Pursuing online one-on-one tutoring requires dedication, patience, and high levels of professionalism. As a tutor, delivering the best possible learning experience to your students is of utmost importance. Most tutors understand that while interaction and enthusiasm are vital, working on strengthening your relationship with the student and earning their trust must be prioritized, as well.
This is why your very first session with every student is pivotal – it establishes a solid foundation, determining how the rest of your lessons develop. Moreover, your first tutoring session will also help you set professional, behavioral, and academic expectations with the student.
So, if you’re ready to schedule your first online tutoring session, familiarize yourself with these five tips before you begin –
- Be punctual and well-dressed: Cynthia Ozick, an American novelist, said, “Two things remain inevitable: time and a first impression,” and we, at Tutrrd, absolutely agree with her! Although online tutoring requires teaching from the comforts of your home, the medium of instruction demands impeccable professionalism. Hence, it is essential to note that being punctual for tutoring sessions can significantly improve productivity and enhance the students’ learning experience. Besides, when you are on time for the lesson, your student is also encouraged to respect your schedule.
In terms of appearance, a simple hack for exuding more confidence and competence, especially during your first online session, is to dress up as if you were tutoring in person. Your students, as well as their parents, are likely to gauge your suitability on the basis of your attire – so make sure you dress to impress!
- Leave room for introductions and questions: It is common knowledge that inevitably, students aim to make great academic progress with tutoring. However, establishing mutual trust and understanding from the beginning significantly increases the chances of developing an enjoyable learning environment. As a result, introducing yourself and allowing the tutee to introduce themselves and their educational expectations is an integral part of your first online tutoring session. Although the approach is likely to differ on the basis of every student, the goal is to make them feel comfortable enough to open up to you.
At Tutrrd, we equip teachers to provide students with a safe space to willingly discuss the challenges faced in school and encourage them to ask questions. This way, you can accurately strategize lessons and teaching plans according to their requirements. So, go ahead, and get to know your student better!
- Pay undivided attention: One-on-one online tutoring is an excellent solution to help students learn outside the classroom. Since the approach is driven by personalized attention, it is vital that you set a balanced tone of discipline from the first session. For instance, is your student really participating in the lesson, or are they scrolling through social media platforms? In case you believe the child is distracted, clearly ask them about it.
Through this, your student will recognize that you pay complete attention and do not appreciate them being unfocused. Alternatively, ask if they need a break, just to clear their thoughts and get back on track with the lesson.
- Assess technical glitches: While prepping for your first session, it is always better to be over-prepared rather than being under-prepared. So, have a backup plan in case of technical glitches or equipment difficulties. Here’s a quick list for your reference:
• Run a browser and internet check at least 45 minutes before the scheduled class, so you have enough time to assess and rectify any issues
• Conduct a mic test
• Ensure your course materials are in close proximity and easily accessible
• Check whether your earphones or headphones work well
• Eliminate distractions or background noises for an improved experience
This way, when the session begins, you can immediately start interacting with the student and teaching without wasting time.
However, know that even the best groundwork cannot avert an occasional glitch. If that happens, don’t dwell on what went wrong or apologize too much. Instead, move on with the lesson.
- Non-verbal communication: Remember to focus on your body language, posture, and attitude. While this may seem like a commonly acknowledged aspect, it is often the most overlooked. So, make sure you refrain from slouching or using a monotonous voice – instead, have a confident demeanor. Don’t shy away from using the right amount of hand gestures, smile often, be interactive, and appear approachable.
Moreover, ensure that you are in a comfortable working environment, with little to no distractions on your end. If you share your workspace with your family or roommates, confirm that they are already familiar with your tutoring schedule, so you don’t have to worry about interruptions.
Now that you have read these tips, conducting a successful session as an online tutor should be a realistic and achievable goal.
At Tutrrd, we believe that the key to maintaining an expert approach towards online tutoring is for teachers to be their best and unique selves, through it all. So, if you’re ready to schedule your first online tutoring session with us, sign up to become a teacher right away!