Trust that you must adjust!

Tutors that are organised and plan ahead of their classes are often focused on one thing, and that’s to get their lesson taught.

When you as a tutor plan a lesson, prepare activities, print out materials and resources, the last thing you want is for these to go down the drain.

As great as this is, there are times when our activities are not needed and when our plans need to be altered.

My little cousin whom got tutoring can testify to this! Her tutor was very organised, bringing materials and activities that it just overloaded my cousin.

My cousin said to me, “I wish she just stayed with the curriculum and taught the actual areas that I’m struggling with rather than other concepts.”

And that’s what it’s like being a tutor. Because we’re the experts in our fields, there’s a tendency to overload, overwork and overburden a student with unnecessary work that actually isn’t benefiting them.

So, how do we as tutors adjust our lessons to ensure we’re meeting our student’s needs? Do we quit planning? Absolutely not!

There are certain times when we do need to make room for our students to ask questions, express their opinions and struggles.

Instead of taking the lead all the time, try adjusting your lessons to benefit the student (and parents) requests.

Below are several ways in which a tutor can adjust the lessons:

  • Ask your student for particular areas that they want you as a tutor to prepare material on, instead of you just teaching any concept within the subject.
  • Only prepare materials that are relevant to your student’s curriculum. Do not overload them with extra information or harder topics unless they want (and ask) to be challenged
  • Write to your student’s teacher every so often to update them on what you have been working on with your student. If there is unnecessary topics that pops up, the teacher is able to write back to you specific feedback on areas she believes the student needs attention.
  • Always ask your students if they are unsure or concussed, and if they have any questions regarding the content.
  • Allow yourself to be flexible and if a concept or area of work pops up in the class that needs attention, place that first place, even above your activities. This has happened so many times to myself! I get to the class thinking I am going to be teaching one thing, and come out of it having taught a completely different topic! As frustrating as it can be for tutors sometimes, our student’s needs should always come first. So, if they come to you with homework they have received and unsure how to do, or tell you that they are confused with a particular concept, put a hold on your plans and always put a student’s needs first. Always remember that your planning could always come in handy for the next lesson, so don’t believe you have wasted your time on creating activities.
  • Test your students or quiz them to find out the specific areas that they struggle with and for which need to be addressed.
  • Always have a regular conversation with your student’s parents to find out their worries or concerns of the child’s progress. If they request you to do something in particular with them, always be prompt and diligent to prepare activities surrounding their requests.

So, as great as planning and organising activities are, there are times when we have to kick them to the curve and adjust our lessons to meet the student’s needs. Progress and improvement are both found when a student addresses the core issues and challenges within their learning. That’s why it’s critical that you don’t just plan random lessons regarding the subject, but specific areas to ensure all gaps in the child’s learning are filled! Remember to look out for and use the tips above to gage whether your lessons need to be adjusted to ensure true progress!

Have anything that you’d like to share? Contact us through our Home Tutoring Sydney website or call our office on 1300 654 746.

About Chiara Petrelli

Chiara is one of our Tutoring Melbourne team members. Chiara has always been a role model student and enthusiastic high achiever, earning numerous academic awards for a wide range of subjects during her school career including Italian, English, Religion and Society and Legal Studies. She achieved an impressive ATAR in the 90’s with especially strong results in English, and she is currently undertaking her Bachelor of Arts / Education degree at the University of Melbourne where she is studying to become a fully qualified School Teacher.

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