I'm super excited to reveal that this post is part of a tutor organization series brought to you by some of the world's top tutoring experts: Adrianne Meldrum (of The Tutor House) and Amy (of Tutors Nirvana).
As a tutor the prospect of getting organised can seem incredibly daunting. Thoughts like 'how do I plan a lesson?' ' how do I get organised?' and 'how do I keep track of all of my materials?' are likely to run through your mind.
Getting your tutoring curriculum organised isn't just something that's important for new tutors who are just starting out, it's also pertinent for experienced tutors who've been teaching for several months or even years.
People might assume that tutors are naturally quite organised (and yes, most of us are) but getting organised isn't that easy. Today, I'll be sharing some of my most loved tips on this very topic. Buckle up and get ready to take notes!
How to organise your tutoring curriculum
Firstly, it's important to schedule regular time within your schedule specifically for the purpose of getting organised. Ideally, tutors should spend at least 1 day of each week focusing on planning and preparation as this maximises your chances of being able to handle almost any situation.
One thing that I do is that I have a tutoring diary where I write everything down including lesson plans, expenses and my tutoring schedule. It's pivotal to pick one book, notepad or diary that's used for organising your schedule.
Once you have a tutoring diary and you have a good idea of your schedule, the next step is to write down what subjects you teach (include all of them- even the ones you teach less frequently) and to then map out a topic plan for each subject.
For instance, if you teach English to primary school students (students under 11 years of age) you might want to cover topics like spelling, grammar, punctuation and creative writing. Once you've mapped out the main topics for each subject, create a new map that highlights all of the topics within that subject, for instance, if you teach English you might break down 'grammar' into sub-topics like prepositions and nouns.
Once you've created these two subject maps, you'll have a much clearer idea of what topics you'll cover during your lessons. Now, I'm sure you're thinking, 'what if the student doesn't need to learn a topic that I've written down?' That's perfectly fine- you can tweak or amend the subject map whenever you like so that it meets the needs of your students. If you have time, you could even create a subject map for each student you have.
The key is to remember to prioritise organisation in your schedule and give lesson planning greater attention.
In terms of keeping a track of your tutoring files and books, I strongly suggest getting a filing cabinet so that you can file your resources in order of subject/age/student. This makes things so much easier and allows you to easily pick up files without having to worry about where they are. Quite simply, a filing cabinet is a god-send for any tutor who's serious about going pro.
There are also a few more things you can do to stay organised such as:
Arranging books in order of need. In other words, keep the books and resources that you're most likely to need soon in areas that are easy to reach so that you don't have to spend hours looking for them.
Have a file box that contains resources and learning materials that you use most often. Keep materials that you don't desperately need in a filing cabinet and label them so that you know where they are.
Motivate yourself to stay organised by incorporating things you like. For instance, I love all things vintage. To motivate myself to stay organised, I treat myself (on occasion) to vintage inspired stationary. There's something about seeing a pretty vintage notepad, diary, book or organisational resource that gets me excited about staying organised. Could you do the same and incorporate something you love?