Below is some general guidance on how to give tuition sessions, including potential tutee anxieties, notes on encouraging tutees to contribute and a self-evaulation checklist to ensure your sessions run smoothly.
Many people can be nervous when learning in a one-on-one environment for the first time. It is critical to be patient with them, and build their confidence through encouragement and praise. Your ultimate goal is to help the tutee become comfortable and confident in the subject, even if they occasionally make mistakes.
Tutees are more likely to engage when:
To determine how your tutee feels the lessons are progressing, ask open ended questions such as these:
If you have any homework for the tutee, spend time discussing how they should tackle it. Remember: the tutee may not have time to do extensive exercises, or indeed may not have the inclination to do so! Homework density must ultimately be decided on their terms.
Avoid spelling out the answer to an unresponsive tutee. Instead, try framing the question in a different way. Give some encouragement: tutees can become disheartened and cease trying if they think their efforts are futile. Re-evaluate the task you are setting them and make sure it's manageable.
As you work with more clients you may wish to start self-evaluating to remember what worked/what didn't, in addition to any client feedback you've received on the site. Below is some food for thought to help your introspection:
|How well did I .....?||Very Well||Satisfactory||Could Be Better|
|Prepare for the session|
|Get the session underway (establish aims, etc)|
|Ask questions and prompt the tutee|
|Handle the tutee's comments and questions|
|Respond to the tutee as an individual|
|Keep the focus on the main topic|
|Help sustain tutee interest|
|Provide help when tutees encountered difficulties|
|Ensure key points were drawn out|
|Bring things to a close and set out homework|
If you are new to tutoring you are welcome to register with First Tutors to attract potential clients. During the registration process you will be asked to declare which subjects you wish to teach, how much you will charge and to tell new tutees about your approach. You will also be required to submit two references and some information for an ID check.
We urge new tutors to think carefully about which subjects they offer and the level to which they feel they can comfortably offer lessons. We invite tutees to give feedback about their tutors, so that the tutor benefits from positive recommendations. Obviously, if you are teaching a subject that you are not terribly confident in, this feedback may not be so positive! We recommend you focus on your strengths and build your reputation upon them, instead of being a jack-of-all-trades.
Your first lesson with a new tutee counts for a great deal. But before you even get this far, make sure your new tutee has a positive view of you. When a tutee chooses you, reply as soon as you can, even if it is to reject the enquiry. If you've arranged lessons, and your details have been exchanged, follow this up a quickly as you can! Tutees are often anxious when seeking a tutor and will look to commence lessons as soon as possible. Not keeping an appointment, showing up late or arriving ill-prepared are all ways to lose a tutee before you've even started!
Below are some resources that you may find useful while beginning tutoring:
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