Monday, June 29, 2015

Preparing for Tutoring Sessions

For a long time I didn't want to tutor because honestly...I was nervous. I know it's crazy, you're probably thinking, You're a teacher...what could be so hard about it! The thing is, I never knew what I should do, how much to charge and what was expected of me. After years of hearing about all the fun and MONEY my friend was making I finally agreed to tutor. After doing it I cannot believe I waited so long!

I will admit though when I first started I wasn't as organized as I am now. In hopes to encourage others to jump into the tutoring world I have included some steps I take to help me prepare for the long summer of tutoring.

Before you advertise to tutor: Make sure you figure out what day(s), how long you want each session to be, where you will tutor, and how much you are going to charge. These things are all questions parents are going to ask. If your classroom isn't available to use during the summer you could try tutoring at the library, renting out a small space in another school building, going to your clients house or if you are really comfortable inviting them all to your house. Once you have all of that figured out it's time to start advertising.

Getting the word out: This part is easy for me because my district sends out a tutor list to all parents in the district. We simply fill out a form with our name, grades/subjects we can tutor and our contact information. If you are not so lucky you can make up a flier and send it out to your parents, pass it out in your neighborhood and post your fliers in businesses around town. Click on the picture below to download the flier image for FREE! All you have to do is pull the image into PowerPoint or Keynote, send it back and then add your text boxes on top!


Finding out about your "student": Before I meet with the families I make sure to send out a google form. It helps me know where the student is and what the parents are expecting out of the sessions. What is so cool about Google Forms (if you have never used them) is that all of the information compiles into one document. I ask basic questions like, what is their reading level, strengths and weakness of reading, writing and math, what is the main thing they [parent] want out of the sessions. Once parents fill out the form I feel like I have a good understanding of what they are expecting me to do during the sessions. If it is available it is also beneficial to ask for a copy of their report card.

Planning for the first session: Now that you have all of your info and you are headed into the first session it is important to get some baseline data. This doesn't have to be formal, just something that helps you gauge where they are. One of my favorite things to do for reading is the Quick Phonics Screener. I use it all of the time in my classroom and it is a quick and easy way to assess basic phonics areas. For reading comprehension I use Raz-Kids. For writing I like to use my Picture Prompt Writing Activities. For my more advanced writers I jump right into writing a personal narrative using my graphic organizer pack. When it comes to math I usually just write some problems on a white board and have them solve them. I like doing this because it is quick and easy to make them harder or simpler without having to rummage through stacks of papers.

Planning for future sessions: If you don't feel that you got enough data/information out of the first session by all means take one more to truly pinpoint the students needs. If you were able to get everything you needed in the first session pinpoint the areas of need by examining the data. Find activities that correspond to the area they need most practice with and BAM!! you have just prepared your tutoring lesson!!! (worksheet in picture is from The Moffatt Girls)

Extra info:
How much do you charge?-  This is a gray area but certified teachers should charge anywhere from $25-$75 an hour depending on experience and type of tutoring.

How long do you tutor?-  I think 45-60 minutes is plenty of time. Anything more than that the student starts to become fidgety and unfocused. I also tutor students 2 times a week.

If you need more assistance/ideas please don't hesitate to contact me. I would be happy to help you prepare for your first session :).

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