Become a Tutor

Experience the joy of making a difference by becoming a tutor. You'll be part of helping somebody grow and learn and become who they are meant to be. You will also put your skills and expertise to good use. Mark Twain said "a lesson is an expert on one end of a log and a student on the other end." We'll show you how to get on that log, and change the world—one student at a time.


Prepare To Teach

  1. Identify your expertise. No doubt you already know what that is, but if not, or if your expertise is broad, focus on a favorite discipline or topic
  2. Gain recognition. It helps to attain recognition of your qualifications by being actively involved in the knowledge or discipline you are representing, by degree or other official documentation, or by both.
    • Participate in online forums, write articles for journals or other relevant publications, and volunteer as guest speaker at seminars and other professional congregations.
  3. Consult an attorney. If you want to tutor school children there will likely be rules and laws concerning this in your area.
  4. Understand the curriculum. Make sure you know and understand the curriculum or syllabus you are going to teach, so that you can maximize the effectiveness of your lesson plans.
    • Prepare your lessons and practice them. Be very well organized from the first. It is better to be over-prepared than to run dry out of ideas way through a session.
  5. Make your lessons interesting and interactive. In a good lesson the students will do much of the work—you will guide them to discovery.
  6. Listen to your students; respond to what they know or don't understand, and prepare future lessons to account for any deficiencies.

Advertising Your Service

  1. Put your name out there. Becoming a private tutor can be very rewarding, especially if you're an expert in an in-demand field. In-person tutoring is much more rewarding and effective than online tutoring, but online tutoring (through email or a chat room) can earn you a little extra money.
  2. Sign up for PayPal. If you go into business for yourself, open a PayPal account to make it easy for your clients to pay you in whatever way is most convenient. Being able to offer credit card acceptance could make the difference between getting a client or not.
  3. Talk to teachers who taught you in the subject you are planning to tutor in. Ask them if they can tell students who need help currently about your services.
  4. Advertise on craigslist. Be careful when advertising on craigslist, however- you don't want to get caught up in a scam.
  5. Talk to people you know. Speak with your friends, parents, or siblings about your tutoring services, and offer them a discount if they tell their friends, or volunteer to tutor for a little while so that they can test you out and you can build a reputation.


  • Find out how much others are charging for tuition and charge similar rates.
  • Be kind to your students!
  • Aim to keep parents informed about progress. Never inflate students' abilities, but at the same time encourage them. "His timing is much better now," is better than "He plays like a concert pianist," when that is not true.
  • Read up on various teaching techniques and settle on a few you're good at and that work well.
  • Many non-profit organizations look to fill volunteer tutoring positions (and sometimes will offer tutor training for free or at a low cost) that can help you gain experience as a tutor. This will build your tutoring resume and help you get a paying job later.
  • Don't be a boring tutor, your student may not pay attention to what you are saying and might make matters worse.
  • Learn it the fun way, make pictures as you describe it, and when reading make different sounds that will make him/her laugh.
  • Once qualified to tutor/teach, advertise your offer in places where parents will see the advertisement. The parents are your clients.
  • Take periodical tests to keep students active. It might help in the near future.
  • Make sure you find common ground with your student.
  • Make your lessons more interesting, using PowerPoint presentations, fun projects etc. Make learning fun otherwise the children won't learn anything.
  • Make learning and studies fun by adding educational games, activities and stories. This will make students focus more and actually enjoy their studies.
  • Reward the children for good grades, but don't scold them for bad ones. It is not your place to get frustrated with the child. Instead say something like, "Okay if you had trouble with this, here are some ways to fix it."


  • Avoid any situation that will put your students/you in any danger. Meet in a public place or at the student's house only if a parent will be home. Always make sure one other adult is present.
  • Do not become emotionally involved with your students beyond getting excited about academic achievement.
  • Charging too little or too much will make you seem outside of the competitive pool, and therefore hinder your ability to find work.
  • Making up facts to seem smart may seem like a good solution at first, but will come back to bite you later! Stay honest!

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Sources and Citations