Monday, February 10, 2014

The Tutor's "Gig" Bag

What should I bring to my sessions?

When I first started tutoring, I showed up to a session with my laptop and some paper.  I found myself constantly looking for tools to use during my session.  Here's a list of what to bring to every session regardless of the subject.

The 10 Essentials 

1.  Pencils (mechanical), Pens (multicolored), Color Pencils, Markers, Highlighters
2.  Paper - lined/white
3.  Straight Edge/Ruler
4. Calculator - scientific, graphing
5.  Workbooks, printables
6.  Tablet, iPad, laptop
7.  Headphones (over the ear)
8.  Calendar - Paper/Electronic
9.  Business Cards!!!
10.  Scrapbooking Tote

I can remember my first few weeks of tutoring.  While I made it through my sessions, I ran into many issues. Clients come to a session with an open mind...which also means empty hands.  Really, it's symbolic and kinda sweet!  The client is telling you..."I'm all yours and open minded.  Please, make me smart!".  The truth is that we don't make anybody smart.  As tutors, we help them actualize what skills they already know by showing them a better way to understand it.

A couple of notes:  

Be Prepared:

Clients will not always be prepared for your lesson.  That's why they're paying you!  You need to have things ready.  Remember, you're being payed a premium to teach a client something that they should have learned for free.  Just because they forget their items, doesn't mean you can't work with them.  In fact, you better have something ready in case they don't.  Sure they'll finish the lesson, but nobody wants to pay for something that's not helping them.  A couple of lessons that are paid for where no learning occurs will lead to no more sessions.  Tutoring is as much a business as it is helpful.  The client is your priority.

Be Technology Driven:
If you're not electronic, you might want to think about it again.  The Tablets, iPad, laptops etc help so much. On some occasions, the client needed help completing online assignments.  Other clients needed YouTube videos to help explain a concept better.  Today's learners are techno have no choice but to be techno savvy.

Business Cards!Business cards are a must!  I can't tell you how many people have asked me for a business card and I didn't have one during a session.  I missed so many so many potential clients.  I know some of you are thinking..."I'll just write my info down!"  The truth is that a business card is durable and fits easily in a wallet or purse.  They have colors, pictures, and information that written information does not have.  They serve a purpose and are used by all professionals.  To be honest, I have yet to get a call back from information written on a piece of paper.

The Tutor's Tote

  Need I say more!  It's light weight!  Easy to carry all your items for multiple clients and worth the money.  

Imagine all your items in one easy, organized place.  Better yet, it shows the client that you're prepared, organized, and knowledgeable.

These items can be expensive...especially the better the quality.  I was able to get a great deal on my item.  I went to Michael's and they had a 40% off sale.  
The truth is that you've got to carry things to a session...this is the type of item you need!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Ugh it said my comment posted twice, but when I deleted one, it deleted both!

    You've inspired me to do a post tomorrow about what I bring in my tutoring bag! It's very similar but I'm more low-tech with a mini white board and more arts & crafts and games.

  3. LOL! Thanks Candice. I received your first comment by e-mail! I'm looking forward to reading about your tutoring bag.