Ask any child if he or she goes for tuition and the answer you will get is, "Yes". Children of all ages are enrolled in either private tutorial classes or group classes. For their parents, this certainly is an added expense over and above all the other school-related responsibilities. However, parents feel that children are in need of these extra classes and many parents even prefer the individualised attention offered during one-on-one tutoring lessons.
The cost of putting children through private school in South Africa is about R2.2 million per year. This amount just covers the tuition fees required by the private school. So imagine how parents feel when they have to fork out more money for tuition.
Parents would be lucky if extracurricular activities such as tuition cost R1900 per annum only. Parents know tuition expense is quite heavy too. Therefore when parents are in search of a tutor to provide tutorials for their children, they require a tutor who is resourceful. Parents of public school children also rely on tutors to bridge the apparent learning gap between their children and children who go to private schools. It is a belief that children who go to private school receive more individualised attention in comparison to public school children who make up the numbers in swamped classes. The truth is that parents hope that when they enrol their children in tutorial classes, the tutors will be equipped with the best possible resources so that learning will become effortless.
Consider using online activities and resources to increase your resource bank.
Teaching Activities That You Ought to Try
If you are looking for resources to use for your tutorial classes, start by sourcing a range of teaching activities online. The web is filled with activities and informational booklets that can easily be downloaded in PDF and Word format. These informational booklets help you to give off your best as a teacher.
For South African teachers who are looking to increase the number of resources that they have, sites like MyTopDog and My CyberWall are excellent teaching sites filled with resources that teachers can use to enhance the way they teach and the way that learning occurs.
MyTopDog was founded by Claudia and Ryan Swartzberg who saw the demand for a better way of learning. It is a world-class educational offering that yet again works on the idea that students are entirely different from each other and they don't deserve to learn in the same way. Although both Claudia and Ryan have experience in the field of data science and actuarial science, they roped in experts in the educational field to make their educational offering exceptional. For as little as R100 you can gain access to all of MyTopDog resources. Resources include a Shakespearean study guide that has been developed specifically for the site and much more.
My Cyberwall is another learning platform that is particularly focused on the new generation of educators and learners. It is aligned according to the South African curriculum and provides comprehensive resources for children within the intermediate phase. The reason why my Cyberwall is an excellent resource to have as a tutor for yourself and your students is that children love the illustrated content, interactive lessons and automated content.
Alongside just having a resource bank filled with notes, you also need to have resources that you could allow your students to use during your lessons.
To date, Edupuzzle has been one of the best sites for teachers who wish to share interactive links with their students. Edupuzzle allows teachers to choose videos from the vast array of videos on Youtube that will be relevant to the lesson that you are teaching. Once you have chosen your video, you simply need to add your own sparkle and touch to the video. You can add multiple choice questions based on the lesson that you have taught. You can embed the link for students to access the video. Once students gain access to the video, they can interact with the video at their own pace and during their own time.
ClassDojo is another excellent application that tutors can have to keep track of the progress that their students are making. Tutors can even share details of student progress with their student's parents.
Would online learning work just as well for students? If you are considering teaching using an online platform entirely, we have an article which covers how online tuition works. The article considers what students and parents need to think about when moving in the direction of online but you as a tutor could learn all about the benefits that online tutoring has for children as well.
Free Teaching Resources Available
While having teaching resources easily available at your disposal is great, you cannot just leave your students with the printed notes and online applications. You cannot expect optimal learning to happen if learners are left entirely alone and to their own devices. You must still keep constant track of your student's progress. You also need to be constantly monitoring students so they do not stray away from the task of learning, especially when they are using online tools.
The advent of technology has made it all the better to stay abreast of student's progress (even from the comfort of your home). You can use software like Zoom or Cisco Webex to have video conferences with your students. By using video conferences, you can guide your students through tasks that they may be having particular difficulty with.
If your student is struggling with complex maths problems, you can simply sign in to Zoom or use a Whatsapp video call to guide them.
Here are some educational apps that you can bring to the class.
So what software can you make the most of and use as a free teaching resource?
Zoom video conferencing comes equipped with a whiteboard as well as a share screen function that you can make the most of when teaching students online. Zoom eliminates the need for you to have tuition premises. You could provide your tutorial services online. Due to Covid-19 social distancing rules, parents have come to realise that online tutorial lessons work just as effective as face-to-face classes. Zoom allows web conferences that are 45 minutes in length. If you are not as enthusiastic about using Zoom as your online teaching platform, you can use Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams or Google Meets instead.
ThinkLink is another effective resource that you can use to provide interactive and stimulating ThinkLinks to your students to get them to think. There are a variety of videos available on the ThinkLink site as well as 360-degree media that make learning fun. If students need some form of prompting then ThinkLinks work as ideal prompts to stimulate thinking and hint at answers that you want students to derive at.
Some advice for tutors is to never lose the plot. The idea behind bring new resources into your tutorial lessons is so that you can work on making learning fun for children. Read on.
Teacher Tools at Your Disposal
One thing we advocate is that tutors take teaching just as seriously as teachers would, therefore we suggest that you stay abreast of planning your tutorial lessons as well. A teacher tool that you as a tutor could use is Planboard.
Planbord is easy to download from your app store and is absolutely free to download. Planboard allows teachers to create lessons, edit lessons and even share their lessons. The share function is best because you can gain ideas on how to teach better from the lesson plans of other teachers. Having a lesson plan and guidance in advance as to what you are going to teach will inevitably make your lessons better.
Picktime is another free teacher tool that you use. You can use this Picktime application in order to designate time slots for all your tuition students. The app is easy to use and you can easy schedule and reschedule appointments so that you are always on top of your tuition schedule.
If you fear using technology too much because students may feel that they are doing well without your help and guidance, remember the words of Bill Gates.
"Technology is just the tool. In terms of getting the kids to work together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important"
Your role as a teacher, mentor and tutor will never become redundant because of the advances in technology. However, your students will appreciate you all the more for making learning in your tutoring session fun, interactive and just like 21st-century learning.
Remember: while online resources may be great, good old fashioned buckets, buttons, abacus and sand can work just as well to enhance learning. Learning with concrete objects is always better than learning merely with abstract ideas.