Be warm and welcoming!

No matter how much you experience you have (or don't have), the first lesson can be nerve-wracking for both you and your student. Part of your goal for the first lesson should be to help the student feel comfortable with you so that you can develop a good working relationship.

For school-going learners, ice breakers are a great activity to do to get to know one another better and there are many games that you could play together. Select an age-appropriate activity before the first lesson and spend 5-10 minutes of the lesson getting to know one another better.

Identify Areas of Weakness

Once you’ve met your student and have gotten to know one another a bit better, it’s important for you to figure out what their areas of weakness are.

This information is really important, and will help you to tailor your tutoring approach to match their needs, which, in turn, will result in academic success!

Allocate 10-15 minutes of the first lesson to this activity.

Set goals and expectations

Whenever you start tutoring a new student, it’s important for you to find out what they are expecting from the lessons. This insight will help you manage your expectations of the student and help you keep track of the success of the tutoring process.

Check out Appendix D – Identifying strengths and weaknesses for a great questionnaire template to use!

Allocate 5-10 minutes of the first lesson to this activity.

It is important to let the student lead this process, so the goal and expectation setting should be written in their own words. Make sure that the goals are S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive).

We’d also suggest that you revisit this questionnaire at a later stage so that you can ascertain where you’ve made progress and what still needs to be addressed.

Appendix A: A Lesson Planning Template

How to use this lesson plan template:

- Aim: This is where you stipulate what you want to achieve in the lesson. For example, your aim might be “To get Benjamin to understand congruence”.

- Recap and Introduction : Before you start with new content, it’s useful to recap what you’ve done in previous sections.

- Theories explained: This is where you outline the main theory/theories you want to cover in the lesson. All your activities or modes of teaching should link back to this theory.

- Activity 1/2 : This is where you outline the activities that you are going to use to help teach the content.

- Summary: To end off the lesson, you should spend some time recapping what you covered in the lesson. Under this section, plan what you want to summarize from the lesson. This will help close the lesson off ‘neatly’ and ensure that the student remembers the important content taught in the lesson.

This is where you would indicate if the aim of your lesson was met.

Appendix B: Ice Breakers

2 Lies and 1 Truth (suitable for all age groups)

1. Take 2 pieces of paper and some stationery with you to the lesson.

2. Each of you should spend 5 minutes thinking of 3 sets of 2 lies and 1 truth about yourselves. Write these down on a page and make sure you mix the statements
around.

3. One-by-one, read your statements to one another and try to guess which are the lies and which is the truth. See who guesses the most answers correctly.

You can come up with as many statements as you like, so have fun with this! Feel free to reverse it as well and do 2 truths and 1 lie.

a) I accidentally ate a spider once
b) I’m afraid of ladybugs
c) I love standing on snails

a) I received a bag of condensed milk for my birthday
b) I once ate 3 pizzas in one sitting
c) I can fit a whole slab of chocolate in my mouth.

a) I am related to Prince Harry
b) I have had breakfast with Princess Charlene of Monaco
c) I have hugged Nelson Mandela

Fun Questionnaire (suitable for younger students)

1. Print 2 copies of the questionnaire before the first lesson.

2. Spend 5-10 minutes of the lesson completing the questionnaire individually.
3. When you’re both done answering the questions, go through your answers together.

Feel free to come up with your own questions as well. You’ll find the printable template below.

Questionnaire Template

Life Map (suitable for younger students: grades 0-3)

1. Take 2 pieces of paper and some stationery with you to the lesson.

2. Give your student a piece of paper and instruct them to illustrate their lives on a piece of paper in the form of a river. Encourage them to include both good and bad times
along the way.

3. Spend some time working on your individual drawings.
4. Once you’ve completed your life river maps, spend some time sharing your stories.

There are many ice breakers out there, so feel free to research others if these ones don’t interest you!

Appendix C – Identifying strengths and weaknesses

Instruction: Fill in the table below together, rating relevant topics from a scale of happy and confident to unconfident and anxious.
Allocate 10 minutes to this activity.

Appendix D – Identifying strengths and weaknesses

Instruction: Fill in the table below together, rating relevant topics from a scale of 1 (very unsure of the section) to 5 (completely understand the section). Allocate 10 minutes to this activity.

Key:
1 = 0-19%
2 = 20-40%
3 = 41-59%
4 = 60-79%5 = 80-100%

Appendix E – Student goals and expectations questionnaire

Instruction: Complete the questionnaire with the student. Allocate 5 minutes to this activity. If need be, it can be completed verbally to save time, but remember to take note of the student’s answers.

Student’s name:
Grade:
Subject:

A. Complete the following sentences together:

1) What I enjoy about the subject.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

2) What I am concerned about.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

3) What I expect of my tutor..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

4) What my tutor expects from me.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

5) What my tutoring goal is.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

B: Complete this tick box questionnaire:

Any additional comments:

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