Online Tutor–Is it Right For You?

If you’re searching for alternatives to teaching in a classroom and you’re a stellar teacher, you have a lot of options. Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, Justin Smith, loves what he does and does a good job of explaining it:

“I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist…Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.”

     ~ John Steinbeck

Bhutan is the first country to make the teachers and doctors the highest paid civil servants in the country. With the move, they are not only paying their teachers well but are also placing them on the top of the civil service hierarchy!

Elsewhere, teachers are struggling to pay their rent and mortgage. Online tutoring is an option that I and many of my like-minded friends (school teachers, professors, research scholars, professionals, and academicians) love because it ensures us a steady side-income doing what we love – providing educational support to students in the remotest corners of the world.

Online tutoring offers us job satisfaction (along with money) that traditional classrooms don’t. You get more time to interact with your students. It means that you not only ‘teach’ them but help them ‘learn’ by:

  • Offering them timely help,
  • Providing them the study material suitable to their learning styles, and
  • Assisting the ‘shyest’ of my students to identify their academic challenges and find their solutions.

Some of the other reasons why I love online tutoring are:

Offers work-life balance:

You might have heard that online education provides great flexibility to students as they can access information anytime and anywhere. They can work on their own schedule and learn at their own pace. Similarly, online tutors have the flexibility to reach out to students who may not be able to enroll in a traditional classroom or need educational support ‘outside’ the classrooms.

As online tutors, we can teach from wherever and whenever we are. We can decide our own teaching schedules, choose whom to teach and when to teach them, and enjoy a real connection with our students.

This allows online tutors to have more time to connect with their family. Ever since I have started tutoring online at SmileTutor, I get more time to spend with my kids, drive them to their classes, play with them, cook with them, and teach when they do not need me.

All I do is enter my ‘quiet’ room, connect with a structured tutoring system (with all the pedagogical tools I require), and I am all set.

Each student is a new challenge:

Online teaching allows me to reach students from different backgrounds, different educational needs, and different parts of the world. So, there’s never a dull moment in this line.

Today, students can access high-quality education from wherever they are. It means that if you are a good teacher, you might be teaching students from all over the world using your laptop, headphones and a web camera.

Students in Vietnam and China link up with online English tutors in the US and the UK to learn English like natives. This trend opens up huge meaningful job prospects for those who are good at certain subjects.

It also means that you always keep learning about adaptive teaching strategies. You get to know what students from different parts of the world are learning. You come to know about their cultural backgrounds, their education systems, the way their academic scoring works – and a lot of other things you do not encounter when you teach local students.

Technology is my friend:

I am no nerd but I love the latest technology. When I am teaching online, I love the fact that I can use the latest technological developments, all forms of content, and pedagogical tools to help my students improve their performance at school.

I pick up youtube videos to explain a concept to one of my students but I try to contextualize it for them – according to their country, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds. I find that it helps the students to learn better. Videos, 3D animations, virtual field trips, blogs, and interviews – I can offer so much to my students online that I cannot offer in a class.

Naturally, dropout rates of online teaching courses are lower than those of traditional classes. Think about that!

I have no boss (except perhaps, my students and their parents):

Unlike a regular job (where you are constantly under pressure of higher management), online tutoring is a job for those who are self-motivated. It’s like having your own business.

Only the progress of your student matters in the end.

You improvise for each student – according to their educational goals, their learning styles, their academic capacities, and maybe their learning disabilities. As an online tutor, you have the time to pay attention to each of your students, hold discussions with them and their parents, and get to know them at a more informal level.

I think this teacher-parent-student connection is crucial to the academic development of a child. That’s why; I always prefer to hold one or two free trial classes before accepting a student. It gives a chance to the students, the parents and the tutor to judge how well they can all work together to achieve the common educational goals they set for the child.

Author Bio:- Justin Smith is self-driven person currently associated with maths tuition agency in Singapore.  He is passionate about writing and collecting new books. In his spare time, he likes to snowboard, go horseback riding, and maintain his garden.

More on online teaching

Mentoring and Online Classes

An Open Letter to Teachers About Online Classes

How can Teachers Increase Social Learning While Teaching Online?

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Author: Jacqui
Welcome to my virtual classroom. I've been a tech teacher for 15 years, but modern technology offers more to get my ideas across to students than at any time in my career. Drop in to my class wikis, classroom blog, our internet start pages. I'll answer your questions about how to teach tech, what to teach when, where the best virtual sites are. Need more--let's chat about issues of importance in tech ed. Want to see what I'm doing today? Click the gravatar and select the grade.