Teaching Blues

Last week, I was told that a private student who comes to my home for lessons, wanted to change teacher.  She gave the reason that she was happy with my lessons, but wanted someone closer and who could teach her regularly once a week.  To be honest, I regret taking this student on.  She’s pretty low level, and at first she didn’t even take notes, or speak English to me, for that matter.  But after our lessons, it really did seem like she was progressing, bringing pencils and paper to class and even putting her lesson notes and handouts in a file, shock, horror!  When I first was introduced to her by my employer, she said she wanted to take her lessons on Thursday mornings.  This suited me just fine, although I am free Wednesdays-Saturdays, so there were plenty of options for her. 

During the course of our “time together”, she has switched days every week, changed from mornings to afternoons, meaning I had to teach while both of my children were around, skipped weeks all together (once three weeks gap) due to being busy with her business.  On all of these occasions, I have been accomodating.    I taught her from my own materials (and I don’t have any pre-prepared for her level), planning exclusively for her.  I have taught her with a sick L sitting on my lap and ignored my children squabble during our lessons, and made sure the house was clean and tidy every time.  For this I get 3000 yen per hour, which I think is a pretty sweet deal for her considering all the chopping and changing.  Of course, I don’t have to leave my house, but to be honest, driving to a cafe like a do for another student, would be ten times easier.

For our last two consecutive lessons, I have had to cancel.  Firstly, when I lost my voice, and secondly when L was throwing up all over the place.  I admit I felt awful having to cancel the first time, and then even worse the second, but my health and family come first.  I have a feeling this is what she got pissed off with.  So I was hurt and then angry for a while.  I’m at the stage now where I’m kind of glad that I don’t have to teach her anymore.  Of course, we will miss the income, but hopefully I can find another student in time. 

Then yesterday, I was told that two of the children at the kindergarten will stop taking lessons too.  So I’m feeling a little fragile right now.  I shouldn’t, I know, because I take time to prepare fun and useful lessons, which the other children enjoy.  The two children quitting, to be honest, aren’t interested in anything other than being little shits.  So I suppose I have to see this as a good thing too? Ho-hum…c’est la vie…


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