What to prepare?

It’s crucial that you as a tutor do not just find any type of material or resource, but only ones that are relevant to the curriculum.

If, for example, the English year 8 curriculum includes text response essays, creative writing narratives, and grammar but does not include language analysis, do not plan materials or classes on language analysis.

This is such a common mistake that tutors make. They like to drift away from what’s being taught at school and challenge their students. As great as this is, tutoring is meant to be like a reconsolidating, personal, one on one class where you as the tutor help to cover all potential gaps in a student’s learning and to assist them in their current work. Tutoring should never be used to solely teach aspects of the subjects that are not relevant to the curriculum.

Therefore, before preparing materials and planning lessons, there are a few things that you as the tutor must do.

Firstly, you must organise a conversation (whether it is face to face or over the phone) with your student’s parents and you must ask them specific areas that their child requires attention. It’s not enough to say that they struggle with Maths. What part of Maths do they find hard? Algebra, trigonometry, measurements, time, etc…

You have to find specific areas that your students need help with before you can even start preparing any materials or activities for the tutoring sessions.

Secondly, you must ask for previous work or tests to gauge the potential areas where they may have gaps in their learning. After determining their gaps, you are able to identify areas that need to be addressed, and that therefore need to be prepared and planned for the tutoring sessions.

Furthermore, you need to find out ways that motivate your students and help them learn. Talk with them, and ask them, “what are the best ways you as a student learn?”

They may like practical activities, rather than quizzes and flashcards. Or they may like to use technology as a way to learn instead of worksheets, and vice versa. Once you find out the best way a student learns, you must provide materials and lessons that reflect this to ensure they get the best out of your lessons. It’s useless to spend time planning worksheets and activities if your student does not enjoy doing them. Find the best way to motivate them and get them to enjoy what they’re learning.

Moreover, before you can even start preparing materials, you need to research the subject and year level curriculum. This can be found online, on the NSW or Vic education sites. It is a good idea to print out the curriculum and highlight specific areas that you intend to prepare materials for.

Alternatively, you can ask your students what they’re currently studying in class, along with sending a letter to your student’s teacher, to ensure you are on the right page and are preparing material that aligns with what the student is currently studying in class at school.

As you can see, there are many approaches to finding out what to prepare for a tutoring lesson. Follow these simple keys in helping you prepare relevant, enjoyable and applicable lessons and activities for your tutoring sessions.

If you’d like to know more, don’t hesitate to check out our Tutor blog on our Tutoring Sydney website, or give us a call 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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