I have a Bachelor's degree in Spanish with a concentration in International Studies. I have worked as a teaching assistant of arts and crafts in Spain and New Jersey, as well as teaching English as a second language (ESL) to elementary students and young adults. I'm a charismatic individual, so lessons won't be boring!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
It's vital to introduce ourselves first. Then, I might want to chat for a bit to get some background information on the student; how much of the culture and language they have been exposed to in order to determine their needs and what materials to use (unless their goal is clear). We would then get started with whatever I might've prepared for the first session.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I'd advise them to practice every minute they can so that they can build confidence -- which is key!