Saturday, May 12, 2012

A frustrating week

I've had students who asked to stop the tuition once they did well for their exams or once the holidays are here. Usually I don't agree, especially for graduating students because I think the time spent with me is worth many hours spent doing their own revision, unless proven otherwise. I'm in this business too for the money of course, but there are times where I think the student is so well trained and I've nothing more to offer to them, then I would either reduce the tuition time or simply drop the student. I think that's only fair. No point getting short term gains in terms of higher tuition fees now but lose your professional reputation. I'm in this for the long run, so no short term fix for me please.

When weak students requested to stop the tuition during the holidays or because of their good results, I feel cheated. Sometimes it's like I'm being penalised for doing such a good job to turn around their grades. It's almost like hiring a very good team of police officers to take over a crime infested part of town. When the crime rate starts dropping, the people who hired them suddenly felt that the high pay of the police officers are unwarranted. What's the point of hiring such a good team of officers when the town has low crime rates now? I realised there are two ways to see this problem. One is that the crime rates are low because the police officers are here. The other is that because the police officers are here because the crime rates are high. Since the crime rate is no longer high, the police officers should no longer be here.

Being the person paid for a fee based job, I'm of course impartial. But those who knew how to use me as a mentor/tutor would know that I offer a lot more than just to improve a short term obstacle such as an exam. It's the framework of looking at things that I can impart to students who stay with me for a long period. It's the observation and basically knowing the characteristics and behaviour of a person (I know a student would think this way or that before he or she even knows it) so intimately and well that I can offer advice tailored just for that person. Do you change a GP who had looked after your family for years? Do you change a dentist that had cared for your teeth for decades? Do you change the hairstylist who had cut and trimmed your hair every month for a good part of your life?

I doubt so. But people view tutors as replaceable. I despise that and I hated being used as such. Is it because of the high fees I charged? Perhaps. But I did offer suggestions on how I can charge a lower rate. Just find another person to group together. You can't expect me to give you the best that I can offer but not reciprocate by letting me earn my living. I'm a full time tutor. I do this as a profession and I do not have any other jobs besides this. Did I not compromise by lowering down the rates because you said that we could have more lessons since he needed the help? But when the exams are over and the holidays are here, you now said that the kid must learn how to depend on himself but if there's any questions or doubts, can he clarify with me? My phone is on 24/7. The kid can ask me anytime he needs and I'll solve the question on the spot for him, without charge even when I'm busy. Is that not support given enough from my side?

I'm perfectly fine with that if you really want the kid to learn how to be independent. But if it means that I've to work doubly hard after the holidays because the kid couldn't remember anything anymore and I've to revise everything again and at the same time, do the new stuff when school starts again, I'll tell you gently - I quit.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Noble chart