How YouTube Can Make You a Better Tutor

As a tutor, it’s quite common to find yourself in the occasional creative slump. Maybe you’re struggling to find interesting ways to teach new content, or perhaps you’re just wanting to change things up with your style or approach. Or maybe you’re growing tired of teaching the same lesson over and over again and want to inject some life back into it.

Even if you don’t find yourself craving new material, staying up to date on different teaching and tutoring methods will inevitably make you a better tutor.

YouTube is one of these methods and can be an invaluable resource if you take the time to explore how it can help you and your students. More than 300 hours of video are uploaded to the platform every minute which means it’s the perfect place to find content that will not only make you a better tutor, but also help your students perform better.

If you want to take it a step further – teachers are also able to start their own channel and provide lesson supplements for their students to consume on their own time.


Improving Your Tutoring Skills

If you’re new to tutoring or simply new to using video as a teaching aid, I highly suggest spending an evening watching teaching improvement videos. Split your time between teaching theory and over the shoulder demonstration – the combination should be effective at helping you internalize some teaching methods that will work for your students.

It’s important not to get hung up on finding videos that fit your subject or niche 100% – for this exercise the real benefit is in extrapolating any aspects or trends and applying them when needed. For example, if you watch a tutorial on when to use the articles a or the, the audience may clearly be for ESL learners, however, if you like their method of explaining the difference between article usage, you can easily apply it to other lessons or subjects.

YouTube can be of great assistance if you find yourself struggling with a particular area in your subject of expertise. A tough grammar rule, a difficult math proof, or anything else that you may find challenging can easily be self-taught thanks to the hundreds of helpful videos available to you.


Using YouTube in a Tutoring Session

The benefit of using videos in your tutoring sessions is pretty much unlimited – from explaining a concept to helping a student remember what you covered last lesson, videos can play a crucial role.

If you’ve never used videos before, here are 3 ways to work them into your lesson:

1. Use them to further reinforce a concept after you explain it.
2. Let them serve as the basis for discussion or in-class problem solving, much like a primer for your lesson.
3. Assign them as homework or a means to follow up what the student learned.

Like most aspects of your class – using videos is going to require a bit of preparation – make sure to watch all the videos before hand to ensure they meet your needs and aren’t incorrect in their material or inappropriate. This will also help ensure you can anticipate any issues or questions your students might have and save everyone some time.

Also, it’s important to make sure the videos don’t drag on for too long. If the video goes any longer than ten minutes, you may have trouble keeping your student’s interest or waste valuable class time. Don’t hesitate to scroll through parts that aren’t valuable and do your best to keep your students active throughout the process – have them write notes, solve problems, and make sure to pause the video every so often to review.


How to Find These Resources

Depending on your subject, it may seem like a daunting task to wade through countless videos in search of the ‘perfect’ one. To protect your sanity, we suggest starting by checking out videos from reputable channels like universities, professors, or highly rated institutions. Oftentimes, just doing a simple Google search on the side will prove whether or not a business is credible enough to trust with watching their videos.

From there, it’s important to know your buzzwords. For example, if you specialize in math and science, get specific in your search engine. Try searching, tutoring tips math and science high school.  Here are the top videos that appear for this search:

eHow video on solving percentage problems:


SAT Math Hacks” video presented by SuperTutor TV:

sat hacks

Remember that you can use YouTube to help educate yourself on issues that you may find challenging. Whatever specific topic you have trouble with, find yourself a video tutorial by searching exactly what you need.  For example, having trouble with standard deviations? Here’s a list of results that should help you:


This list of thousands of videos was pulled up just by searching Standard deviation tutorial in statistics. Really anything you need help with, you can find. Just search for it!


Where to Start

Below are some channels you can visit to help you on your tutoring journey. These channels provide hundreds of helpful videos whether you are looking to sprinkle some creativity into your lessons or garner some inspiration from other successful teachers and tutors.



indySOW provides some general tips and interesting videos on the current issues in the United States’ school systems. They have videos that are more geared for helping tutors rather than helping the students. This is a great place to start and get some general tutoring tips if you are just starting out or looking for some fresh ideas.

hs tutors

This is an Australian based channel with a great deal of inspiring videos for aspiring tutors. There are also some videos that offer advice for challenges all tutors face, such as how to inspire students or how to keep them focused.

The Khan Academy


As you can see from the right side of the page, the other Khan Academy channels offer help for just about any subject you can think of. The Khan Academy specializes in aiding with test prep, namely SATs and other pre-college subject tests.

More Resources

Listed below are some subject-specific channels that you may find useful in your tutoring sessions, please note that this list is by no means comprehensive, as there is much more content available for use:

The Study PugMath help for students of all ages, kindergarten through early college levels

Majestic ReaperCreative writing tips

60 Second Recap – A plethora of tips for entering and preparing for college, and help writing essays

Crash Course – Help with a wide array of chemistry topics, directed at the high school level

Incorporating YouTube In Your Lessons

YouTube can be an unlimited cache of resources if you know how to properly apply the videos to your lessons. However, it’s important not to rely on videos too much – they are much more valuable as supplements than as full lesson replacements.

Incorporating YouTube videos can help change the pace of your tutoring sessions, break the monotony, and can help your students overcome a difficult subject. In addition, using videos to boost your teaching ability and expand your knowledge will set you apart from tutors who don’t take the time to improve or learn anything new.

About Quincy Smith

Quincy is a former ESL teacher and founder of ESL Authority - a site aimed at helping aspiring teachers learn more about teaching abroad.
This entry was posted in Tutoring and tagged , , , .

One Response to How YouTube Can Make You a Better Tutor

  1. Dirk Wagner says:

    Qunicy, your article is a very useful resource. It clearly lays out how youtube can be of tremendous help for our tutors. For example, your link to over 300 hours of free and high quality video education. I personally liked that video on the articles. For me as a non-native English speaker the reminder about the correct uses of “a” and “the” was again – useful.

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