As a private tutor, I’ve been fortunate enough to have enjoyed a great many breakthroughs and triumphs with my students. Yet, every student arrives as a new face, unsure of what to expect of private tuition in general and from me, in particular.
Will I be strict, or will they be able to understand my teaching methods? All sorts of fears and concerns will surface and of course, they’re usually groundless!
What we always need, to get the ball rolling, is an ice-breaker. I’m not much of a joke teller and to be honest, I may not be cool enough to hit the comedy high notes anyway! It’s also fair to say, that what works at a party or any adult gathering, doesn’t necessarily work with a nervous student.
Whereas being asked questions about oneself often greases the conversational wheels, that’s probably the last thing a student needs or wants. They just want to settle in and get on with it.
So, what have I found to be the best way forward?
A nice cup of tea! Yes, as simple as it sounds, the offer of a brew usually brings a sigh of relief and a positive response.
In fact, I’m often told that I make a better cup of tea than their mum does. But don’t tell everyone, or I’ll have a queue outside!
Sometimes, simple is best, along with being, well, normal! The quicker I can connect with a new student, the sooner we can get to work together. Whether it’s gaining a few grades or going for a clean sweep of 9’s or A*’s, the sooner we achieve student-tutor trust, the better.
You probably know that I write about confidence often, and I truly believe it plays a huge part in one’s achievements and ultimate success. When working with a student, we start building that confidence on Day 1.
From the initial building of trust, we get to the heart of the matter, remove obstacles and increase learning and potential.
And it all starts with one of my mighty fine cups of tea.