6 Checkpoints For Being An Online Tutor

6 Checkpoints For Being An Online Tutor
Summary: If you want to know if you are cut out to be an online tutor analyze these 6 checkpoints. They are the "must be's" in the development of a professional online tutor.

Checkpoints Of An Online Tutor

Thinking about becoming a professional online tutor? Great! It's a wonderful job. But you need to keep in mind that it entails some tricky elements. Being good at your subject and passionate about technology use is not enough. If you want to make sure you are ready to become an online tutor, test yourself against these checkpoints for tutoring.

How do you know you have a great chance succeeding as an online tutor? Well, if you can identify with all  the checkpoints below, you might get a head start!

  1. You have been subject to learning online yourself.
    You know what you need and what you require of a teacher. Having walked the students' shoes is an eye-opener in numerous cases. Only when I started learning Spanish online myself, did I realize how much more engaged I need to be as an online teacher in comparison to my classroom teacher experience.
  2. You are a person of business.
    You are able to calculate all gains and losses and you know how to run a business and keep the customer. It may seem detached, but your student is actually your customer. Apart from the knowledge you transfer, they also expect you to provide first-class customer service. Quick e-mail responses, out-of-office messages, lesson plans sent in advance and lesson summaries after each class, monthly reports on progress etc. These are just some of the key points a professional online tutor needs to know and implement on a daily basis.
    You need to be it all:

    • authority and comfort
    • sales and service
    • customer support
  3. You know the cutting edge eLearning trends and tools.
    A book and an online conversation may be enough in some cases. However, you always need to know what's the hot spoken-about topic in the business right now. The obvious reason is to simply stay informed. Secondly, you should always be able awe your students with a piece of news on the newest methodology or teaching theory. It's pure PR. Even better, you can present a sound judgment or criticism, an opinion of your own and share a comment.
  4. You know the cutting edge e-learning tools.
    The same approach as for trends concerns the tools you use with your students. You must be able to recommend, e.g. busuu or quizlet, or criticize memrize or duolingo for a reason. Have an opinion on the methodological approach and the content they offer. Show you are a pro. Maybe even make your own content. It is not a must, but it definitely helps build your understanding of the tool and your expertise on it. You also might find it quite useful to know and have an idea how to use presentation tools. There are many of them, some of my favorites are HaikuDeck and Prezi. They allow you to create great content and make it very simple to use free media resources and are easily modifiable.
  5. You have coaching and mentoring background.
    As mentioned before in the text, online tutoring requires more engagement on the part of the teacher. The tutor needs to motivate the student all the time. You need to act as a life coach, constantly support the students' motivation and guide them through the learning process. You need to know how to get to them, understand their weak points and know how to help them overcome their inabilities.
  6. You know how the learning process works.
    You know how to learn. You know which method works best for your student, because your mentoring skills have made you test that, and so you are able to design the right curriculum for your students. The perfect curriculum that fits their learning needs, their preferences and their capabilities. You have chosen the best online tools to facilitate their personal learning need. You have provided them with every possible facilitator of their inner motivation. It is imperative!

If your answer to any of the above has been "no", you ought to reconsider your entering the business of professional online tutors. You are risking a lot not being fully prepared and making a bad first impression is really hard to cover. All these checkpoints are interconnected and leaving even one out makes the whole puzzle fall out of place so make sure you got them all covered.