You have worked hard to get where you are. You know your subject matter inside out and you are confident in your teaching abilities. Let us go through a few simple steps that will help you make the right impression on your students and their parents on the Freedom Tutors platform.
1. Create a professional profile
Your profile on the Freedom Tutors website is very important. Your students and their parents in the case of minors will make the decision whether or not to hire you based on your profile. Please spend some time crafting all its components
2. Have a professional picture on your profile
We all know that first impressions are immensely important especially in a marketplace like Freedom Tutors where your prospective students and/or their parents will look at your picture and decide in less than 30 seconds ( according to studies) whether or not to even look at the rest of your profile. It is not necessary to have an expensive headshot, but your profile picture should reflect your role. Make sure to a have
a) a clear picture (not blurry) which can be achieved with a smartphone.
b) A white background
c) Measurements 250px x 250px
d) We suggest a business or business casual top. Remember that this will be your first introduction to your students and their parents.
3. Be yourself when you address the students or their parents
Authenticity goes a long way in inspiring trust and it is impossible to fake it. Sometimes, excellent tutors miss out on great opportunities because they try to be who they think their students and parents want them to be or they try to hide their personality focusing exclusively on the subject matter.
Students and parents will only work with you if they can relate to you and obviously trust you. They will not even consider your professional qualifications until they feel like they can trust you and you care.Respond in a timely and respectful manner
4. Respond in a timely and respectful manner
You will get a continuous stream of tutoring requests from students and most parents and guardians. Please make a point of responding as soon as you receive those requests. Looking for a tutor is very nerve wrecking for the students and their parents alike. Some of our students have been struggling not only with academics but also unresponsive school teachers before they come to us for help. Your immediate response will go a long way in making them feel heard, understood and cared for, while it will also help your reputation and improve your tutor ranking on the platform.
You are free to choose who you want to work with on our platform and consequently, there will be cases when you will decide to not work with students that have contacted you through your tutor profile. As long as you respond in a timely respectfully manner, your ranking will improve and you will not risk making a bad name for yourself.
5. Be punctual
Once you decide to work with a student, please make sure to arrive at the agreed upon venue on time or even a little early (when meeting in person) or be logged in and ready to teach (when meeting online). If you are meeting in person, please look up the address well ahead of time, factor in traffic and traffic lights when allocating driving time, and add at least 5 minutes for unforeseen events like accidents or roadblocks. If you are meeting online, please make sure to have your computer on, all the teaching materials organized and run a demo to make sure the mike, camera, whiteboard, screen share etc are in working order before you are on the clock with a student.
6. Be organized
Students and their parents come to you for help because they trust you. They have faith in your subject matter knowledge, your ability to teach and take the lead.That trust would suffer if they see you fumble, forget to bring your materials, forget appointments, forget what you worked on last time or the worst of all forget their name. We recommend you keep a separate file for each student labeled with their name and subject, grade/category you are tutoring. We provide a space in the tutor profile for you to keep progress notes to facilitate this process. Use that space to upload all your props, lesson plans, worksheets, a brief summary of each lesson and progress of each student.
7. Be upfront
It is not uncommon for new tutors to be a little too eager to please their students and especially their parents/guardians in order to find their first students and then keep them. For example number of tutors either forgo or neglect to enforce their cancellation policy, which may lead to frequent cancellations or reschedulings without adequate notice. That causes scheduling conflicts with other students and leads to unnecessary headaches. We have also had tutors who become frustrated by parents who try to micromanage every tutoring session or stretch every tutoring session by conversing about
a topic that sometimes doesn’t even relate to the tutoring itself.
We recommend that each tutor clearly states his/her cancellation policy and enforce it every time, explain their expectation of the tutoring sessions before agreeing to tutor a student, inform the parents/guardians ahead of time of how and when you give progress reports, etc.
8. Charge what you are worth based on the current market
We all know that price is one of the criteria students and parents use to decide which tutor to hire. While there are those who try to find the lowest rates, most students/parents stay away from low rates because they are perceived to mean low quality. By the time parents start looking for a tutor for their child, usually, they have exhausted all other options. They have tried putting pressure on the child, supporting the child, trying to help them, enlisting their school teachers to help, probably the school counselor and sometimes older siblings without results, so they want to make sure they are getting a competent tutor to help their child progress. Price is not always reflective of the quality of the instruction, but that is an almost universal perception. Do not price yourself out of work. We recommend that you do some research- compare your qualifications, subject you teach, geographical area and experience to other similar tutors and set your rates accordingly. You will find that you fall within a rate range, and we recommend that you set your rates at the lower end of the range initially to attract your first students, and increase as you gain more experience, solidify your reputation, ranking and confidence.
If you need assistance setting your rates, please send us an email with the subject line: assistance with rates on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be more than happy to help you.
9. Set goals
Goals are dreams with a deadline and the only way to achieve anything in life is first set a goal to do so. If you don’t it will remain a wish or a dream. This is true for you and your students. You should set goals for your practice- how many students over a period of time would you like to have, how many tutoring sessions would like to have, how much would like to make every week/month/year? What skill would you like to improve or master, etc?
Most importantly though, you need to help your students set their learning goals because goals are the students learning destination so to speak. If you don’t set a clear goal and share it with the student and their parents (if it applies) that student will go nowhere and any tutor or no tutor at all can take them there. You want to make contribution measurable and the best way to measure your impact on a student’s achievements is to measure it against goals you have set. For example, if a student’s goal is to improve in Math by a letter grades in 3 months, you can easily show the impact of your work by measuring progress against the goal. That said, those goals should not be set in stone. You should be able to revise them based on circumstances, but you should revise them with the student and parents and provide clear reasons about why the goals needed to be revised and what your current plan for achieving them is.
10. Be ready to say no
There is nothing worse than overpromising and underdelivering. You should never accept more students than you can comfortably accommodate in your schedule to ensure that every one of your students receives the best instruction possible every time you meet. We also recommend that you never accept a new student or continue teaching an existing student when you are not 100% sure you can help them progress or the chemistry is wrong.