In a Marketplace, like italki, as a teacher a key responsibility for your business is attracting new students as old students master their goals and move on. The Trial lesson can be an essential tool for attracting and retaining new students.
It is a lot of pressure to put on a 30-minute lesson. Much of that relies on how you as a teacher perform in that lesson, but good communication and aligned outcomes can go a long way in getting the trial lesson off to a good start.
With that in mind we present you with the first lesson agenda, a way to help teachers and students understand the goals of their first meeting.
Teachers can edit and create an agenda that will be shared with students upon booking a trial class.
So what should your agenda be? Well, some of that depends on what sort of teaching business you are running. Are you mostly focused on test prep, conversation, beginners, or business? All these will have an effect on what you want to focus on in the trial lessons. Here are some general guidelines though:
- Introductions, of course, you and your student will need to start building the foundation of getting to know each other. So some basic introduction will need to be covered.
- Goals & Purposes, both you and the student will want to know why they are there taking classes.
- Ability Assessments, this will depend on what type of classes the student wants to take but you will likely want to get an idea of their true level.
- Materials Introduction, May the student has a preferred book, or you might want to introduce the materials you use.
- A demo, it is often an expectation from students, and a good idea, to show them what a normal class with you will be like and what they can expect in their next lesson with you.
- A summary and next steps, often it is good to take a final minute or two to wrap up what was covered in the trial and set a clear and easy-to-follow expectation for the next step the student needs to take on their language journey.
These are the parts of a good trial class, give or take a bit depending on what type of classes you teach, but problems arise in how we present them to the students. Many students have first-time jitters or even high levels of anxiety about starting class and meeting a stranger. How you present your agenda is where you as a teacher set yourself apart and show the students part of who you are.
Instead of saying “Level Assessment” are you the type of teacher to say “Understanding where your speaking level is.” or “Learning more about your current ability.” Phrasing it like this can help students who may worry about being judged and show that you are more interested in understanding and helping them.
How about “Let me show you how I teach.”, “What a class with me is like.”, or “Basics of my Test Prep Approach” Instead of saying “Short Teaching Demonstration.” Once again showing more of our personality and ideas of teaching to the student before they even come for that first lesson.
With all these agenda items we can come up with more creative and subtle ways to express our thoughts, personality, and teaching pedagogy to those first-time students.
For more great tips on how to master your trial lessons, check out Expert Teacher James' Article below: