As an online tutor, you may be called upon occasionally to use ancillary or additional subjects in parallel to what you’re teaching as practical examples. For example, if you are a mathematics teacher, you may be tempted to demonstrate a particular mathematical point by using economics or applied math in some way. Similarly, if you’re an English tutor, you might look to literature or existing texts to demonstrate a point you’re making. The point here is that ancillary subjects can be excellent ways to supplement education. One of the most important things for students to learn is money management, and how to effectively take and keep control of their finances.
It could be that, as an online tutor, you’re already being employed to teach this, or it could be that you want to look into it as an additional subject. Either way, money management is crucial, and children and adults alike can benefit from tutoring in this area. Here are the best ways to teach money management to your students.
Teach Students about Loans
One of the most crucial and overlooked aspects of financial management is how to best take advantage of loans. There are situations in which loans are perfect, and situations in which loans should be avoided at all costs. So many of us reach a critical point in our lives when money is tight and we don’t have the proper skills for managing it, so we turn to loans only to realise that we’ve made a terrible mistake.
There are many different kinds of loans – unsecured versus secured, small business, personal – and they all carry with them different terms, conditions, pros and pitfalls. By teaching students about loans, you’re setting them up for a situation in which they may need to borrow money and explaining not just how to pay it back but how to take advantage of loans to get the best possible deal. If you’re looking for a loan yourself – whether you simply need a quick cash injection, or you’re looking for a way to immerse yourself in the teaching process – you can apply here.
Understand Your Audience
Whoever you’re tutoring, you’ll need to tailor the content of your lessons or lectures directly to that demographic. If you’re a tutor, you may not have optimal sales skills, but you’ll still need to understand different types of people and how they process learning. If you’re teaching children, you can safely adopt the didactic approach; tell them directly how money management works and help them understand why it’s a crucial skill.
If, however, you’re looking to teach adults, you’ll need to alter your methods. Adults, for example, can understand more complex economic concepts like equity in home ownership and how the overall economy works. Children might be better off learning from piggy-bank and small-change examples. In order to effectively communicate your money management lesson, tailor your content accordingly.
In order to help your students understand money management, you’ll also need to help them understand the factors in their lives that lead to poor financial planning. Having a basic grounding in psychology is ideal, which goes double for tutors who specialize in this area (looking at you, online psychology and business tutors!). Economics is obviously a must for adults learning this skill, since you’ll need to help them understand how investment, savings, and loans work.
If you’re looking to teach the skill to children (it’s not common, but tutors have been known to work with children when it comes to finances), then helping them with mathematics and social understanding can be critical. Children’s lives often revolve around their social circle, and how they spend their allowance can be central here. By helping your students understand the surrounding circumstances of their financial lives, you’re tutoring them money management without them knowing it.
Don’t be too Personal
Obviously, this one comes with the territory for most online tutors, but there may still be some out there who don’t know this. Developing personal relationships with your students is OK to an extent; if they feel like you’re friendly and approachable, then they might get more from the material. If, however, students come to you with personal problems regarding money, you have to understand that this is not your role. Your role is to tutor them and help them understand the material academically. You’re not there as a therapist or a shoulder to cry on. Sure, you can help them to a certain extent, but you won’t be able to do everything for them.
Similarly, do not proactively get too involved in your students’ lives. Simply understand that they’re coming to you to learn how to manage their money better, not to discuss their life story. Teach them the material and understand the extent of your professional relationship with them.