Planning effective tutoring sessions

Planning effective tutoring sessions

During consultations I always take time to discuss what I feel are essential differences between teaching a class and tutoring on a 1-1 basis. And there are many differences. The parents, students, teachers and tutors I talk to are, in the main, disillusioned with the ‘one-size-fits-all’ mentality of schooling. Of how it can sometimes felt to be mechanistic- a process of being ‘done to’ rather than being ‘done with’. It is incredible that governments, local councils/authorities and  schools talk of promoting ‘21st century learning’, whilst at the same time, and not withstanding some use of technology in schools, using a 20th century teaching and learning model of 1 teacher to 30 (+) learners. In contrast, the bespoke nature of tutoring, with its emphasis on personalisation and responsiveness allows for a virtuous cycle to be created in which improved learning, leads to improved confidence and achievement, inside and outside the classroom.  One of the major differences between teaching a class and tutoring on a 1-1 basis, is that the relationship between a teacher and learner in a tutoring scenario is much more about partnership, reciprocity and responsiveness. When I was class teaching I would always have a well thought out plan and be well resourced for each lesson I was teaching. For tutoring, its important to have a plan, but it’s also very important to be flexible and responsive; we often find that the next session’s teaching emerges out of what has been covered before.

At Tutor Doctor, we believe in the value of a plan. As part of the consultation process,  I develop an overall tutoring plan, that indicates to the family how the tutoring will work, gives indicative content and what the main goals of the tutoring will be. I always pass this plan onto the tutors working with the student-but what should you do with it? My guidance is that you should aim to use this plan to guide the direction of travel in the immediate first few sessions and to help you develop a more detailed plan, in partnership with the learner, that builds upon their input.

Please click on the link for Tutor Doctor’s guidance for planning.

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