It’s official! All of your documents are submitted. You set up your Great Thinkers Learning Academy Teaching Platform profile and update your availability.  Now you are feeling amazing and ready to meet your new students. A new student books you and you are elated and then you realize… Eek!  What do I do now?  How do I manage the classroom features? What should I work on with the student? Do I assign homework and how? Who is my student as a learner?  Ahh!  So many questions!

Do not worry. You were meant to do this work. You are amazing! Here is a step-by-step checklist to help prepare you to be ready for that first intro lesson.

Great Thinkers Learning Academy Teaching Platform

  1. Practice in the demo classroom:

First and foremost, remember practice makes a habit.  You can teach. You were born to teach. After last school year, you now can also teach online to 25 black squares on a screen (high school) or 25 squirmy kids shoving their pet’s face into the screen(elementary).  My favorite was one of my middle school boys who ate a big Renaissance fair turkey leg almost every class.

You have conquered big things teacher, but you may not be familiar with the features of the Great Thinkers Learning Academy teaching platform.  Never fear, help is here!  The demo classroom is where you can practice, fix your background, mess around with the buttons, and generally test things out before you have a cute little face staring back at you.  To access the demo room, follow the demo room link when you are logged into your Great Thinkers Learning Academy account. This link was emailed to you along with a shared spreadsheet.

2. Prepare for your student

When a student chooses to work with you their class will show up on your dashboard. Next, you will receive a message with the information from the parent interview and then they will show up as a student in IXL.  In the message, you will learn the grade level of the student, their strengths, areas of concern, and information about their interests. In addition, in IXL you will learn their recommended skills for practice and sample questions at their level.

3. Send a welcome message to your student

Once your account is set up you will then want to send a welcome message to your student. This is one great way to make your student feel welcome.  The parent will be told to look for it when they enroll in Great Thinkers Learning Academy.  Introduce yourself and include why you are excited to meet in the classroom.  In addition to your introduction, use the information in the parent interview to make connections with him or her. For example, ask a question or two and have them respond.  This will also give you another sample of their writing.  But remember, if they don’t answer back, it is okay, parents and students are learning the system too.

4. Get to class early to do sound and camera check

There are two ways to log into your Great Thinkers Learning Academy dashboard.  One is on the website and the other is direct with the link that was sent to you when you first were added to the site.

From the website: Click on the button- Login.  It will take you to the Great Thinkers Learning Academy teaching platform.

From the link: Bookmark this and you can save your passwords to be automatically logged in.

5. Have fun teaching

Private tutoring sessions are 30 minutes long.  This does not seem like a lot of time, however, when there is only one student, a lot can be accomplished. Make sure to prepare for your student and use the tutoring template to help guide your timing.

  1. Rapport building and welcoming
  2. Review progress and trouble areas
  3. Present new skill focus with practice
  4. Guided practice
  5. Independent practice with feedback
  6. Choose homework from the recommendation wall
  7. Explain homework (recommendation wall)
  8. Remind student to book the next session
  9. End Class on a good note.

Remember to add your teacher’s magic sauce to the session and have fun.

7. Include feedback about the session that will go to the parent.

In your feedback, include things like; How did your first session go? What will you do differently next time and what advice would you give a new teacher?