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A tale of three girls

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by David Getling, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    Over Friday and the weekend I gave 5 hours maths tuition to a young lady who had come home from an excellent university for the weekend. I had tutored her in maths and physics for the previous two years, when she attended what is considered to be a very good school.

    Another young lady has to be driven here, as she is a reasonable distance away and would find it really difficult to get here with public transport. I teach her chemistry, and she always has a smile and appreciates her lessons with me.

    However, for girl number three it's a short but very different story. Firstly she came via UK Tutors, which is often a bad sign as their introduction fee is a lot less, unless tutors collect the other half, which (like myself, up to now) many don't. The night before her second lesson she sent a text saying she had to attend a parents' evening at school, and that for the following week (half-term) she was going to Romania on holiday. Now, this morning, before her lesson today, she has cancelled completely. She goes to a pretty useless school, and definitely needs the tuition, and it's also easy for her to get here.

    The lesson to draw from this is that when you lose a student it isn't necessarily down to poor performance on your part. Some students have very unrealistic expectations, and some are just down right peculiar and nasty.
     
  2. doctoryes

    doctoryes New commenter

    Yes David, I usually find that pupils from certain schools are more committed to learning than others.
    I do find that unrealistic expectations can be different at both ends of the spectrum. There are independent schools near me that have their own standards for grading pupils which are way too high as well as those with low expectations.
    I don't think she was being unreasonable in letting you know she was away for half term for one week but the other absence should have been foreseen.
    I had a Y12 pupil last year who informed me that she couldn't make it to the lesson as she was on a UCAS trip to city 10 miles away and the coach was delayed. I know this wasn't true as my Y12 daughter was on the same trip and was back on time. So I ditched the student as she obviously wasn't being truthful!
     
  3. Telvis

    Telvis New commenter

    Over the last few days I've had a tale of three boys.

    The first boy, a Year 8 pupil, comes along with his older sister. He's normally hard to engage, but a best deal question on toilet rolls seemed to capture his imagination and he fervently set about doing the working in his jotter. When he got to the bottom of the page instead of turning over the page he continued writing onto my table cloth! A gentle reminder to him to use his jotter had no effect and he just carried on, and only a stronger reminder of Mrs T's wrath regarding the table cloth if she saw it had the desired effect. And when a more difficult question came up he's one of those kids who suddenly have a desperate need to use the toilet.

    The second boy is the most surreal hour of the week. It's bizarre, irrational and fantastical, but he's the nicest boy I've worked with and he always gets the work done. He's Y10 and very high maintenance, and I'm constantly firing off one liners for his amusement and attention, but it seems to work and he loves coming along. I'd be busy explaining Pythagoras or something, and the next minute an iPhone is in front of my face and my head is on a rocket flying to the moon! And when his mum comes in they have a kiss on the lips! As I said, totally surreal but a strangely enjoyable lesson.

    The third boy is Y10, hard-working, reliable, and is a pleasure to work with. He's the kind of pupil I'd be happy to fill every slot with.

    I must admit to having a preference to working with girls, as the boys can be very hit or miss but girls seem more reliable and want to come along. Does anyone else find this?
     
  4. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    When I taught in schools I definitely had a very strong preference for teaching girls. I've very fond memories of the time I spent teaching at Christchurch Girls' High School. I don't think there was a single day there I didn't enjoy.

    However, as I only tutor A-level both girls and boys seem to be equally reliable and hard working.
     

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