Practical Advice for New Tutors (Part 2) – Time Management
(Click Here for Part 1 of this article series)
One of the hardest parts to get used to when starting out as a tutor is time management both during and outside of your tutoring sessions. Here is some practical advice for new tutors regarding time management.
1. Be on Time
This should go without saying, but being on time is a key component in establishing your professionalism and value as a reliable tutor. It is important that your client receives the full time and attention they are paying for and that the client feels they can rely on your commitment. Be sure to account for transportation time and potential delays like traffic or detours when scheduling your sessions. Your first interaction with a client should never be an excuse; being on time is a great way to make a positive impression before even beginning to hit the books.
2. Managing Time During Your Session
Have a plan for managing your time during your tutoring sessions. The first part of this process involves having a plan for how the session will be used. Speak to your client about what portions of your session should be focused on homework help and what portions should be focused on building and strengthening concepts and skills. You can only do so much in a single session, there is nothing wrong with picking up where you left off next time.
The second part of this process involves keeping track of time. Get in the habit of having a running timer or visible clock during your session. You want to be sure your client is getting the full time they are paying for, but you need to protect yourself by not giving away extra time. This becomes especially important if you schedule multiple clients in a day; staying late with one client may mean you are late for all of the remaining clients on your docket.
If this is an area of stress for you, there are mobile, tutor-focused services like Clark that will assist you with the scheduling, time monitoring, and even the payment collection aspects of your tutoring business. Having another set of eyes on the clock can help make a difference in your ability to adhere to your schedule and remain as professional as possible.
3. Respect Your Own Time
It can be tempting to throw yourself into a new venture like tutoring with full force. In doing so, it can be easy to lose sight of your own needs. As you are scheduling clients and filling out your workload, be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to eat meals and travel safely. Being constantly on the go without breaks for yourself can take a toll that will affect your performance. You need to be as calm, focused, and stress-free as you can be to deliver quality instruction for your clients; stressful behaviors like regularly skipping meals or having to drive aggressively to make an appointment will quickly affect your performance in a negative way. Remember: your clients typically are hiring you because there is an aspect of the learning process that is already causing worry and/or stress. Your role as a tutor is to help minimize that, not bring your own stresses to the table.
Be sure to check back in to The Knowledge Roundtable Blog for more practical advice for tutors. Click here for Part 1 of Thomas’s Practical Advice for New Tutors. Please leave questions or comments below about ways you have successfully managed your tutoring time!