Why you should consider tutoring adults as a career

By Swindon Link - 1 August 2019

Features

Teaching other people is one of the most satisfying things that you can do in your life. It doesn’t matter what it is you are teaching, or who you are teaching it to, there is something special about the act of passing on knowledge that makes it a unique experience for anyone who undertakes it. Unfortunately, lots of people still think of tutoring as something for children, but this isn’t the case.

Just as there are plenty of inquisitive children who want to learn new things about the world around them, there are just as many adults who have been waiting for the opportunity to learn a new skill and will relish it when it comes along.

Any adult who has knowledge of a particular skill that other adults are likely to want to learn can potentially make money as a tutor. There will always be other adults out there who want to learn the skills that you have, and parents who want their children to learn the skills that you have. But tutoring other adults is a uniquely rewarding experience, one that anyone who is passionate about teaching should strive to experience.

What Can I Tutor Adults in?

Anything! You would be hard pressed to identify a skill that someone out there doesn’t want to learn. If you want to get a feel for the kind of skills that other people will pay money to learn from you, then we would recommend that you take a look at the website Superprof. Superprof offer courses for adults on any subject you could think of – you don’t need to feel refined to the standard academic subjects. 

One of the first things you will notice when looking through the options available on Superprof is that recreational pursuits that are available. There are also numerous courses that will teach students skills that they can use as a basis for professional work.

If you choose to tutor other adults in skills that you know, you can play a pivotal role in the next steps that they take in their professional and personal lives. Most of us have a whole host of skills that we would love to have but do not possess, but it is much rarer to be in possession of a skill that you know others will pay you to learn.

Do Adults Learn as Well as Children?

When we are young and still developing, our brains are constantly taking in new information and trying to work out how to integrate it with what we already know. Children’s brains, especially young children, are unique in their ability to take on board new information. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the capacity for very young children to learn language; after the age of 3-5, it becomes significantly more difficult to learn a language through simple exposure.

However, while adults don’t have quite the same seemingly-supernatural learning abilities that young children do, that isn’t to say that they aren’t adept learners. As adults, the biggest barrier to learning is simple motivation. If you are motivated enough to want to learn a new skill or subject, then you will find that it is often much easier than you expect, with the right guidance of course.

While the adult brain is not quite as malleable as that of a child, there are other reasons that many people prefer tutoring adults to kids.

More Receptive Students

Tutoring children and teenagers can definitely be a rewarding experience, but it is very different to tutoring another adult. Whereas children are often being tutored at their parents’ behest, the adults that you tutor will be there entirely of their own volition and will want to learn purely for themselves. This makes for a very different experience from the point of view of the teacher - you will usually find that adult students are more receptive to your lessons.

As we mentioned earlier, motivation is a huge part of the learning experience for adults - if you are sufficiently motivated, then you can learn just about anything that you put your mind to. An adult will be closer to you in age than a child, regardless of how old you are. They will be easier to relate to and converse with than children are.

More Constructive Exchanges

Students who are motivated and receptive will be easier to communicate with in general, and are much more likely to take your advice into consideration. However, adult students are also likely to be naturally much more confident in themselves and their own knowledge. We’re not saying that your adult students are going to answer you back, but they are much more likely to engage in an exchange with you.

Some subjects are naturally much more instructive than others. For these subjects, the role of the tutor will be to show the student how to do things and guide them through the development of their skills. However, there are other subjects where student and tutor may engage in a back and forth.

For example, if you want to learn the guitar, then the best thing for you is to find someone who can already play it better than you can and get them to show you how it’s done. However, if you want to tutor students in something like acting or drawing, then you will need to be able to engage in a back and forth with them.

When you are discussing the finer points of a creative pursuit like music or acting, you will generally find that adults are much more engaging than children. You will be able to have exchanges with other adults that you might find enlightening and enriching yourself.

Build Connections

No matter what you are teaching or who you are teaching it to, you will need to be able to have conducive conversations with them about the material they are studying. It is through these dialogues that you will be able to get to know your student as an individual. Needless to say, this is a very different experience when it is another adult that you are making the connection with as opposed to a child.

Most adults have a better understanding of the world around them than children, so naturally when you tutor other adults, you will be able to connect with them in a way that you can’t with children. Even if you’re one of those grown-ups who is naturally fantastic with children, the connections you build with child students are very different to those you might form with your adult learners.

If you have a skill, or even a number of skills that are relevant to your own passions and interests, tutoring might be the perfect career path for you. Many adults who go into tutoring are looking for a way to make some money on the side while doing the thing that they love; in which case, this is a fantastic side gig to have.

No matter what your particular individual talent or skill, there are bound to be other adults out there who are eager to learn. Tutoring them is a fantastic way of indulging your passions while also making a positive difference to other people’s lives, and making some money for yourself, of course.

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