Myths about tutoring

There are all sorts of myths that I’ve heard about tutoring over the years, and most of them make me laugh out loud if I’m honest. It’s always fascinating to hear what people think of tutoring when they’re looking from the outside in, and most of the time they’re very far wide of the mark. To give you a view into my world I’ve put together some of the most common myths that I’ve heard over the course of my career. Hopefully it gives you fresh insight into my choice of career!

Tutors never work weekends or summer holidays

I get told all the time by my friends who work office jobs that it must be great having so much holiday. I always look at them a little confused, because working with students and pupils doesn’t mean that you stick to the same hours as they do. It’s all about setting yourself up with a realistic schedule, and then working with focus and intensity so that you can get the job done. Otherwise you soon find that the work you have will expand to fill your entire day. And that’s exactly what you don’t want!

They can set their hours to be as short as they want

Whilst I certainly have some say in when I work, I still have to fit in with the rest of the world. It’s all well and good being able to go out all day and work in the evening, but then I’d just be missing out on family time. Having a well-established routine is really important, and it’s what gives you the impetus to get the job done in a fraction of the time it would take you if all you did was work.

Working outside in the sun is a perk of the job

As tempting as it might be to work outside whilst lying on the grass, it’s far from conducive to earning money. Being a tutor is great, but I’m not going to tell you that it doesn’t involve plenty of quiet hours sat at my desk. These are the times when I really get the deep focused work done that allows me to earn a living doing what I love.

There’s nothing like being able to take time off when you want

This might sound great, but you still have to treat tutoring like a job if you want it to become one. I could have a student decide they want to pay someone to write my essay, and I would be losing money if I weren’t available to help write the model answer. As with anything, the more you put in the more you will get out.

You can work in your PJs on the couch most of the time

I get told this a lot, but it’s just not true. Working on the couch will ensure that your mind wanders and that you don’t make the best use of your time. Working at a desk in a dedicated home office is the best way to approach things, and it will make sure that you treat your new venture like an actual job.

A tutor can charge as much or as little as they like

You can of course set your prices to be whatever you want, but this doesn’t mean that people will buy from you. Too expensive and you price yourself out of the market. Too cheap and you lose credibility.

Anyone can start a tutoring business with ease

I’ve left this one until last because it’s the biggest myth of all. Tutoring is something you can do from home, but it also requires a specific set of skills. It’s always worth consulting an expert before putting time, money, and effort into something you may not be ideally suited to.

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