Ace Your First Tutoring Session: Advice From A Real Life Tutor

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Ace Your First Tutoring Session: Advice From A Real Life Tutor

One professional tutor’s step-by-step list on how to plan a perfect lesson ahead of time.

It’s the new year and, if you’re just starting out as a tutor, the best time to get organized and prep for your first session is now. While tutoring necessitates expertise in your field, it’s not enough to get the job done. Preparing for your first session requires planning, flexibility, and creativity. Run through this to-do list in order to make sure your first tutoring session goes off without a hitch.

1. Schedule a consultation to get to know your student.

Some of the most successful tutors we know book a consultation meeting with their students before the first true session to discuss expectations, pricing, and scheduling. This meeting can also help break the ice and can easily be done over the phone, video chat, or computer.

2. Prepare a brief pre-test to gauge your student’s strengths and weaknesses.

Creating a diagnostic pre-test can provide a great deal of insight on where upcoming sessions should focus. They can be as short and simple as a quiz or as in-depth as multiple questions pulled from a practice exam. This step can be done quickly and shouldn’t take more than the first 10 or 15 minutes of your session.

3. Break down your lesson plan into smaller, easy to digest sections.

Keep in mind that your student may not do well in a traditional lecture-based environment. Breaking up your lesson into well-defined sections is a great way to keep attention levels higher and will be much easier for students to follow (and for you to teach). Plus, digesting material in intervals can result in your students feeling a sense of accomplishment.

4. Build some time into the end of the session for a recap.

Verbally go over the material you’ve just covered at the end of each lesson. Have your student recite the main points and key takeaways. It may sound repetitive, but talking out loud about a concept often helps it stick.

5. Be sure to ask for feedback!

Finally, always ask for input at the end of a lesson. If your student is truly motivated, they will tell you what they want or need more help with. They might ask for some new material or tell you to pick up the pace! Asking for a student’s feedback can also strengthen your relationship and help you become more comfortable working with one another.

It’s normal to feel anxious about your first tutoring session, but if you follow the above steps, it’ll calm your nerves and help ensure your first lesson is a breeze.


Had a great first session? Need help handling the administrative stuff? We understand. Learn how Clark can put your business on autopilot at HiClark.com.