Some may choose to get a part-time job as a small supplement to their present income. Shaun and Jacob however, have found that their endeavours in tutoring has been earning them more than most people in their full-time jobs. The founders of GP Tutors Now and English Tutors Now, they are a part of a growing class of tutors in Singapore who are young, charismatic, and capable.
With law degrees from reputable schools in the United States, these ‘star tutors’ now teach English and the General Paper to students from the top schools such as Raffles Institution, Hwa Chong Institution, and National Junior College.
Attaining the reputation as a top tutor has not been entirely smooth sailing for the duo. When they first started, they had only one student, and earned only $280 that month. “It was difficult, we had to decide if this was something worth pursuing.”
Determined to keep going, both drafted their own teaching plans, hired M.O.E. teachers to vet their syllabus, and practiced on examination papers themselves. To improve their students’ argumentative essays, they applied legal writing techniques they learnt in law school. As their students excelled, eventually parents began calling and more students started streaming in.
It was a winning formula. Within two years, they had almost 80 students and saw their income blossom to $20,000 a month. It was then that they decided to pursue teaching full-time and give up their legal careers.
Secret to their success?
It all boils down to hard work and knowing their students’ needs. Shaun and Jacob have been working 7 days a week for the past three years, sacrificing precious holidays and any leisure time. Shaun recounts how he even spent his entire birthday just teaching his students.
Preparation for each class may take up to four hours. “We prepare for every class on a separate and individual basis,” Shaun explains that each student learns differently, and lesson plans are adapted to suit each individual class.
Shaun and Jacob also took the time to get to know each student individually. “We wanted to know our students as individuals. Who they are? What they like? So we would call them, and ask them about school, their CCA etc. Knowing each student helps us create effective study plans for each student”.
With the expanding number of students, and a limited number of English Tuition classes, students sometimes had to be put on a waiting list. But for some, the wait is well worth it.
Samuel Tan, 19, is from Millennia Institute and took the ‘A’ levels in 2014. He started GP Tuition with Shaun when he was scorings Cs in school. With tuition, he rose to become the 2nd top student in the Millennia Institute cohort last year. Another student, Celeste Teh, from Jurong Junior College agreed. Her grade in the General Paper improved from an ‘S’ to a ‘B’. “I’m extremely happy”, she said, “I think they really do deserve their high remuneration.”