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Ideas for Personalising Academic Support Tutorials

By Yann, published on 03/07/2018 We Love Prof - IN > Tutoring > Advice for Tutors > How to Give Home Tutoring Classes

There’s a Maori proverb that goes: “My success should not be bestowed onto me alone, as it was not individual success but success of a collective.”

Keep this in mind when thinking about academic support with a private tutor. There’s nothing wrong with getting help in order to achieve your goals.

According to The Guardian, more than 40% of pupils living in London have opted for private tutors to help them with their studies.

Whether it’s homework help, catching up, exam or test prep in order to pass exams and get into a top university, how can you offer private tutorials at a student’s house?

Academic Support: Teaching Tutorials at Your House or the Students House?

There are a lot of benefits for tutors who create a profile on Superprof’s digital platform: Firstly, they’ll be able to find students and earn some extra money each month, and they’ll also enjoy being thanked by each student as they help them to succeed in their studies.

Can tutors teach at their own home? If you’re going to teach at your own home, make sure it’s clean and welcoming. (Source: Skitterphoto)

The main question is whether you should teach at your home or your student’s.

Which is the best place to teach?

Most tutors teach at their students’ houses. It’s easier for the students to wait at their home for the tutor rather than travelling to their tutor’s house and it’s also an easier sell if you tell your child that they just have to wait for their tutor to arrive rather than travel to the tutor’s house.

Whether it’s maths, physics, chemistry, biology, English, French, Spanish, history, or geography, students still prefer to be taught at their own home.

Of course, they’ll be expected to clean and prepare somewhere to work either in their room, the living room, dining room, or even in the garden (weather permitting) as well as some of the materials they’ll need:

  • Textbooks
  • Reports and their exam results
  • Exercise books and the exercises they’ve done in class

While students won’t waste time travelling to the tutor’s house, the extra costs incurred by the tutor will be reflected in their hourly rate.

Additionally, some students are far too young to travel on their own or maybe their parents don’t have the time to bring them to you. Not many young children take the bus or the train by themselves.

Academic support classes can help give students a nudge in the right direction, help them to catch up with their lessons or help improve their exam results and grades. To help build their confidence, we recommend offering academic support at the homes of very young children rather than have them coming to you.

Some tutors mightn’t have somewhere to offer classes at home, either.

Private tutorials need to work around the student’s schedule. As a result, you may be expected to offer tutorials during evenings, weekends, school holidays, and bank holidays.

For those who live rurally, don’t worry if you can’t travel. Thanks to the internet, you can now offer private tutorials online using a webcam and platforms like Skype, Facebook, and Google Hangouts, for example.

What’s better than being able to teach students from all over the country from the comfort of your own home?

How Do You Organise Academic Support Tutorials?

It’s important to set up the right working conditions for you and your students. To prepare for your first tuition lesson, you’ll need to use both physical and digital resources. You’ll have a few things to do:

  • Establish your hourly rate: This averages between £20 and £25 per hour.
  • Set up how you and your student will communicate.
  • Make sure you’re well presented.

How do you plan a private tutorial? Make sure that you’re organised and punctual. (Source: MabelAmber)

If you want to keep your students, you’ll need to make a good first impression by dressing appropriately.

Similarly, it’s a good idea to avoid negative body language like crossing your arms and keeping your hands in your pockets.

You should also establish your student’s level during their first tutorial.

Do they need to improve or are they good at certain topics but struggle with others?

A level test is usually a good way to do this.

You should also ask about the student’s and the parents’ goals.

Are they trying to avoid having to resit an exam?

Would they like an intensive language course?

At this juncture, it’s worthwhile getting them started with their revision, even if you’re still establishing the personalised teaching approaches you’re going to use. You could go back over exercises they didn’t understand at school.

You should always ask questions that will help you find the right teaching methods to help them learn. For example, if the student’s struggling, you could play a game with them that helps them memorise.

Parents want their children to have the best courses. The tutor will have to show that they completely understand a variety of teaching methods and didactic tools.

Even if you haven’t prepared anything for the first tutorial, you can get interactive exercises to help them get the most out of their very first tutorial. We recommend incorporating elements of culture into their tutorials to differentiate it from the drier classes they’ll get at school.

Tutors should also offer regular appraisals of their students. Appraisals and level tests are useful for showing the parents how their child is progressing.

Resources for Preparing Academic Support Tutorials

In order to be ready the day of your first academic support tutorial, you should definitely be on time.

Where can you find resources for private tutors? Make sure you listen to your student and tailor your tutorials to them. (Source: Couleur)

You need to be punctual every other time, too.

You should also have a good knowledge of the programme at school, too. A lot of tutors also have qualified teacher status (though this isn’t essential).

During their training and time working in schools, they’ll have probably gained an in-depth understanding of the curriculum.

During a PGCE, students are taught about various teaching approaches and student management technique. Their experience as a teacher will help them understand exactly which part of the programme the student is struggling with.

So which resources should you use to prepare your tutorials?

As an educator, you’ll be expected to help your student to learn. In order to provide quality courses, a tutor has to put together a learning plan. They’ll also need to provide textbooks, digital tools, and revision sheets.

For secondary school students, tutors should consider getting their hands on GCSE and A Level past papers and activities.

For primary school students, tutors will use more interactive activities and games to keep younger children entertained and encouraged.

Academic Support: How to Teach Students throughout the Year?

Preparing your first lesson is one thing, preparing tutorials throughout the whole year is a different kettle of fish. You need to keep them motivated and encourage them to learn on their own.

How do you create a course plan? If you’re going to be with your student throughout the year, you’ll also need long-term plans. (Source: StartupStockPhotos)

If you saw and enjoyed the film Captain Fantastic, you’ll know that learning at home can help students improve their grades. The film follows the story of a father, played by Viggo Mortensen, and his six children who are outside of the American schooling system. The father devotes himself to teaching his children with a variety of different ways. The film shows different teaching methods and how the national education system can leave children behind.

Academic support classes are good for those at risk of having to repeat or resit their exams and a good tutor has to exhibit a number of qualities:

  • Adaptability
  • Flexibility
  • Being comfortable with the subject being taught
  • Listening
  • Being rational
  • Never judging their student
  • Adapting their tutorials to the age and level of their student

Academic support classes for primary school students are different from those aimed at secondary school students studying their GCSEs or A Levels. Tutors need to keep an eye on how their students progress.

It’s important to use the right teaching approaches and regularly check your students’ progress. In addition to games, you can also use digital tools such as smartphones, tablets, and academic support websites.

It can be expensive to get private tutorials throughout the whole school year. Tutors will have to be patient, focused, and take care of their students throughout the whole year. They may also be expected to drastically change the plan as time goes on. This is why, in addition to being gifted in a given subject, a tutor also needs to be flexible when it comes to the different learning approaches they use.

You should also always have backup activities and extra activities in case the student doesn’t respond well to one activity or they find everything you’ve brought to be too easy!

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