Trial Tales, Dizzying Dilation and Writing Restlessness

In last week’s post, I didn’t know whether my trial was going to turn into a regular student. But I needn’t have worried, even though there was a bit of an inner monologue going for the two days before she actually signed up. Alena is the sister-in-law of my WW friend Laura. To start we’re going to do 10 lessons once a week on Mondays. As she is not working she is able to be flexible which is great for me because at some point on Mondays I will have to start heading to Amstelveen to teach a client for TEC who still has 11 lessons left on his package.

I also have another private client who we will call Sean. He is Dutch and found me through my own website which was great. I was surprised, as my website is not the first that you come across one searching for English language teaching in the Netherlands. He wants 15 hours that will be in person on a Monday as well. With my Mondays sorted so nicely, it took the sting away from the loss of my beloved Sander. At least a little.

In other news, I’ve had some messages from students on Preply, One young woman who just wanted to talk for free. I think she was from somewhere in the Middle East and her family would not allow her to have lessons. Unfortunately, Presley is not a charity and I cannot work for free. I also got a message from a person in Russia who wanted to book a lesson. I gave the instructions but he never did it. On the platform it’s the student that books the trial lesson and there’s a big blue button on the teacher Profile to be able to do that. it really isn’t that difficult. Once I confirmed with support that that’s how students were supposed to book trials, I gave the instructions to my student but nothing came of that. I also had a lesson with a woman who is in Connecticut and has been living in the United States for 17 years but her life revolves around the Brazilian community and so she didn’t speak much English. I thought the lesson went really well she was engaged and laughing and seem to be enjoying the lesson that I gave her, But she did not confirm the lesson. As every single trial lesson on Preply is unpaid, I’m not sure there’s much I can do. I did contact support but have not heard anything as of yet. I sent countless messages and reminders to her to confirm the lesson and to encourage her to book classes but no joy. I am thankful for Lingueo, as I still have a bunch of lessons with them.

Over in VIPkid world, the trial gods have found me with a vengeance and I have at least one or two trials every day that I have a 50/50 chance of teaching. Unfortunately, I’m not very good at turning the trials so I rarely get the extra five dollars. I really don’t like the trials because they don’t show the parents what the kid will actually be learning. Instead it seems that the marketing ploy a VIPkid with regard to trials is “come to VIPkid and you’ll get 30 minutes of alone time”. So while other people think that they’re actually teaching, what we do is not teaching it’s edutainment and it deserves to be treated as such. I am no longer #Grateful #Blessed or #Thankful. In short, I am not one of those VIPKid teachers for whom this is an escape, or an extra source of income. It is getting more and more difficult to want to teach on the platform. In effect I have stopped opening from 9 to 11 AM my time because those slots don’t book anyway. Unfortunately, I may have to once the Lingueo contracts run out especially as Preply seems to be dead in the water for me.

The Thursday night writing goes well, at least in terms of trying to get some thing down. But it’s not a 1000 word bonanza or anything, and I’m finding that even staying focused for an hour and a half on the computer can be quite difficult when you’re writing. The time tends to pass agonizingly slowly for the amount of thinking that I do. Still, I’m happy to get anything down at all in our Thursday writing sessions. The weekend writing session on Sunday was spent trying to figure out why I couldn’t edit this post on the computer since I couldn’t see the block previews.

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

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