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Tips for Leading Your First Tutoring Lesson

Owen Sinclair

A certified bookkeeper, Owen Sinclair has performed budgetary oversight roles with the Police Athletic League and the Nassau County Office of Management and Budget, both in New York. A lover of math, Owen Sinclair also has experience as a math tutor.

The first tutoring lesson offers an opportunity for the tutor to meet the students and set the pace for the coming lessons. Here are some tips for the first tutoring session:
1. Prepare before meeting. Confirm the specific subjects and topics the student needs help with, the exams they need to pass, and the extent of the material they need to cover. Ask the student to bring the relevant course materials to the meeting.
2. Schedule to meet at an exact place at an exact time. The place should be quiet, away from distractions. You should bring your tutoring materials, extra paper, and writing utensils.
3. Start by introducing yourself. Open up to the student about your tutoring background and love for the subject. Be friendly and professional. Remind the student that your job is to help them and that no question is silly.
4. Have the student introduce themselves and share something about their interests. The goal is to be comfortable around each other.
5. Ask the student to tell you where they are having difficulties. Follow up by asking “why” so as to ascertain the cause of the student’s challenges.
After learning what the student’s problem areas are, prepare a study plan designed to help overcome his or her challenges. Give a copy to the student. End by scheduling the next lesson.

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