What does a private tutor do?

Would you make a good private tutor? Take our career test and find your match with over 800 careers.

Take the free career test Learn more about the career test

What is a Private Tutor?

A private tutor is an individual hired to provide personalized, one-on-one instruction to a student outside of the traditional classroom setting. Private tutors may offer their services across various academic subjects, test preparation, language acquisition, or even extracurricular activities. These educators tailor their teaching approach to the specific needs and learning style of the student, providing targeted support and guidance.

Private tutoring can take place in-person or online, depending on the preferences and convenience of both the tutor and the student. Tutors often assist with homework, reinforce classroom concepts, and offer additional practice to help students grasp challenging topics. Many families seek private tutors to address academic gaps, provide enrichment, or prepare students for standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT.

What does a Private Tutor do?

A private tutor helping a young girl with her homework assignment.

Duties and Responsibilities
Private tutors provide individualized educational support to students. Their duties and responsibilities can vary based on the needs of the student, the subject matter, and the grade level. Here are common duties and responsibilities of private tutors:

  • Individualized Learning Plans: Private tutors meticulously craft individualized learning plans based on the student's unique strengths, weaknesses, and learning preferences. These plans serve as roadmaps, outlining the steps needed to achieve academic success and personal growth.
  • Diagnostic Assessments: Conduct comprehensive diagnostic assessments to identify specific areas where the student may be struggling or excelling. These assessments inform the tutor's instructional approach and help tailor lessons to address the student's specific needs.
  • Differentiated Instruction: Implement differentiated instruction strategies to cater to diverse learning styles. Whether a student is a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner, the tutor adjusts teaching methods to ensure maximum comprehension and retention.
  • Scaffolded Learning: Break down complex concepts into manageable, scaffolded steps. Tutors provide the necessary support to guide students through progressively challenging tasks, fostering a deep understanding of the material.
  • Feedback and Reflection: Offer constructive feedback on the student's performance, highlighting strengths and providing guidance on areas that need improvement. Encourage reflection and self-assessment to promote independent learning skills.
  • Catering to Academic Goals: Align tutoring sessions with the student's academic goals, whether it involves mastering a specific subject, achieving a certain grade, or excelling in standardized tests. Tutors work collaboratively with students to set realistic and achievable milestones.
  • Communication with School Teachers: Collaborate with the student's school teachers to gain insights into the curriculum, assignments, and overall academic expectations. This communication ensures that the private tutoring complements and reinforces classroom learning.
  • Test and Exam Strategies: Equip students with effective test-taking strategies and exam preparation techniques. Tutors simulate exam conditions during practice sessions to enhance the student's confidence and performance under pressure.
  • Resourceful Use of Materials: Utilize a variety of instructional materials, including textbooks, supplemental readings, multimedia resources, and educational apps. Tutors keep abreast of the latest educational technologies and methodologies to enhance the learning experience.
  • Parental Involvement: Foster open lines of communication with parents or guardians, keeping them informed about their child's progress and strategies for improvement. Collaborate with parents to create a supportive learning environment at home.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Demonstrate cultural sensitivity and awareness, recognizing and respecting the diverse backgrounds of students. This includes adapting teaching materials and approaches to be inclusive and culturally relevant.

Types of Private Tutors
Private tutors cover a wide range of subjects and specialize in various areas to meet the diverse needs of students. Here are some common types of private tutors:

  • Subject-Specific Tutors: Tutors who specialize in a particular academic subject, such as math, science, English, history, or a foreign language. These tutors provide targeted assistance to students seeking help in specific courses or subjects.
  • Test Preparation Tutors: Tutors who focus on preparing students for standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, or other entrance exams. They help students develop test-taking strategies, review content, and practice with sample exams.
  • Language Tutors: Tutors who specialize in language instruction, helping students with language acquisition, grammar, vocabulary, and conversational skills. This category includes ESL (English as a Second Language) tutors for non-native English speakers.
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Tutors: Tutors who specialize in STEM subjects, providing assistance in areas like mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, and engineering.
  • Writing Tutors: Tutors who focus specifically on improving students' writing skills. They may assist with essay writing, creative writing, academic papers, and other written assignments.
  • Music and Arts Tutors: Tutors who specialize in music, visual arts, or performing arts. They may provide instruction in playing musical instruments, music theory, drawing, painting, or acting.
  • College Admissions Tutors: Tutors who assist students with the college admissions process, including college essay writing, interview preparation, and overall guidance on creating a competitive application.
  • Special Education Tutors: Tutors with expertise in working with students with special needs. They may provide support for students with learning disabilities, ADHD, or other challenges, adapting teaching methods to individual learning styles.
  • Adult Education Tutors: Tutors who work with adult learners, providing assistance in areas such as adult basic education, GED preparation, ESL, and workforce development.
  • Homework Help Tutors: Tutors who offer general homework assistance across multiple subjects. They help students understand and complete assignments, reinforcing concepts covered in school.
  • Executive Function Coaches: Coaches who specialize in improving students' executive function skills, including organization, time management, study skills, and goal-setting.
  • Online Tutors: Tutors who provide instruction through online platforms. They may cover a variety of subjects and offer flexibility in scheduling for students who prefer virtual learning.
  • Coding and Programming Tutors: Tutors specializing in teaching coding and programming languages. They assist students in developing computer programming skills for various applications.
  • Business and Finance Tutors: Tutors who provide instruction in business-related subjects, finance, accounting, and economics.

Private tutors have distinct personalities. Think you might match up? Take the free career test to find out if private tutor is one of your top career matches. Take the free test now Learn more about the career test

What is the workplace of a Private Tutor like?

The workplace of a private tutor is notably diverse and adaptable, as it largely depends on the preferences of the tutor and the needs of their students. Many private tutors choose to conduct sessions in the homes of their students, creating a comfortable and familiar learning environment. In-home tutoring allows for personalized attention and minimizes distractions, fostering a focused and conducive atmosphere for learning. This setting also offers the flexibility to cater to the unique needs and schedules of individual students, making it an ideal choice for those seeking one-on-one instruction.

Additionally, private tutors may choose to work in dedicated tutoring centers, either as employees or independent contractors. Tutoring centers provide a professional setting equipped with resources such as textbooks, educational materials, and sometimes technology tools. Working in a tutoring center offers the tutor access to a broader range of students, allowing them to specialize in certain subjects or age groups. This setting may also facilitate collaboration among tutors and provide a supportive community for professional development.

With the rise of online education, many private tutors have embraced virtual platforms as their workplace. Conducting sessions online allows tutors to reach students beyond geographical constraints, opening up opportunities for remote teaching. Virtual tutoring often involves the use of video conferencing, interactive whiteboards, and other online tools to create engaging and effective learning experiences. This mode of tutoring provides flexibility for both tutors and students, enabling them to connect from the comfort of their own homes.

Frequently Asked Questions



Continue reading

Private Tutors are also known as: