WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE FIRST TUTORING SESSION?
For students and parents new to tutoring, getting started can feel a bit stressful. There is no need to feel anxious! Here are some things one can expect from the first tutoring session with a new tutor.
- Time should and will be taken so that the tutor and student can get to know one another. A few minutes will be dedicated to chatting about interests and hobbies, as well as what the student likes and dislikes about school. Understandably, there is often eagerness to jump right into the schoolwork and begin to make positive changes, but having rapport between the tutor and student is key to building a progress-focused, goal-oriented, and productive tutoring experience. Trust is key, as creating a safe space for vulnerability will allow students to express their needs clearly and openly with their tutor.
- The tutor is likely to be slightly more passive during the first session. Observation on the tutor’s part will help to pinpoint areas of need and build a long-term plan for the student’s progress. The tutor will pay attention to how a student solves problems, works through their homework, and how they use (or not) the tools and resources at their disposal (calculators, internet search, re-reading text, etc.).
- Towards the end of the first session, the tutor and student may discuss time management recommendations for future sessions. Students may be asked to reflect on how well they felt they were able to concentrate on their work, if they felt they needed breaks and in what environment they feel they work best. The student and tutor can then determine together how to best structure future sessions to maximize the results from how they use their time together.
These are just a few examples of some common ways that a new tutor will conduct a first tutoring session. As always, tutoring is flexible and unique to each student/tutor pair. For example, the proposed time management plan may need some tweaks over time, and that’s fine. In fact, it’s to be expected. Tutoring evolves as the student and tutor get to know one another better. If both parties remain open-minded, honest and committed to the process, the experience is sure to be a positive one.