The First Tutorial – five tips for parents
By Robert Neumark Jones, Senior Tutor with SLTA.
The first moments for any new placement can be a nerve-wracking affair, for both parent and tutor, and more importantly tutee! First time parents are often understandably nervous. They’re usually thinking months ahead to the dreaded 11+/GCSE/Whatever exams, and sometimes these worries transfer over to the tutee and even the tutor if they aren’t careful!
However, these encounters needn’t be anything other than a breeze for all concerned. So, with the benefit of eight years of tutoring, let me share some things I’ve learned; tips for parents and tutors alike to make sure that first lesson just breezes by.
1) Try to have some schoolwork in the house. This helps us identify what areas your child needs help in most.
2) Try not to hover. Tempting as it may be, it usually gets in the way of what we’re trying to do, and more often than not puts the tutee on edge too.
3) Big one this! Please don’t ask whether or not your child will definitely get into your school of choice – especially not after the first lesson! We understand you are anxious to be reassured, but it takes a few sessions before we can offer an accurate and honest assessment.
4) Have a workspace ready, some books and paper set out, and debrief your child a bit. It helps set the tone immensely.
5) And lastly, don’t be shy – offer a cup of tea! We’ve often come a long way and may be half-frozen. A cuppa is the perfect medicine for these winter chills.