How to Tutor? 5 Ideas and Tips to Get Started

This is a super broad question and depends on you and the student. I prefer to leave things flexible, but have “plans” in mind in case the student rocks up with no questions to ask me about and no work they need help with.

So a basic lesson plan would be:

  • Ask the student what they did at school that day, or over the past week since you last saw them. This gives you an idea of what they are up to and also jogs the student’s mind as to whether there was anything they wanted to ask you about.
  • Ask the student if they have any upcoming exams, assignments etc. It’s shocking how many students will turn up at tutoring and tell you they have an exam or essay due tomorrow, which they forgot to tell you about until now. So ask early and regularly, and write down the dates so you can check their progress.
  • Review material based on their school work. The student may ask you questions. If not, briefly quiz the student on what they did at school to check their learning.
  • Strive ahead in their school work. If you know what they are learning next and you have the time, you should try to teach a little bit ahead. This means that the student learns the material twice (with you and at school), which gives greater reinforcement. It also gives the student confidence at school, because they feel like they have already been briefed/tutored on the next topic (by you).
  • If after all that, there is nothing to do from school (yes, this can happen when the student has just come back from holidays, or a camp, or it’s near Christmas) – you can give them some prepared work. You should have some resources ready for “extra” work, like general aptitude/math/English tests or workbooks/sheets on general skills such as poetry techniques etc.