In many parts of the TEFL world it is common for English teachers to earn a little extra money on the side by teaching private clients outside of their normal working hours. Some are even able to make it a full-time career after building up a reliable number of students. Working as a private tutor is actually one of the most common types of teaching job in some areas, particularly in countries where it is difficult to secure an official work permit. For example, a large number of American teachers work as private tutors in Spain as the demand is very high, but work permits are not always easy to get hold of. Whether as a main income or just as a side line, private tutoring is certainly an option you might want to consider wherever you end up teaching around the world.
Is a TEFL certificate required to be a private English tutor?
As private tutoring is often a personal agreement between a teacher and a student, it is not strictly necessary to have a TEFL qualification. However, by completing an internationally recognized TEFL course before heading off on your teaching adventure you will give yourself a far better chance of landing any job, whether with a school or private clients. By having a TEFL certificate you can show potential employers or individual students that you are a serious professional teacher who will be able to achieve positive results in both individual and classroom environments.
How do TEFL teachers find private students to teach?
When looking for private students to tutor there are a few simple tips that can help you in your search. Talking to other teachers who are already working in the local area can be a good place to start as they will have plenty of inside knowledge on the teaching market. On top of this, you will probably need to do a bit of advertising. The most common approach is to put up fliers on notice boards in areas where students are likely to hang out, such as universities, bars and coffee shops etc. Many teachers also invest in business cards as these can be handed out whenever you come across a potential client.
One important point is to invest in a local sim card so you can use it in your advertising. Potential clients are not going to queue up to phone an international phone number for obvious reasons. Many teachers also offer a range of incentives as a way to drum up business. Common incentives include a free introductory lesson and a healthy discount for purchasing multiple lessons in advance. Another option is to give free lessons or discounts to existing students who refer new students to you.