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to be really peed off with my students

(13 Posts)
MuchLessTiredNow Thu 04-Sep-08 20:41:36

I privately teach German and have acouple who should come every week. Last week they cancelled at 10 minutes notice; the time before only one turned up and was really not interested and tonight he tunred up alone again and asked me to translate a letter for him before we started then afterwards said he couldn't concentrate and then left. They neer do their homework, which means I can't progress from one week to the next with them, and then they complain they aren't getting anywhere. My issue is that I have to prepare for each lesson, which takes between 1-2 hours, and so that time is lost, but also, if I knew they weren't interested tonight I could have sat down with Dh and had a nice evening, rather than bolting supper so we were cleared up in time for the students.

MorningTownRide Thu 04-Sep-08 20:55:36

Das ist sehr scheisse??

Sorry, got a D for GCSE!

Are they paying you?

WilfSell Thu 04-Sep-08 21:03:58

Sorry if I sound dismissive but YAB a bit U.

Adult learners are often like this: they have busy lives, after work, sometimes other non-work or family commitments too, and they're paying you privately so they will feel it's a bit up to them whether or not they commit or do homework.

You might have to adjust your expectations a bit. You can't really begrudge them the preparation you do - you can save it for next time. Expect them to pay you but also sometimes not be 'there' or to cancel at short notice. Be clear that their learning is their responsibility and perhaps raw up a learning contract with them if they are willing. But beyond that, I think you just need to accept that you can't progress as fast as you might want with some people.

WilfSell Thu 04-Sep-08 21:04:53

draw up a learning contract...

SubRosa Thu 04-Sep-08 22:53:28

YABU to some extent, in terms of the statement: "Adult learners are often like this:" although I agree that they're being somewhat unreasonable.

Ich bin der Meinung, dass es keine einfache Lösungen gibt

SubRosa Thu 04-Sep-08 22:54:45

Damn, I read it too quickly and thought the OP had made that statement..........durr.

Acinonyx Thu 04-Sep-08 23:08:59

How long is each lesson? How can it take 1-2 hours to prepare?? It should be 30 mins tops and then it won't be so annoying. Definitley draw up or discuss a learning contract or similar so they understand their own responsibility. This happens a lot with private tuitions (I used to do them). It is annoying when it is extreme and I have occaisionally stopped teaching someone because I just got fed-up.

Also, less than 24 hours notice should incur full fees.

MorningTownRide Fri 05-Sep-08 09:48:57

Wo sind Sie OP? Zurückgekommen!

Ich liebe Babelfish grin

Sassafrass Fri 05-Sep-08 10:45:13

When I tutor I always have my clients sign a contract which includes the statment that cancelling with less than 24 hours notice means that they have to pay the full fee.

MuchLessTiredNow Fri 05-Sep-08 13:02:36

Hi, I am here again - computer locked up last night so I couldn't finish this. It takes that long to prepare as I find resources, photocopy, prepare oral exercises and gap fill exercises from german broadcasts from scratch, and also because I work to the specific needs and requests of the students - for example, the couple last night run a smallholding here and wanted specific vocabulary and business terminology. Onyx, if you can do that quicker then I take my hat off to you. Thanks for the understanding about my frustration. I too have private lessons and completely get that people have to cancel - but to turn up and expect a free translation service and then leave halfway through because he couldn't concentrate I thought was annoying and rude, to be frank. I think you are all correct in that in future I will have to draw up a contract.

georgiemum Fri 05-Sep-08 13:07:03

Refer them to another teacher. They sound like more bother than they are worth.

Acinonyx Fri 05-Sep-08 13:15:17

I hope you are charging a good enough fee. I can't help but think you are making this more difficult than it needs to be. Very conscientious, but perhaps underappreciated.

There are many texts on English for special purposes and surely there must be some in German. Surely you don't have to prepare all your own materials from scratch - unless you particularly enjoy it. I used to use a mixture and prepared my own materials in a batch to cover several lessons. Spending 1-2 hours preparing a single lesson would just make tuitions financially unviable to me.

MuchLessTiredNow Sun 07-Sep-08 11:32:14

yes, it is a pain, but I guess I felt that it was worth it if I was really helping the couple in question. I have a meeting with them this week where I shall address all the points of friction and see if I can find a way forward.

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