The beginning is always the hardest part of the journey. Whether it’s starting out a new hobby or building a life in a new town, the beginning is always the most daunting part. There is something about the fear of starting that freezes people and makes them afraid of it. The same can be said with home tutoring. You’re a new home tutor. You just got booked for your first home tutoring session. What’s next? Read on for some tips and tricks in acing your first tutoring session.
Most teachers know that the first lesson in a new class is vital in setting up for the rest of the school year. The same can be said with home tutoring. The very first day is the most crucial one as it sets the home tutoring in motion.
So, how will new home tutors get through with it?
No battle is won by just setting yourself up with whatever you have. Being prepared for your first home tutoring session is the most vital tip. It’s important for new home tutors to know exactly what they’re getting themselves into.
How to prepare yourself:
1. Set up a meeting with the parents beforehand
As much as possible, we want to know what the child needs. Home tutors should meet with the parents before the home tutoring starts to set up expectations and also get to know the capabilities and intellectual capacity of the student.
2. Ask for information
Before the first session, make sure to ask the right questions. Home tutors should have all the required information about the child before the session even begins. Make sure to get to know the essentials such as their age or level, the subject being taught, the syllabus, when they’ll be having their exams. It wouldn’t hurt to know their expectations as well, areas and topics they are struggling in, and even their current working level.
Organization is also key to a smooth first home tutoring session. If you’re employed in a home tutoring agency, it’s best to get the necessary details before you meet with the parents and the child. It will also help if you keep notes or a folder of the personal details of the student you will be working with.
You have to remember that most sessions only last an hour or so. Every minute of the tutoring counts. Home tutors should be organized to help the students meet their goals and get their desired grades. On the very first day, set your plan down with the parents and the students.
That way, you can consult with them and develop your plan according to the student’s needs. By staying organized and close to your plan, you can ensure that time spent wouldn’t be wasted and students will reach their potential outcome.
They say first impression is last impression. For some, this isn’t totally the case. However, home tutors are still teachers and we should be a reflection of what we want from our students. By dressing in a proper attire, you will be demonstrating your own standards and expectations to the student.
A home tutor should be dressed decently. However, home tutors should also consider who they’ll be teaching. You will definitely not be wearing the same attire you will be wearing to a tutoring session with a primary student to a university-level student.
Parents will also note on this and home tutor may give off a bad impression if they don’t dress well.
Arriving late to the first session is also a big no. If you aren’t sure of the are you will be conducting your first home tutoring session, research the place thoroughly beforehand. This all comes down to preparation again.
Make sure you have the student’s complete address in advance and research on the easiest routes to get there. Remember that time is of the essence.
We know that unavoidable delays may happen but as home tutors, it’s also your responsibility to impose values to your students. Make a good example by not being late on the first session. If everything else fails, have the student’s or their parents’ number on hand and give them a call ahead if needed.
If there’s one thing that’s already agreed in home tutoring, it’s that parents engage in home tutors to help their children make progress. After you introduce yourself to the student and their parents, make sure to also discuss your goals for the student.
Don’t use general concepts of progress but lay out your concrete aims for the student. Are they having trouble in Math? Then, aim for them to be able to solve theorems or algebraic expressions on their own by the end of ten sessions.
However, it’s also important to ask the student about their personal aims. That way, both of you can work on a concrete plan to reach that goal. Older students tend to have their own goals already. The home tutors are there to make sure they reach that.
Home tutors should also remember that not every child will be enthusiastic for home tutoring. Make sure that during the first session, they will feel like this is a positive opportunity rather than a chore.
Most of the students will not have a home tutor before you. Thus, it’s your call on teaching them how home tuition works. These are some of the goals you should set for the first session:
1. Explain how sessions work
Students should know the home tutoring isn’t the same as classroom teaching. Students are allowed to stop and ask their home tutors if they don’t understand anything. Impart on the student the flow of the session so they can familiarize themselves with it and feel more comfortable with home tutoring.
2. Set the rules
As such, home tutors should also set the expectations for the students on the first few minutes of the sessions. Set some ground rules for the students and you to follow through out the entire session. Examples will be sch as not allowing phones during the sessions. Explain to them that it will lessen their distraction and focus more on the lessons on hand.
3. Build a connection with the student
Home tutors should strike to balance approachability and professionality. It will not help it if your student will be stiff and scared around you. The aim here is for them to be open and trust the home tutor so they can both work on the student’s needs. Start by telling the student a little bit about yourself and encourage them to be open and ask questions.
You can also ask the students some questions to get to know them. Young children will be a little more apprehensive with adults so it’s best to be patient with them and build on trust.
This will also help new home tutors in basing their lessons on something students are particularly interested in. That way, students will have more fun in learning as the topic already interests them.
4. Help build student’s confidence
Students will have a hard time communicating with new home tutors and that’s okay. Students who struggle will most likely feel disheartened during the first session if they feel like tutoring isn’t for them. Home tutors should make sure to value the student’s confidence in their capabilities, too.
Many students struggle with learning because they couldn’t ask questions openly in school due to fear of being laughed at. It is your job to make them feel that asking questions is welcome. Home tutors should also start off the student by praising them if they complete small tasks or master new concepts.
5. Give feedback
After the session, allocate a few minutes for students to give feedback on the sessions as well as give your own. Ask the students how they felt about the discussion or is there anything particular they found difficult.
By asking this, home tutors may also find out if the strategy is not working on the student. Some students will get bored easily with only one teaching style. The same can be said overtime. Styles that worked for them before might not work the next time.
Home tutors should also give constructive feedbacks to their students. Remember that in the first session, you will be setting up the next sessions. Home tutors should give the student’s feedback on which are they can improve on. But be gentle in talking about this.
Remember that we are also building up the student’s confidence. Harsh words can be taken as insults and any trust between the student and home tutors might vanish. Give them feedbacks for them to improve, not put them down.
Learning doesn’t just end when the teachers or home tutors leave. Learning is a continuous process. So, you also should leave something for them to practice while you are not there. it shouldn’t necessarily be a homework. Remember that we want students to progress, not hold them back.
Leave some work for them to do alone and check on it on your next session. Make sure the activity is interesting so it doesn’t feel like homework. Home tutors are there to support them in reaching their goals but in the end, they have to do it themselves. This will send that message to the students.
It’s not only important to build a relationship with the student but with the parents as well. This will happen when you first arrive. Make sure to be polite. After the first session, make sure to talk with the parents. This time will be used to discuss anything relating to the child with the parents,
Parents should also be part of the plan to reach the student’s goals. We also need their support for the student. It’s a team effort to help ensure the student reaches their goal.
Since it will be your first home tutoring session, use this time to build a home tutor-student relationship. It might not happen overnight but it is a process and the first session is the start. Use this time to show the student that you are confident and friendly individual set to help them with their studies.
Thinking about being a home tutor? Check out FamilyTutor, the best home tuition agency in Singapore. We have home tutors in 28 districts and we offer over 200 subjects.
If you enjoyed this article, check out others here!
FamilyTutor is an established home tuition agency in Singapore! We match suitable home tutors for our clients not just to improve the students' academic grades, but also to build a strong rapport and meaningful relationship with the students and even the their whole family. FamilyTutor put every student in good hands!
If you need an excellent home tutor, feel free to call/WhatsApp us at +65 8777-2168! Our matching service is free!