Sep 05, 2019
We know how important first impressions are, so we put together seven tips to ensure a successful first conversation with the family.
1. Understand your role in the relationship
Tutoring is a joint effort between the student, the student's family, and the tutor. Be upfront that hiring a tutor won't get the student to their goal. It takes the whole family and a lot of hard work. Make sure that you hear the full story from both the student and the family. Tutoring is about providing skills and tools for the student to succeed, not just facilitating the work.
2. Set expectations
Regular, weekly tutoring is more successful than cramming the night before a test. If you believe the student will be more successful with a long term set up, communicate that to the family with confidence. If the student needs to be held accountable, communicate your plan to the family for what needs to happen in between sessions.
3. Assess what the student's goals are
Is the student struggling to pass, or are they doing well but want to do better? If the student is struggling, find out why. Are they putting in the work? Do they just have a bad teacher? Are their goals reasonable? Don't be afraid to ask to talk to their teacher to get the full story.
4. Be honest
You're accepting money from the family—it's your responsibility to be honest with them about where you see the student or the parent not holding up their end of the partnership. If you think the student is not set up to meet their goals, be honest. Honesty inspires trust.
5. Address the students stress
The pressure to succeed can create stress and anxiety. Understand and acknowledge the role this stress can play in the students' potential for success. Acknowledge that reaching the student's goals will be hard work! But assure them that they can do it.
6. Be proactive
Discuss grades, [online] coursework, recent tests and homework, study techniques, and class participation. Ask about any potential learning disabilities, medications, and pre-existing medical conditions. Gain a sense of the student’s holistic needs so that you can better anticipate how you two will work together in the future.
7. Be yourself
Create an impression that is true to you. Presenting an honest version of yourself will put you at ease and establish trust with your new client.