Advice for first time tutoring?

I'm about to tutor someone in a highschool level chemistry class and this is my first time tutoring, any tips? keep in mind im only 17 and im a student myself.
 

Njorl

Science Advisor
245
10
Patience.

Try to find out what he knows first. I arranged to tutor someone in physics, and had to teach ther how to multiply fractions first.

Homework problems are usually assigned for good reason. Work through them thoroughly. Analyze each step. Even if he does the right thing, ask why. If he thinks he knows a problem, set it aside for a while, then ask him to do it again when he has had time to forget it. This will let you know if he really understands it, or has just memorized the steps to solving it. He will soon recognise more accurately whether he knows something or not.

Njorl
 

Phobos

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,927
6
work through problems together...don't lecture

teach the process, not the solution (chemisty pun)
 

Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,093
174
I tutored my way through the first half of my college career; mostly in chemistry and physics. I think in addition to the good suggestions offered already, I would add that each person has their own unique points of confusion. I always tried to ask questions until I could identify the particular concept causing trouble.

I arranged to tutor someone in physics, and had to teach them how to multiply fractions first
I have had similar experiences. One person simply could not conceive of negative numbers. Another didn't really grasp the meaning of the conservation of energy concept. Others just won't study and they expect you to solve their problems. I had to give the "you have to do your homework" lecture regularly.
 
I used to be a teacher and when making a unit or lesson plan, the first thing you want to do is come up with objectives (goals). Once you know the objectives, you can form the lessons around them. If you can't get that information from the student's teacher, the textbook should give a good guideline.

Since the student is in need of tutoring, you'll want to know what skills he/she is lacking. You might talk with the student and ask what problems he/she seems to be having with his/her assignments. Find out where you can focus. Concentrate on the areas that need the most work.

~Sandy
 
Last edited:

Related Threads for: Advice for first time tutoring?

  • Posted
Replies
8
Views
1K
Replies
20
Views
3K
  • Posted
Replies
16
Views
2K
Replies
7
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
238
Replies
6
Views
853
Replies
4
Views
360
Replies
60
Views
8K

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Hot Threads

Top