We know how difficult it may be to get through to your student, especially when you’re both new to tutoring. Thankfully, The Corporation for National and Community Service came up with these great icebreaker tips to help you get to know your student in a way that respects boundaries and is literary-focused!

Tutors and tutees alike may be eager yet nervous when they first meet. To alleviate initial awkwardness, spend some time talking casually with your tutee. Ask friendly, informal questions to show interest and give the child time to relax and grow comfortable. Some children will quickly open up and talk freely while others will be quieter and more reserved. Don’t overwhelm a child who is reluctant to talk with a barrage of questions. Instead, try an activity to learn more about the child and potentially spark some discussion.

Conversation supports literacy development; when you speak with a child, you are strengthening literacy skills as well as building a relationship. Click the link below to see a list of potential conversation topics and a few getting-to-know-you activities for your initial meeting with your tutee!

Getting to Know Your Tutee

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