Lessons with a one-off tutor can often feel intimidating to pupils: they are being tutored by someone they’ve never met before and who they probably won’t meet again. It can also be challenging to get started as a tutor, as you have to quickly discern the ability level and needs of your pupil.
We’ve put together this handy guide to help you to deliver a fantastic one-off tutorial. Enjoy!
Before your lesson
Preparing well for your one-off lesson is the best thing you can do to make sure you’re ready to meet your pupil.
If your one-off lesson is a cover lesson, the pupil’s regular tutor will have sent through a lesson report which will detail what you should focus on with the pupil. This will either be in the resources section of your pupil’s profile, or you will receive it via email from the schools team.
Make sure that you review your pupil’s profile ahead of the lesson. This will contain information about the pupil’s current and target grades, exam board, and relevant lesson resources.
The first five minutes of a lesson with a new pupil are very important. It’s a chance for you to put your pupil at ease and set the tone for the rest of the lesson. Use this time to:
- Introduce yourself - tell your student what you are studying and where, and tell them something about yourself.
- Ask (open) questions - What do/don’t they like about the subject they’re learning? What do they get up to in their spare time? Is there anything in particular they’d like to focus on in today’s lesson?
- Be confident - this will help put your pupil at ease.
Set an objective
- Identify what today’s lesson will focus on and set an achievable objective - the more specific it is, the better.
- If possible, break down how this will be achieved throughout the lesson, e.g. practice questions/discussion/going over a paper/answering exam style questions
- Check the pupil is comfortable with this, and write it in the lesson space.
Take five minutes at the end of your lesson to review what you’ve covered, offer some feedback and suggest what they should focus on next week.
Review your objective and offer positive feedback
- To what degree do you and your pupil think you’ve met your objective?
- Throughout the lesson, try to keep track of examples where your student has met the objective, and feed back on what they have done well. Positive feedback is really important in building a pupil’s confidence.
Discuss what next week could/should cover
- Suggest what your pupil could/should focus on next, and check whether they agree with this.
- Explain that it will likely be another tutor working with the pupil next week. Assure them that you will ensure a smooth handover. You could say something like:
You’ll be working with another tutor next week. I’ll let them know what we covered and what we’ve decided you should focus on next, so you’ll be in safe hands!
You’ll pass this information on in the cover report you fill in for the next tutor.
Ending the lesson
- Reinforce the positive feedback you’ve offered throughout the lesson
- Wish them luck in their exams, and say goodbye.