6 Quick Tips on Virtual Tutoring
As Chicago Public Schools have made their official announcement for remote learning to begin their 2020-2021 school year as a precaution for COVID-19 growing cases; the reality of virtual learning experiences becoming the new normal for students begins to transform education as we know it. Naturally, to continue to practice safety during these unprecedented times; educators, families and stakeholders are planning to continue to provide the quality of education once available to students and allow those to take place via an online platform. As we know, COVID-19 and school closings have an adverse impact on students from the more vulnerable populations. Virtual tutoring can be a solution in providing continued individual supports and efforts that are now partially dismantled from the student experience.
In this article, I will discuss six quick tips on how to be a successful virtual tutor and bridge the gap needed to ensure students continue to receive an adequate education despite the lost security of their physical school environments.
1. Have all materials you need prior to the session
Whether that’s ensuring technology is running smoothly (always have a backup plan if there’s a glitch) and access to login information for the virtual platform used in the session. Become familiar with your platform and its features, even if that means watching a quick YouTube tutorial or calling a helpline with questions and functionalities. To get the most out of your hour, make sure to prepare beforehand and role model that discipline to the youth.
2. Make it personal and interactive
Allow the youth to actively participate both by doing and by asking questions while you guide them and make sure to pay attention to their responses. It is best to utilize/turn on the camera feature on your virtual platform to make the sessions more personal. Additionally, it’s okay to have a game plan in place that fosters active engagement and learning along with collaboration and building rapport. Some great examples would be age-appropriate icebreakers and encouraging open-ended questions that are reflected in their studies which provides an opportunity to talk about learning resources and activities.
3. Create a schedule and try to stick to it, but allow for some flexibility
While it is very important that the youth respects your time and adheres to a schedule, please consider things that may come up for youth and families and may need to change sessions last minute. You can assess if a reschedule is needed immediately based on what the youth needs to complete or if it’s okay to wait until the next scheduled session.
4. Set expectations
Make sure the youth is in a quiet area in their home with minimal distractions. It is okay to set standards for the sessions so that they are productive and work is being completed in a timely manner.
5. Track progress
This will be relatively easy to do since all the work is online but be sure to hold the youth accountable and do a check-in (at the end of the session) to check-off assignments completed. Not only is this a great way to track session efficiency but also checking off items on a to-do list are proven to train your brain to be more productive and goal-oriented.
6. Have extra material
More often than not, youth will bring their own homework and materials to sessions but always make sure you have extra material to engage them. Not only will this create and expand youth’s learning experience, it will also illustrate a great level of investment on your behalf and most likely increase enthusiasm around the subject.
Are you interested in tutoring virtually? We’d love to have you join our team. Learn more about tutoring at Mercy Home.