Online tutoring has many benefits especially in the current climate. Before any student begins online tutoring, it is important that they are in an environment conducive to learning. By that, I mean a room in which they will not have any distractions. Examples include other members of the family, the dog, and even noise from the kitchen or the lounge. Music and television can also be an inconvenience/distraction. The computer also needs to be close enough to the router/hub in order to achieve clear visual and auditory reception. There should be no interruption, the pupil being able to discuss the lesson freely. Nor should they be hampered or embarrassed if parents or siblings are loitering.
Online tutoring demands concentration and sometimes as an online tutor, I need to impart knowledge and, especially if I am introducing new topics, ensure that my students have the right foundations. For example, before introducing the novel “Jekyll and Hyde” I may send a brief PowerPoint and some interesting video clips on the topic of Life in Victorian England; Darwin’s and Evolution; features of the Gothic novel and of course the life and interests of R.L. Stevenson and what inspired him to write this novel. This would be a launching point to begin Jekyll and Hyde, I would spend some time with gentle question and answer sessions to ascertain if the videos were watched and notes understood. If the subject is being studied at school, which is generally the case, gentle questioning about what the pupil has learned and then augmenting their knowledge I would see as within my role.
Giving pupils information that will help them plan and structure their essays in preparation for their exam is crucial. Clarifying exam questions and techniques needed should help the pupil decide what notes need to be made. Some students do this automatically; others need to be told what to do. However, it is not always easy to see with online tuition if pupils are making the correct notes. When teaching face to face when you are physically next to a student, the issue is immediately identified.
Online teaching can be quite intense as it is necessary to constantly check if pupils have made suitable notes. As a teacher, it is important to develop online teaching skills that enable reinforcing points and ensuring the pupil understands. Some students will say that they have understood when they have not, especially the younger ones. Even when giving weekly tests, it is difficult to see whether pupils have, shall we say, been deceitful. On face to face teaching, this is clearly not an issue.
After saying all that, I have developed different strategies and become very accomplished at getting the best out of my online English students. Evidence of this can be seen in my private tuition client feedback.
Because I am long in the tooth now, with my traditional teaching roots I can’t deny I do miss the personal contact like when my student arrives for a lesson from school, clearly hungry and we sit down and have a cold drink or a cup of tea and biscuits while I teach them. Whereas now I always ask: “Have you eaten anything since getting home from school?” This is not just because of my motherly instinct. Pupils need nourishment to concentrate and absorb the knowledge they are being taught online
So which pupils can benefit from remote English tuition and teaching?
- Those that are excelling at sciences but their English is letting them down;
- Students who lack confidence may need individual time and guidance to build their skills and hence their confidence
- Any who have specific needs i.e. [reparation for exams so 11-16 and upwards
So what is expected from the child and the parent to make online English tuition successful? … clearly in the past with personal tutoring in my home, I was able to completely control the learning environment. I could provide a quiet and tidy room /area for my teaching and their learning. I could manage and help each student directly. If I saw a student was flustered or had forgotten their writing materials, I could directly intervene by providing the resources myself …
Of course it is obvioulsy different when a pupil is at home: this controlled learning environment has to be organised by the parents and the student; the pupil will have absolute quiet in the house; preferably a quiet room possibly their bedroom or separate dining room; a well-lit kitchen can work , as long as mum is not cooking. A place where pets, sibling(s), cleaners and friends are not allowed in to distract from any online English tuition. A place away from any TV or games rooms where the rest of the family is socialising. These all are unwarranted distractions.
With online tuition the teacher needs the pupil fully engaged and ready to co-operate and interact with the teacher. The greatest success for an online tutor is to have a dialogue or conversation with the respective pupil in which teaching and learning is seen to take place by the quality of the pupil’s response and perceptive questions in their total commitment and engagement with the topic. Wonderful!
Remote English tuition is available – contact me now for consultation and prices please call 07944 248917 or drop me an email.