I’ve been teaching one-to-one classes for about four years now .I suppose at some point most teachers will find themselves in a situation where they may have to teach one-to-one, so I thought that I’d share my experiences of life as a one-to-one teacher here with you.
In the beginning when I started working as a freelancer, I wanted to fill my timetable so, I was quite happy to get the work which meant that I’d be able to pay the rent and feed the cats and dogs. At the time I thought that I’d take on the students and reap the financial rewards until they got bored and gave up.
I have to say that the dropout rate wasn’t quite what I expected. Four years on, I still have my first one-to-one student. You could see this in one of several ways. A) I’m so good that he just doesn’t want to leave me B) he hasn’t improved and so he’s still with me or C) he has no other possibilities or options.
I teach an upper-intermediate doctor, a low pre- intermediate lab technician, a fourteen year old teenage girl who is in secondary school, a twelve year old secondary school student an11 year old boy and a nine year old girl. It’s quite a variety. Now the reason that I wanted to write about one-to-one is that I’ve been feeling at a bit of a loss about what to do in classes for the past couple of months. I seem to have caught one-to-one burnout. I'm just not inspired.
What I like about teaching one-to-one
• You can tailor the classes directly to the needs, wants and likes of your student.
• You can give 100% of your attention to your student.
• You develop a really close relationship with your student.
• You don’t have as many exams or as much homework to correct.
• You don’t have to deal with mixed abilities or fast finishers.
• You don’t have as many factors to deal with in terms of classroom management.
• Students tend to think that they’re making more progress.
• You don’t need to photocopy as much.
• It doesn’t involve lots of cutting and sticking.
Drawbacks of teaching one-to-one
• It’s a very intense situation, 60 minutes of talking can be quite like therapy!
• It’s really limited in many ways as the dynamic is teacher – student / student –
teacher, no pair work, no group work.
• It’s really uncomfortable if either of you are having a bad day. There’s nowhere to hide.
• It often calls for the teacher to give their opinions on issues which can cause disagreement.
• It can become like a crutch for students who rely on their personal teacher.
• It can get boring or stale as you can’t rely on the group dynamic.
• There just aren’t the opportunities to share thoughts and opinions with other people like there are in groups.
• I’ve been teaching my one-to-ones for between two and four years and I’ve just run out of steam. I’m in a rut.
• I think that they’d probably be better off in a group setting but they are still clinging to me.
Okay over to my PLN for some advice. Can anyone help? Any suggestions? Teaching ideas and suggestions for one-to-one classes please!