Every home tutor aims for their student to achieve their academic goals. For effective home tuition, the tutor has to make sure that the student can absorb and fully understand the concept taught at the end of each tuition session. As home tuition isn’t the same with school wherein students can spend hours every day, at best, a home tutor can get about 1.5 hours per tuition session, depending on the agreement. This is why an effective home tutor knows how to maximize the time spent in tuition in order to achieve the goals set at the very beginning of the set time period as well.
Because tuition sessions have a certain time constraint, tutors have to keep in mind organization and time management in order for the session to cover up what needs to be taught and not go overboard with the time spent. If tutors continue to spend more time with a student after their session is supposedly over, it can affect their schedule as a whole. There can be certain conflicts with leaving the student’s house and going to the next student’s house. The student can also become more fidgety as the sessions continue on and on and can result in them losing their focus.
To be an effective home tutor, one has to have excellent time management skills that they can use in tuition sessions and even outside of their work to balance their lifestyle. As such, they can also impart these skills to their student so they can also develop their time management skills for future use. Here we have some tips for tutors to effectively manage their time.
The first step in organization is to prioritize the tasks needed to be done throughout the day. This is why some have checklists or even to-do lists. Setting priorities of the tasks helps tutors keep track of their day as well as what they have finished or what still needs to be done. To effectively prioritize, tutors must also understand how to weigh their tasks based on importance. This can also be done during the session itself, as well as outside of it.
Prioritizing tasks is also a great first step for students if they want to learn effective time management. They should be able to learn to assess the tasks or activities they need to complete immediately and those that they can put on hold. As such, for bigger tasks, they can also be taught to start small and do it piece by piece to avoid burnouts when they complete it in one go.
Tutors who set priorities can also work their way around certain unexpected circumstances without throwing their entire plan out. For example, if the student hasn’t fully understood the lesson within a certain time period, the tutor can put off giving the student the next activity as helping them understand the lesson is more important than the activity. However, priorities shouldn’t be black and white always. Another approach the tutor can do with the same scenario is using the activity to review the lesson. The student can get more clarifications about the lesson while also completing the activity.
Distractions are the bane of every tutor’s existence. And they are also everywhere! In a perfect world, all students remain focused on their lessons until the session is finished and they have understood the lesson entirely. However, that is never the case.
To help tutors effectively manage their time during tuition sessions and for students to get the most out of their sessions, tutors should minimize distractions in the work area or study space. A student’s study environment contributes to a huge part of their active learning process. The area has to be conducive for learning and thus, should be distraction-free. This will help the student retain their concentration and focus on the lesson or task at hand. When the study space is quiet and the student isn’t distracted by external factors, it gives the tutor more time to cover the lesson without fearing having to rush the session every day.
As we’ve mentioned countless times, make sure that the study space isn’t somewhere anyone can walk into such as living rooms, dining areas, or kitchens. Gadgets should also be absent during sessions and in the event that the tutor needs gadgets to teach, make sure to only let the student open apps or programs that will be used in the session. Even the tutor’s own devices can be a cause of distraction, not just for the student but also the tutor. If the student isn’t allowed their gadgets during sessions, the tutor should also refrain from using theirs. Students aren’t the only ones that can be distracted.
This doesn’t only apply to tutors but to students as well. Before starting the session, the tutor should make sure that they have come prepared. This can be regarding the objective of the lesson, the actual flow of the lesson, and the activities that the student should anticipate.
As such, this also applies to the student and the tutor can instruct the student to come prepared as well. They also need to have everything they may need throughout the session, another reason why they should have a designated study space for their lessons. Again, this can also minimize distraction for the student and the tutor. The tutor can also set expectations and objectives with the student at the beginning of each session so both know exactly the goals they want to achieve.
Aside from expecting this from the students, the tutor should also do the same. A reflection of how effective a tutor is at teaching is how they organize their lessons. When a tutor has all the materials they need and prepared for the tuition session, they will avoid missing some parts of the lesson and will be able to stay on top of their schedule, not going over the time for sessions, and still have extra time to review the lesson or even to ask the student how their day went.
Tutors can help with checking the student’s homework and helping them revise what needs to be corrected but it doesn’t mean that homework should be done during tuition sessions. Of course, tutors want to help their students, however, setting time for answering homework during tuition puts the student at a disadvantage. They engaged in the tutor to give them supplementary lessons and not just for homework help. Tuition sessions should be used for helping students overcome their weaknesses and teaching new topics.
Instead, encourage the parents to help their children with their homework outside of the tuition session. This will help the parents get involved with their children’s studies as well as provide help and guidance when the child needs it.
Goals, like setting priorities, make time managing easier. Having a goal for every tuition session helps both the tutor and the student as it sets the flow of how the tuition should go. As such, it also gives the student an idea of the areas they may need to work on and how they can improve in the next sessions. Setting goals can be done at the beginning of the tuition sessions (what they want to achieve at the end of the session) or at the first meeting (what they want to achieve at the end of the tuition). Students and tutors should both have the same goals.
It also helps when tutors discuss these goals with their students as it gives the student a sense that their opinions are respected. When the student is encouraged to voice out their opinions or questions, they will gain confidence to speak up more and this will help the tuition sessions in the long run, as well as the student. They will develop confidence in telling the tutor what they want to learn, what they are interested in, and what their questions are.
However, it also should be noted that goals set should be attainable. When setting goals for the tuition session, tutors should understand which goals can be achieved at the end of the sessions and which are farfetched. This will help the student also and will avoid them becoming overwhelmed.
Do not forget about the time spent for yourself. With this, tutors should also learn to set boundaries that divide their work from their personal life. To ensure that a tutor has adequate time for themselves, they should set clear boundaries. For example, they can only take messages and questions from their student or their parents at a certain time. Additionally, they shouldn’t spend more time than allotted for tuition sessions. If a tutor spends approximately 20 minutes more on one student as well as the next, it will accumulate and rob them of the time they could spend on other tasks. Tutors can set alarms before the last minutes of the tuition session so they can wrap up and give last-minute instructions to their students. This way, tutors can be more aware of the time they have left.
Being an effective home tutor greatly relies on the tutor’s capability to ensure that they can provide the students with their needs. If the tutor is exhausted from the lack of time management skills, they can become less effective and efficient. Good time management ensures that the lessons and goals are met and the students are getting the maximum from their tutors.
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!