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One of the challenges in having effective group tuition lessons is having a sense of community where our students feel connected to each other and their teachers.
Without it, they may not feel motivated to attend classes or engage in discussions, which can negatively impact their learning outcomes.
As tutors, no matter if your classes are 100% virtual, or hybrid, or in-person, creating a sense of community in your classroom is really not that difficult. Here are some tips to help!
Create a Welcoming Environment
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This is best implemented during the first lesson with your students. Try to always be friendly and welcoming to your students. This way, you and your students can then start every lesson with a positive attitude!
Try and get to know each of your students other than just knowing their names, such as asking what their hobbies are, how has their day been, etcetera.
Ice-breaker activities are a good method during the first lesson, but just getting each student to stand up and introduce themselves to the whole class could be pressuring and have the opposite effect on them.
Instead, as things have become more digital now, tutors like you could use platforms such as Kahoot to incorporate fun into learning.
Generation Z loves the usage of memes, so you could make use of that to craft your Kahoot questions. This way, they can get to know you better but also have some good laughs and friendly competition at the same time!
Another way to break the ice is that you can also split your class up into smaller groups and get them to introduce themselves to one another. When each group is done, you can then go to each group and introduce yourself while also getting to know each student.
Establish Clear Communication Channels
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In order to not create confusion and exclusion, you have to ensure that every student in your class has access to the same information.
This can be through WhatsApp, Telegram, or any other social media platform that your class agreed upon to communicate with.
Depending on the age of your students, some of them may not have access to mobile phones yet. Therefore, it is also important to check in and confirm with their parents if they are okay with being in the group chats.
Encourage your students to ask questions, share their thoughts, and contribute to discussions. Remember to be responsive and prompt in your communication, so your students will feel heard and valued.
Set Clear Expectations and Goals
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Explain to your students what they can expect from your lessons, what their responsibilities are, and what you expect from them.
Remind them to not text you during certain hours where you need personal time to yourself.
You should also encourage them to set personal goals for themselves as this will create a sense of accountability and help them feel more invested in the lessons.
Aside from personal goals, discuss with your students and set common goals as a class so your class will feel more united to accomplish the goals.
Encourage Participation and Collaboration
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Provide opportunities for your students to work together on assignments and projects, and encourage them to share their ideas and perspectives.
At the same time, it’s crucial for tutors like us to be open to feedback and suggestions from them, and incorporate their input into the lessons as much as possible.
This will help them feel more invested in the lessons and understand that you are also putting in hard work for them.
Having a point system with small rewards can help motivate your students to be more proactive and speak more in class. However, it’s important to avoid making the rewards their sole motivation for participation.
You can consider organising the point system around small groups so they can work with their group members and increase their confidence in participating in class.
Celebrate Achievements and Milestones
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Another tip is to recognise and celebrate their accomplishments, such as completing a project or achieving a high score on an exam.
This will help your students feel recognised and valued, and create a sense of pride and accomplishment within the class.
Other than achievements, it’s also a nice act to celebrate special occasions as a class such as birthdays so your students will feel that they have a sense of belonging in class.
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In order to be a successful tutor, it’s important to build a sense of community in your class as this will enhance learning outcomes and improve student engagement.
Remember that community is built over time, and mutual sharing and trust are essential.
I hope this article has provided you with some good takeaways to improve your tuition lessons!