The first home tuition lesson can be daunting for any tutor. The important thing is to be prepared, to connect with your student and understand with they are struggling with. Remember to communicate with the parents, understand their concerns and involve them in their child’s education.
Here are some simple tips that will help you with your lesson:
You need to go for your first home tuition session fully prepared. Set up a meeting with the parents beforehand and find out their child’s learning capability and intellectual capacity. You need to show them you are productive, hardworking, and able to deliver the results they demand.
Before the first study session, make sure you have all the required information about the child; for instance, which year they are in, their coursework and syllabus, and when they’ll be giving their exams. If you are teaching as part of a home tuition agency, make sure the parents provide all these relevant details beforehand. Maintaining a good parent-teacher relationship is also essential to score points on your first teaching job!
See if you can get a copy of some of your student’s work. This will help you gauge their intellectual level and identify any weak areas. Also, make sure to set the right environment for the lesson. Ideally, you and your student should sit somewhere quiet and peaceful so as to limit the distractions and ensure better focus.
Make sure to stay organized. Keep a folder with your student’s personal details, including areas in which the child needs help as well as an effective plan to tutor them. You need to make sure your lesson plan is productive; in home tuitions, every minute counts. By being organized, you will be able to ensure your student meets their study goals and gets high grades. After the first lesson, meet with the parents, give them an overview of your plan and let them understand how you plan to help their child.
Goals for the first lesson
1. Set the rules
The first session will set the scene for the duration of the entire home tuition Singapore. It’s very important to ensure that it goes smoothly. Use a few minutes at the start of the lesson to explain what you expect from them. Set some ground rules and stick to them. your student is impressionable, so make sure to be a good role model for them to look up.
2. Connect with the child
To help your student relax in your presence, while also benefiting from the study sessions, you need to strike a balance between professional and approachable. Use your first home tuition Singapore session to get to know your student. It is very important to create relationship based on trust and respect. Start by telling them about yourself and encourage them to ask questions whenever they want.
Then, ask them to tell you about themselves. Learning about your student will help you in structuring your lessons as well as understanding how to engage their attention. If they like sports, punctuate the sessions with mentions of their favourite athlete. Keep your laptop on hand; if they struggle with ‘book-learning’, switch the lessons online to make them visual and thus easier to understand.
Remind them your job is to help them and encourage them to ask questions at any time.
3. Start the student off.
As a tutor, your job is to guide the child, helping them understand their studies in a way that differs from standard classroom learning. The benefit of private tutoring is that you can push your student to challenge themselves, to think about what they’ve learnt and to develop valuable cognitive skills. Here are a list of simple tips to help you achieve this goal.
• Direct the discussion. Ask the student leading questions about the topic: “What do you think?”, “Why was that?”, “Was that important?”, etc. This will push them to think about their work, while cluing you as to which areas need additional focus.
• Give them constructive feedback. It’s the first lesson, so be gentle! This will also help to build the parents’ confidence in your abilities.
• Be positive. Praise them whenever they master a new concept. If they answer a question correctly, convey your appreciation through phrases like “good job” or “well done”.
It’s your first lesson. Building up a teacher-student relationship takes time! You should use this time to set the scene for your future lessons. Show the child that you are a confident, professional and friendly individual, and that you can help them ace their studies. Don’t be unduly strict or harsh. If the student fears you, they won’t learn much, if at all. Encourage them to participate actively in the sessions and to feel comfortable asking questions at any point.