Eight ways to make the most of your first tutoring lesson
Congratulations on finding a tutor for your child! Now let’s carry that momentum forward through your first tutoring session. Here are a few steps you can take beforehand, the day of, and afterwards to ensure that everyone involved— you, your child, and their tutor— get the most out of that time.
Before the first lesson
1. Have a payment plan ready
Payment sounds like an administrative matter, but skipping this step could negatively impact the quality of tutoring your child receives. Tutors have busy schedules too, and they’ll understandably be less motivated to go the extra mile for you if it’s unclear when and how you’ll pay for their services. That’s why TeacherFindr keeps payment simple by allowing parents to upload their card information with one click.
2. Talk to your child about tutoring.
We believe successful tutoring relationships begin with a supportive conversation between parent and child. Frame tutoring as a positive personalized learning experience and listen to how they feel about school. Not only will this help instill their buy-in, but your student will likely also have valuable insights on the types of activities that help them learn best.
3. Brief your child’s tutor
Take what you’ve learned from talking to your child and touch base with your tutor. Confiding your hopes, dreams, and fears now will go a long way towards taking the edge off of your first tutoring session (and it spares your child the awkward moment of sitting there during that conversation). The more your tutor knows about your child, the better. However, don’t feel like you need to know the correct terminology or prepare a dossier of progress reports and evaluations.
4. Create (or find) a learning space
Think of a place where your child and their tutor can spread out and work diligently with minimal distractions. Don’t be afraid to try a new location in your home, such as a dining room or kitchen, that can provide ample table space and a way for you to discreetly listen in on the tutoring session. Similarly, don’t be afraid to try an alternate location such as a public library or coffee shop (a quick google or yelp search will tell you which locations are the best for working and studying).
At the first tutoring lesson
5. Have a payment plan ready
Remember how we said to share your parental concerns without your child present? Well, now’s the time to translate those into actionable goals for your child and tutor to work towards. Ask your child what they want to accomplish in this subject, and what benchmarks along the way will indicate whether they’re on target. Your tutor can assess whether those goals are feasible in the given timeframe and add their own suggestions. Don’t be afraid to look beyond the gradebook and take this time to emphasize personal goals for your child such as confidence, motivation, and perseverance.
6.Break the ice and back away
Now that everyone’s agreed on the tutoring objectives, help your child and tutor strike up a conversation, then step aside so they can get to know each other and get to work. Casual topics such as television, movies, and hobbies are a good way to get your child talking. Your tutor will steer the conversation back towards school once they feel ready. It may take some time for your tutor and student to build rapport, but those few minutes are well worth the time.
7. Wrap things up and schedule your next session
Rejoin the table in the final couple minutes and ask your child what they accomplished. Your tutor can reinforce what they covered and suggest activities for future lessons. If you feel good about the session, take this opportunity to schedule your next lesson. That small gesture lets the tutor know you’re a serious client who won’t leave them hanging.
8. Review and share your tutor’s recap
TeacherFindr clients will be charged for the session once their tutor logs the time and writes a recap of the lesson. With one click, your tutor can share those recaps with your child’s day-to-day teacher. We strongly encourage parents and tutors to take advantage of this feature since it allows all three phases of academic support— parent, teacher, and tutor— to work together and supercharge your tutoring experience.