Client Conundrums, Recent Recommendations, and (Writer’s) Group Growth

It has been a rather fraught week here at Inkreadable, dear reader. Over at the English Center, it has been fairly quiet in terms of teaching. I currently only have two clients with them. Jean from Brazil is quite easy as what he wants is social English and lots of conversation so I have been doing lots of ESL Brains lessons because they’re interesting. Heleen who is my pronunciation client is easy to prep for because she has the same sort of issues that Roy, my former client had and so I can use a lot of the lessons that I had with him. So there’s not a whole lot of prep. The only prep that I do for Heleen is to look for songs that might be interesting for her as that’s what she does for a living. This coming week I have 4 hours in The Hague with the Polish woman who I shared with three other teachers. We have been communicating a bit about her lessons and I know that she’s done some travel vocabulary with another teacher. Because she has talked about travel and her work with multiple teachers I am a little bit at sea as to what to teach her myself. I have told the other teachers that I can do a review on her last class of the things that she still finds difficult so I’m hoping that people give me ideas for that. As for tomorrow, I am thinking of maybe trying a Linguahouse lesson that is speaking-focused.

The Polish woman and I had a wonderful first lesson and she indicated that she wanted to continue privately. But on Friday last week, she indicated to the English Center that she wanted to continue with them. I have decided that I am not going to mention continuing privately unless she asks me first. But I have decided that I will not be the teacher to travel to the Hague 3 hours a week. It’s a little bit too much time. But this is not the first time a client from the English Center has indicated they want to go private with me and then they decide to continue with TEC. I just find it interesting that people would rather spend more money than less. But the more I think about teaching in The Hague the less I really like it. It’s a full 3-hour commute round trip to go and teach for 1 or 2 hours and that is certainly not worth it even if they do pay for the commute. It’s too much time lost. And that’s a little unfortunate because I really like this student.

On Thursday evening this past week, I received a text from Amardip over at The Conversation Playground. He is no longer doing the Group Kids Lessons program that we were doing in 2021 but instead has transitioned back to IT and is building an app that will help teachers and students learn with the aid of virtual escape rooms. It had been a while since I had talked to him and I was very pleasantly surprised to get a text from him saying that he had an adult student who was interested in lessons. Before I got too involved, however, I told him up front that my private rate had changed to €55 an hour and his response was that he had not talked money with the student. So I said I would give her a call which I duly did on Friday. We had a lovely conversation with her in Dutch, and me in English. It was decided that I would give her a trial lesson. So I am giving her a half an hour trial lesson later this morning. On Friday I also met with a former English Center student for coffee and he is interested in lessons for his girlfriend. It seems that they are moving to America at the end of this year and she would like to reduce her accent so that people understand her. I offered him a trial lesson for her which he accepted but he asked me the talk to her directly which I did. She is waiting for her work to give her information about a major meeting that her work is having and then will let me know t her schedule. So she is on pause for the moment and I’m willing to do that because I think it foments good relations with students. I am quite pleased with the development because it means more potential especially since my digital marketing team is taking a little bit too long to put together my plan. I think even if ultimately don’t get the students it’s OK because at least I’m becoming known.

The writer’s group, dear readers, has grown to 1300 people on Meetup and 140 people on the WhatsApp group. Of course, we’ve only ever seen maybe 20% of those people once. What I am noticing, is that people tend to get very stressed out about the number of people in the WhatsApp group and I find it quite amusing. Less amusing is the fact that I have to constantly explain that we’ve not seen most of these people. I’m not sure what to do about it because I’m very weary of deleting people as I think that is rude. They are, of course, welcome to delete themselves from the group and then I delete them from my address book so that I don’t have 25 million numbers clogging up my phone. But sometimes I am very tempted to delete people and find I have an itchy trigger finger.

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

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