For many teachers, having private students can be a blessing.
In some cases, it can be very profitable to move abroad and post advertisements in places, offering private lessons in English. It is up to you as the teacher to set your own rates. You basically work the hours you choose. For many who are employed by an official school, this can also be a great source of supplementary income. Of course, you will have to have a look at the rules and regulations of whatever school you work with in order to make sure that this doesn’t contradict them. In certain countries like Germany, teaching English is mainly a freelance job. Teachers will usually be subcontracted by different companies in order to teach at various places such as schools and businesses. As a result, one will need to make sure that they get contracts with a number of different companies. When taking on private classes, the atmosphere can be a lot more relaxed. But it is still important to make sure that the class is structured so that the student who is paying you gets the most of out their lesson.
How to Structure Your Private Classes
Make a Plan
This might seem like an obvious one, but a lot of teachers, especially beginners, forget about it. Even if you are only teaching a conversational class, it is important to give it structure and have goals. For the first meeting, speak with the student about what they need. Organize the date, times and other important aspects of the class. If you work mostly on a freelance basis, it should be easy to accommodate your students whenever they need it, so you can schedule classes depending on when they’re available. Other teachers may not be so lucky, therefore in most cases it is important to set up a regular routine.
Focus on the Student’s Interests
This will allow you to engage them more in the class. For example, if your student is a history teacher, tailor a class to his own interests, by focusing on different proverbs and the historical attachments behind them. If your students has an interest in current affairs, then have a look for different news articles on the Internet and print them out. This can be a great way of finding relevant vocabulary, especially if the student wants to practise his or her conversational English.
The Importance of Structure With Children
Often parents might recruit a private tutor for their son or daughter who doesn’t appear to be doing too well in school. This can obviously be a challenge due to their apparent disinterest in the language. Therefore, engaging them (again!) is key. Because there is only the two of you, it will not be like an ordinary classroom setting. This leaves a lot open for distractions. Having a well set out plan with, maybe with a break depending on the length, will achieve much better results.
Follow Regular Class Timings
In order to maintain an air of professionalism, it is a good idea to bill your classes to the same length as they normally would be in a professional language school. Do some research on this if you haven’t done so already, or haven’t worked in a language school yet. See what the standard hour is, and what the standard pay rate is as well. With this, you will be better prepared. If students want longer or shorter classes, then it is a good idea to organize this within the first lesson. This will clear up any confusion.
Warmers, Fillers and More
As with a normal class, it is important to fill up your private one-on-one classes with the same structure methods. Introduce warmer exercises and use fillers in case there is any time left. This will ensure the student that they are receiving a proper service. It is important to be professional with all clients, as you can often benefit from the likes of referrals in order to gain more students.
Again, we cannot stress how important it is to make sure that your private classes are more structured.
A lot of the time they will be in a more relaxed setting such as the individual’s home, or in a coffee shop. Keeping the class professional will ensure the best service.
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