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Tutoring Tips: Monthly Progress Reports

Tutoring Tips – Writing Monthly Progress Reports:  With few exceptions, most parents will want to know how well their child or teenager is progressing once the regular tutoring sessions begin.  For many struggling students, the tutor is their last hope for getting back on track to academic success, so the parents want to know what is being taught, how the sessions are going, and how soon they can expect improved results.

Some ‘helicopter’ parents can be seen hovering around after every tutoring session, asking for progress updates. You need to discourage this as early as possible, informing them that progress takes time and that you will be sending them a detailed report at the end of each month. If you must tell them something, keep it brief, general and non-committal.

Once the tutor has written the monthly report, she should send it to her immediate supervisor who will then carefully review and edit it before forwarding to the parents. Any routine questions may be discussed with the tutor before or after the next session, while serious concerns should be addressed to the supervisor directly.

The monthly progress report should address the following areas:

Learning Strategies:  Summarize what learning strategies you have been working on, how well they have been assimilated, and how they are making a difference. Indicate if/how this focus will change over the next month.

Learning Gaps:  Discuss which learning gaps have been addressed, how much progress has been made and which ones you will continue to focus on in the coming month.

Attitude:  What is the student’s attitude towards school work and are they bringing a positive approach to the sessions? Discuss how you have been using learning strategies like positive self talk, talking aloud and relaxation techniques to help improve their attitude, and what impact it is having.

Effort:  This section will focus on how well the student has been fulfilling his responsibilities, including bringing required materials to the session, school homework completed and corrected, notes from class, tutoring homework completed, and effort during the tutorial. If habitual problems occur, you may want to keep a checklist of these items.

Work Habits:  Summarize how the student has progressed in learning good work habits, such as keeping a good notebook, following up after missed classes, obtaining help from friends, seeing the teacher for extra help, completing their homework and studying for exams.

Problem Areas:  Discuss the problem areas that existed at the beginning of the month, how they have been addressed, and how they have improved or not. Also comment on what problem areas will be focussed on in the coming month.

General Comments:  If there are serious problems, you will want to repeat them here, and reinforce what is expected of the student, the tutor, and the parents. This is also a good opportunity to end on a positive note, acknowledging good efforts on the student’s part and your hopes for this to be reflected in future results. It is important to be hopeful but not too optimistic as it is always better to under-promise and over-deliver, than the other way around!

For more information about starting a tutoring business consult:

The Wealthy Tutor

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