Balancing between the university and private tutoring: a personal story

Most people who work while attending university can attest to how tough it can be. Here's Dr. Connor Dibbling's experience and some advice to help you find equilibrium while working through school.

Doctor Connor Dibblin is a medical doctor and owner of  Doctor Dibblin. Tuition and mentoring blog where he provides useful tips aimed at helping medical students, current and prospective, and current medical healthcare workers with all aspects of their lives. This blog includes a range of useful topics, from medical school personal statements and entrance exam preparation to his experiences balancing full-time education with working part-time and his journey through the many years of medical school. Enjoy this lighthearted chat with workee professionals

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Medical school is hard enough. What made you include tutoring in the mix?

Medical school is tough, but like many people, I wasn’t in a financial position that meant I could just not work for 5 years. I tried a few different roles, including a bar job which I really enjoyed and worked for 2 years. However, tutoring allowed me to be flexible with my working hours and fit working around my studying, not the other way around. I’ve always had a passion for education, and I’ve loved learning new things for myself and teaching others. Teaching is also an important part of a doctor’s role, and tutoring throughout medical school helped me to grow these skills.

#Tip 1 - Having a passion for learning new things and teaching others makes it somewhat easier to juggle working as a tutor and being a student successfully.

How did you juggle medical school and tutoring?

Thankfully I’ve managed to conduct almost all of my tutoring online. This means I have a huge amount of flexibility over when I tutor, where I tutor, and how much time I dedicate to it. By setting my own hours, I can increase or decrease my time committed to teaching as my workload at the university allows.

#Tip 2 - Online tutoring provides the flexibility that allows you to balance working hours, being active, and studying.

What is your best productivity tip?

For tutoring, the best lesson I learned was to plan appropriately for sessions. The time you put into creating an engaging teaching session pays itself back many times over when you can repeat that same session with multiple students. For example, I teach a lot of A-level physics. I have a series of tutorials on motion and momentum, which I created early in my teaching career and reused with many students.

 #Tip 3 - Plan ahead. Your time is well spent when you can repeat an engaging lesson with multiple students.

What advice would you give to tutors who want to follow in your footsteps?

Start tutoring a subject that you are completely confident in. For me, that was GCSE maths. The first people I taught were the children of my family, friends, and neighbors, people who I vaguely knew already and felt comfortable being around. By teaching a topic you know inside and out and having students you don’t need to be nervous around, you can build confidence in teaching. As you build the confidence, you can then branch out, starting teaching strangers by posting adverts in local places or online, for example. If you are a student yourself, as your progress through your studies, you will be able to teach topics that you have been taught yourself, and you will gain authority in the subject, which is very helpful in tutoring.

 #Tip 4 - Tutor a subject in which you have complete confidence. If at all possible, tutor people you know. This way, they'll feel comfortable around you, and you will also be at ease while focusing on a subject you know thoroughly.

Thank you, Connor, for sharing with us and for supporting Workee!

Find more interesting tips on Connor's Youtube.

Learn more about Connor at 

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