Tutoring is always going to be a fun and rewarding experience as we get to help students to overcome their difficulties with our own teaching skills. Naturally, the problems experienced by a student in primary school and high school are going to be very different, and therefore we need to be conscious about different teaching techniques we can use. The best methods to consider are: planning, organisation, dynamic and fun lessons, proactive and unique lesson structure.
A student in primary school is going to need a more structured, interesting, dynamic lesson for them to remain attentive for the lesson duration. Tutors cannot just expect to help with the student’s homework as this won’t create a longer term benefit. Tutors need to arrive to each lesson with a lesson-plan in mind of what they are going to do that day. Creating a timetable or bringing some worksheets can go a long way to ensuring a productive lesson.
Create a special tuition folder where all the work covered in tutoring lessons is placed. This helps the student to become more organised with their study habits and also is a great resource when revising material. This is also a good way to keep track of the progress the student is making.
Making a lesson fun is always going to be a big challenge especially if it’s an area which you consider to be really quite dry. However, if you aren’t excited about what you’re teaching – the student will be equally unwilling to learn about it. Tutors should always try and build rapport with the student and try and make the math concepts seem more interesting and exciting. This can be done by teaching with a lot of energy or being very positive when a student gets a question correct. We want the student to be rewarded for learning, and to enjoy the lesson. A common way to keep the student interested is a dynamic lesson style, where you change the material being taught throughout the lesson, so it’s not to repetitious and dull. Alternatively, you could be creative and think of some educational games which you could use to deliver the message to the student. The best ways to keep your student interested will depend upon your student.
Make the lesson unique to the student which you’re tutoring. Try and work out some academic goals with the student about what they would like to achieve from the tuition, and then reassess the goals once they’ve been achieved. This really helps to bolster the confidence of students, and they will become more motivated to independently do the work.
Remain in touch with the guardians more when you’re dealing with primary school students as they can be very helpful to ensure the homework is done, and that the student is practicing what they learned in the lesson. Keeping the guardian in the loop helps them to make sure the student is focusing upon relevant areas and is thinking about tuition outside lessons.