Top Tips for Teaching One-on-One

Teaching and coaching one-on-one can be extremely rewarding, both for the teacher and the student. It allows the teacher to be completely focused on the needs of one learner, rather than having to accommodate the different learning needs of a group. Here are some tips for successful one-on-one teaching.

Enthusiasm – Always be enthusiastic and full of energy when you are spending time with a student. Whether your student is an adult or a child, they will respond to your energy and the lesson will go accordingly. Your enthusiasm will allow the student to make mistakes with confidence, so that they can be corrected.

Understanding – Understand the needs of the student you are with. Knowing whether your student is primarily visual, kinesthetic or auditory will allow you to adapt your teaching method and materials to the specific needs of the student. When you are teaching to the primary learning style of your student, they will grasp the material more easily, and you are less likely to have to re-teach the concept the following week.

Creativity – Be creative in the teaching strategies you use. If the student comes to you daily or weekly, creative teaching methods will help to maintain their interest in the subject and your enthusiasm for the class. Your creativity will encourage the student to put forward their own ideas and be creative too.

Organisation – Be organised and prepared for the lesson. At the beginning of the lesson, discuss specific goals and objectives for the lesson, so that both you and your student experience a sense of achievement at the end. Tasks set for the following lesson should reinforce the concepts covered, or pre-assess knowledge of the next topic. When you are organised and clear about your objectives, take home tasks are easier to plan.

Focus – It is vital to remain focused on the task at hand throughout the lesson. If you allow yourself to become distracted, the student will become distracted too. However, don’t be afraid to leave the student time to think or plan during the lesson. Your one-on-one time allows a flexible goal schedule, so use it to encourage self-directed learning and assessment.

Feedback – Always provide feedback at the end of the lesson, even if the task is not complete. It always helps if feedback is presented in a positive manner, particularly with children, as it will encourage them to look forward to their next session with you. If they are looking forward to the next session, they will find it easier to get any take home tasks done.

All of the above factors help to create a positive and personal relationship between teacher and student. For those, like me, who make the jump from classroom coaching to one-on-one teaching, this is the best reward of all.

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