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Tutoring Challenges

February 10, 2013

Article explores four tutoring challenges tutors may experience.

Being a tutor can be a very rewarding experience.  After all, you get to help struggling students become successful in school, while continuing to learn about a variety of interesting subjects.  However, as with any job it too has its challenges.  If you are going to be a tutor, you should be prepared to handle the tutoring challenges listed below as well as any others that come your way.

Establishing Your Credibility

When you’re first starting out as a tutor, it can be difficult to establish yourself as a qualified professional in your field.  As a result, it may take longer than you had anticipated to find your first client and build your customer base.  While this may be frustrating, it is not unusual.  If you want to be successful, you must find a way to persevere even when things are not going as planned.  But if you persist, you will eventually find new clients.  With each new student you tutor, not only will your client list grow, so will your reputation.

Marketing Your Services

One of the tutoring challenges you may find yourself facing is marketing your business.  When you have lessons to plan and tutoring sessions to conduct, marketing your services may be the last thing on your mind.  However, it is critical to market your tutoring business on a regular basis even if you currently have no availability and are unable to accept additional students.  Eventually the students you currently tutor will no longer need your services.  When that happens, you will need to replace them with new clients.  Consistent marketing will keep a steady stream of prospective clients interested in your services.  As a result, when you do have an opening in your schedule you can easily add new students to your roster.

Unrealistic Expectations

Managing unrealistic expectations is one of many tutoring challenges that might come your way. When students are struggling in school, they and their parents may see you as the magic bullet that is going to fix all of their academic problems.  As a result, they could have unrealistic expectations about the results they will see when they begin working with you.  While students and parents should expect to see academic improvement, it won’t happen overnight, and it will take a lot of hard work on their part.  When they first hire you, setting expectations about what they should expect of you as well as what you expect of them can help get everyone on the same page and ensure they stay there, which can help minimize misunderstandings down the road.

Accepting That You Can’t Fix Everything

Many people who become tutors do so because they genuinely want to help others who need academic help.  Watching students who were previously struggling with a particular subject become proficient can be very satisfying.  Of all of the tutoring challenges you will experience, one of the most difficult is accepting that no matter how hard you try, there will be some students who do not experience the kind of improvement you hope for.  While this can be very discouraging for you, the student and the parent involved, it’s important to remember that there are many students out there who have benefited from your services and many more who will benefit in the future.

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