Easy Steps to Help You Prepare for a New Student

I have a teaching and medical scientist background.  I started tutoring a few years ago and really enjoyed it as I felt I was giving back to the community.

As I grew up, I realized that since I found school difficult, and my dad helped me study, I needed to help others. Years later this led me into tutoring.

Here are some tips to help you with your very first tutoring job from receiving the email about your first student to having a successful first tutoring session.

Step 1: The Telephone Call to the Parents

The first time you speak to a parent on the phone they may sound anxious or frustrated as they have exhausted all avenues to help their child with the subject that is difficult for them.

It is important to have a few points you want to say to the parents ready next to your phone so you don’t stumble on your words as you are speaking to them.

Just remember to keep it simple, keep the conversation short and try to find out two or three areas that the child needs help in so you can use that in your lesson plan.

Try to end the telephone call penciling in a day when the tutoring will start and thank them for the conversation and say you look forward to meeting them and their child.

Step two: The Lesson Plan

This is the one time in your life when your creativity will stand out.

Here are a few pointers for your first lesson plan.

  1. Keep the lesson plan geared to the age group you are tutoring
  2. Have two learning activities ready and keep these activities to 20 minutes and no more as the student’s attention span will wander….
  3. Have the special materials you need listed on your lesson plan such as a calculator
  4. Have a designated pencil case for tutoring with many coloured pens, markers, pencils, rulers etc
  5. If you are tutoring a student in primary school, then have some stickers to give the student at the end of the lesson for a job well done.


Step three: Your Tutoring Outfit and Bag

You never get a second chance to make a first impression so make it count!

  1. Find a smart-casual outfit and add some accessories to it. This is like a job interview so you want to look your best, and professional as well.
  2. Remember to wear your Top of the Class Badge.
  3. Wear nice shiny polished shoes.
  4. Have a backpack or nice bag with all your supplies in it, remember in the future you might have to accommodate more lessons or have an emergency lesson so it is good to get into the habit of having your tutoring bag ready to go.
  5. It is nice to bring some fun educational games to play in Maths or English in case the students attention waivers.

Step 4: Arriving at the family home and the first lesson

  1. Make sure to be a few minutes early as it makes a great first impression
  2. Remember to introduce yourself (have your name card handy)
  3. Once you’ve met the child and been shown to the study area, then ask some questions to break the ice….for example what’s your favourite subject at school etc
  4. Follow your lesson plan
  5. Brief conversation with the parents (10 minutes)
  6. Plan the next lesson date then promptly but politely say thank you and leave the house

If you follow the above steps you will have a great first lesson!


About Stuart Adams

Stuart Adams is the founder and Managing Director of TOTC. He is a former School Teacher and Careers Advisor as well as a qualified Dietitian and Psychotherapist. His Psychotherapist Sydney website has loads of free learning resources covering all areas of mental health.

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