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To The Pros
If you're looking to update your roll-a-dex as a seasoned tutor, keep reading! If you're new to the profession, skip to the next section and come back.
The online market for tutoring is a murky lake to swim in but can also hold some of that deep sea gold if you look hard enough. I've personally tango-ed with sites like Wizant and I never did find a reliable assignment. Your best bet, now that you have some tutoring experience behind you, is to sell yourself and have people come to you. This can be done through local colleges and high schools. I found work as a "professional tutor" - with professional pay, mind you - within a few days of starting that line of search. Flyers are ok but social media is better. Make a few apologetic posts on facebook and you may find your inbox full of private messages from potential clients! In short, there's some legwork involved but for those who are willing, there's money to be made.
What To Tutor
This should be obvious, right? You majored in biology education so you should tutor all of those people looking to teach bio!...if you want to starve. Tutoring is teaching without official credentials. If you're proficient with writing, check out a client's composition class syllabus before rejecting the offer! Don't forget the value of huge projects and consecutive exams. I've spent most of my time tutoring the same clients for every test during a school year just to return the next year for a different class. Remember, sell yourself!
Be Prepared For The Unprepared
With the amazing amount of information at our fingertips, it almost seems antiquated to meet a tutor in person. That's where your future clients are, though. With that in mind, don't be too surprised if you show up and your client is bereft of books, papers, or any sources at all! They could have googled it and they called you instead, they're in deep.
First and foremost, your job as a tutor isn't to throw information at the client. You're there to put out the fire that is that person's education. Be prepared for them and have reference material and textbooks when you meet. Put them at ease as you pick up whatever pieces they have and start just slightly behind where they think they are in the material.
Textbooks too heavy? Be sure to check for e-book versions that can lighten your load!
I Use A Kindle Fire To Transport My Textbooks
Don't be fooled. The allure of cash as an instant payment is nice...when it's in front of you...at the beginning of a session. If your client offers to pay you later, get it in writing. You're offering a service and need to be paid for your time.
It is best to agree whether you will be paid by the hour or by project. If the client defers to you, work with your strengths. If you feel that some editing will get them through a project in half an hour, get paid by the project. If it seems that this will be a whole-pot-of-coffee kind of night, get paid by the hour.
So you've made it. Your client is happy and will succeed in their field thanks to you. Now it's time for you to pay your bills. As was mentioned before, cash is great for lining your pockets but payment via check or PayPal can go a long way as folks often have assets tied up online. Be sure to leave an invoice and make a copy when dealing with virtual transactions.
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