Tutoring during the COVID-19 pandemic
Millions of lives are disrupted as COVID-19 sweeps the globe. In their efforts to slow the spread of the virus, many countries have enforced lockdowns, restricting movement, closing schools as well as businesses.
Although private tutoring was a thriving industry before the pandemic, COVID-19 is acting as a catalyst, growing the industry exponentially by creating an unprecedented demand for online tutoring.
Since the virus is yet to be contained and social distancing is still very much encouraged, it is the perfect opportunity to transition from tutoring in person to tutoring students remotely. Change is often scary and unwelcome, but embracing the new normal isn’t as difficult as you may think.
Online environments allow students and tutors to connect, even though they are in different physical locations. A lesson generally starts with the tutor checking in on the student, then working through the lesson plan and answering questions. Various visual aids may be utilized, such as slideshows, virtual whiteboards, videos, props or shared online documents. To conclude the lesson, the tutor may reinforce major concepts, set homework and confirm the date of the next lesson. It is a convenient alternative to tutoring in person – some even prefer it!
Pros of tutoring online
- global reach
- no extra rent
- no special venues
- more clients
- no travelling
- less printing
- more efficient
- increased punctuality
- increased student loyalty
- easy access to online tools and resources
- zero COVID-19 health or safety concerns
Cons of tutoring online
- requires a reliable internet connection
- requires a phone, computer or device
- needs some computer knowledge
- needs clear communication
5 things you need to take your tutoring business online
A fast and stable internet connection is fundamental for online learning. Contact your local service provider to see what options are available to you. Video calling tends to use a lot of data so it is a good idea to get as much as you can at the fastest speed that you can afford.
Your students will also need internet access. Occasionally there may be issues and latency (a delay between you and your student) so be patient and kindly ask them to repeat anything you missed.
You will need a smart phone, laptop, tablet, computer or other device with a webcam and microphone. Many devices have a built in webcams and microphones that are easy to use, but you may experience pixelation or distortion. In this case, it would be best to invest in professional or specialized equipment as it will greatly improve audio and visual quality.
No matter what your setup is, an unobstructed view and clear sound of what you’re attempting to demonstrate is key.
Another essential part of tutoring online is a platform that connects you to your students. Some tutors use free video calling services, however they tend to have very limited functionality. To avoid any obstacles, you need to find something that is easy to use and enhances the learning experience. There are a few options to choose from, but of course we recommend Tutors Friend which allows you to manage your studio, plan your schedule, create a student portal, run a lending library, invoice clients, receive online payments and more!
Marketing matters more now than ever before. The competition is fierce so you need to advertise your services effectively. Ensure that you have a user friendly website and a marketing strategy that helps you stand out. For more advertising tips, read this post.
Before offering your services in exchange for money, you need to ensure that you are ready and able to offer quality education. Test all audio, visual and other equipment with friends and family before tutoring a student. Make sure you are in a quiet, distraction-free environment with good lighting. Stick to your schedule and be punctual. Follow your lesson plan. Share any teaching materials with your students prior to their lessons. If your students are minors, make sure their parents have consented to the lessons and invite them to join the lesson, if necessary. General etiquette as well as great customer service will help grow and sustain your business for a long time.
Tutoring online is not quite the same as tutoring in person and it does take some getting used to, but there is no doubt that the benefits outweigh the possible challenges. This is especially applicable during the coronavirus outbreak. If you usually tutor in person, you may be tempted to postpone or stop tutoring altogether. Interrupting lessons can have devastating consequences – it is imperative for students to stick to their routines and try maintain a sense of consistency in order to reach their goals. Online tutoring can be fun and rewarding, with intellectual as well as fiscal benefits, so don’t let a pandemic ruin that!
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