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#1 Tip for First Day Success

Hi, friends. It's finally summer! For some teachers that means some time off with their family. For some tutors, that means getting new students or adjusting to new schedules. This is a perfect time to dive a little deeper and talk about what makes a successful first day.

As I've mentioned in previous blog posts, a successful first day is about setting behavior expectations. This especially includes using code phrases and teaching them to use these phrases themselves. If you missed the post about those phrases, read it here. 😉 This is my number one tip that I share with fellow tutors to establish with students in the pre-tutoring meeting. Yes, I also suggest that you meet with your student before lessons formally begin.

A successful day is also about getting students independent so mom and dad don't have to be part of the lesson. If you are struggling with this, I understand. I've had parents hire a nanny to sit next to a student during their lessons. If you follow even some of the behavior tips that I've mentioned, you're halfway there setting up your Zoom classroom. This week, I'm sharing some tips that I've learned through the years to get them even more independent.

What if Your Students Have Never Used Tools?

Your students might use Google learning or a Chrome Book during the school year and now they will be using Zoom with you. They might even be new to online teaching and have never used tools.

If it is your student's first time in Zoom, you want them to feel as comfortable as possible with the tools that you will use during lessons. The best way to break down for your students how to use them is to first find out what device they will be using for their lessons. Then, have a meeting with yourself and practice how to scaffold to your students first. You could call a friend and practice with them, but they may not have the same hiccups that your students will have. So, it's best to go over it with yourself once you know their device. Directing a student with an iPad will be different than with a laptop.

Extra Tips for Tutoring Success

I like to draw a large, empty rectangle and tell my students that it is the toolbar that they are seeing. I also say that we are going to fill in the toolbar together. I ask them what they see in their toolbar, then I draw it in ours. For example, if they say they see "T", then I draw the "T" and explain what that does. Some students figure the tools out quickly, and for those, you can skip this step.

A lot of times a student will be frustrated using a tool, especially if they are using a mouse to draw a mark up. One way to increase their confidence is to start with a thicker line. You can explain that when the student was young, they started with a thick crayon before using a regular crayon. So, the same principle applies. Show them how to make their tool thicker and see the difference in the ease of use.

Parent Tip for Tutoring Success

Zoom allows us to connect with parents much easier than how they texted or emailed with school teachers during the year. Sometimes, parents need to be involved to help a student show their work to their tutor. Here are two methods that I have found to be a quick way to help a student show their work to their tutor.

If a student is on hinged device, you want them to use what I call the "bend-downer". 😉 This simply means that the student is going to bend down their device so you can see their work. To make it easier and more effective, pin the student's work so you can see it nice and big. This works well for them to show you their dictation work or multi-sensory activities, which you know I love to use with my students. You'll be surprised at how easy this is for your students to set up and still be able to see you in the video.

There's also a new Zoom update that I know we have all been waiting for that works so well for teachers. When you are sharing your screen, the Zoom update allows you to quickly expand your student's picture so that it is nice and big. You simply drag the corner of the video box. If you haven't updated your Zoom application, you need to do it right away to get this essential and cool feature.

If your students are on a tablet or surface pro without a hinge, you will want them to use the "turn arounder". This essentially means that they will use their rear camera, or in the case of an iPad, tell them to turn it around like they are taking a selfie. Students do really well with this one. A student aged five had no problem when directed to do this. Then, you will again use the pin feature to see their work nice and big.

I hope you have enjoyed these tips. If you have any questions about summer tutoring or getting started advertising your services, click here to learn about personal coaching. We can even role play in the Zoom room. 😊 I really enjoy helping other tutors become successful online. You can also email me here.

Have a great week!


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