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Teaching privatesScheduling

Keep a teaching schedule for lessons you have set, you do not want to suffer double-booking hassles. It also helps the student keeping to your schedule. Wherever possible, offer lessons at the same time each week so all parties can arrange their schedules accordingly. Remember scheduling lessons may require family transportation, office space availability, etc. so try to keep schedules as regular as possible.

Getting started

On meeting your student for the first time have some sort of proficiency check/test. The reason for this is that it makes you look professional and helps determine what text you will use. If your student only wants a conversation class, the proficiency check should help you guide the conversation to topics that will help them improve in the areas where they are weakest. Have a range of teaching materials? Show them to the students; it makes the teacher look even more prepared and professional. Discuss the focus of materials such as "intermediate - reading for comprehension" or "beginning fluency and accuracy" and have the parent, student and/or foreign teachers help to choose the materials so that all parties involved will feel engaged in the process. This helps everyone involved to make a stronger commitment to regular classes and helps cut-down on cancellations and confusion about what the students' goals are.

Guide to good lesson planning

  • Punctuality is always good. Teachers rushing in late and having to compose themselves does not give a good impression.
  • Having your lesson plans and teaching materials ready before your students arrive makes you look prepared and eager. Ask your students what they are studying at school, get them to show you, it will help access there current level, you may well be able to use their own materials.
  • Ease into the lesson with some small talk to get your students to relax and shows your genuine concern for them. Speak slowly and clearly. "How was your test last Tuesday?"
  • Choose user friendly topics. Basically if it is not something you would talk about with your granny then it may not be appropriate to teach in a lesson. It is also good practice to talk about what the students knows about, friends, family, movies and environment.
  • Watch how you speak to your students, adjust your grammar level to suit your students needs and try to be sensitive to signs that may indicate that they do not understand, e.g: avoiding eye contact, going quiet, worried expressions and speaking in their first language to other students.
  • Doing a brief review of the last lesson can help identify problems they may have. It also shows that you are keen. It is good practice to keep lesson records to gauge student improvement and in what areas. Also note cancellations, failure to produce homework or other information that may later become issues that the parents may wish to discuss.
  • When possible, teachers should try to incorporate the theme of the chosen lesson into the warm up. Good structured textbooks will do this for you.
  • Throw in a few comprehension checks along the way as students often say they understand when they actually do not. If there is a companion workbook to the text you use, the comprehension checks and more practice are provided there. Workbooks are often only 1/2 the price of the actual text, so they are an inexpensive supplement and well worth the cost.
  • Allow a bit of time at the end of the lesson for a warm down, and ask students if there are any questions about the lesson.
  • Homework is a key to successful private lessons and referrals for more. Parents feel that homework is a "free" lesson review, so they consider it adds value to tour arrangement with them, be aware that students do their homework at school or do not complete their homework. They are happy to see their child do some work on their own which you have taught them to do. It can be fun, even in the form of quizzes and word games for beginning students. Older students can keep a diary, create diagrams and write "What if ..." paragraphs or pages : "What if you were the character in this reading? How would you have handled the situation? Why?"

Final points... Schedule/confirm the next lesson... Get paid... Do not forget to thank them for coming by using your students' name!

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