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New to private tutoring - some advice needed please

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by takethatno1fan, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. takethatno1fan

    takethatno1fan New commenter

    Hi,
    I have been teaching for 7 years and have recently started tutoring just to supplement my income. I was really lucky as I put an advert on the web on one of the tutoring websites and within 3 weeks had picked up 4 children so there's obviously a demand in my area.
    I think I'm off to a good start; went to visit each family first as an introduction, discussed my 'terms' informally, showed them my CRB certificate/teaching qualifications, chatted to the child etc etc. All good for now.
    To be honest, it still feels very strange actually taking money and feeling that you are 'working' for the parents if you know what I mean, but I'm sure I'll get used to that.
    Anyway, one of the children I've started to tutor I met for the first time on Monday. He is a 10 year old struggling with his maths and he just did not want me there. He didn't want to talk to me, put his head on the table and it was the longest hour of my life. I'd taken a board game to play where he had to answer a maths question if he landed on a certain colour and every time he didn't know an answer he would just shrug and put the card back down. I managed to find out enough about him to be able to plan some work on basic maths but I still need to find out much more about his difficulties. I had a chat with dad at the end and explained he had been quite difficult as his confidence in maths was obviously very low. I just felt quite sorry for the child as I feel he has been forced into having a tutor.
    I don't know what I'm asking really, just wondered if any of you other tutors have encountered a child who didn't want to be taught and what happened.
    I know it's early days yet, and I WILL win him round once he starts to see he can learn **fingers crossed**
    Thanks for reading

     
  2. takethatno1fan

    takethatno1fan New commenter

    Hi,
    I have been teaching for 7 years and have recently started tutoring just to supplement my income. I was really lucky as I put an advert on the web on one of the tutoring websites and within 3 weeks had picked up 4 children so there's obviously a demand in my area.
    I think I'm off to a good start; went to visit each family first as an introduction, discussed my 'terms' informally, showed them my CRB certificate/teaching qualifications, chatted to the child etc etc. All good for now.
    To be honest, it still feels very strange actually taking money and feeling that you are 'working' for the parents if you know what I mean, but I'm sure I'll get used to that.
    Anyway, one of the children I've started to tutor I met for the first time on Monday. He is a 10 year old struggling with his maths and he just did not want me there. He didn't want to talk to me, put his head on the table and it was the longest hour of my life. I'd taken a board game to play where he had to answer a maths question if he landed on a certain colour and every time he didn't know an answer he would just shrug and put the card back down. I managed to find out enough about him to be able to plan some work on basic maths but I still need to find out much more about his difficulties. I had a chat with dad at the end and explained he had been quite difficult as his confidence in maths was obviously very low. I just felt quite sorry for the child as I feel he has been forced into having a tutor.
    I don't know what I'm asking really, just wondered if any of you other tutors have encountered a child who didn't want to be taught and what happened.
    I know it's early days yet, and I WILL win him round once he starts to see he can learn **fingers crossed**
    Thanks for reading

     
  3. As long as the parents are fully aware of the situation and the limited engagement you are quite right to try to stick with it as it would be great to eventually win him over. In all reality however I'd suggest that failing your own charm and strategies parents might like to link some form of reward system based on engagement with you.

     
  4. takethatno1fan

    takethatno1fan New commenter

    That's a good idea actually. I think I'll see how it goes the next couple of sessions and if he is still being difficult then I'll speak to parents with regards to a reward system. Thanks
     
  5. Hi! I've worked with a few children with this problem. I think you really need to build the confidence for a couple of sessions and create win-win situations. Once he gains confidence in his ability and starts to build a relationship with yourself, you can then start to challenge and pick up the pace.
     
  6. In the past I have used the first session with a new pupil to work out what they can do, and decide together what needs to be worked on.... I create two or three pages of large print "I can" or "I know" statements, one with activities at a bit below the level I understand them to be at (it is important that they should be able to do most of these already!), and a second roughly at the level (still mostly able to do, I hope), and maybe one a bit above.. (I initially based my statements on the National curriculum level descriptors)
    eg. I can count to 100, I know number bonds to 10, I can add numbers using a number line, I understand place value of hundreds, tens and units, I know my 2, 5 and 10 times table, I can draw a pictogram, I can describe a square, I can describe a rectangle, I can select coins to make amounts of money, etc
    We'd then go through the list and tick off the things they can already do, getting them to answer a question or do a card sort to demonstrate some as we go through, and cross the things they can't do yet (question marks for some that need reminders or whatever), and use the list to identify what they want to work on first (anything that is not ticked on the first lists, or something of interest on a higher list)
    Ideally, I'd finish the first session with something to show to their parents if possible, aiming for more positive feedback - knowing the names of some of the bigger polygons if you've been working on shapes, or a trick to make something hard seem easy (eg using finger patterns for 9 times table) if you've been doing times tables, and I make sure I give a small sticker for every piece of work correctly done.
    I hope that some of this is useful.
    Liz


     
  7. takethatno1fan

    takethatno1fan New commenter

    That is a really good idea Liz, thank you very much for your post.
    I suppose this system has two advantages; the ticks that the child can see will boost his confidence by helping him realise what he can do; whilst also letting parents know where he is up to.
    I'm going to draft one tomorrow. Do you just do it as a tick list?
     
  8. That's great that you've found a way to motivate this little lad - well done for pitching the level right - that's the trickiest bit.... and thanks for letting me know.
    Liz
     
  9. Hi both, I am just about to start tutoring a 7 year old boy on his maths and as most of my tutoring experience has mostly been with gcse groups, I was going to start with a past sats paper. However your idea of the 'I can' worksheets sounds far better. Do you have example copies that you would be happy to share so I can see how I might start one o my own?

    Thanks in advance,

    Jen
     
  10. takethatno1fan

    takethatno1fan New commenter

    Post your email Jen and I'll send you mine
     
  11. Hi would it be possible for you to share how you did your I can Statements as Im having similar trouble with a tutee xxx
    Many Thanks

    Natasha
    natasha.corcoran@hotmail.co.uk
     
  12. I know you probably won't be needing advice anymore but I'm sure somebody reading this will. I've worked as a private tutor over the past few years and I recently wrote a blog piece offering advice to fellow tutors. Here's a snippet below:

    COMMUNICATION

    ?Don?t ever assume that your student knows what you do; you need to find their level of understanding, if any, and start there. Otherwise you?ll lose them before they?ve learned one thing from you.?

    ENTHUSIASM

    ?Lighten up; be flexible and fun, and figure out what you can give a student that the Internet can?t.?

    FIRST LESSONS

    ?Find out what your students want to learn, rather than teach them what you think they need to learn.?

    LESSON PLANS

    ?Design lesson plans in an organized manner. Consult Bloom?s Taxonomy ? higher levels of thinking should be reached through the questions we ask throughout each lesson. This structure will ensure that the student is progressing, and will make it clear if you?ve not explained something clear enough.?

    Read more at: theprivatetutor.wordpress.com
     
  13. reva13

    reva13 New commenter

    Some great advice on this forum. I've been tutoring for four years now, and it's still great to learn new tricks of the trade!
     
  14. Hi All

    I know I am late to come onto this thread but I am starting with my first Year 6 pupil tomorrow and I would like to use the "I Can" method rather than past Sat papers. Is there any way one of you could share for reference?

    emmajjenkins@aol.com

    Thanks in advance
     

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