If you’ve ever been interested in becoming an English tutor, or you’re simply looking for insight into what they do on a day-by-day basis, then this is the post for you.
It’s common knowledge that English tutors teach students how to read and write, but the position is a lot more than that. English tutors monitor student progress, identify areas for improvement, and provide support where necessary alongside their teaching duties.
As you’ll come to learn, being an English tutor is an incredibly rewarding experience. Compared to other education-based positions, It’s also one of the most flexible options for anyone looking to get into teaching but don’t want to follow a traditional timetable.
What’s more, it gives individuals the chance to hone their communication, teaching, and general support skills!
This post will help you better understand what an English tutor does, what skills they require, what they do in a day, and the overall benefits that come with taking on such a role.
What Does an English Tutor Do?
An English tutor provides extra support and assistance for students of varying ages, guiding them both individually and in groups. The goal being: to help young learners develop key skills that allow them to communicate with the world around them and themselves.
To be specific, English tutors help students strengthen their listening, reading, speaking and writing skills, monitoring their progress in real-time, identifying areas for improvement, and providing support where necessary.
As a part of this role, English tutors will also set homework and ask students to take part in a variety of activities to help with their development.
What Skills are Needed to Become an English Tutor?
To become an English tutor, you’ll need to secure a few things first. What you’ll need first is a degree in an English-based subject. Most companies will ask that you have an A-Level in either English Language or English Literature as standard, but this could vary depending on where you’re applying. You see, English tutors can either work for themselves or work for an established institution.
Prospective English tutors should also look at obtaining a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate. Having this document is a requirement for anyone working with vulnerable groups, which includes children. You will be asked to provide one at most English tutor positions you apply for. If you don’t have one, then most companies will arrange a DBS check.
It goes without saying, but to be an English tutor, you must have a comprehensive understanding of the following as standard:
You’ll also need to be an effective communicator. Someone well-spoken who can relay appropriate information to a classroom full of students. Alongside that, presentation skills are also favoured, as is your your ability to motivate students.
On a deeper level, English tutors need to be adaptable in terms of their teaching style. After all, not every student is the same. Implementing the VAK learning model will help identify how each student learns. The model divides people into three different categories:
- Visual Learners
- Auditory Learners
- Kinaesthetic Learners
It’s your role as an English tutor to discover which method works best for each student. This is but one of the challenges you’ll face. Which, again, is why being adaptable is one of the main requirements of this position, as you’ll be expected to constantly change your style to meet the needs of each student.
All of the skills and requirements mentioned apply to English tutors who teach online, and those who teach in-person; an important distinction to make before we move on.
What Does the Day of an English Tutor Look Like?
What your day looks like will vary depending on the type of tutor you are and where it is you work. Your day will be split into a variety of tasks that revolve around teaching, assessing, and providing support.
For example, English tutors hired by schools will follow a typical timetable, starting their day between 8:30am to 9:00am, and finish sometime in the afternoon. However, working for a tuition company will mean working out of school hours.
Do keep in mind that you won’t teach every hour of the day. You’ll have time to grade papers, mark homework and prep for lessons via breaks in between. Some might choose to take parts of their work home with them, but that depends on the preferences of the tutor.
Another option for prospective English tutors is to either work for themselves or seek other opportunities. Opportunities that feel less like a full-time position but are just as stable. Take working at Redbridge Tuition at one of our many tuition centres for the perfect example.
Our timetable is a lot more flexible in comparison to the one we’ve just mentioned above. It might be that you teach around teatime (5pm to 6pm) or work at certain times during the weekends. We’ll talk more about career opportunities with us later, just know that it is an option.
To recap, here’s what an English tutor does in a day:
- Organises and executes lessons
- Assesses student development
- Provides support where needed
Why Become an English Tutor?
The benefits of why parents should hire an English tutor are well documented online. But what about the benefits of being an English tutor?
Below we’ve picked out multiple reasons as to why becoming an English tutor is one of the best choices you’ll make in your career, covering everything from the flexibility of the role, to the types of challenges you’ll face.
Tutoring is a Flexible Career Option
Easily one of the best benefits that come with being an English tutor is just how flexible it is as a career option. Part-time tutoring, in general, gives goal-driven individuals all the time they need to focus on other areas of their lives without feeling too restricted.
English tutors aren’t just English tutors in terms of role. Some work other jobs and tutor in their spare time as an additional source of income. Others tutor on the side while attending university to put their knowledge to good use.
You can also tutor English online, which allows you to work from practically anywhere (as long as you have an active internet connection). Tutoring online allows you to conduct lessons and provide support externally, live from other parts of the country, if not the world.
Provides Key Experience
For many, tutoring will be an entry point into the world of teaching. And with it comes the opportunity to gain new skills along the way. Skills that will only strengthen your CV and your confidence as a result.
Every English tutor we know has impeccable communication skills, which they have honed through their work with young learners. They articulate themselves a lot better than before, choosing words that help them communicate ideas and feelings in a much clearer way.
Not only that, but their organisational and punctuality skills have improved too. They’re a lot better with managing their time, and ensuring that things get done by certain dates.
In short, communication, organisation, and time management skills can all be established and strengthened by becoming an English tutor.
It’s a Welcome Challenge
Another great thing about being an English tutor is just how stimulating it is. Tutoring gives you the power to put your skills and knowledge to the test, putting you in front of interesting challenges for you to overcome.
What’s more, you have the opportunity here to meet people from various different backgrounds and actively learn from them. You’ll learn about cultures unlike your own and how to navigate certain obstacles that could alienate them in the classroom.
Teaching the language to non-English speakers is another great example. In this situation you need to approach tutoring from a new perspective, so that students understand the context behind certain words and phrases, not just the pronunciations.
Successfully navigating these challenges is incredibly stimulating. Not to mention, rewarding, which brings us to our final benefit.
It’s a Rewarding Experience
Not every career path you come across gives you the opportunity to interact with, and potentially change the lives of young learners.
Watching students improve and grow week by week by taking on any feedback provided is more than satisfying and fulfilling. Knowing that you are making a difference to someone else’s life, however big or small, is such a rewarding feeling.
What’s more, the experience you gain from tutoring English will only further your career aspirations in the long-term. Many people work to live, but tutoring is a rewarding vocation that guarantees a sense of complete satisfaction.
You’re playing a big part in the lives of the next generation, while furthering your own career. We can’t think of anything more rewarding than that!
A Day in the Life of an English Tutor
Are you interested in becoming an English tutor yet? Hopefully that answer is yes, given what you now know thanks to the information we’ve provided you with.
As tutors ourselves, we find it’s important to share the benefits that come with the role, considering how much of a difference it makes to young learners everywhere. It’s also one of the most flexible options you have if you’re looking to get into teaching.
If you’re looking for English tutor positions, or tutoring positions generally, we here at Redbridge Tuition are always on the lookout for individuals that share our passion. We work with children between the ages of 5 and 16 at a range of tuition centres around the country.
Check out our careers page for more information.
English Tutor FAQs
What makes a good English tutor?
Someone who carries themselves with confidence and can effectively communicate with others will almost always make for a good English tutor. They should also be highly motivated and can adapt to meet the needs of multiple students, just as importantly, understand the National Curriculum, and the subject of English in particular.
Where can I find English tutor jobs?
There are countless ways to find English tutor jobs with websites like Tutor hunt and Preply being two of the most popular. Another option would be to reach out to schools directly or check their vacancies page for more information.
What does an English tutor do?
An English tutor is someone who helps students in various aspects of their educational life. They help students learn how to read, write, and speak. They also prepare students for exams and tests, while providing additional support wherever needed.
Can I teach English online?
The short answer is yes. Yes you can teach English online. Platforms like Zoom and Google Meet have made it very easy for tutors to engage with students remotely. English tutor jobs with an online component are just as flexible as in-person positions, if not more.