Preparing for the first lesson

Tutor Training Course
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It takes a lot to be a great tutor. Great tutors accept responsibility for their students, cheer for them in their successes and help pick them back up after their failures. Great tutors are more like coaches; they bring out the best in their students with patience and positive reinforcement. When a student does not understand something, typical tutors blame the student. But the best tutors evaluate themselves and teach the concept differently.
Course Content
Preparing for the first lesson
Regardless of your current experience, it is always necessary to do some sort of preparation before meeting your new client. Ensure that your skills in the related field are still sharp and you are able to answer any subject specific questions the parents or students ask.
The parent will likely be in the room with you listening to your conversations during your first session. Be sure to dress professionally depending on your age, a simple long-sleeve shirt with a collar is acceptable. Do not be late. This goes for all of your sessions, but for the first, it is essential to be atleast five minutes early.
Especially if you do not have extensive experience with client relations, it may be worth rehearsing how you are going to speak to your first client. A few things you should keep in mind when speaking to clients should be:
1. Practice active-listening skills 2. Be friendly 3. Enjoy a little small-talk 4. Watch your tone 5. Keeping their priorities in mind
Parental engagement is part of the job of being a tutor. Most parents will be actively involved in their child’s learning activities. Often, you will be asked questions when conversing with a parent for the first time. Some example questions are:
1. Why did you become a tutor? 2. What are your qualifications? (often asked indirectly) 3. What is your plan for helping my child? 4. What is your style of teaching? 5. Do you have any references?
Do your best to be able to answer any questions thrown at you before-hand. You do not want to stumble or appear not confident in front of the parent. Their first impression of you can be the difference between a client stopping the sessions after the trial lesson or them having sessions fo the rest of the year. The most basic, rudimentary things yo should keep in mind when meeting a parent for the first time are:
1. Smiling 2. Having a firm handshake 3. Speaking confidently 4. Making good eye contact 5. Having open body language
Overall, be professional and ensure a friendly and seamless experience. When speaking with the parent at the end of the session, give them as much of a diagnostic of the student as possible, while still painting the student in a positive light. Parents love to hear about how well their child is doing, but they also want to hear about the progress that can be made. Sandwich negative feedback with positive feedback, and leave the parent thinking that you are the key to making great progress in their child’s education.
Meeting their tutor for the first time can be a stressful experience for a student. They can feel nervous or intimidated. It is best to maintain a friendly yet professional demeanor while keeping things enjoyable during the session. Often students do not perform as well as they usually do while they are nervous. Here are a few things you should do in the first session:
1. Introduce yourself - Give the student an opportunity to connect with you on a personal level. Tell them the story of how you discovered you wanted to tutor. Ask them about themselves, show them that you care about their well-being and imminent success. 2. Assess their skills - Use the first session as a diagnostic session. Learn where the student is in his or her progress in the particular subject-matter. Ask them questions about their current position- the most important feedback you can gain will come from the students themselves. 3. Make a solid impression - Flex your knowledge and experience. Give the impression that you know what you are doing. The first session can be the deciding factor between them stopping the lessons immediately or continuing on for the rest of the semester.
At the end of your first session, ask for any feedback. It will be a good gauge of where you are standing in the eyes of the client. If they say “Everything’s great!”, you can probably expect to be continuing that session. Though if they are especially critical, take the feedback in stride and do your best to learn and grow as a tutor.
Depending on the subject you are teaching, material preparation prior to the session may be required. Certainly for upper-level mathematics, such as Calculus, refreshing yourself with the material you are about to teach is a necessity. Talentnook will provide various resources for Talentmasters that they can use to refresh themselves, such as textbooks and online practice. Alternatively, there are many resources online that can be used to prepare.
Depending on the subject, you may want to have specific diagnostic exercises prepared for your session. Especially for academic subjects, like math and science, always have the ability to either creatively generate practice exercises off the top of your head or immediately be able to reference them from a textbook.
Preparing for the first lesson, in particular, is especially important because it is your selling session. You want the client to continue scheduling sessions with you. If you are asked a question that you cannot immediately answer, it will not bode well for the after-session discussion between the child and the parent. You want to display your expert knowledge in the subject matter. When the parent asks the student “how was the tutoring session”, you want the child to give as positive of a response as possible.
Preparing for the first lesson
General preparation
Regardless of your current experience, it is always necessary to do some sort of preparation before meeting your new client. Ensure that your skills in the related field are still sharp and you are able to answer any subject specific questions the parents or students ask.
The parent will likely be in the room with you listening to your conversations during your first session. Be sure to dress professionally depending on your age, a simple long-sleeve shirt with a collar is acceptable. Do not be late. This goes for all of your sessions, but for the first, it is essential to be atleast five minutes early.
Especially if you do not have extensive experience with client relations, it may be worth rehearsing how you are going to speak to your first client. A few things you should keep in mind when speaking to clients should be:
1. Practice active-listening skills
2. Be friendly
3. Enjoy a little small-talk
4. Watch your tone
5. Keeping their priorities in mind
Meeting the parent for the first time
Parental engagement is part of the job of being a tutor.
Most parents will be actively involved in their child’s learning activities. Often, you will be asked questions when conversing with a parent for the first time. Some example questions are:
1. Why did you become a tutor?
2. What are your qualifications? (often asked indirectly)
3. What is your plan for helping my child?
4. What is your style of teaching?
5. Do you have any references?
Do your best to be able to answer any questions thrown at you before-hand. You do not want to stumble or
appear not confident in front of the parent. Their first impression of you can be the difference between a client
stopping the sessions after the trial lesson or them having sessions fo the rest of the year. The most basic,
rudimentary things yo should keep in mind when meeting a parent for the first time are:
1. Smiling
2. Having a firm handshake
3. Speaking confidently
4. Making good eye contact
5. Having open body language
Overall, be professional and ensure a friendly and seamless experience. When speaking with the parent at the end
of the session, give them as much of a diagnostic of the student as possible, while still painting the student in a
positive light. Parents love to hear about how well their child is doing, but they also want to hear about the
progress that can be made. Sandwich negative feedback with positive feedback, and leave the parent thinking that
you are the key to making great progress in their child’s education.
Meeting the student for the first time
Meeting their tutor for the first time can be a stressful experience for a student. They can feel nervous or intimidated. It is best to maintain a friendly yet professional demeanor while keeping things enjoyable during the session. Often students do not perform as well as they usually do while they are nervous. Here are a few things you should do in the first session:
1. Introduce yourself – Give the student an opportunity to connect with you on a personal level. Tell them the story of how you discovered you wanted to tutor. Ask them
about themselves, show them that you care about their well-being and imminent success.
2. Assess their skills – Use the first session as a diagnostic session. Learn where the student is in his or her
progress in the particular subject-matter. Ask them questions about their current position- the most important
feedback you can gain will come from the students themselves.
3. Make a solid impression – Flex your knowledge and experience. Give the impression that you know what you
are doing. The first session can be the deciding factor between them stopping the lessons immediately or
continuing on for the rest of the semester.
At the end of your first session, ask for any feedback. It will be a good gauge of where you are standing in the eyes
of the client. If they say “Everything’s great!”, you can probably expect to be continuing that session. Though if they
are especially critical, take the feedback in stride and do your best to learn and grow as a tutor.

Subject-specific preparation

Depending on the subject you are teaching, material
preparation prior to the session may be required. Certainly for upper-level mathematics, such as Calculus, refreshing yourself with the material you are about to teach is a necessity. Talentnook will provide various resources for Talentmasters that they can use to refresh themselves, such as textbooks and online practice. Alternatively, there are many resources online that can be used to prepare.
Depending on the subject, you may want to have specific diagnostic exercises prepared for your session. Especially for academic subjects, like math and science, always have the ability to either creatively generate practice exercises off the top of your head or immediately be able to reference them from a textbook.
Preparing for the first lesson, in particular, is especially important because it is your selling session. You want the
client to continue scheduling sessions with you. If you are asked a question that you cannot immediately answer,
it will not bode well for the after-session discussion between the child and the parent. You want to display your
expert knowledge in the subject matter. When the parent asks the student “how was the tutoring session”, you
want the child to give as positive of a response as possible.