By: Lauren Perrodin

Spending 1:1 time with your students is every teacher’s dream. If you had all the time in the world, it would most likely happen naturally. Of course, every student learns a little differently than the one next to them but being able to give your students individual attention is vital for making sure they’re getting the most out of their education.

During the pandemic, instructors were forced into emergency remote teaching. According to the American Education Research Association, “teachers with more high-needs students would spend more time in live interaction with students via synchronous lessons and one-on-one communication because those are the modes that permit more targeted scaffolding and support.”

Although teaching students as a whole class can be more efficient, having one-on-one time can be more effective for their individual learning. That’s sometimes easier said than done. All these students and not enough time (so it seems)? Here are five tips to help you incorporate more of that one-on-one time:

1. Develop a targeted plan

The more focused and personalized the environment, the better the outcome of the 1:1 time. Even if you have a short amount of time to give to each student, approach it with the learner’s needs in mind. This could begin with a thorough observation during class.

2. Set a schedule

As you plan out your day with lessons and activities, set a time limit with a particular student for a 1:1. Think of this like you would any other planning time like reading, nap or recess, as part of the day.

3. Make use of technology

Sometimes students have a hard time focusing on a lesson that is structured like a lecture. Instead, you can make your time with your student more dynamic by making technology part of the lesson. Send them home with an interactive video tutorial or suggest listening to recordings of the book you’re studying. If you have the technology available, AI-driven software can both personalize and target a student’s pain points.

4. Establish rules

To make 1:1 time work, you must establish rules for the rest of the class. In a room of 20 students, some of them might have questions or concerns that may interrupt your time. Ensure that you have ample activities for the class to work on. A simple rule like “ask three then me” can solve many of these: students must ask three of their peers before asking you. You may even assign a peer leader to initiate a discussion or begin popcorn readings.

5. Set up a mentoring program

Young students typically look up to older ones. Set up a mentoring program with a grade or two ahead that could help support your class in specific subjects. Young students may have an easier time understanding where a younger peer may be struggling because the lesson was recent for them. This can help support engagement and collaboration across grades and classes.

Making a bigger impact on students is what teachers set out to do every day. A plan always paves the best road to success. Reach out to colleagues and coworkers for advice on how they have successfully implemented 1:1 time.

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