It seems, dear readers, that I am to stay in Amstelveen for the foreseeable future. Remember when I said that my niche was older men? It also seems that the only work to be had is with people in Amstelveen. My purchaser client wants to continue lessons after I come back from the US after Christmas. I also have a feeling that the Japanese couple who are a very low-level A1 will also continue with me. I’m going to have to see if I can see them on the same day. If I can get my client who wraps up with me in November to renew maybe I can do three clients on one day and not disrupt my VIPKid schedule so much. The anxiety comes from the fact that there really isn’t any other choice at the moment. It seems that TEC is suffering from too many teachers and not enough students.
Speaking of VIPKid, in addition to the issues with our schedules changing for the worse with the loss of five hours a week or seven hours a week if you work every day of class time, it seems that the worldwide expansion of VIPKid that they have been telling us about for the last year and a half or so was a bit of a scam. Yes, they are opening their market to the rest of the world. But no, current teachers do not get to access those markets and keep their current students in China. Students are being recruited on a country basis and not on a company basis. I find this a little bit ridiculous. Especially given that a lot of teachers are seeing a drop in bookings that can be quite significant. That coupled with the new Chinese regulations is going to cause some significant holes in everybody’s schedules. It would’ve been really nice to be able to count on a new different market. Not only would VIPKid have kept the teachers that they already have, but it would’ve given us all a chance to expand into these other markets. If you want to expand into the current Korean market, for example, you need to get rid of your Chinese students. It’s an either-or situation. And I think that’s horrible. What is even more of a challenge at VIPKid is that they now have 90,000 teachers and 700,000 students. That means just over 7 students a teacher, and that does not a full schedule make. And sure, I have heard all of the other teachers with their “That doesn’t account for parents booking multiple slots” or “There are other factors involved and we are #blessed.” But I am a cynic and they ain’t seeing the holes that I am. And. I. Used. To. Be. Fully. Booked. And I am talking about 80 classes a week.
Felix and I start a two hour Sunday weekly program this week. I am kind of playing with the idea of opening up slots on Sunday to VIPKid but I am on the fence because it really isn’t that much time. The only way to do it is if I wake up really early on Sunday morning and teach until Felix gets here. So for instance, teaching from 8 o’clock to 11 AM and then teaching Felix until one. I am not sure that I want to wake up that early on Sunday as I do need one day to sleep in.
Still, this is my dilemma and I will attack it with the ruthlessness that I usually attack most of my problems. By which I mean I’ll figure it out at the last minute. Over in the writing world, I gave up my Thursday this week to meet up with a friend who lives in the Hague. It was really nice to catch up with my friend and his son who decided that he was going to make a fort out of pillows at the restaurant we were at which was amusing. Still, I feel guilty for not being at the Writers Group as I don’t like to give up on my writing quite so easily. But there is always next week and I have updated my MacBook to another software version so let’s see if I’m able to actually log into the Internet at the bookshop this coming week.
That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always there’s more to come.