Had my first teaching/tutoring session. Two hours of near nonstop talking is a really bad way of teaching kids. Now I know better.
I’m exaggerating. I talked for less than an hour and a half of the total time period. But my throat sure did hurt afterwards. Overall, I realized I needed to be better prepared, even after an hour of prep time before class. I felt as if I kept repeating similar things over and over. I should have given them more writing assignments during the course of the two hours. They did get 25 minutes to do an essay outline and intro paragraph, but that really wasn’t enough. If I go back next week (and I hope I do), I’ll be assigning two essays during class.
The kids were cool; there were two boys and a girl, and the girl was really talkative, which was nice. She also seemed more interested in the material, and it was easier to maintain eye contact with her than with the boys, who were on the whole either shy or non-communicative. Working with more than one person is quite challenging. I couldn’t quite figure out how to work with them individually other than to come around and looking at their progress while they were writing.
One thing I noticed was that giving handouts is pointless if you can’t accurately describe what’s on them or you don’t have a way to transition into something relevant. Assessing myself, I think I just rambled on for a large amount of time, circuitously covering the material. At the end of the session, I asked them to tell me a few of the things they learned, and they were pretty good about restating a bunch of things I had talked about.
Thinking back, I was really worried about the amount of time I had to fill, but it went by ridiculously fast. Gotta plan better next time. I’m not this bad when I work with kids individually, I swear.