While the holidays are always slow, dear reader, it seems that this December will be slower than most. My Polish student has asked that we suspend lessons until January. While this doesn’t exactly pose a hardship for me, as she’s not one of my more lucrative students, she is fun and I really enjoy our sessions because I learn something new from her every time I talk to her. She wanted to stop after the sixth, which would’ve been this past Sunday. But because she contacted me early in the week, I told her just take the whole month off and we will start back up in January. Now when this has happened in the past, I have never seen the student again. Not sure if any of you remember as far back as￼ my Belarusian student, with whom I had three months of in real life lessons on a Sunday and then nothing. She moved to online lessons with Preply, and while I am on the platform, I haven’t been focusing on it.
And then. of course. there is the case of Felix, who in spite of his best intentions, once he got a job decided that he didn’t have the energy to learn English anymore. So let’s hope that Karolina comes back in January. Fingers crossed, but I’m a cynic about this and most things so I will believe it when I see it. And of course, dear reader, you will be the first to hear of it when I do.
There is always a bright side to these kinds of things however, I was able to move my Chinese twins a little bit further forward in the day taking part of Karolina’s which means that my day will end at 1:30 on Sunday instead of at two. Having an early afternoon on Sunday means that I can actually do something with my Sunday. Which in the corona times means cook or bake something.￼
Over in the VIP kid world, I got so desperate for bookings that I actually sent a ticket telling them that parents had told me that they couldn’t find me on the system. The answer I got from the company was “prove it”. Of course, I can’t prove it because they’re telling me on WeChat and I don’t want the company to know that I’m talking to parents. Or at least I don’t want them to officially know. I’m sure they know, because they’re not stupid. I did see a few trial bookings trickle in over the week but most of them are no-shows. And even when I teach a trial I don’t get the five dollars that we used to get when kids signed up after a trial with you. Apparently, if they don’t buy in the program that you actually taught then you don’t get the five dollars. And I suspect that is what’s happening with me. For example, if I teach a major course trial and they buy a starlight package then I don’t get that money. And vice versa. That is just another shitty way for VIPKid to shaft the teachers. But all in all, the experience of sending a ticket and having them do nothing, shows me where this company is going. And I fear in fact, for the future of online English language teaching in general. The market is simply oversaturated with too many teachers, too many companies, and not enough students. Leaving me to wonder if English language teaching is sustainable in the long term.￼
That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.￼