Pace of learning - what are your thoughts?

“Some students grasp the content of a lesson in a snap. Others take the best part of an hour. Some need things repeated 60 times to have any chance of recall. Teachers do their best, but no human can realistically tailor every lesson to each child.”

Do your students learn at their own pace or do you set a schedule for them?

I’d love to hear your opinions on what works best for you and your students!

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Firstly, I always over plan…I have in mind what I want to cover in the lesson but it has to be student led. As a maths tutor I normally get students who hate the subject so part (most?) of my role is to increase their confidence and, in my too many years of teaching, it’s the unexpected that will stump a student (eg you know your student and think they’ll sail through topic A and struggle with topic B and it never happens that way!!!) But if this job was boring I doubt if I’d still be doing it :joy:

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I have a loose framework for many students, for example if they want to reach a certain language level I have a book or other resource. But how quickly we move through this is heavily dependent on the students in question.

As an extreme example, I have been teaching two adults for around the same time. One has moved through the entire A1 curriculum and is halfway through A2 now, and the other is still on Chapter 1 of the A1 book. Retention, time spent learning and aptitude are so vastly different (although of course this is an extreme example and outside of the usual pressures of school and exams). I have the feeling that both students have a lot of fun in class though, so that’s the main thing for me.

With school-age students, we often focus on the areas they had trouble with in school or grammar points they might need additional guidance on. Like @Kate I always come to class with a plan, but quite often, we work on something completely different that is more useful to the student at this moment.

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I definitely feel the same way and I have a similar experience. I also think that when the class and topics are things suggested by the student, the students seems to be more engaged in learning.

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I always have a general plan for each individual student with what I expect them to achieve at least and then also how far I can push them. I am used to doing this because that is an expectation of myself in school. I also have the advantage of teaching Y7s to Y11s in school so can transfer my experience into my 1-2-1 teaching.
There are of course days that will shock/ surprise you!!!

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In my opinion it is possible to tailor your class to each student. Every student is a different experience and us as tutors we are learning from them as well. So keeping humble in your teaching approach is key to retain your students too. One of the positive aspects of this is that you expand your teaching methods and as a result your audience (number of students) will grow. It has worked for me. I have taught all kinds of characters, from business oriented to disabled and autistic. So it can be a very exciting and enriching experience if you remain humble.