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"Thar she blows!"

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by Bashkemesuesi, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. Bashkemesuesi

    Bashkemesuesi New commenter

    Anyone here landed a whale?

    Those of you patient enough to read through the pith of my maiden thread on student timewasters will probably have assumed, fairly enough, that September-November 2017 was the worst single two-month period in my entire tutoring career. So it will likely astonish you to learn that in fact, overall, I consider it to be without a doubt my best two-month period up to that point. Here is why:

    Early that September, before any of those fly-by-nights had come on the scene, I got an enquiry which led to a situation the likes of which I've never seen before and will very probably never see again. A family with both parents doctors and with five homeschooled children, of whom the oldest three had taken various international GCSEs and AS levels, and had passed but wanted better grades, and the parents considered that they'd reached their limit in terms of how far they could teach their children at that level from the textbooks - which is where I came in, not to teach things from scratch, but to review how they were learning and correct mistakes and generally prepare them for the resits. NB these three are now 14, 12 and 10, so you can see how seriously their parents take their education to enter them for such exams at such ages. In the last few months I've also taken on the fourth child (8), whom the mum is hoping I can take through an accelerated process in time for GCSE next year, but I wonder if that wouldn't be pushing it a bit! We'll see.

    Now the key thing is that to this end, mum booked me in for four two-hour sessions a week. And because they're homeschooled I can do it in school hours, with no interference of my scope for taking on the usual evening students. As this procedure began, and carried on for a few weeks, I was understandably asking myself, as I'm sure you would to, "Is this for real? Can they really keep this up?" Well by the time November came round it had become perfectly plain that they were indeed perfectly in earnest about this - and in the last couple of months before exams they actually bumped up the hours to five two-hour sessions. So that by the time the last of the furtive five dropped out of view, I reckoned that quite frankly, even if ALL the other evening students (and yes, there were several who were perfectly decent and sensible) weren't there, just this one mammoth daytime client would be plenty for me to work on.

    Which brings me to the key point here: that this ongoing phenomenon (yes, they've carried on over the summer holidays, as term dates mean nothing to them, with a break last week and this, which explains why we took our family holiday to coincide with theirs) has led me to strike a much more cavalier posture to everyone else. I am now going to be much more selective; if possible, I shall take on nobody below Y11, and if anyone of that stage asks, I shall insist that they master their times tables before I take them on - which judging by past experience will immediately weed most of them out. I am also raising a couple of my prices, and (based partly on the examples and encouragement received on this forum, I'm happy to admit) I shall reserve the right to 'interrogate' potential customers more deeply than before, to sift their attitudes and motives as far as possible. Because as I say, even if the above means that I don't get ANY evening students (which however isn't going to happen), I couldn't care less because I've got enough to keep me happy anyway. In fact, there is every prospect of this situation continuing for years, right through to when their fifth and youngest child, who's probably counting to five around now, gets an A* in A level further maths, lol.

    Actually, the thought has occurred to me that if anything, being stricter in the terms, financial and otherwise, for my accepting students, may well lead to better quality students in terms of their stickability. Perhaps this is part of David's secret too, in charging £40 a shot - only really serious clients are going to come to him in the first place. But no point in speculating - I'll have to wait a few months to see if that turns out to the case.

    Anyway, back to my original question: has anyone else had an experience comparable to this?
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  2. ah3069

    ah3069 Occasional commenter

    You should change your name to Getling the second.
  3. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    You can't say that about the new King of Tutoring. In his short tenure, Bashkemesuesi has resurrected decade-old threads so he can share his thoughts, introduced a new standard of 5 paragraph posts, and given us permission to follow his agenda of validating his experiences. You should be more grateful.
    NoSuchThingAsNormal likes this.
  4. ah3069

    ah3069 Occasional commenter

    Although he has lost his title, he will always be the godfather of tutoring in my heart. No one quite repeats the same five points like David.
    adamcreen likes this.
  5. install

    install Star commenter

    Each paragraph is a lesson on how to waffle, waffle, waffle...:(:(:(
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
    ah3069 likes this.
  6. ah3069

    ah3069 Occasional commenter

    More waffle than Belgium
    KitKat30 and install like this.
  7. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Yes...similar hours to help an unfairly excluded student getting over his depression. We had four months to cover two GCSES, we worked flat out and thankfully he got them. Also do a lot of two hour chunks with EAL students each week.
  8. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Sounds a bit like child abuse. If they want kids sitting exams so early what other kind of pressure are they putting on them? Don't be complicit.
    gainly and langteacher like this.
  9. rehaank

    rehaank Occasional commenter

    Ever thought about writing an autobiography?

    Gripping to the end.
    ah3069 and langteacher like this.
  10. tsarina

    tsarina Occasional commenter

    Whats the opposite to waffle? Brevity? First prize goes to Mrsmumbles for a beautifully succinct yet detailed post. Just wonderfully phrased: "...to help an unfairly excluded student getting over his depression" .... there is a whole story in ten words right there:D
    Mrsmumbles and langteacher like this.
  11. gainly

    gainly Established commenter

    Perhaps TES should introduce a word limit on posts or a character limit like Twitter.
  12. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Not really needed. If I see something really long I just don't read it.
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  13. armandine2

    armandine2 Established commenter

    Don't run off with the au pair
  14. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Aw thanks Tsarina. I need to work on my brevity. So that was rather nice to read! I can do ranty...less secure on scanty!
    tsarina likes this.

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