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Tips for Private Tutors Planning Lessons

From Joseph, published on 02/05/2017 We Love Prof - UK > Tutoring > Advice for Tutors > How to Create Tailor-made Courses for Students

Giving private one to one tutorials in itself is not necessarily complicated. However, it does require that the private tutor have a certain set of skills.

There is a significant difference between teaching the school curriculum, a university course, and giving private tutorials.

While you need to be hard-working, professional, and rigorous in all tutor jobs, the teaching methods aren’t always the same. A private tutor provides a service: they really work for their student and must completely adapt to them. It’s academic coaching rather than simply giving lectures.

And this is true whether you’re a History tutor or a Geography tutor, or whether you provide, Maths , Physics, Chemistry, English tutoring (in language and literature, reading or writing), or even teach how to play the piano or any other musical instrument!

The success of your pupil can depend on their motivation as well as your work with them. So are you ready to teach tailor-made one on one tutorials?

Since we’re so nice, we’ll give you a helping hand to learn how to plan your tailor-made tutorials for each of your students! By the end of this article, you’ll know everything you need to!

Emma

Our tutors are very satisfied

”With Superprof, I was able to find committed students, motivated and eager to learn. I 100% recommend Superprof!”

Tailoring: A Requirement for all Private Tutorials

It doesn’t matter whether the student’s in primary or secondary school, all teachers have to follow a programme and finish it before the end of the year while working within the education system. Every single class is therefore adapted to meet the needs of the majority of students without really considering the individual students’ strengths and weaknesses.

How do I advertise one on one classes? A sign saying “this way to a private French tutor” is not enough any more.

For particularly gifted students, the classes aren’t for them because the teacher isn’t going fast enough and they get bored in class. For other students, they can prove difficult to follow of they feel completely lost and left behind, resulting in students becoming frustrating and a drop in their motivation.

They are too scared or embarrassed to ask questions or ask for certain things to be repeated because they didn’t understand or have comprehension issues. This will inevitably result in them achieving low marks because the classes aren’t tailor-made for them, their strengths, or their weaknesses.

If you’re interested in giving private tuition, you have to interested in adapting to your student and what they don’t understand. This is also probably one of the best ways to provide quality in home tutoring.

How to deal with one-on-one private tutoring and online lessons ? The best advice to teach effectively.

This is a must-have quality for anyone wanting to give quality private tutorials and help their students progress and overcome the difficulties they encounter academically and help them gain study skills.

Whether you’re providing your student with math homework help, home tutoring, a biology tutor, ICT tutor, or giving Arabic classes, for new students in primary school, tailoring is key for:

  • Becoming one of the best tutors
  • Keeping your student in the long term
  • Building a Client Baseyour student and their parents will provide a referral to other potential customers if you provide a tailor-made service
  • Providing a quality service
  • And having fun! It’s a lot more fun to do new things rather than always give the same tutorials, isn’t it?

And after you’ve prepared a beautiful personal advert for private tutorials that will help students find a tutor online to find you, it’s time for you to take your first step into giving private tutorials and become a tutor.

The Importance of having a Pre-course Interview with the Student

To better understand the student’s difficulties and touch base, it’s important to first have an interview to find out what you’re going to do to make them work effectively and create a study plan.

How can I improve a student's progress with one on one tutoring? Going over marked exams can be useful for improving and monitoring the child’s progress in school.

If you come across as caring, you’ll always find students for private tutorials.

This interview doesn’t need to be a full tutorial, it can be shorter than one hour. Here are a few tips to manage your pre-course interview:

  • Discuss the subject you’re going to teach with your student: what does the student think of this subject (whether you’re an English tutor, maths tutor, algebra tutor or foreign language tutor)? Why do they think they need one on one tutoring? Would they prefer online tutoringAsk them how they think you could help them and what they expect of you. Make them put how they feel and what they need into words.
  • Use the student’s latest homework in the subject: look at their latest test scores. Why does the student think they have failed? Did they understand the mistakes they made? Would they like to redo their failed homework? Or if their homework was good, why did the student succeed?
  • Test your student: you can bring a practice test or diagnostic test and see how they do. Explain to them that a test doesn’t mean a marked assignment, it’s just to see how you’re going work with them. No pressure!

Thirty minutes should suffice. You can either stay after the pre-course interview or get to straight to work on establishing your student’s weaknesses!

Once established, decide where the tutorials will take placeat home or in the library, for example.

Parents Can Help Plan the Tutorials

Parents tend to know their child’s strengths and weaknesses fairly well. They usually call the tutor or ask for academic tutoring services because they can see their child is having difficulties in one subject or another. The child asked for home tuition and help with their homework, they struggled to understand explanations, usually gets bad marks, finds their school work difficult, and have started to fall behind.

Should I work with my student's parents for peer to peer tutoring? Working hand in hand with the student’s parents can make them advance more quickly!

The parents are the first to advise you and help you plan your tutorials to best help your student.

We advise that you also conduct a pre-course interview with the parents after having done so with the child:

  • Give your thoughts and feelings on your interview with the student
  • Explain your teaching style and the methodology you want to adopt to help their child either catch up or advance
  • Reassure them, if necessary, of their child’s ability to succeed in this subject
  • Ask their opinion and ask them to participate in planning your tutorials: it’s important that they feel involved (if they want to be). The child will also feel supported by you and their parents.

This is one of the important qualities that make a good private tutor.

Private Tutorials Tailored to the Student’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Of course, to plan your tailor-made private tutorials well, you need to take the student’s strengths and weaknesses into account.

How do I customise one on one classes for my students? Just like a tailor measures their customers to make a suit, you should measure your student’s abilities in order to provide classes adapted to their learning!

Remember when analysing the student’s weaknesses you shouldn’t frequently give them exercises, practice questions, or practice tests that they find difficult since you’ll run the risk of your tutee losing motivation!

Mix the concepts that they struggle with and those that they prefer and do well with.

Are you a Spanish tutor or do you provide language tutoring? Does your student speak English fluently but struggle with Spanish grammar? You should suggest films or series with both languages if it’s compatible with their learning style! Are you thinking the same thing as us? The latest series on Pablo Escobar, Narcos, could do the trick (depending on the student’s age, of course!). They speak Colombian Spanish and American English in every episode. This could help them improve their Spanish vocabulary and their English writing while also making your tutorials more fun.

Say your student’s studying science A-Levels. They’re good at algebra but struggle with calculus and quadratic equations. Give them exercises that include both! They’ll relax more and learn to think about the best solution for the exercise.

Adaptability is of course part of what makes a good in-home tutor.

Tutorials at Home and Learning Support: the Perfect Method for Long-term Sustainability

Keeping your student in the long term is obviously better than regularly changing students. You’ll get to know them better and better throughout every single stage of their life as a student: joining secondary school, test preparation, doing their GCSEs, going to 6th form, completing an A Level, and applying to universities or a college.

The advantages:

  • Increased productivity for them and you
  • A sense of pride and great testimonials: imagine being able to say “I’ve known this student since they were 8. They’re 18 now and at university.” It’s very rewarding!
  • A great relationship with the student: You’ll know how to better guide them since you’ll know what they find difficult and their personal learning styles.

To keep a student in the long term, you will have to be ready to tailor your tutorials and be passionate about your subjects! Each student is unique and deserves an individual and personalised approach.

In short: 

  • Private Tutorials = Tailor-Made Tutorials! This is fundamental when giving private tutorials at home! If you only have one student at a time, make the most of it, enjoy it, and help them progress using your preferred method!
  • Learn your student’s strengths and weaknesses before the first tutorial! This will help you better plan your private tutorials with them.
  • Work together with the parents: the more the student sees the people involved in their success, the more they will feel supported and driven to succeed!
  • Keep your students in the long term when possible!

You will probably have problems with certain students over the course of your career as a personal tutor. Bear in mind that by listening to your students, you can overcome anything and help them to progress in different ways.

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