Kids grounded by coronavirus need tutoring. And online platforms need more tutors
Children all over the country are struggling with distance learning necessitated by the coronavirus outbreak. That spells opportunity for those with teaching and tutoring skills. There are dozens of online tutoring platforms actively seeking new educators to help those kids stay on track.
“Our [student] sign-up numbers have quadrupled over the past two months,” says Vivian Shen, co-founder and chief executive of Juni Learning, a math and computer science tutoring platform. “We are doubling the number of tutors on our staff and giving our existing tutors more hours.”
However, every platform is different. Some seek credentialed teachers and experienced tutors, while others allow virtually anyone with subject matter expertise to list their services.
Additionally, while some platforms provide tutoring in a wide range of subjects and for nearly any grade level, others specialize. The pay and overall treatment of freelance teachers and tutors also vary.
Here’s a look at 12 well-regarded teaching and tutoring platforms, divvied up by platform specialties. It’s worth noting that SideHusl rates platforms based on how well they serve the tutor. The top platforms for tutors, however, are also likely to be good places for parents to find skilled educators, particularly in a competitive market like this one. After all, skilled tutors have plenty of choices. They’re likely to flock to the companies that treat them the best.
At Wize, tutors set their own rates and keep every dollar.
Multi-subject tutoring platforms
Wize, formally Wizedemy, is an online education platform that sells college prep materials. The site added tutoring services late last year and now has openings for tutors in dozens of subjects. Wize CEO Cyrus Moradian says the site earns nothing on tutor pay, passing 100% of earnings to the tutor. Tutors set their own rates.
Wyzant helps tutors of all types to connect with students who need their services. Tutors set their own rates — most commonly from $30 to $60 per hour — and the site takes a 25% commission. Tutor requirements are relatively loose. You must be older than 18 and have expertise in the subject area you’re teaching. Tutoring experience is a plus, not a requirement. The site pays tutors twice a month.
TutorMe enlists subject matter experts to tutor kids — grade school to college age — in 300 subjects. To sign up, prospective tutors fill out an online application that can be accessed only by signing in with Facebook. No Facebook account? You’ll need one. That’s how TutorMe verifies the tutor’s identity. Once the site has approved your application, it will connect you with students who need help in the subject areas you’ve selected. Pay is $16 per hour, billed in five-minute increments. Tutors get paid via PayPal once a week.
Varsity Tutors hires background-checked tutors for in-person and online instruction, paying from $15 to $40 per hour. The biggest complaint among tutors against the site is that $15 is, by far, the most common compensation. On the bright side, Varsity pays tutors twice weekly. Outside of wishing the pay were higher, we found few tutor gripes about the platform.
Chelsea International Education pays tutors well but also requires the most in terms of credentials and background. You need a teaching certificate and at least two years of experience to apply. Tutor pay varies from $15 for tutoring elementary school students online to more than $100 an hour for those who coach kids in the subjects needed to get good scores on college and graduate school admission tests.
Juni Learning teaches math and computer science to kids ages 8 to 18. Unlike most tutoring platforms, it hires tutors as part-time W-2 employees. That means that, in addition to your pay, the site pays Social Security and Medicare taxes on your behalf — a valuable benefit. Wages start at $20 an hour, with the potential for raises and bonuses. The site asks tutors to commit to working at least eight hours per week and provides the curriculum.
Skooli is another good site if you happen to be a math whiz. Specializing only in math — algebra, calculus, geometry and trigonometry — the site pays tutors by the minute, with a 15-minute minimum, to teach online. Starting pay: $25 per hour. But you must have a teaching certificate or graduate degree, and have math certifications.
New coronavirus laws provide a litany of benefits to the self-employed, freelancers and workers in the gig economy.
Art and music
Lessonface is an online marketplace that connects students with music and acting teachers, who can teach online or in person. Tutors praise the site’s intuitive platform and the fact that they can set their own rates, paying the site a modest fee for managing payments and providing student-tutor introductions.
TakeLessons also lets tutors set their own rates. But the site takes a big bite — 40% — when you’re tutoring new students.
Teaching English as a second language
Q Kids enlists freelancers to teach English language skills to Chinese kids. Each lesson requires 30 minutes and earns you from $8 to $10. (You get the $10 rate if you earn bonuses based on your student ratings and number of hours worked per week.) Teachers are paid once a month — on the 15th — via direct deposit. Teachers are preferred, but anyone with a good personality and strong English language skills can apply. Lessons are prepared for you and taught online.
VIPKid is nearly identical to Q Kids, paying from $7 to $11 per half-hour to teach English as a second language to Chinese kids. The catch with both of these options is that you’re working on Beijing time, which means you’re likely to be working at odd hours in the U.S.
Magic Ears pays a little more than its competitors, but it also requires more of teachers. Paying $18 to $26 per hour, Magic Ears expects you to have teaching experience and an English as a second language credential. Like the others, classes are taught on Beijing time.
Kristof is the editor of SideHusl.com, an independent website that reviews money-making opportunities in the gig economy.
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