This article will outline a template you can follow to structure your first lesson around. Although some of the details may differ for certain subjects, the basic structure will provide you with the foundation for your first lesson with a new student.
An important thing to note before your first lesson is to make sure that your student has the correct set-up in place. This information can be accessed across the site, but it is always worth mentioning to the student the recommended device and browser for joining the online classroom (Laptop/PC and Google Chrome).
Be friendly and welcoming! Remember that this may be your student’s first ever time being tutored. They’re likely to feel nervous, so it’s really important to make them feel relaxed and comfortable as this will create the best atmosphere for learning. This can be done by asking them some questions at the start of the lesson, such as about their hobbies and interests to create that initial rapport with the student.
Make sure you know what level your student is working at. This may be something that you’ve already covered in your free video chat, but it is really important to understand the current level the student is working at, and what they’re aiming for. If the student isn’t sure themselves, you can give them some practice questions for topics they wish to work on to ascertain their current level of understanding.
Decide on the lesson content. Again, this will very likely be something discussed beforehand with the student’s parent/carer, however it is really important to make sure the lesson has a specific focus that will be beneficial to the student. This also provides you with the basis of what to structure the lesson around.
Be flexible. The lesson plan you have created is great to use as a guide to your lesson, however, don’t be afraid to change things around if you need to in order to keep your student engaged throughout the lesson. It’s always useful to have some backup material on hand just in case you cover all of the original material in less time than expected.
Make good use of resources. Teaching online opens the door to many great resources which can be used in your lessons. A few examples you may wish to use include: videos, powerpoint presentations, exam-style questions, interactive activities, quizzes etc.
Before your next session, try and create a plan with the student (and/or their parent/carer) based around what you are going to cover in future sessions. This is a great way to build a good relationship with your students and their parents, and increases their likelihood of rebooking further lessons with you.