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Sorry, but my magic wand is broken

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by David Getling, May 15, 2018.

  1. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    Well, the silly season has come again. Just got a request from a mother whose son is struggling at physics, but needs an A* in his mocks. Of course, I told her that as they were just a few weeks away her son had very unrealistic expectations of what tutoring could achieve in that time, and so I was declining her request.
    Why, Oh why do parents and students have such ridiculous expectations? As the film says: you rush a miracle man, you get lousy miracles. Or, in my case, the miracle man won't even see you.

    I've also had a lazy boy who is a weak student, but after coming to me for a few weeks decided that he didn't want anymore tutoring until September. His mother has been told that I'm only prepared to help dedicated and conscientious students, so if he doesn't continue until the end of the school year I won't have him back. I get the feeling that the parents know full well that their son is a serious slacker, but aren't prepared to lay down the law.
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    You're so seriously unpleasant I'm surprised you have any students.
  3. doctoryes

    doctoryes Occasional commenter

    Unfortunately the new linear A levels where there are no external exams until the end of the course do seem to be encouraging some students to make less effort in Y12 than the old AS/A2 courses.
    I would take a Y12 student who had completed their mocks back in September if my tuition seemed to be making a difference.
    In my experience very few teachers would give A*s in mocks as this may make some students over confident.
  4. Kateray1

    Kateray1 New commenter

    As oth
    I agree with what others on here have said.
    Are you sure you want to continue teaching with such a negative approach to your students?
  5. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    That's David's unique selling point! Or at least it was until Bashkemesuesi came along...
  6. meggyd

    meggyd Senior commenter

    Yes unrealistic expectations. When coursework was still a part of GCSE I had a request after the hand-in deadline for tuition every day for an hour until the written exam. The pupil had a very low coursework mark and needed more or less full marks for the written exam to get a C.
  7. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    £££ !!! I hope you accepted
    bevdex likes this.
  8. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    What Kateray, Adam and Peakster don't appreciate is that not being a lovey dovey, bleeding heart liberal, who is prepared to be messed around, and have sand kicked in your face, does not make you a nasty person.

    These posters might care to reflect on why students often stay the whole two years with me, why some of their parents are very grateful for my services, and why, at the end (or Christmas) quite a few turn up brandishing bottles of wine or boxes of chocolates:D.
  9. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    Maybe, like me, Meggy had the integrity not to take a parent's money for a goal that she knew couldn't be delivered.
  10. meggyd

    meggyd Senior commenter

    No. This pupil was a time waster. It was mfl. The pupil just needed to sit down and learn the vocab. He couldn't be bothered to do his coursework with all the help available. I teach. I don't babysit.
    bevdex likes this.
  11. Bashkemesuesi

    Bashkemesuesi New commenter

    That's very unfair, especially coming from someone who hasn't even bothered to post on the thread you're thinking of. I am evidently FAR more accommodating than David in many ways, e.g. being willing to travel, to take on sub A level students and so on. The big thread aims to expose the fill of students with a "negative approach" to their studies, who then take it out on me when an instant miracle doesn't occur.

    edit: Folly of students
  12. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    gainly and ah3069 like this.
  13. Bashkemesuesi

    Bashkemesuesi New commenter

    "There's nothing wrong with the children, only the governesses".

    Seriously Adam, are you stepping out here to defend either of the cases I've described in detail so far (where in one case the mum actually admits that the reason given is phony), or those I've briefly touched on so far? While not even daring to do so on the very thread itself?

    If you still don't get it, here's a direct comparison that will definitely make you change your mind:

    Two years ago I had a first session with one Y13 student on one day and another Y13 student the very next day. Not only that, but we did mechanics both times. So far, so equal.

    Guess what? The first one dropped out a few days later. The second one said, at the end of that first session, in the mum's presence, that I'd taught more than the schoolteachers had. I carried on right through to exams, got a little present at the end, and a TY note at results time with particular reference to my help in mechanics (which occupied most of our sessions).

    So Adam: was I a bad tutor one day and a brilliant tutor the next?

    Or are some people just ineluctably fussy, while others are responsible and cooperative and duly reap the rewards in time?

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