Teacher Trepidation and a “Cold Call Collapse”

In the Chinese calendar, a new year has begun and so I wanted to wish you all a happy Chinese New Year. It is the year of the ox and may it be a better one than 2020 for all. This week at Inkreadable, was quite quiet in terms of lessons with VIPKid. In fact, on 11 January I had no classes at all with VIPKid. I did, however, have 2 1/2 hours with Lingueo so the day was not a total loss. The fluctuations across my schedule are better than some teachers are reporting. But I also don’t open 80 classes a week with VIPKid anymore.

Percentagewise things have been OK. But at this point, VIP no longer gets priority in terms of bookings. Rather I schedule my VIPKid around everything else. It seems to work OK, and it helps that Lingueo has a cancellation policy that if you cancel well before the 24 hour mark there is no penalty. I’m not sure if there is a penalty within the 24 hour mark. At least on the teacher side. This past week my student had Internet issues and I’m not sure if there’s a penalty for her or rather the company she works for, in terms of payment of a lost class. Because Lingueo is actually subsidized by the French government none of the students actually pay. I’m not sure what portion the companies that my students work for pay but I can’t imagine there is Any monetary penalty to them.

This weeks slow down has allowed me to do really well in terms of lesson prep. I’m currently running about a week ahead of schedule. Which is great because on the weekends I can actually just teach and not lesson plan. This weekend my schedule shifted a bit with Karolina having a Valentine’s Day weekend away with her partner, so I contacted my Chinese clients to see if they wanted to take her slot. They did so my Sunday ended at 1:00 instead of 2 pm. I spent the rest of the day reading and binge watching TV. I am not a Valentine’s Day person, as that holiday is manufactured and the real Valentine’s Day has a far darker history than many people realize. Jasper was on call anyway with his work, because as he told them ” I don’t need Valentine’s Day to show my girlfriend that I love her” Which was sweet and amusing as I could care less about the holiday. Still it was nice to do nothing.

I had a chat with a friend who works for the English Center this week and she gave me some very useful tips for companies to contact here in the Netherlands. One is a company that teaches English the kids in the context of summer camp either a day camp or sleep away camp. The sleep away camp happens at a castle and teachers get room and board and paid. It’s like a weeks vacation to play games with kids. I will definitely have to look into that. The other that she gave me is for adults and I’m not to sure about anything else. I have my research cut out for me with these two companies. I forgot, it’s actually three companies.

My friend Despina over at Lexis Amsterdam very kindly introduced me to the director of a company called Square Mile via email. Unfortunately, they are not hiring as they are trying to protect their existing teachers. Which I was really happy to hear because it feels like across all of my platforms, the companies are hiring teachers when there’s not enough work for the teachers they already have.  Also, I was very happy that they sent a nice sounding email to tell me they weren’t hiring. Which was a totally different experience to the two sentence email I received from the headmistress of the Amsterdam International Community School. I think that she’s been living in The Netherlands for too long and had forgotten that the Brits and the   Americans need a bit more modals than their Dutch counterparts. Despina also let me know that I should contact another company called language corner. It will be a busy week indeed in terms of research.

But as hinted at in the title above, all of this causes me no end of trepidation. I am not very good at selling myself, and my hustle has been fairly passive. Pounding the pavement has never been my strong suit and  up selling myself is really hard. Writing a letter or an email to ask whether people are hiring has never been easy as I agonize over it.  But really the  AICS experience has soured me on “cold emailing” my qualifications and such.

In addition, my trepidation stems from the fact that I get MRI results later today. I think I told you, dear reader, that my MRI results were published on the hospital portal and neither Jasper nor I could make heads or tails of them. I am wise enough to know that if it was really a problem the doctors would’ve called me in much quicker than they have. But that doesn’t stop me from worrying a little bit. I am also a little bit worried about my upcoming consultation with eye doctors in March but that is kind of at the back of my mind and isn’t really the reason I’m a bit stressed now. Still all things shall pass and there isn’t anything that I can do about the results at the moment anyway so I’m trying not to think about it.

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

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