10 Lifehacks for Finding Your Ideal Online Tutor

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      Online tutoring is trendy!

      Given the benefits that are associated with online tutoring, it is not surprising that more and more people are turning to it for their learning and trying to find the best online tutor possible! Hiring an online tutor for the subject you want to learn is a great idea because:

      • It allows you to select from a worldwide pool of well-qualified teachers.
      • It is cost-effective and works out cheaper than hiring a face-to-face tutor.
      • In these stressful times, it offers a safe solution that does not require personal contact.
      A smiling female teacher wearing glasses and holding a folder in her hand

      What makes a good online tutor?

      The supply of online tutors has risen to meet increased demand, which means that finding the right tutor can sometimes be difficult. When looking for an online tutor, it is important to remember that the one worth hiring is the one that possesses the following qualities:

      • Knowledge of content: A good online tutor should be an expert in the subject they are teaching.
      • Ability to engage the audience: Knowing how to maintain attention and engage an audience is another important skill that good online tutors possess.
      • Passion: A tutor’s passion for their subject and their enthusiasm make for a positive learning environment that encourages remote learners.

      The importance of finding a good online tutor

      Finding a good tutor is crucial for you to get the most out of your lessons because:

      • They will know how to interpret your strengths, weaknesses, and learning needs.
      • They will be able to answer all your subject-related questions, saving you time.
      • They will be responsive, easily reachable, and pleasant to work with.

      If you have decided to take the first steps towards finding an online tutor, keep reading for our round-up of lifehacks to help you find the best one!

      Lifehack #1: Search on online tutoring platforms

      Where to start your search

      The first step is using a search engine. Type out your specific needs, such as the subject you want to learn and your level and then sort through the results, clicking on pages of online tutoring platforms and advice on message boards.

      Google Search is not enough

      However, keep in mind that Googling is not enough! While we tend to rely heavily on the first few pages of Google results for answers to our questions, the reality is that these results can be bought or manipulated. For example:

      • Tech-savvy tutors can end up on the first pages of Google as a result of investing heavily in SEO-optimization for their website.
      • Ads can be bought by tutors and appear on the top of search results, but this does not guarantee that it is the best service available.
      • Teachers who are prolific posters of long-form content are also favored by Google results.

      Choosing tutors who are registered on online tutoring platforms

      A convenient option for choosing a tutor is to go for one who is registered on an established online tutoring platform. These platforms use advanced technology to ensure they provide good quality, interactive lessons and they screen their teachers, verifying their credentials so you do not have to.

      Looking through online tutors’ social network accounts: What to pay attention to

      Checking a prospective online teacher’s social media can give distance learners a good idea of their personality and skills. Some things to pay attention to when looking through a tutor’s social media are the following:

      • Are they using it to enable remote learning, posting lesson-related content?
      • Are they using sound judgment to separate their personal page from their professional one?
      • Are they using it to enhance student relationships, by promoting safe discussions?
      • Do they seem to have a positive rapport and interactions with their other students?
      • Are they comfortable with technology, sharing interactive learning resources?

      Lifehack #2: Study the online tutor’s profile

      Recognizing good online tutor profiles: Information to look for

      When you have found a tutor you are interested in, take the time to study their profile. Other than the basic information all professional teacher profiles should include, like the full name and tutor’s subject of expertise, a good tutor profile will stand out because it includes all of the following:

      • Profile picture
      • Information and details about lessons
      • List of professional experience as a tutor
      • Introductory video
      • Relevant reviews from previous students

      Lifehack #3: Image matters

      Dressing for online lessons

      While online tutors are behind a screen during their virtual lessons, how a person dresses undeniably sets a tone and, so, they should aim to dress in a way that conveys an organized attitude and inspires confidence. It is important that teachers wear clothes that stand against their background, which should be tidy and neutral, for online lessons.

      Female teacher with laptop and books

      Essential features of character for a good online tutor

      Some features of character that make a good online tutor are the following:

      • Good listener and communicator.
      • Enthusiastic about transmitting knowledge.
      • Patient with other people.
      • Motivating and encouraging.
      • Empathetic and understanding with others.

      The importance of good speech for an online tutor

      Clear enunciation and speech are very important for an online tutor. It can be hard for students to understand lessons if words are slurred together or come out too fast. In order for students to be able to focus on the learning process, tutors should make an effort to speak clearly.

      Lifehack #4: Age matters

      Age limits for online tutoring

      Most online tutoring platforms require teachers to be at least 18 years old. While it is possible for younger people to find work as an online tutor, there are more options for adults.

      Hiring students as online tutors

      While a lot of companies will give preference to tutors who already have teaching experience, it is still possible to find qualified students to tutor you.

      Usually offering lower and, therefore, more competitive prices, students often relate better to younger students and can effectively teach beginner levels. Since students grew up with technology and, so, are digital natives, they are quick to familiarize themselves with the requirements of online teaching.

      Issues with elderly online tutors

      Even though there is no upper limit to the age of a tutor, there are often misconceptions when it comes to elderly people. People worry about the elderly’s declining memory and low digital literacy. However, research has shown that older people can learn new online skills very effectively and can be very good at passing on knowledge.

      Lifehack #5: Make sure the tutor is experienced enough

      Verifying online tutors’ qualifications

      Once you have found and contacted a tutor you like, it is wise to check their ID and qualifications. If you are not using an online tutoring platform, you must verify a tutor’s credentials. You are within your rights to ask to see their diploma and discontinue business if they refuse to provide it.

      While it is not necessary for an online tutor to have teaching experience at a school or university if this is important to you make sure that you ask for their records and check their references.

      Lifehack #6: Consider students’ reviews

      Choosing an online tutor based on reviews

      Choosing an online tutor based solely on reviews is not advisable, as it has become very common for fake reviews to be planted online by individuals trying to promote their online tutoring services.

      Finding trustworthy reviews and recommendations about online tutors

      To find trustworthy reviews and recommendations about online tutors, try using online tutoring platforms that always feature genuine user reviews. Many of these platforms go the extra mile to ensure trustworthiness, by committing to finding the right tutor-student matches and accepting only the best of instructors who apply.

      Distinguishing between real and fake reviews

      The key to distinguishing between a real and a fake review is checking multiple sources. Be suspicious of exclusively 5-star, glowing ratings, and reviews that only offer vague details.

      Lifehack #7: Take a trial session

      Trial lessons: An Introduction

      Some tutors offer free trial sessions that give you a lesson with them before officially being hired. This gives you a chance to meet and get to know your tutor, discuss your distance learning goals, and create a plan for future lessons. While teachers are not obliged to do this, it is a good practice for attracting new students.

      Your first trial lesson with a new tutor: What to pay attention to and what to ask

      If you are ready to take the plunge with your first trial lesson, make it count! Pay attention to the following:

      • Do you understand the teacher clearly? Do you understand the lesson delivery and feedback they provide you?
      • Do you have chemistry and do they have a personable demeanor that will encourage your learning?
      • Do they have expertise in their subject and are they able to answer your questions convincingly?

      The 5 most important questions to ask your online tutor during the first session are the following:

      • What is your expertise in the subject?
      • What kind of results can I expect to see?
      • How will you communicate with me and how often?
      • How do you measure progress?
      • What is your policy for cancellations and make-up sessions?
      Young woman wearing headphones working with a laptop and writing notes

      Child learners and online lessons with a new tutor

      It may reassure parents to be present during the first session of an online class. Parents can watch a lesson to ensure the tutor is professional and understands their child’s needs. While most tutors are trained to engage young children’s attention, parents may stay nearby if they wish to do so and it does not distract the child from learning.

      Lifehack #8: Count your money

      Online tutors’ rates per hour

      Depending on the subject they are distance teaching and at what level, as well as the demand for it, among other factors, rates for online tutors can range between $20 and $90 per academic hour, which is defined as 50 minutes of instructional time.

      You should be mindful of individuals trying to overcharge you, delivering lessons without the necessary expertise and ability to help you reach the results you want. It is also a red flag when an online tutor requests to be paid directly and tries to move off an established tutoring platform for no reason.

      Lifehack #9: Manage your time

      If you manage to find a good online tutor, chances are that they will also have many other students and be relatively busy. This has both advantages and disadvantages.

      Advantages

      Students are busy people balancing schoolwork, extracurricular activities, part-time work, and hobbies. A busy teacher can understand that very well and respects their time, setting them work that will fit around their schedule. This encourages self-paced learning and helps students be independent and take accountability for their learning.

      Disadvantages

      With a busy teacher, it could be a concern for the students that they will not get enough one-to-one interaction and help with coursework. For students who do not have the self-discipline required to study online, the teacher’s limited presence may not be enough to motivate them.

      Lessons beyond traditional learning hours

      A busy online tutor might suggest working with you beyond traditional learning hours, for example early in the morning or late at night. This type of flexibility is why many people choose online education but, of course, there are cons as well as pros to it.

      For people with a family or many job responsibilities, this flexibility allows them to learn on their own time without pressure. However, for individuals who are not self-motivated, it could be difficult to follow an unconventional schedule.

      Learning with online tutors from other time zones

      Learning with tutors from different time zones opens up a wider pool of teachers for you to choose from and allows you to learn with the most skilled professionals. Even though it is sometimes challenging to organize that, there are online tools that can help.

      For example, Eurekly’s Live Learning distance learning system offers one-on-one or group lessons in a wide variety of categories that are set up during teachers’ pre-set available hours. Eurekly’s built-in scheduling system allows you to easily coordinate times with tutors, even across different time zones!

      Lifehack #10: Choose a trustworthy online tutoring platform

      Learning via online tutoring services vs. private tutoring

      In a post-COVID-19 crisis climate, online tutoring is a safe way to continue with uninterrupted education. Not only does e-learning offer a safer alternative health-wise during these stressful times, but it is generally cheaper than face-to-face tutoring. Yet, it can be difficult to find an online tutor who is the perfect fit for you with so many options around.

      Simplify your choice by joining leading online tutoring platform Eurekly that connects you to the best available tutors out there based on your schedule, rates, and criteria. Try it and advance your education with Eurekly by your side!

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