“Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.” - Jacques Barzun
For some students, the academic year can feel like an uphill struggle right from the very start, especially if they struggle with one small topic and start to fall behind. Before you know it, they’re falling further and further behind in their studies.
Because of this phenomenon, a large number of children have taken private tutorials and are getting private tutorials to help them through primary school, secondary school, college, sixth form, and even university.
The reasons so many people opt for private tutoring is because it works since tutors take the time to help students and teach them in a way that works for them. They provide academic support that can come in the form of helping them to catch up, teaching them study skills, or even helping them to revise.
You may be wondering exactly how private tutoring works. Here’s what academic support tutoring is like.
The First Academic Support Tutorial
Whether you’re teaching maths, English, foreign languages, or study skills, tutoring is an opportunity for the student to ask the questions that they might have been too scared to in class. This is also when the tutor can offer alternative ways for the student to learn.
Before you can start doing this, you need to get to know your student. Communication is important right from the get-go since if you can’t communicate with your student, you can’t help them.
The first tutorial should be used to find out what kind of help the student needs, what they struggle with, what they’re good at, and the kind of person they are.
No matter how experienced you are as a tutor, you can never predict how a lesson will go.
The student needs to know that they can trust their tutor and that their tutor is there to help them. If they know that you’re on their side, they’ll learn more effectively.
As you build a rapport with your student, it’s more likely that they’ll also want tutoring in the long-term to help them reach their full potential even if you’ve already helped them catch up with their schooling.
A Typical Homework Help Tutorial
“The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without a teacher.” - Elbert Hubbard
To help a student, you need the tutorial to be tailored to them. More often than not, the right approach can drastically change how effectively a student learns.
How can you do this?
You want to make sure that the student leaves the lesson having learnt as much as they can. Much like a yoga session, you want them to leave the session feeling good, relaxed, and confident.
In most cases, lessons will start by establishing the objective or what you have to do. This will depend on how often you see the student and how much you need to get through.
Generally, you’ll want to start with between 5 and 15 minutes on the topics at hand and also ensuring that they’re comfortable with the last topic they covered before moving onto a new one. Check that they’re OK to move on and then you can introduce today’s topic and explain the theory behind it.
This is where they’ll be introduced to the concepts they’ll be covering in today’s tutorial before moving onto the practical side of things.
This is the core of the lesson and where the student should do most of their learning and the activities that the tutor has planned for them. Be it maths, science, English, or foreign languages, this is where they’ll study topics and apply their knowledge.
The first part of the lesson introduces the concepts and the second part allows them to see concepts in action and test their knowledge of the ideas being taught. At this point, you’ll want these concepts to stick with the student so that they can still remember them at a later date; probably during an exam.
Advise the student on how often they’ll want to revise or study these points, too!
They need to finish the lesson having grasped the concept and achieved the learning objectives, even if the objective is as simple as getting them to be slightly more engaged with their maths lessons.
How you achieve the learning objectives is completely up to you, but it’s often a good idea to finish the lesson by testing the student’s learning so that you know whether or not they’ve achieved their objectives.
Don’t just take their word for it!
At the end of the lesson, you’ll want to conclude and check you’ve achieved what you set out to achieve. This is where you can see if the student’s comfortable with the topics covered, has completed their homework, or has grasped the study skills you’ve been showing them.
You don’t need to give them a test or an exam at the end of every lesson, you just need to make sure that you’ve taught them what you wanted before you leave.
The end is also a good time to check in with the student. You’ll want to see what they liked, what they didn’t, and any other issues they might have so that you can further improve their tutorials and make them even more effective.
Communication is key when it comes to private tutoring and if the student is both happy and learning, your work is done!
How Long Do Private Academic Support or Homework Help Tutorials Last?
Before asking how long private tutorials should be, you’ll need to think about how much time a student has dedicated to their homework, which will vary according to age, level, and the subjects they’re studying.
You can take a broad average of around 30 minutes to an hour per evening, but, again, this can still vary wildly.
Generally, a private tutorial lasts an hour, but you can alter this according to the student and what they need. Of course, you can adapt the length of the sessions to what you need to get done. You don’t want to rush things and leave the student feeling frustrated that they didn’t get everything finished.
Homework help is about teaching students how to do their homework and providing support so the length of the lesson may have nothing to do with how long it takes them to do their homework.
In many cases, they mightn’t even do any of their homework whilst the tutor is there. You can leave them with the skills to do it on their own and the lessons will last the amount of time you need to do that effectively.
Of course, don’t waste their time and make sure that you’re organised and plan effectively so that not a single minute is wasted. A good tutor is organised, professional, and passionate about teaching and helping others.
So are you ready to start helping others with their homework?
If you'd like to start tutoring on Superprof, you can sign up today as a tutor and start offering private tutorials in almost anything, including academic support, without having to pay anything. You can always pay to improve your visibility to attract more potential students, but this is completely optional.
You can offer face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials, and you can offer one or several types of tutoring depending on your availability and how you like to work. Each type of tutorial comes with pros and cons for the tutor in terms of preparation and expenses.
With face-to-face tutorials, you may have to travel to your students and will often be expected to tailor every lesson to the student. This means that while you can often reuse certain resources, you'll still be expected to put in some extra effort to offer a bespoke service to every student. Fortunately, many students are willing to pay a premium for a bespoke tutoring service so you can cover the preparation and travel time in your rates.
With online tutorials, you can teach a broader range of students as students from everywhere in the world can work with you. As you don't have to travel to them, you can save money and time and also schedule more lesson each week. This will help you to increase your earning potential and allowing you to charge more competitive rates.
With group tutorials, you won't have to adapt the lessons as much as you'll have several students to keep happy. In a lot of cases, you can earn more per hour as several students are paying for the class but they'll often be quite happy as they'll each be paying less than they would for one-on-one or online tutorials.