Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Summer Cool Down

Guess what my favorite season is! Guess! I'll give you four chances!

You're right! It is SUMMER!!
Yes, spring has only just begun to sprung, but time to think ahead!
I am a California girl and just thinking about summer makes me soo excited! I know I'm not in SoCal anymore and I know Georgia summers are a slap of hot and humid, I know all of that! But I LOVE summer!

However, the one thing that is not so hot during summer is the tutoring business. Kids are out of school, families are on vacation, and seriously, who wants to listen to someone explain the Pythagorean Theorem AGAIN! That's why I've learned to plan ahead.

Last summer, business was good. I had a few students, enjoyed my days, got some relaxing time and buckled down for the school year. But this year, after exceeding my 5 year plan in 1 year (woop woop!), I gotta make sure I keep up with this running business! So here is what I've learned in my first couple years as a professional tutor:

This cover page and others are for sale on my TpT account :)

1. Keep parents involved! Find out vacation dates, summer sport leagues, etc. When you show interest in helping their student continue learning the more likely they will book you again. It is for the benefit of the student to keep education on the mind (even just once every couple of weeks helps to keep kids more organized).

2. Summer advancement is a great opportunity to connect a hobby to school. I usually tutor math and science, but last summer I tutored a girl in Spanish. We had so much fun. She is just as zany and fun as I am--we even had a hilarious summer project. She made a music video parody in Spanish! We had so much fun rapping and singing that we didn't even need to review verb tenses for her first couple tests in fall. (I told her I mentioned our song in this blog. She started singing HER lyrics in SPANISH word for word! This was yesterday. She wrote the song 9 months ago. G-Iron is one proud tutor!)

3. Tutoring in groups has expanded my business! I tutor four best friends during the school year and I have already booked a fifth for summer. These kids spend so much time together at each others' houses that it makes sense for me to drive to only one location and parents don't have to worry about driving their student to a session. This is also a great idea for college students! Those cram "semesters" can easily become an 8 person study group with you as the instructor! Talk to professors and campus groups and see what you can do!

4. Reset your school year. This allows parents to seriously consider their children's education needs during this VERY long break. We all know we forget a majority of what we learn over summer, is this a risk your student is willing to take? What about college entry exams, SATs, resume building? What extra subjects will your student need help in? All of these skills need a tutor, and what better time to plan and revamp than summer?

5. Book your wait-listed students. I know I have multiple students that I never see because my schedule is so packed and I am yet to clone myself successfully. Make these precious students a priority now that you aren't restricted by 3pm-8pm. The thanks I have received from parents for booking their students during the summer is so gratifying that I can only thank Christ for His blessing of a booked schedule! You have the time, so use it!

BONUS! 6. Tell your students you are available during summer! One thing I hear SO often during spring is "You take summer off, right?" No! I am here for YOU! Tell them your summer hours and let them KNOW you are willing to work and keep pushing on! Parents assume you are on a teacher's schedule, so they may never even ask or mention summer. So bring it up yourself!

Enjoy a busy summer my fellow educators! Start booking now and your income will start to be consistent year-round! And don't forget to schedule in some fun barbecues, beach days, and hotdog eating contests! Can't wait for summer!!

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