What to do at school to make tutoring more effective

If you get into the habit of doing these 5 things in class at school, you will get much better value out of your tutoring outside class.

Hopefully you already do most of these, let’s make sure, though!

1. Write the date in your exercise book at the start of each lesson

Why do this?

  • Makes it easier for your tutor get a picture of the pace your class is moving and how much you are accomplishing each class.

2. Write the exercise you are working on (or worksheet, questions from the board, etc.) as a heading

Why do this?

  • Makes it easier for you (and your tutor!) to match up your class notes to homework you have been set.
  • Easier to revise when you can find notes and examples in your workbook

3. Clearly show any working out (your work should look like one of the worked examples in the textbook

Why do this?

  • Less likely to make mistakes (especially when you cover more complicated problems)
  • Easier to review your work and remember the method you used
  • Often you are setting up habits that will help with future topics that build on your current work

4. Correct your work and clearly mark it with a tick or an asterisk

Why do this?

  • Pick up mistakes so you can learn from them
  • You will get more out of tutoring lessons if your tutor can quickly identify the areas you are already doing well at and any specific questions you had trouble with

5. Write down any homework assigned in your diary and in your maths exercise book

If you don’t think any homework has been assigned – check (or complete questions in your work plan that relate to work covered in class)!

Why do this?

  • Makes it easier to stay up to date. (Avoid the horrible feeling of remembering you forgot to complete something the night before it’s due.)
  • You will get more out of lessons if your tutor can identify any work remaining for you to complete (if you get stuck on something but haven’t clearly recorded the set work, your tutor might not realise you should work on it)
  • In later years, teachers remind you less about what homework has been assigned. If you are not already in the habit of keeping track of what needs to be done, it can be hard to stay up to date.

Again, I hope these 5 points seem obvious and you are already doing this. If not, you have an opportunity to dramatically improve the efficiency of your mathematics learning and get more value from sessions with your tutor!