Before a first meeting, we often encounter the same issue, even though we have a vague idea of how the session will take place, we never really know exactly what to expect! We mostly hope that everything will go smoothly and everybody will get along well. Here we give you a few useful tips that will help you break the ice between your tutor, your child, and yourself!
Before the meeting
Address the main person concerned. Before the first meeting, it is already possible for you to prepare the field. You can start by asking your child how he or she envisions the tutoring sessions. Is your child insecure about his bad grades? Is your child motivated to do well? If you child is feeling reluctant about seeing a tutor, be reassuring by explaining that the tutoring will serve as an accompaniment to help better understand the subject matter and help you child succeed in his or her studies.
Facilitate communication between the various parties. Getting in touch with the teacher beforehand would also be very useful for the tutor: you can invite the teacher to an eventual meeting with the tutor, which could ensure a better follow up and better academic support. We can also have the teacher fill out an evaluation form, which draws up a portrait or your child’s academic situation and will be given to the tutor.
Bring together all available academic documents. To the best of your abilities, prepare all pertinent documents useful for the tutor: school report cards from the current year, homework, exams, and previous assessments (from former tutors, teachers, special educators, etc.). These documents will allow your tutor to have an overall idea of the subject matter that has been discussed in class, and the tutor will also be able to target you child’s main difficulties, in order to draw up a better portrait of the situation.
Decide on an adequate time slot for the sessions. Making the right choice of when to have these sessions is an important element. If the meetings are after school or in the evenings on weekdays, you must consider your child’s ability to concentrate. For example, planning a session after a long day of school or after training for a sport may not be very productive and may reduce the effort made by your child. Weekend meetings can be very efficient since the students are more rested and therefore more receptive. The weekend also provides the opportunity for the tutor to review all subject matter seen during the week and concentrate on what was less well understood.
Choosing the location of the session. The location where the session will take place should not be chosen randomly. You would like to do the meetings at home? Here are a few suggestions for creating a workspace. If you would like the sessions to take place in a more neutral area, we suggest a public library near you, a quite café in your neighbourhood, or our learning center in Côte-des-Neiges.
During the meeting
Get acquainted. At their arrival, take a moment to get to know the tutor. Before jumping into the work, it is normal for the tutor to want to break the ice, as much to get to know your child as to lighten the mood. Good chemistry is desirable for the tutor to be efficient, and let them get to know each other before getting into the thick of things.
Instil calmness in the house. During the meeting, avoid all sources of distraction and noise: television, loud music, animated conservations, etc. As much as possible, it is best that your household remains quiet during the sessions to favour your child’s concentration.
After the meeting
As needed, organise a game plan for future sessions. Once the meeting is finished, discuss with the tutor whether or not it is necessary to establish objectives or an action plan to ensure a smooth progression of the sessions. This is also the time to plan the next session and reassess if the frequency and duration of the meetings are appropriate.
Ensure follow-up between meetings. During the week, between two meetings, make sure your child is doing his work properly and verify whether he or she is applying the methods suggested by the tutor. This is a good way to ensure there is a progression in your child’s results. Then, share with the tutor the successes and difficulties encountered.
What to do if there is no chemistry between your child and the tutor? At times, personalities can in fact not be compatible. You would have to first consult both sides, your child on the one hand and the tutor on the other, in order to have a full assessment of the situation. Afterwards, contact School Success, and we will quickly find a solution to the problem. A good relationship is essential to fully benefit from tutoring; we will accommodate you to find a tutor whose approach and personality meet the needs of your child.