I have been a Marketing Communications Copywriter for 18 years. Before that, I was a high school English teacher. At this point in my career, I would like to start giving back to people by becoming
a tutor and sharing what I have learned about writing for clarity and impact.
What advice can you provide about defining a path for reaching my goal?
I commend you for wanting to assist others. You might also want to check out becoming a part - time tutor at one of the local colleges in you area. I too was a public school teacher. After a while, I went to work in the business world. I missed teaching, and wanted to re- enter the field, but at a higher level. I began tutoring at a local community college, where I am now a tenured Associate Professor. I hope this helps you.
I am glad that you have considered becoming a tutor. It is considered a highly noble profession, and outside of the classroom, students are provided a significant amount of educational support to students of all ages.
Some questions you may want to address to yourself as you enter into the tutoring realm are:
1. What are my strengths and weakness as a tutor?
2. What am I comfortable with tutoring?
3. Do I want to tutor temporarily or long-term?
These questions will help you define your path. Once you answer these questions, you may have a better idea of how you would like to proceed. A suggestion is to start tutoring students at the level you comfortable with by "advertising" at the local schools or school district. You are not necessarily advertising (because that's actually against most school district policies), but some school districts have what is called a "private tutor list" which comprises of tutors and tutoring companies that parents can seek out for assistance.
Hopefully this helps. Welcome to the NTA, Laurel!
From my experience, students appreciate the connection of learning to real-world experiences. I've heard students groan about all types of writing saying things such as, "it isn't like I'm going to need this in the 'real world.'" Your extensive professional experience will be vital to students trying to connect their learning to its greater purpose as they grow academically and professionally.
As online learning has gained popularity (I'm an online student myself), so has the need for writing support. In the various online programs I've participated in, writing has been the primary method of illustrating learning objective achievement (through discussion board posts and weekly essay prompts, for example.) Helping students understand the importance of clear, concise writing in all forms, even everyday writing (i.e. emails, scholarship applications, discussion posts, etc.) will assist them in connecting their learning to their professional growth. Your experience with your clients could provide real-world examples of this so that your students begin to understand the "why" behind academic writing.
It is also important to never stop learning; students look to their educators as examples and all educators are lifelong learners. We continually learn through training, our own academic journeys, and our students. If your student recognizes that you are not only willing, but also excited, to learn from them just as they will learn from you, then you will likely (from my experience) connect to that student, thus building an authentic and safe learning environment.
A quick side note--I do not run my own private tutoring business, but I know several board members do have their own private programs and can provide fantastic information about how to market yourself as a tutor. Additionally, if you complete your training and certification through the NTA, you will be added to the NTA's database of tutors so that potential students can find you through the website.
I am sure the other board members will provide feedback as you move forward and define your path, but I guess my key bit of advice is to always remember to connect the student's learning to application in real-world scenarios and always be open to learning opportunities with your students.
Welcome to the NTA, Laurel!
Director of Communications