By Megan Wall
⏱ Wednesday 4th January 2023

First things first, congrats for making it into The Tutor Trust! Having completed my first year with The Tutor Trust in Leeds last year (2018), I understand the idea of beginning the tutoring itself can be quite overwhelming, especially with the additional worries of maybe settling into a new city, new university, new course – or maybe just the prospect of the ‘real adult world’ as a whole! So, to help calm the nerves and make your transition into the life of a tutor a bit easier, I’ve put together some advice which I’ve learnt along the way. Whether it be lesson planning, commuting to various schools, or where to go for support, these little tips and tricks helped me massively, and hopefully they’ll help you too!

1. Commuting

For me, this was a massive worry as having moved to Leeds a month before starting tuition, I was still getting lost in the shopping centre, let alone managing to get myself to schools in the outer parts of the city! 

First things first, try and ditch the temptation to simply get an Uber – it was the most expensive travel option for me and, especially when going further out from the city centre, rides would become pretty pricey pretty quickly. Buses will become your new best friend. So many bus companies have apps now where you can simply plan your route, and the app gives you the various bus routes you can take, where you’ll need to get off the bus and change to a different route if this is necessary, and also can give you the idea of how much it will cost as well! You could even walk or cycle if your schools aren’t too far away. Although it takes longer than taxis or buses, I often found it quite relaxing, even if it meant getting up a bit earlier in the morning. And it doesn’t cost a penny! Just make sure to have Google Maps handy if you’re unsure about which is the best route to go.

2. Lesson planning

After your training, you will hopefully become familiar with what should be included to create a successful lesson plan. However, each student you meet will be different, and therefore have different learning styles, strengths and weaknesses which allow them to learn best. It may be a good idea to dedicate a fair amount of time in your first session with new students to get to know them, ask why they like (or don’t like!) English or Maths, and this will help you figure out which areas they need to work on and what kind of learner they are. Then, you’ll be able to plan lessons tailor-made to their needs. The first session is always the most difficult so don’t worry if you feel a bit at a loss afterwards. It’s completely normal, and you’re doing a lot better than you may think you are.

3. Getting support

As a tutor, each tuition session could bring new challenges. You could have a fantastic day, or a day where you feel rather down in the dumps after a lesson. My advice? Don’t feel like you can’t talk to someone about it, whether that be a friend or someone within The Tutor Trust. The support network here is fantastic - if in doubt, get in touch with one of your local Schools Coordinator, the Quality Team ([email protected]), or Ellie Cross, our Tutor Engagement Manager ([email protected]). Other tutors are a great source of support too – they’ll have gone through the exact same thing as you, so will be able to offer some good advice to get you feeling back on your feet again with your tuition. At The Tutor Trust, our tutor experience is held to a really high importance, so if there is anything troubling you with how things are in the school you’re tutoring in, or if you have any questions – support is just one quick email, phone call, or office drop-in away. 

These tips helped me better myself as a tutor throughout my first year and have made me into a more confident and self-assured person.  I look forward very much to getting involved in more tuition, and I hope these little tips will help anyone looking to embark on tutoring with us too! Best of luck!

Date of publication: 30/10/2018