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Academic Support: How to Look After a Student

By Yann, published on 03/07/2018 We Love Prof - AU > Tutoring > Advice for Tutors > How to Plan Your First Tutoring Classes

You need to carefully plan academic support tutorials. To teach each student, you need to take care when organising their lessons.

In 2016, there were over 12 million students being educated in the UK. In England, 4.5 million were in primary schools, 2.75 million in secondary schools, 1.8 million in further education, and 2.6 million in higher education.

There are a lot of students who struggle with school and may have to resit certain exams. Fortunately for them, there are tutoring services that can help them avoid this.

In this article, we’re going to look at preparing an academic support class.

The First Class: Outline the Work Conditions

Just like any other contract negotiation, you need to remember that when it comes to both online tutoring and home tutoring, the tutor is employed by the family of the child being tutored. This means that you need to outline the conditions before they start receiving tuition.

Where can you teach private tutorials? Make sure that wherever you want to teach your student is clean and tidy. (Source: bedrck)

Academic support isn’t just teaching students, they also need to establish a relationship where both parties feel comfortable with one another. In a way, they’ll have to be on the charm offensive.

Both need to be enjoying the classes.

I remember having a bad time with a student studying economic sciences. I didn’t think I could do it. The student was stubborn and unhappy about being forced by his parents to get tutorials. He sighed every time he was asked a question and I had to stop the tutorials.

That said, the tutor and the parents have to agree on an hourly rate before they start. Generally, academic support tutorials cost around £20 to £25 per hour. Of course, these rates can vary wildly depending on the subjects being taught and the level being offered.

It’s worthwhile offering discounts to those who you’re going to be working with for a while. Supplemental instruction needs to financially viable for families.

Rules to Establish During Your First Tutorial

Most parents agree that academic support can help their child. You have to present yourself well when teaching academic support tutorials. When you meet with the parents and the student, you’ll probably be judged on your appearance.

Let us explain. You’ll make your first impression the second they open the door to you. It’s important that it’s a good one. You should treat the meeting like an interview. That said, it doesn’t mean that you have to wear a suit or a shirt and tie! You need to be presentable and confident.

What should you wear to private tutorials? While you needn’t wear a suit to your tutorials, you should dress appropriately. (Source: Free-Photos)

This is true for all subjects. Whether it’s maths, physics, chemistry, French, English, German, Spanish, or music, you have to make a good first impression.

It’s important for those working for tutoring companies and for themselves on platforms like Superprof.

Make sure that you present yourself correctly and:

  • Wear appropriate clothing
  • Are clean
  • Smile

Don’t stand with your arms crossed or your hands in your pockets and remember to shake hands and make eye contact when greeting people.

The students and their parents will welcome you into the room where you’ll be working. Tutorials often take place in either the living room, the child’s bedroom, or the dining room.

When you arrive at a student’s house for tutorials, consider using a bit of humour to break the tension and show the student that you’re both friendly and approachable. A quick joke will put a student at ease and realise that you’re not a prison guard who’s been hired to punish them for bad results at school. Make sure to show them that you’re not just an old fuddy-duddy. This helps the student to feel more at ease.

It’s important to be on time, maybe even a few minutes early. A private tutor who arrives late may encourage the parents to find a tutor who’s far more punctual. Tutoring jobs aren’t always the most secure so make sure you do everything in your power to succeed at it and make it sustainable.

Since tutorials often take place in the evenings after school, weekends, or during the school holidays, you also don’t want to waste a student’s free time either with poor timekeeping.

When you become a tutor, unless you’re working for tutoring companies, you’re pretty much your own boss. You’ll be teaching students in primary school, secondary school, college or sixth form, and if you want to have a successful tutoring business, you’ll need to ensure that you have long-term students.

Don’t worry though. As you’ve seen, the market for private tutoring is huge and the market is growing. There are one to one tutoring opportunities out there, you just need to make sure that you offer a valuable service and guarantee that a learner will get quality tutorials from you at the right price.

If you’re struggling to find students, don’t forget that you can also work as an online tutor and offer your tutorials to students all over the country.

Evaluating the Student’s Level

Why is the student getting tutorials?

Do they need help catching up, passing a certain exam, help with their homework or a personalised programme for those applying to top universities?

How do you test a student's level? Make sure to regularly evaluate students’ progress. (Source: tjevans)

Once you know the reason, you’ll need to work out their level. You’ll need to know how old they are and what class they’re in before you meet them. See if they’re doing well at school or not.

In the very first tutorial, even an experienced tutor won’t get very much done as they’ll be working out which methods will work with their student. In order to evaluate their level, you should do a quick level test for the subject you’re teaching to get a good idea. You should then ask the student for some of their previous test results.

Students in secondary school or sixth form may already have an idea of which topics they struggle with. It will help them to focus on problematic topics and ask themselves important questions why they’re finding them so difficult.

Once this has been done, the tutor can start working out their approach, the activities they’re going to use, whether they need coaching, support, or just a bit of help, etc.

You can always ask the student why they think they struggled in a given test in order to work out how they learn or do the test again and see where they go wrong.

An appraisal of their abilities and a meeting with their parents is a good idea for their first tutorial.

It’s even better to start the tutorials at the start of the school year. While you won’t be able to look over any tests, you’ll be able to offer appraisals each term. Mention to your student that they can get in touch with you at any time via email if they have any questions outside of class. In fact, our tutors are experts in helping students improve.

Academic Support: Finding Interactive Exercises to Do with Your Student

Even if you haven’t planned the tutorial down to the minute, you still need to have activities for the student to do.

Which are the best digital learning resources? You can share documents and resources now without using any paper. (Source: JESHOOTScom)

Whether you’re teaching sciences (maths, physics, chemistry, biology, etc.), history, geography, English, or foreign languages, the advantage of private tutorials is that you can adapt them to any student and focus on a given topic.

You can help students to catch up right from the start by going back over something they didn’t understand in school that very day.

Don’t forget that since they’re paying for it, families expect their tutor to be good. This means you’ll need to show them how your teaching approaches benefit their students.

Digital resources are great for helping students to learn. It doesn’t matter if they’re in primary school, secondary school, sixth form, or college, there are plenty of great mobile apps on both Google Play and the App Store as well websites for learning.

There are plenty of academic support websites where you can find exercises for tonnes of different subjects. Mathematics tutors will appreciate the large number of websites offering games and digital activities for topics such as algebra, calculus, trigonometry, and geometry.

There are also free apps that you can download for various subjects with exercises for students. One on one tutoring needs to be more enjoyable than a student’s regular classes as well as give them the necessary study skills to help them achieve academic success in their regular studies.

Your job is to provide a refreshing approach to learning and differentiate yourself from the type of teaching they receive at school.

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