As we have all seen in our chosen field, most jobs are multi-dimensional in ways that others may not see. It may be hard for people in your workplace or community to see the depth and breadth of what you do each day unless they are right beside you. I know that this is true for my profession as a tutor. Even my students- whom I work quite closely with, may not realize what a tutor's job entails.
This truly is my dream job, and I wake up every day excited to get to work. Here is a list of what I and many other tutors do at work every day:
1. We create learning experiences.
This may be the most obvious job description. But notice that we do not just create learning- or worksheets, we create experiences. When a student experiences learning, the learning is much more likely to stick with them. A great tutor will go to great lengths to incorporate something a student enjoys in a learning experience.
You can find me cutting out and assembling games, puzzles, pictures, and other materials that will immerse my students on the daily. (Usually whilst I binge watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix.)
2. We are coaches
A lot more than book smarts goes in to being successful in academics. Tutors know this, and commit themselves to coaching their students in all areas that will increase academic success. Just like a sports coach, I often give my students talks on pushing themselves, goal setting, grit and other important qualities.
Tutors are there for their students when the score is down at halftime with a pep-talk and a new strategy.
3. We are cheerleaders
It is our job to add ourselves to the sidelines of our student's education along with their parents and teachers. We learn to speak compliments and encouragements as a second language. Letting our students know what they are doing wonderfully makes them trust us to help them improve.
4. We are problem solvers
Our clients at times come to us because things just aren't working. It is sometimes difficult to find where a child is struggling in a subject, and that can be frustrating to students and parents. Tutors are there to help sniff out what a student might be missing as well as anything else that might be keeping them from reaching their full potential.
We spend lots of time thinking about our students and their problems. It does not just stop at the end of our session, we often stay up trying to figure out how to help a student get past a learning block or fill in a learning gap.
5. We are entrepreneurs
Some tutors are in business for themselves. This adds to their workload, but it gives them much more freedom to work with parents to do what is best for their students. If a tutor is not attached to a big tutoring company this means that they are most likely doing the "business side" on their own.
Always keep in mind that a tutor who is not attached to a company must pay taxes on what they earn, and purchase their own supplies. This may affect the rate they must charge in order to keep their business floating.
6. We are students
Though most of us may not be a student in the traditional sense, we are constantly learning. We read books and articles daily to make sure that we are keeping current with what is happening in our field. If we have a student who possesses a problem we have not seen before, we find information and study in order to provide the help needed.
My night stand looks like the nonfiction wing of the library. I recently had to readjust my stack so that it would not fall over.
7. We are educators
Last, but certainly not least we are committed educators. Most people only think about classroom teachers when this word comes up, but there are many professions out there that are occupied by educators. We teach our students in every way that we can. We want them to learn, but to also love learning. We put our all in to every day and every student in order to better their education.
I feel that the title of educator is a sacred one, and that anyone who assumes it commits themselves to selflessly providing learning to their students in any way that they can.
I am infinitely passionate about my job as a tutor, and I hope that this list helped you understand why!
Keep checking back for my next post. I will be tackling reading comprehension.