Engaging First Tutoring Session Ideas

The world of online tutoring is excellent; it is full of abundant opportunities for tutors to help students succeed and generate revenue. If you are looking for how to become an online tutor, the first tutoring session is a critical step in the journey of online tutoring.

If you have yet to experience your first online tutoring session, this guide will help you support yourself and get started, regardless of the subject you are teaching. 

This blog will uncover some tips to take your online tutoring session forward, and yes, it covers some first tutoring session ideas as well.

First tutoring session ideas for successful online tutoring

The first tutoring session is crucial in laying the foundation for the first impression and ongoing relationship with students and setting the agenda for the upcoming sessions.

The first online tutoring session is vital in setting behavioral expectations, and keep in mind that one-to-one tutoring demands a different approach where your attitude and enthusiasm are important. But the focus of your first online tutoring session must be to build a connection and strong bond with your students and gain their trust. 

Here are the first tutoring session tips to deliver the best tutoring session:

Ask the correct questions for the class

This part is the most vital aspect of running a great online tutoring session for the first time. Before the very first interaction with your students, you must ask the following questions:

  • The subject and their age level.
  • The exam board and current working level which can help you prepare learning materials based on the right level of your student.
  • Areas where the student needs help with. 
  • Expectations of tuition- whether the student is looking for one-off lessons or long-term tuition.

You must offer a free video-conferencing session with the students and parents (if you are teaching younger students) to help both you and the students prepare for the first lesson.

Teach something new

While the first tutoring session is mainly about finding out the student’s level, building a relationship etc., you must also need to demonstrate your tutoring abilities. Yes, you must sell yourself because students and parents have an immense choice of tutors, so you must prove yourself.

In your first tutoring sessions, it is better to be over-prepared than being underprepared. Always be ready with a backup plan and a lot of tasks you can use when you need it.

If you are unsure where the student is in terms of their learning, have a number of tasks designed for different skill levels to use whenever possible within the lesson. You can also use some of the more complex tasks to teach new concepts to your students.

Prepare a lesson plan and post-lesson recap plan

Before going for your first tutoring session, make sure you create a lesson plan with a lesson outline and its flow. Begin with the basics, add questions, and also prepare a post-lesson recap plan.

If your first tutoring session is around 1 hour, you must spend 15 minutes on the recap. This will help students brush up on the concepts they learned during your session.

Co-create the study plan with students

After your first tutoring session, how are you going to do the curriculum design and session planning? The best way to do it is to seek your own students’ help. Ask them in an approachable way by keeping the conversation warm and casual.

During your first tutoring session, discuss the following things with students for the session plan:

  • Learning resources prescribed by the school.
  • Weekly student hours.
  • Areas of strength and weakness. 
  • Student expectations from the tutor. 

Get the parents involved

If you are offering tutoring sessions to younger students. You must get their parents involved too. Winning a parent’s trust is an important step to success as a private online tutor. 

Talk to the parents even before your first tutoring session. Discuss about their expectations from you as a tutor and other smaller details. 

Talk about the following things:

  • Previous experiences with any tutor.
  • Expected tutoring timings.
  • Expectations from the tutor in general.

Take feedback after the session 

The first thing you need to do after your first online tutoring session is to take feedback from both students and parents. This will help you understand their expectations before in advance. 

Through feedback after the first session, you can re-design the content plan according to their expectations. 

You must loop in the parents for a demo class and take the feedback at the end of it.

Familiarize the features and functionalities of your tutoring platform

If you are using a mix of asynchronous (self-paced learning) and synchronous (teaching live remotely) learning, you must dedicate some time during your first tutoring session to familiarize yourself with the features and functionalities of the platform.

For example, a video conferencing platform like Zoom has its own features, like breakout rooms. Create your live session and share your session links with students beforehand. 

Even before the first online tutoring session, set the expectations with your students. Share the agenda and explain how you want them to participate. Should your students use non-verbal feedback to simulate hand-raising? Are you planning to use breakout rooms for small group discussions? During the first session, you can demonstrate the feature you will use while on the tutoring platform and which you expect participants to use. 

If you leverage Pinlearn to build your online tutoring platform, you can choose between Zoom and LessonSpace to conduct virtual classes, both one-to-one and group sessions. Familiarize with your students with the features and functionalities you will use during your tutoring sessions.


Most budding online tutors shy away from discussing things clearly before the first online tutoring session. Start with a plan and discuss your students’ and tutors’ short-term and long-term goals.

While the initial few tutoring sessions can be challenging, these simple yet effective tips will help you to teach online. It will also ensure you get the most out of the tutoring experience, and students will look forward to future classes with you.

If you want to launch your own online tutoring platform, you can contact us to get started or simply leave a comment to get in touch with us.

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