Monday, October 7, 2013

Introducing: The Novice Tutor E-Book

The Novice Tutor e-book cover
Now that I'm a curriculum developer and not in the classroom, teachers' blogs, sites that offer lesson ideas, and educational insight keep me current about my colleagues' inspirations and needs. Through my continual quest to stay informed about any resource that helps to create lifelong learners, I landed on a website, http://thetutorhouse.blogspot.com/, run by Adrianne Meldrum that grabbed my attention.

Ms. Meldrum, a certified teacher, owns a tutoring business along with this site. Her passion is assisting tutors to succeed in this educational endeavor. She has gathered her wealth of ideas in an E-Book, The Novice Tutor, a cornucopia of material for teachers, tutors and stay-at-home curriculum developers.

When my now adult children were still toddling around the house, I wanted to earn some money to help alleviate my husband’s and my expenses. Not ready to return to the classroom-full or part time- I thought, “Well this is a no-brainer.  I have my Secondary English teaching degree, so I’ll tutor.” Since this was pre-Internet, pre-every-tech-thing, and pre-The Novice Tutor, Ms. Adrianne Meldrum’s very informational e-book, my tutoring scheme crashed and burned.

Knowledgeable about teaching but clueless about business, I created some flyers on my Underwood-Olivetti typewriter and pinned them up in local businesses and schools. Then I made a few phone calls to principals, colleagues and friends. Nothing happened, so I deferred that dream.

Today, if I did that, Ms. Meldrum would quote from page 7 of her book that details the five qualities that successful tutors possess. Her first suggestion comes under her sub-topic Patience. After speaking of the need for this attribute when dealing with children and adults, she refers to the necessity of it in the business world when she says, “Running a business takes patience, too. Remember the tortoise and the hare? Slow and steady wins the race!”
Is Tutoring For Me?

Patience is essential to absolutely any aspect of life, but is crucial when starting and building a business.  The author adds a quartet of virtues, Kind but Firm, Knowledgeable, Being a Life-Long Learner and Self-Starter to her Patience Foundation that together will turn any entrepreneur into a savvy and successful business person.

Meldrum advises fledgling tutors to start with what they know.  Since she has an elementary school degree, when she first began her venture, she chose her strong point-math. She did not stop with that subject, though. Here, and throughout this detailed book, she urges her readers to challenge themselves, like she did- by studying other academic areas to add to their tutoring repertoires. On page 11, she offers an extensive tutoring list by subject area and charges readers to, “Be willing to go out of your comfort zone. You might just surprise yourself and discover a new passion!”

This successful tutor and business owner’s passion for this field is apparent on every one of the 44 pages in this book.  Even when she is discussing dry business topics such as How Much Do I Charge with the subtopics: Experience, Location, Don’t Undervalue and Raising Rates (pages 12-14), and Where Do I Advertise (pages 14-15) her energetic, optimistic tone engages readers.

She allays new tutors’ fears concerning: The Phone is Ringing! What do I ask Parents?, and  I Have a Student, Now What? with details regarding listening, asking, and diplomacy. In these sections she addresses dealing with parents who share their children’s needs as well as their complaints about teachers and developing lessons. Under the last topic, What About the Next Session?, she urges instructors to think outside of the box because students who need extra instruction have probably turned off their learning channels, which now need jump-started into action.

How Do I Grow My Business?
The segment  How Do I Grow My Business? introduces what she calls, The Force, or Social Media. She offers worthwhile suggestions for using Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to build name and business recognition. Posting business-related cartoons, funny and inspirational quotes, and showcasing any services in the top row of Pinterest boards are noteworthy and crucial to any business. Most importantly, she details the value of creating a website. “Whether you like it or not, business is done online these days,” she states on page 22. Her links on how to create, build and maintain a site are vital to a novice tutor, or any neophyte business person.

Another section that shows Ms. Meldrum’s respect and understanding for those starting a business is Tutor Resources. What a fount of advice! After speaking about how beginning tutors are probably, “…strapped for cash” on page 23, she offers nine invaluable resources : Public Libraries, Garage Sales, Dollar Stores, Tutor Libraries, Amazon, Teachers pay Teachers, Educents,  Pinterest Boards and My Shop.  This last one explains what goodies tutors can find on Meldrum's site, http://thetutorhouse.blogspot.com/p/shop.html, and in her Teachers pay Teachers store, http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Tutor-House.

Would You Rather task cardsThe last 16 pages before one with directions on accessing a private, Just for Tutors Facebook Group and About Me page-both with even  more important links for tutors-are where Ms. Meldrum shares some engaging  games sure to break the ice with nervous, and often defensive, students.  The Would You Rather… task cards are a sure winner with topics like, “Would you rather be a giant hamster or a tiny rhino,” and “Would you rather get first dibs or the last laugh?”.

Adrianne Meldrum titles her e-book, The Novice Tutor because she feels that every day is a chance to learn something new. With such a priceless and positive attitude, every reader can rest assured that she is absolutely no novice at tutoring and building a tutoring business.  

If you have always dreamed about starting your own tutoring business but don’t know the first steps to success, download The Novice Tutor: Answers to Your Questions About Running a Successful Tutor Business from http://TheNoviceTutor.com. Before you open this book, be sure to sharpen your pencils. After reading Ms. Meldrum’s advice, you will be able to count on the fact that your students will gain academic confidence, their parents will be satisfied customers and you will be on your way to a successful venture.

Happy Teaching,