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What Does a Private Tutor Do?

By Bethany Keene
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A private tutor is an individual who works one-on-one with students to provide extra help and instruction in a particular subject. For younger students, tutors might provide overall help with schoolwork, such as assisting students in developing good study skills, or helping them get ready for tests. A private tutor may get paid for this work, or he or she might do it on a volunteer basis. Some colleges and universities will offer college credit for acting as a tutor to other students, provided the student completes a specific number of hours per semester, but this is not common.

Virtually anyone with expertise in a given subject may decide to become a private tutor. In many schools, peers or older students will tutor each other, or older students will work with younger students. In colleges, students working in a certain major may work with students who have to take courses in that major, but may be struggling with it. Students pursuing English or communications degrees, for example, will frequently work as private tutors at a "writing center" or other study center on campus to help students write and edit their papers for class.

An individual who is not currently a student may choose to become a private tutor as well, as they can frequently earn money for these services. Retired teachers, for instance, will often choose to tutor students, and parents are often more comfortable with this as well. A teacher may work with a student in a specific area in which he or she is having trouble, and provide assistance, or the teacher may develop lesson plans to help students in a more general way. Individuals who are simply experts in certain fields may also decide to become private tutors, whether they ever taught professionally or not.

Many private tutors choose to work online. Online tutoring makes it easier for tutors to find students and for students to find tutors. Some private tutors choose to run their businesses through an online tutoring platform. Using a tutoring company helps students find qualified tutors and can help tutors have a more successful business. If you aren’t sure which platform is best for you, you can compare the most popular tutoring companies, such as Wyzant vs Varsity tutors.

Private tutoring is not limited to academic work. Private tutors may also exist for individuals learning a musical instrument, or working on their singing voice. Students who are particularly dedicated to a sport, such as those who might want to earn a college scholarship in the sport, might hire someone to work with them one-on-one to develop the skills necessary to succeed. There is almost no better way to learn than receiving personalized instruction from someone who is an expert in the field, which is why so many people choose to work with a private tutor at some point in their lives.

For example, if you are looking for customized one-on-one instruction in Language Arts, hiring a private English tutor is a great go-to solution.

Ultimately, the role of a private tutor extends beyond merely teaching a subject. They are instrumental in shaping a student's academic journey, fostering a love for learning, and building confidence. Whether it's SAT tutoring or assistance with complex calculus problems, a private tutor tailors their approach to meet the unique needs of each student. They provide personalized attention, identify learning gaps, and devise strategies to overcome them, thereby playing a pivotal role in a student's academic success.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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Discussion Comments
By Josephine04 — On Nov 04, 2012

The role of a private tutor is to motivate the student to learn. Private tutors help students express themselves in an education system that is ever increasing in complexity and a world that is becoming more competitive by the day.

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