Managing energy levels as an online tutor can often feel like you’re jumping through hoops engulfed in flames. Tricky, overwhelming, and slightly terrifying.
Although managing your energy while tutoring is a challenging task, it’s crucial to maintain your mental health. If you don’t learn how to manage your energy in a way that works for you, then you may experience burnout more than you’d like.
Spoiler alert: burnout is zero percent fun, and 100% all encompassing. You don’t want it.
Most tutors don’t know how to manage their energy correctly, so this article will cover six dos and don’ts for maintaining your teaching energy.
Why is managing my energy important?
A lot of you are probably thinking, well, how could tutoring online or tutoring on Cambly have an impact on my health?
The short answer is everything.
It’s beautiful that online tutoring allows us to be our own bosses and that incredible platforms like Cambly encourage that freedom. However, that freedom can be too broad and cause some tutors to be overwhelmed at times.
So, let’s discuss some things that will help.
“DO” know your endgame – your reason “why”
Knowing your endgame and your “why” for your hard work is crucial to maintaining the motivation you need to get through your day.
Remember that everyone’s “why” or “endgame” will look different. Your “why” for tutoring and maintaining the current schedule could be to make some extra money before a special occasion. Meanwhile, someone else’s “why” may simply be working overtime, so their student passes their IELTS exam with flying colours.
We all tutor for different reasons, but knowing “why” you are doing it is crucial to maintain a healthy relationship with work.
A best practice is to check in with yourself every morning to ask yourself, “why?” If you cannot clearly define your why, it’s best to take a step back and question whether your schedule and lifestyle are right for you.
“DO” know your limits
It’s important to know what you will and won’t do when you log on for your online tutoring each day.
Knowing your limitations keeps you from going beyond your limits and stretching yourself too thin. This saves you from setting unrealistic expectations for yourself, which will leave you feeling bad about yourself when you don’t meet those goals.
Setting clearly defined limitations for yourself ensures you always feel good about your schedule and health.
Your limits with Cambly can look like setting yourself X number of breaks or X number of classes for the day. Then it’s your job to ensure that you stay within those numbers that you’ve set out for yourself.
Know your limitations and stick to them. Your mental health will thank you!
“DO” prepare for class
Setting aside 5-10 minutes (or longer) before starting your classes can set the tone for your entire day. You will feel more energized and confident while teaching if you prepare for class.
Plus, mentally preparing for a big day ahead or a day of hopping from Cambly Kids to Cambly Adults can put you in the proper headspace for tutoring.
Check out this blog by Tutor Andy to see if you should prepare for each class.
“DON’T” book classes back to back
The number of classes you schedule back to back is entirely up to you and your energy levels. However, for most of us, it’s best to plan a little break between each class or every second class to keep us energized.
Just imagine sitting at your desk for three hours at a time staring at a screen. You’re going to feel pretty drained after that, right?
Now imagine yourself teaching for one hour, then taking a 15-minute break to do whatever you please before coming back to your screen. You probably feel more energized and content, eh?
It’s essential to treat yourself with care while teaching online, and if that means scheduling regular breaks, then so be it!
Pro tip: Not booking classes back to back also allows some wiggle room if a student is late or has connection issues.
“DON’T” be afraid to say no
This point kind of falls in the “do know your limits” category, but you must know when to say no, and when to say yes.
Sometimes saying “no” is the healthiest option for us, even if that means setting boundaries with a student. Remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup, and a healthy teacher is a good teacher.
Your students expect you to bring your A-game every class, so set yourself up for success by saying “no” to the things that feel right.
Always stay true to who you are and your natural energy! You may see videos of overly enthusiastic tutors online, and although that’s excellent, it’s not the same energy that everyone will have.
If you want to put on bunny ears, plaster your walls with the ABC’s, and use a performative teaching style: go for it!
But, if the performative aspect of tutoring isn’t for you, you should feel comfortable staying true to your energy levels.
Disclaimer: That’s not saying you should fall asleep at your desk. Yet, you should never act like someone you are not just to tutor. Be yourself, and the right students will find you.
Being yourself will always work out for you while pretending to be someone you are not will only exhaust you.
Some advice from Cambly tutors on managing energy levels
Some tutors from our Facebook community page, Cambly Corner, weighed on what works to keep their energy flowing throughout the day. Let’s take a look at what they have to say!
I do a mental check in the night before to see if I need to adjust any unhooked PH’s before the 12-hour deadline. I’ve been teaching online for over 5 years now, so generally, I have figured out my ideal schedule, but the daily check-ins help figure out what my schedule looks like in a more immediate sense. I also like to check in with myself between calls to ensure I am using my breaks and not overlooking my needs.Kat Dersch
I control my energy by treating each call differently. Some calls need more eye contact and hand gestures, some a relaxed smile, yet others like sipping tea with you. By being flexible, I use different levels of energy which keep me excited and ready for the next challenge.Corey Lopez
We have seriously strong coffee and an energy drink called ‘Score’. I plan my days to know when I am working for Cambly, and I make sure I am fed, watered and ready for action.Natty Lee Carter
Moral of the story: conserve that energy!
At the end of the day, you know yourself best and know what will help get you through the day. As online tutors, it’s crucial that we take care of our mental health and create a schedule that aligns with our needs.
Check out this blog for more information on how to set up your Cambly tutoring schedule for success.
Do you have any tips for how to manage energy while tutoring? Let us know in the comments below!