Tips for Tutors: How to Ensure That the First Lesson Goes Well


  1. How to become an online tutor
  2. Building trust
  3. How to make lessons more interesting
  4. Does the student understand the lesson?
  5. What to prepare


Ever heard the saying - first impression is the last impression? This couldn’t hold more truth than when it comes to tutoring your first lesson. So how to ensure your first lesson goes well?

Your first impression will determine whether the student likes your teaching techniques and requests more sessions. The first lesson is a way for you to make a good impression on the student to ensure that they actually gain knowledge from your class and come back for more.

Feeling nervous about how your first lesson will go? Wondering how to teach students effectively? 😰 Don’t worry! We are here to help- here are some excellent teaching strategies. 🤝mum and son doing online tutoring

How to become an online tutor?


Describing a lesson that went well can be subjective and entirely depends on your tutoring methodology. For example, an English lesson will be very different from a Chemistry class, and without a doubt, tutoring a 10-year-old is different compared to tutoring a 16-year-old. So, how to ensure that the first lesson goes well? 🤔

The general principle is to prioritise one thing: Using good techniques and making sure that the student understands what you’re teaching without hesitation or fear

As a tutor, your primary responsibility is to individualise the lesson so that the kid becomes more curious about learning about the subject. They should see you as someone they respect and want to learn from, compared to the traditional conception of a strict, authoritative figure. Keep on reading to learn about how you can ensure this.


Building trust 🤝


A student won’t get the best out of a lesson if they don’t openly trust their tutor. It’s therefore essential to build an aura of trust and friendliness among tutor and student so that they feel no hesitation to be in the class with you. 

Trust can be built by being truthful, and honest and acknowledging vulnerability and fear among the students. Your student will trust you if they feel like they can be themselves and don’t have to hold back on anything when you are around.  

Check out the following tips to make sure that you are on good terms with your student in your first lesson:

  • Talk about trust 🗣️

The very first minutes with your student can ensure that the first entire lesson goes well. There’s no better time to build trust. One of the best ways to do this is by simply talking about it.

You can do this by leading a good introductory session. First, introduce yourself in a friendly manner and make your student do the same. Next, you can do an icebreaker session. Maybe talk about each other’s experiences, interests, and hobbies. Then you can have an open conversation about building trust and a connection with each other. 

The openness allows space for vulnerability not only for the student but also on your part, making it easier to communicate with them throughout the lesson. 

  • Be friendly 

Another aspect of trust comes from friendliness. The first lesson can be daunting as you have met the student for the first time and don’t know how they are. It can also be tricky to navigate which teaching style to choose and execute.

A strong strategy is to be friendly. Navigate the lesson with your student and ask them about their strengths, weaknesses, and needs. Discuss how you plan to tutor them and ask them if they prefer any particular method. This way, it will be easier for you to individualise the learning and build trust. 

  • Give them responsibility and space

It can be tempting to guide the student in every step throughout the lesson, but this can be counterproductive.

You should give the student some responsibilities to ensure that they are active in the classroom, both academically and emotionally.

Similarly, give them space to learn. Don’t directly jump in to complete the student’s learning for them. It’s better to provide them with some time to figure out answers and think on their feet before stepping in to guide them. This will enable them to build critical thinking and analysis skills.


How to make lessons more interesting?


Wondering what are some lesson introduction strategies? Or some tutor activities to make lessons exciting? It can be confusing to teach a student their first lesson when you’ve no background information about them. So here’s a list of tips we suggest you start with:

  • Start with finding out about their background and skills. 👨‍🎓

Before you start tutoring the student, you need to know what their strengths and weaknesses are. It is common for students to have different learning abilities and disabilities. For example, some might catch every word you say in an instant, while others might require multiple attempts. It is, therefore, essential to analyse the student’s skills, strengths, and weaknesses.

You can do this by revisiting a familiar concept from the lesson and engaging your student in it. The familiarity allows them to participate in the class from the very beginning. This will help you identify the base of the student. Then you can adjust your teaching style and material accordingly. 

  • Be creative! 🧐

Do you remember those open-minded tutors who stood out in your school because of their special knowledge or creativity? Of course, you don’t have to be like Joan Keating in the movie Dead Poets Society, but creativity and originality pay dividends.

Kids love a creative teacher who is charismatic and out of the ordinary. After all, among the many tutors out there, you are vying for the kids' attention.

So try to enhance your first class by conducting the lesson in a creative manner. Maybe try a puzzle or some other fun activities together. The space is all yours to create a strong impression!

  • Teach something new and adopt different teaching strategies

Learning is highly correlated with curiosity. 

Your first lesson plays a huge role in defining how curious and attentive the student is. Try teaching something exciting and new during the first lesson. It could be an exciting concept, a real-life example, or simply a funny story. 

Teaching something new allows students to be open with their learning which helps them boost their creativity and curiosity throughout the lesson. 


Does the student understand the lesson?


It can be easy to drift off into lengthy concepts and theories while you’re teaching. However, that doesn’t ensure that the first lesson goes well. 😵

Students have different abilities when it comes to learning. Therefore, while you might perceive that they are learning well, the outcome could be completely different.  However, with careful observation and good teaching methods, you can ensure that the first lesson goes well and the student is enjoying their learning. 

Here’s a checklist we have prepared for you to ensure that your student is learning effectively :

  • Ask simple questions after each discussion.

Some students might pretend that they understand the question. But, in reality, they could be shy, scared, or uncomfortable asking for clarification.

Asking simple questions eliminates that. In addition, it allows you to check whether the student has learned the concept. If you find students having difficulty answering the questions, simply help them with the idea again and be as gentle and kind as possible.

This allows students to be more comfortable with you. Asking questions is a good strategy because it also helps them reconfirm that they have understood everything. 


  • Combine theory with practice as often as possible

Students will feel no difference from their regular classes if their tutor does the same thing as their teachers.

Try to be different. Mix the lessons with real-life applications. This allows students to be immersed in your teaching. 

Many students feel unmotivated to study because they feel like their education isn’t practical. Try your best to eliminate that. Bring in real-life examples and experiences so that the students become more curious about learning. 


  • Be imaginative 🌈

The best way to get a student into learning and making sure they understand is through the powers of imagination. Help them build a story or visualise the concept. You can use multiple online tools such as a whiteboard to demonstrate the idea in creative ways. 

Enabling students to use their imagination and creativity in the classroom can elevate the classroom experience and help them gain a better grasp of the lesson. 

  • Give them a task

Another great way to check if the student has learned the lesson is by giving them small tasks. For example, if you are teaching French, make them translate English phrases into French. 

Evaluate the task and help them with their shortcomings. This way, the students can be honest with their performance, and you can help them.  

What should you prepare before the lesson? 

You might have heard the famous quote ‘Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe’ by Abraham Lincoln

Indeed, there are a few teaching techniques you can prepare beforehand to make sure you have the best start. We have listed some of them below:

  • Double-check the online requirements ✅

Effective tutoring in the digital age can come with many technical difficulties. It will not leave a good impression on the student if you are confused about the platform or have other disturbances behind you. 

Make sure to:

  • Learn the basics of the streaming platform
  • Avoid any disturbances
  • Check your camera and microphone beforehand 
  • Stay in a quiet and well-lit place

  • Be tidy and ready

Many might not take a tutor in their pyjamas with a messy bedroom in their background very seriously. But, on the other hand, everyone likes a tutor who is organised, tidy, and prepared. Coming off as messy might give off the impression that you’re not interested in tutoring. 


  • Plan the different ways to teach the lessons 😸

Put in work and come up with innovative ways to teach the student. You need to be able to differentiate your teaching style from the others. Try to be more interactive with your students.


Tutoring can be a challenging task, but it is an equally fulfilling experience. With the proper preparation and mindset, you are sure to leave a fantastic impression on your students. So prepare well and focus on understanding their needs.

If you are looking to take on more students, we’d love to have you become an online tutor on our platform. Some of the many benefits include working remotely and managing your own schedule. We provide you with the students so you don’t need to advertise. Sounds good? Sign up to become an online tutor here.

Happy tutoring!