6 min read

Turn successful small group classes into 1-on-1 opportunities
Learn how to create personalized experiences that help your existing learners hone their individual skills or complete a project based on their passions.

Consider this scenario: You’ve just completed an engaging class section, and you’ve started to build some awesome relationships with your learners. Throughout your class, you had a few opportunities to engage one-on-one with these learners, but you know each individual kid has unique challenges and successes related to your topic. Their parents loved hearing about the fun they had in their lessons and are looking forward to another opportunity to join one of your classes. What if that opportunity came in the form of a personalized 1-on-1 learning experience for their child?

Making a 1-on-1 course as a follow-up to a group class, can provide learners with the chance to continue to build their skills through customized instruction based on their goals and interests. Plus, since you’re already familiar with the learner and their family, you can put together a great pitch for what you could cover in a 1-on-1 session that would not be possible in a larger group setting.

Let’s take a look at how to create a 1-on-1 lesson plan based on a group class you already teach.

1. Build on learner relationships

As we described above, you may have already started forming strong relationships with learners who have enrolled in your existing classes. When considering offering a 1-on-1 opportunity to a learner, think about what approach would work best for their individual needs. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Do their passions line up with my expertise? Could we use 1-on-1 time to get to know each other better and form a personalized learning plan that helps the learner achieve a personal goal?
  • Does this learner have a special interest in one aspect of my topic area? Have they expressed a particular fascination with a niche subject that isn’t covered in-depth in my group courses?
  • Is there one skill area where this learner would benefit from 1-on-1 instruction in order to succeed? For example, would 1-on-1 lessons help prepare them to take a future group class that has skill level or experience requirements?

With this in mind, take advantage of the private learner notes classroom feature (located under the Learners tab) to keep track of learners’ interests and skills throughout your group course. Then, when you’re thinking of how each learner may benefit from a 1-on-1 class, you have some solid info to go on.

2. Expand on existing curriculum

To create an excellent 1-on-1 curriculum, it can be helpful to think of these types of classes as “tutoring”-style sessions where you break down individual aspects of existing lessons. There are a few ways to approach this process:

  • Project-based Learning. Let’s say you teach an “Introduction to Claymation” class. In your intro course, you went over the basics of how claymation works. In a follow-on 1-on-1 course, you could offer learners a chance to create their own short claymation movie with your personal guidance. Working on a project gives interested learners the opportunity to really dive deeper into your curriculum and end up with something tangible that reflects their success.
  • Create a Learning Progression. Many learners can benefit from scaffolded individual instruction that helps them build upon their own skills and knowledge. Think about how you could break down an existing class on a broad topic into specialized sessions that lead the learner toward enhanced skills. For example, imagine that you complete a “Bake Your Own Apple Pie” one-time class, and you have a learner who is just itching to be a future pastry chef. You can help them work toward more comprehensive knowledge of baking at home through a 1-on-1 learning progression that includes separate lessons on Pastry Basics, Proper Proofing, Choosing Your Filling, Perfect Pie Crimping, and so on.
  • Explore Specialized Topics. Every subject has its own specialized areas of information that just can’t be covered in one group class. Imagine you teach a class on creative writing where you help learners outline and write a short story. What other topics could you dive into more thoroughly in a 1-on-1 session? Think about things like Character Development, Setting Creation, Famous Short Stories, Finding Inspiration for Your Writing, etc. With these offerings, learners could choose what subject area they’d most like to explore with you individually.

3. Get to know new learners

1-on-1 sessions can be incredible tools for getting to know learners that are still quite new to your classroom. Even if they’ve already taken a class with you, you may not know enough about their interests or skills yet to create a learning plan for them. In this case, a 1-on-1 course would serve the purpose of discovering more about the learner in order to develop a personalized curriculum.

Let families know that enrolling their learners in a 1-on-1 course helps you get a better idea of their learner’s skill level, learning style, and personality in order to create a positive learning experience for them in your classroom. This is an excellent alternative to simply sending out a generic skill assessment to prospective learners, for both you as an educator and for families trying to match their learners with the right class. A 1-on-1 class will help you discover this learner’s baseline knowledge and make a plan with their family for future 1-on-1 learning or group classes.

How do I reach out to families about 1-on-1 opportunities?

Keep in mind that all communication with families must happen through the Outschool classroom, as per our parent communication policy. Here’s an example of how you could phrase a group class follow-up message to a parent:

Hi [parent name],

It was a joy to have [learner name] in my recent [class]. I wanted to let you know that I would love to offer [learner name] a personalized 1-on-1 class opportunity if he/she/they are interested in exploring [topic] deeper and continuing to build his/her/their skills.

I could create an individualized learning plan for [learner name] on topics such as:

  • [Option 1]
  • [Option 2]
  • [Etc.]

Please let me know if you would be interested in learning more about my 1-on-1 class opportunities, and thanks again for being an awesome part of my classroom community!


[your name]

Use this script as a jumping-off point, and don’t shy away from including your own style and personality in your messages. Whether or not they choose to enroll in a 1-on-1 class (and hopefully they DO enroll!), families will appreciate that you took the time to suggest personal learning opportunities for their child and may be more likely to select one of your classes again in the future.

As you gear up to offer more 1-on-1 classes, make sure you check out these resources:

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