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How to Prepare for Your First Tutoring Session

The first tutoring session is perhaps the most critical as it will set the baseline for all sessions to follow. Building a strong connection between the student and tutor is essential. Helping the tutor understand where the student is at will also help them provide the best help possible. Together, these will make tutoring more productive and beneficial for the student. 

There are a few things you can do before the first tutoring session to get the best out of tutoring. Here are four steps to prepare before your first tutoring session.

1. Make a list of topics to cover 

First, make a list of all the topics you would like to work on.  Try to make this list as detailed and specific as possible. For example, instead of saying factoring for an algebra class, focus on factoring when there is a coefficient in front of the x squared term. This will make the tutoring sessions more focused and ensure that the most improvement is being made in the shortest amount of time. 

It is also helpful to share this list with your tutor beforehand, if possible. This gives them time to prepare for the session and jump right into challenging topics without spending too much time setting up. 

It is even more beneficial if the student has a specific list of questions and problems they would like to cover during the tutoring session. Adding organization or structure to the tutoring session will make the it more effective. 

This list can even be expanded to create a schedule for multiple tutoring sessions to prepare for a final or AP exam. This personalized learning plan is something you can take some time along with your tutor to build. 

2. Familiarize yourself with the online learning platform

Online tutoring is a new experience for many students, and you may have a lot of questions about the process. Before the session starts, be sure your computer is ready. Download the recommended browser, Google Chrome or Safari. Also, verify that your webcam and microphone work properly. 

There are a lot of benefits to online tutoring that you should strive to use during your session. First is the flexibility; you can join the session from anywhere with a stable internet connection. The online tutoring platform also provides a variety of tools for the tutor and student to use. These include an interactive whiteboard, access to online tools like periodic tables or graphing calculators, the ability to take screenshots and more. Take advantage of the online format when considering what tools to use during the session.

It is also helpful to ensure the space around your computer is conducive to learning. Try to join the tutoring session in a private room in the house where noise and distractions can be kept to a minimum. Ensure the student has the textbooks, notes, paper and writing utensils they will need within easy reach as well. 

Ensuring a positive learning environment and maximizing use of tools are important steps to build strong study habits. These are also vital to having a good tutoring session. 

3. Be ready to provide your student’s academic history and tutoring goals

During the first session, it is important to take the time to provide your tutor with context and the student’s academic history as well. Take a few minutes to explain the student’s past results in the class or subject, their academic goals both in this class and after high school, and the dates of any upcoming exams. 

Giving the tutor as much information as possible will ensure that they work to meet the student’s goals. This is especially important if it is near finals season or if the student is preparing for an AP exam. In these cases, the tutor can work to cover all the material required before the exam date and ensure the student will do the best they can. 

Transparency here is important. It is a tutor’s job to help students, but if they are not fully aware of what a student is struggling with, they cannot provide the best assistance possible. Be honest about what your student needs help with, be it a specific topic or their study skills as a whole, to get the most out of every session. 

Providing a specific goal for tutoring sessions is also important. A goal will ensure that the tutor and student can work together to build an effective plan to get the student where they need to be. This can be a concrete goal, like passing an AP exam, or an abstract goal, like increasing confidence in mathematics. 

4. Understand the role of your tutor

Finally, it is important to recognize the role of a tutor. Tutors are not lecturers or teachers; their job is not to merely teach to your student. Instead, tutoring is an interactive learning environment. Students are expected and encouraged to ask questions throughout the session and tutors are expected to adapt to a student’s needs. Engaging with the content as much as possible throughout the tutoring session will help your student master the material quickly. Active participation will also make the session more enjoyable.

Communication between the student and the tutor is a vital part of the tutoring experience, both inside and outside the session. Any feedback on how the session went is important to ensure success. 

Continually updating your tutor on how the student is doing in class and what new topics are confusing to them. This will help the tutor understand what techniques are working for your student. It will also ensure that the lesson plan is continuously adapting to meet your student’s needs throughout the semester. 

Tutors are an essential part of academic life and can be a fantastic resource for students seeking to understand their material better,  get ahead in school, or efficiently prepare for an exam. Stutorialz provides excellent STEM tutoring from highly qualified tutors ready to help your student excel. Learn more here. GET Ahead.

Stutorialz - A Virtual Tutoring Centre for High school Math and Sciences.

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