To Teach or To Tutor?

To Teach or To Tutor – That is the Question…

Hi everyone and welcome to my first ever blog for TTLN.  Let me introduce myself and why I am here and what I am to do.  My name is Steve and I am currently working as a Deputy Headteacher and have been in the teaching profession for 10 years.  I need to say right now, I love teaching.  That is right, despite all the hardships that come with the profession, I LOVE it!  I also love leadership and the challenges that brings but I am at a crossroads in my career path right now.  A year ago my partner and I welcomed in our little baby girl to our growing family and our lovely house is no longer big enough for us, three children and two dogs.  So we are looking to move further away from the hustle and bustle to the south coast.  The plus side would be a better work-life balance, the down side would be the fact I would be leaving a secure job to the unknown.  This is where the idea of being an entrepreneur came in and the idea of running my own tutoring business came into play and after discussions with my partner (who would also like to run various toddler groups) we came up with the idea of going for it.  No risk no reward, right?  So, this is going to be my journey from start to finish, with plenty of vlogs and blogs encapsulating the highs and lows – and the unpredictability of what will happen and whether it can be a success!  Fortunately, whilst I am a complete novice in the business department, I have the full support of both Syd and Holly here at TTLN and with their guidance I hope that in 5 months approximately, I can create my very own tutoring business and hopefully get an income coming in!

The initial question when I mention tutoring to colleagues and friends is: but why?!  You can’t give up a secure income, a job you enjoy and promotion prospects to go ‘freelance’ and just tutor.  Too many people seem to view tutoring as a side business, or not even a business at all.  It is like pocket money for teachers and is something failed teachers go in to because they cannot hack the working life at school.  That is so not true!  It is an odd perception and I hope over time this blog can help change that.  Not only do those I know who run a tutoring business work incredibly hard, they are also successful.  They make a very good living, have a good balance but are incredibly skilled, knowledgeable and determined people.  It isn’t just a pastime to top up the bank account, with the work ethic, the business head….and a little bit of luck, it can be a career.

I have no qualms in telling people I want to spend more time with my family and our youngest.  I have no qualms in telling people I want to challenge myself as an entrepreneur and create my own business despite the risks (and Covid-19) and I have no qualms in telling people that I want a better balance at home to enable my partner to flourish with her own career dreams and ideas too, if it means I can help be the balance here.  I have a very passionate and hard-working lady beside me and her ideas and creativity are amazing, so to see her achieve this will be thoroughly worth it.

I come back to my initial point – I love teaching.  There is nothing like the buzz you get in a classroom when they don’t want the lesson to end as they love what they are learning, the buzz you get in seeing children grow with knowledge and skills, the buzz of happy children enjoying your teaching.  This is all what teaching is about and working with colleagues who drive your love for teaching, who help you develop and are genuine friends.  That part of the job I will definitely miss.

However, the buzz can still be there in tutoring.  100% it can be.  Being a deputy headteacher I have worked with small groups and worked with children on a 1:1 basis and the lightbulb moments are still there and the joy when children plug the gaps, extend their thinking and enjoy learning are all still there.  Yes, it will be a different setting but that same love for teaching can be achieved.

So, it is with these thoughts of starting the road to tuition that I begin.  I do not want to waffle on in this first blog, I merely wanted to say why I am here and my vision of having my own tutoring business.  After all, 2020 has been one different year already, it might as well develop into something sweeter.

I sincerely hope you enjoy my blogs and they provide you with a glimpse into the thoughts I am having at every stage.  I hope you can relate to them and possibly even learn from them if you are thinking of doing the same.  On the other hand, there are my vlogs on the TTLN YouTube channel.  They will be briefer than my babbling and quicker to watch than my musings, but I hope they give you an idea into the emotional side of the journey.  From researching every step of the way, discussions I have with my amazing mentors Syd and Holly, talking with fellow friends at TTLN and more, I hope they capture the rollercoaster I am about to board.

Lastly, thanks for giving up the time to read my first blog, it does mean a lot.  Having never written one before I don’t even know how it will come across so absolutely any feedback is always welcome, and your support will go a long way.  Thanks for riding the rollercoaster with me.


2 Replies to “To Teach or To Tutor?”

  1. Fantastic blog ….
    Can totally relate to this after leaving teaching after 17 years and setting up my own tutoring business.. .

  2. Hi Steve
    I really enjoyed reading this. So I am on a similar journey to you.. I left my job on senior leadership last February and set up on my own doing 1:1 and 2:1 face to face tutoring. Haven’t ventured into 11+ territory yet but tbh I haven’t needed to. I’m absolutely loving it – switched to remote learning over lockdown and have returned to face to face visiting tutees in their homes. There is a lot of appetite and I feel fortunate to have a waiting list. Next step is to move to small group tutoring as this is what I want to make the business about (creating a flexible learning path for primary age children) and perhaps employ other tutors. I live in Berkhamsted, Herts and my biz is called @Learn Happy

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