Being a tutor is a challenging thing! You will have to think of tutoring sessions that will be entertaining and valuable at the same time. However, as you see, students you will work with have different mentalities, tastes, and needs. Because of that, you have to be a flexible person ready to adapt to the needs of everyone.
To finish your part of the job successfully, it is essential that you pass through a good tutor-skill improvement. You already know why is tutoring important to students, so you need to provide them with a good structure.
So, how to structure a tutoring session? Is that task something you can accomplish for a couple of hours? The lessons and instructions you provide can change someone else’s life. According to the latest research, 8 out of 10 students manage to improve their scores thanks to tutoring. Because of that, let’s see together all the stages you have to pass through to conduct a tutor session.
Top Tips on How to Structure a Tutoring Session
Let’s see together how to conduct a tutoring session with a few simple steps.
Start with a Plan!
Everything you do in life needs to come with a plan. The plan is the only way to turn all your ideas into reality. It is essential that you outline the lessons you will share with your students. After you do that, it is equally important to prepare the necessary materials. If you don’t have all the important pieces of information printed on paper, neither of your activities will be fully effective.
Moreover, many tutors often forget to print an example of a worksheet for themselves. That should be some form of reminder or guidelines that will help you share knowledge without any obstacles. Looking unorganized will make you look unprofessional and you may lose your authority because of that.
First Tutoring Session Matters a Lot!
This does not have anything to do with the structure of your tutoring sessions. However, for the first tutoring session, it is essential that you do a couple of things that will ensure a good beginning of your journey.
For starters, don’t be late! Responsible people that possess knowledge always respect the time of others. Despite that, you also need to “dress for success”. That means that, while you are preparing for the classes, you need to become familiar with tutor clothing. You should not wear a suit or anything formal. To make the atmosphere relaxing and make a good relationship with students, a casual smart combination of clothes is going to be excellent!
Say Hello to Your Students and Meet Them Better!
The connection between students and tutors needs to be strong. Because of that, in the first part of the tutoring session, you should greet the students. Explain to them who you are, why they should carefully listen to what you have to say, etc. You can imagine that you have a job interview where you need to convince a bunch of people that they deserve your attention.
However, you also need to find out who they are. After they say their names and who they are, you have to check out what type of learners they are.
As Phil Collins said once “in learning you will teach, and in teaching, you will learn”.
Because of that, there is no reason to delay things. Start with the first exercise and try to figure out which type of tutoring will be effective or boring.
Of course, keep in mind you will not manage to figure out everything immediately. However, you will get enough pieces of information to predict in which directions things should go.
Second Stage: Outline the Goals You Will Mutually Have to Achieve
The ideas that you made are not just yours. All the students need to know how long should tutoring sessions be, what they can learn, and how they can use the knowledge you provide them with in the future.
At the first session, you should outline how everything will look. However, use the same method before every single lesson you will present to your students. Highlight the most important keys of the lessons, how much time each key point will take, why it can be helpful, etc.
Here comes the moment when you need to find out how to make tutoring fun. Every topic that you analyze together with your students needs to go step by step. All the tutors will strive to start with the basics and make them as clear as possible for students. If the basics are not clear, how do you imagine they will understand everything else?
If you want to make things entertaining, then you must not lead a monologue. During the lesson, the interaction with the students needs to be at the highest level. You should ask them questions, carefully listen to the feedback they have for you, etc.
Yet, as an authority, you will often need to get out of the box. That means you will need to add more activities that will help students understand the lessons you have.
For instance, you can think of different games or simply think of scenarios where every student (and you as well) will have a specific role. Over time, you will see what your students like and how to conduct a tutoring session properly with these ideas.
Divide One Part of Tutor Session for Questions
Questions during the main part of the lessons should be an unskippable part. That is the way to keep the attention of the students and ensure interaction. Yet, some students may confirm they understand everything as they would feel shy to confess there is something unclear.
Because of that, at the end of the tutoring sessions, you should ask questions as well. If there are not enough questions for all the students, you should at least ensure that all main parts of the lesson are repeated.
After you ask questions, it is recommendable that you highlight things they will learn during the next session. It may happen that you grab their attention and convince them to research the topic before you meet next time.
Bonus Tip: You Have to Be Flexible Sometimes
Do you remember the period when you didn’t know how to become a certified SAT tutor? After you figure out the best options, did you study lessons for the entire day? Even if you had some sort of plan, we are pretty sure you didn’t stick to it always. Sometimes you made 20-minute breaks while sometimes you needed more time to relax.
Anyway, the same rule counts for your students. Over time, you will notice when they become demotivated or their concentration is low. When those moments come, the best way to motivate students once again is to take a break or simply change the method you use. Without a decent level of flexibility, you won’t manage to think of the best solutions instantly. Get ready for that!
You now know how to structure a tutoring session. However, be sure that you will sometimes need to get out of the box. Certain methods of tutoring may work for a certain period, but they can also become monotonous one day. Because of that, be creative, mix the methods you use, and ensure all your tutoring sessions are equally fun and effective.
You can also check what other online tutors do on various tutoring platforms.
How to Conduct a Tutoring Session?
Everything starts from the first tutoring session where you will meet all your students, their habits, interests, and tastes. After that, the classes should start with the basics and continue with them until you see students understand them. Think of all the creative methods that can make complex lessons clear and boost their motivation and attention. Get out of the box when necessary!
How Long Should Tutoring Sessions Be?
The length of tutoring sessions does not always have to be the same. It depends on the time you need to explain everything as well as the complexity of the lessons. They can last anywhere between 30 and 120 minutes. Don’t forget that you have to be flexible!
Images used in the article are taken from Unsplash