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First tutoring lesson assess then or before?

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by Educationalist2, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. Educationalist2

    Educationalist2 New commenter

    Hi everyone,
    I wanted to know how you guys structure your first lesson with a new student? I have been doing this for a while now:- Ask about issue briefly before lesson- Introduce myself and ask questions from student and parent, give learning style questionnaire, give assessment test and then check and give feedback, teach a question student got wrong , feedback to parent and student, schedule next lesson. I normally give 15 minutes extra to the 1 hour initial lesson .

    However, once a very fussy parent of a student said that they don't want their child's time to be wasted in lesson with assessment. I believe an assessment during lesson shows student's true potential and that they have had no help but I do feel akward sitting there with the parent waiting for their child to finish.

    Do you guys give an assessment before lesson or during first lesson? Also, how do you structure your first lesson?

    Thanks a bunch in advance! Meeting a new student this Saturday.
  2. alsoamum

    alsoamum Occasional commenter

    I don't do any work before the first session other than preparing a few games, printing a worksheet maybe and getting a whiteboard and pen out. I would also read any school/ed psych reports.

    I've never had a parent expect anything other than an assessment in the first session. I'm not sure why a parent feels they shouldn't have to pay you for time spent assessing their child unless they can do it themselves and give you a list of what your first lesson should include.

    How old is the child? And what is the focus? If they are old enough to sit a test, maybe suggest to the parents where they can print one to do with the child, prior to the first session. They could also mark it and send it to you so you can plan the first session.... I suspect if you suggest this, they might realise what they are asking you to do for free!
  3. alsoamum

    alsoamum Occasional commenter

    You are totally justified in doing an assessment, but maybe do it such a way that you're not just sitting there while they fill in a paper. I tutor a lot of 11 plus and we spend the first session trying out some mixed questions and discussing the answers... this gives me an overview and we do a little bit of work on the first tricky thing which comes up. With younger children, I play card or dice games to assess maths and number knowledge, or we might do some reading or writing or play a spelling game depending on the focus. For GCSE, I'd pick 4-5 mixed questions for us to discuss.

    I'd be tempted to reply with "An initial assessment will inform all future sessions and means i get to grips with any issues right from the start. However, if you'd prefer to do this yourself outisde of lesson time that's fine too. Please let me know what you'd like covered in the first lesson by X day and I'll plan for that. There are plenty of assessments you can download at www.xxxxxx.com."
    langteacher likes this.
  4. alsoamum

    alsoamum Occasional commenter

    Maybe even email them an assessment to complete and mark. I have done this on occasion if time is short before an exam.

    I don't spend lots of time marking and analysing it though. And it's hard to know if the child has had help.
  5. BG54

    BG54 Occasional commenter

    This is essentially my approach, take an exercise or past paper at a suitable level and if the tutee is struggling with a question go through it with them and make a note to review the topic in a later lesson. I find that much more useful than sitting on my hands for an hour. I've never had a parent question that approach though to be fair parents hardly ever "sit in" on my lessons.
  6. aakvirgo1989

    aakvirgo1989 New commenter

    Hi everyone,
    Thankyou for your replies! Yes i think im going to stick to what iam doing. My tutees parents some of them sat in the lessons cause i teach from home and they had no place to sit in so they sat in the lounge where i was teaching. Almost all of them have given me very good reviews and commented that they love the way i teach and communicate.

    I teach GCSE students English and Maths and i go through the questions and we discuss them at the end at assessment. Just because of that parents comment, i thought maybe i was doing something wrong. She was a nightmareeeee any ways and i ended up dropping two of her children off the teaching list! The children were lovely though!

    Thanks for the reassurance. Seems im doing things right :) I will stick to what iam doing as it seems to be getting results and if i give them questions then and there, i can see if they have done them themselves or not.
  7. Lespaul101

    Lespaul101 New commenter

    I’m starting two new primary school students tomorrow and I’m planning on doing an assessment test of the previous school years work to see what gaps they have. I will go through how to answer questions they struggle with and make notes to cover it in future lesson. I will also play games around times tables.
    I wouldn’t just sit here while they complete the test, would always guide them through it whilst making notes.
  8. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    I'm stunned that a parent can say assessments are a waste of time
    Maybe ask them to find their own papers and email them to you for marking before the lesson . Of course this would be on the understanding that the time spent marking is paid for

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