardware and software.
Teaching online is a different experience for both the tutor and the student which is why it is important to have reliable equipment and effective software as your foundation for delivering private tuition online.
If you have a passion for maths or science and/or have a degree in this areas, Central Tutors would like to hear from you. We are keen to recruit passionate and professional individuals to teach students privately and on a 1-1 basis. Please follow the link BECOME A TUTOR and apply by submitting your CV and cover letter.