Tips: How to Get Started Coaching with Novastar Prep
Welcome to the wonderful world of teaching! If you’re new to the coaching game, it might seem a little overwhelming. You might be thinking, “Where to start?” “How do I talk to kids?” “What should I start with?”.
Before you get started, contact your student’s parents. Ask them what your student’s weak spots are and request that your student bring any completed and returned tests, quizzes, and homework assignments. This will allow you to see your student’s ability on paper and spot any recurring mistakes. Some teachers keep all their students’ work, but are more than happy to procure copies. Don’t be afraid to ask!
Bring some worksheets to your first lesson. It can be as simple as googling “5th grade multiplication worksheets”! There is a plethora of websites with academic material, so you may never have to create your own worksheet!
First things first, kids are people too! Start by getting to know them. Talk to them about what they’re struggling with in school. Most kids in coaching are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, or have been made aware by parents and teachers. If they’re not sure, it would be best to do a diagnostic, or give them questions to answer from material up to this point in the curriculum.
Try to always ask your student how they are doing and questions about their lives. What sports/instruments/video games do they play? Taking an interest in their lives will strengthen your connection with your student, that you’re not just there because you’re paid to but because you truly want them to succeed and thrive.
Coaching usually comes after a long day of school, so try to make things fun! In my own sessions, I use a small whiteboard and different colored markers to spice things up a bit. It’s definitely a lot more enjoyable than pencil and paper! I also have what is called a “party button”. It’s like the Staples easy button, but instead plays a clip of I Wanna Rock N Roll All Nite by KISS. I allow my students to press the button at their leisure, recommending they press it when they move on to the next topic or when they feel like they’ve nailed a concept. It’s a quick 10 second dance party that breaks the monotony of a school day! You can also try using fun worksheets with a puzzle/word search/coloring aspect instead of straight forward questions. Try to make the lesson more enjoyable without sacrificing the effectiveness of the session. Rewards systems also help students with motivation with a student who is resistant to working during your session. Keep track of your student’s progress by awarding stickers or stars for a job well done.
Above all, try to enjoy your time with your student! You are helping them become a stronger, more confident scholar!
Written by Micaela Gonzalez, Novastar Prep Subject Expert Coach