Interview with Retired Special Education Teachers Who Teach With Chicago Home Tutor


As a follow-up to our last article, today we wanted to interview a few of our current tutors who are retired teachers. Don’t take our word for it- we wanted you to hear directly from them (note: We are also hiring current or part or full-time special education looking for additional, fulfilling work and much of their perspective will also be relevant to you! Contact us if you’re interested in tutoring with Chicago Home Tutor!)

Why did you decide to tutor with Chicago Home Tutor after working a whole career in education?

Lee-Ann: I love teaching and I also feel it is something I excel at. I had sporadically tutored and felt it was a way to have some additional income. Tutoring through CHT means I don't have to handle the business end.

Laura: I was already tutoring a number of students and wanted more clients. After working together, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the company to other teachers retired or otherwise who wished to tutor.

Maureen: I had not been aware of tutoring as a potential income stream before I retired but tutoring seemed like a natural segue.

Julie: When I retired, I was happy to leave behind the stress and increasing paperwork load of special education. However, I still wanted to use what I had learned over my long career in a more flexible way. I also was looking for some extra income. Earning extra income engaging in something I love to do is perfect.

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Tutoring through Chicago Home Tutor means I don’t have to handle the business end.

How does tutoring fit in with your other retirement goals?

Laura: I retired from teaching before I actually expected to—I would have taught forever IF teaching were teaching. It is no longer that. I got so tired of the constant administrative demands, over testing, and lack of respect, so I decided to do something else. I wanted to teach and still do. I started with teaching as an adjunct professor which I still do but also began advertising and getting tutoring clients. It has enabled me to continue to teach without all the things that get in the way of actual teaching.

Maureen: It fits in both with my travel schedule and my other part time jobs.

Julie: Tutoring allows me to continue to use what I have learned throughout my career, but to use my skills on a flexible schedule, taking on only as many hours as I choose. Earning some extra income doing something I love is a welcome element in my life as a retiree.

What's your favorite thing about tutoring with Chicago Home Tutor?

Lee-Ann: My favorite part of tutoring is the same as my favorite part of teaching - seeing the light bulb go on when a child realizes they understand something. I also have always been a teacher who could figure out what made a student tick. That helps me develop a one-on-one relationship with my kiddos.

Laura: I still actively seek and get my own clients. I like that Chicago Home Tutor does a great job of sourcing students and matching them to me. Also, I love that CHT works to minimize commuting. They get that when you are commuting far away, you aren’t tutoring; rather, you are driving which cuts into both instructional time available and earnings. I also get matched with some really interesting clients.

Maureen: CHT provides nearby opportunities as well as support when needed. I also love that it has helped me discover new skills I didn’t know I had! As a high school teacher it would never have occurred to me that I could easily teach, for instance, middle-school science.

Julie: I love working with students one on one. It’s wonderful to be able to hone in on exactly what the student needs and give immediate feedback. While I was teaching full time as a special education teacher, my one on one time with students was limited. That was frustrating because individual instruction time is so positive and productive. From a practical standpoint, I appreciate that Chicago Home Tutor finds potential students for me. They take into consideration distance and how well my skills match student need. I also appreciate the ease of logging hours and being paid through Chicago Home Tutor

Is there anything that has surprised you about tutoring?

Lee-Ann: I think the most surprising thing was how families welcome you into their homes.

Laura: I had done a lot of tutoring already, so I knew what to expect. There have been no major surprises! CHT makes everything straightforward.

Maureen: As a former high school teacher I have been surprised by how much I also enjoy working with middle-school students. To be totally honest in public education today there is a tremendous amount of age-discrimination. This hasn’t been my experience with CHT families.

What advice do you have for other retired teachers considering tutoring?

Lee-Ann: If retired teachers are missing that time connecting with children, tutoring provides that opportunity.

Laura: Make sure you can live on a tutor salary plus your pension. For me, it works great to use tutoring income to supplement by pension, but it won’t replace your teaching income.

Maureen: If you are not sure, give it a try!

Julie: I would say, if you enjoyed teaching and miss the best parts (e.g. watching students reach those “aha” moments, etc.), give tutoring a try. You can start with just one student and choose a time that is comfortable for you. Chicago Home Tutor is wonderful about finding students who are good matches for the tutor

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