Getting to know your students.
Help your students feel comfortable by speaking clearly and being mindful of how fast you are talking. This will help ensure that your students feel confident communicating with you.
Let them know a little bit about yourself. If you already have a teaching philosophy, discuss it with them. Make sure to display enthusiasm in your lessons; a bit of humour can really help break the ice!
Make sure you give your students a chance to introduce themselves as well. This is both a great way to get them speaking and to help you better understand their language level. This will inform your preparation for future sessions.
Ask them what they want to focus on. Not all of your students will have the same reasons for wanting to learn English. Some will be hoping to brush-up on travel phrases before a trip abroad. Others may need assistance with business English or exam preparation. The sooner you know this about your student, the faster you can satisfy their tutoring needs.
It also helps to have a few small exercises handy for your first class, so you can gauge your students' strengths and weaknesses and will demonstrate to them that you are prepared.
Ask your students to give you feedback at the end of your class. Welcome them to provide suggestions on how you can improve future sessions. Be open-minded to this feedback, it can really help you both. In turn, you can provide your students with a brief assessment of their language skills and what you think is necessary in order for them to achieve their goals. But keep in mind: learning another language - if you haven't done so yourself - can be overwhelming, intimidating, frustrating, and require huge amounts of confidence. Be mindful of this when you give your feedback. Try to find a balance of being honest and direct, but encouraging and positive.