Teacher Toughness

Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile. No words ring truer this past week at Inkreadable. But first, we have to think happy thoughts. Felix and I finished up the past, present, and future tenses and then had a  review last Wednesday. What’s interesting is that he had no problem doing exercises when it was just one tense, for example, simple future or simple past. Where he struggled was when he tried to do an exercise where there were mixed tenses. Luckily, since he isn’t working currently, he spent most of Thursday and likely most of Friday studying. I will say that the exercises that I gave him to do on Wednesday we’re a lot tougher than the test that I gave on Friday. It was too long and in the interest of learning, I had him take it home and turn it into an open book exercise. It’s more important to me that he learn the material than ace a test. He is off to London next week so that gives me time to get ahead and plan some lessons and get ahead in my teaching game.

I haven’t seen Katya since early last week. There are a couple of reasons for this.  I did not see Katya last Wednesday. Why you ask? I was ready to teach promptly at 7 o’clock my time and so I missed a 6:45 text from her mom saying they were ready to have class. Followed by a text ten minutes later to reschedule. It seems Katya’s father offered to buy her a phone.  Of course,  she had to go right then and there. Well, there went our lesson. Last night she was sick and that put the kibosh on that lesson as well. Ah well, I’ll have a lot to talk to her about when I see her on Tuesday. Assuming I do see her tomorrow evening. Fingers crossed.

By far the most challenging portion of the week, are the lessons with Carlton. He remains difficult to engage in terms of the lesson and has said that he likes seeing me but he hates doing work. The other problem that I am facing with Carlton isn’t with him per se, but with his family. My policy with teaching is that if you cancel before 24 hours there is no penalty. But if you cancel within a 24-hour window then you pay the class in full. It is as if you have had the class. That is standard in the field of private teaching. Carlton’s mom has canceled twice now. The first time because he was sick which I let slide but the second time was because of an assembly that he had at school. So I said that was fine but I would have to charge for the lesson. She got upset and said that she had not agreed to that. But I have a teaching agreement for that very reason. It is impossible to me that she didn’t know that he had an assembly at the school on Tuesday evening. Parents plan their children’s week well in advance. And schools give schedules to the parents as well. She has also asked that we go down to once a week because he can’t handle twice a week. Which is fine. All of this was done by text and she didn’t even address the cancellation issue. So when I went on Friday, I did. I explained that canceling after the 24 hours are up, is the same as telling the school “my child did not attend 10 lessons this year, therefore, I want to tuition for those lessons back.” Said nobody, ever. Even the place that does my hair has such a cancellation policy. If you cancel within 24 hours that appointment is charged. She agreed that I was right and agreed to pay. It was a win for me personally because beyond the money, I’m not very good at setting boundaries for people. I have a tendency to let people off the hook a bit too much.

That’s all she wrote for this Inkredable installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.

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