How should I react?

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How should I react?

Postby Annapurna » Tue May 11, 2010 5:47 pm

I'm giving private English lessons and have a few students. I really love this work.

One of my students, 16, canceled her lesson today, one hour before it was due, and when I asked her, when we will do the next hour, told me that her mom would give me a call, and I thought: Uh-oh. I had a feeling she would cancel all lessons.

And so it happened.

I asked her why,- if she was dissatisfied with anything, and she told me that she had spoken to her daughter's English teacher in school, who allegedly recommended a 10 th grade student of school to her!!

I was offended!

I asked a few more questions and the mom was getting caught up in all sorts of other excuses, like: My daughter just doesn't want to come anymore. The truth is, this girl doesn't study at home, but chats on ICQ all the time, and I talked to both about this, not too long ago, but nothing changed. The mom talked to her daughter, who was pissed off as a result, and I recall the mother told me, initially the girl didn't want to come anymore after this. But, she seemed to have gotten over it.

All my other students rapidly improve in grades, but this girl doesn't, because she is lazy.

What would you do?

Would you give the school teacher a call and ask her if she really said that and why?
Or should I just drop it?

I am concerned she might do it again, without even knowing me, if it is true at all. I've a feeling they are lying to me.

Especially, because I'm certainly much more qualified than an 18 years old schoolgirl...
Or perhaps my mistake was, to show her a website where she can practice at home, and they figured they will continue with that on-line trainer? :thinking:


Thanks,

Anna :(
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Re: How should I react?

Postby PeterB » Tue May 11, 2010 6:16 pm

I would ventilate my feelings to someone neutral Anna..which you are already doing here...and then drop it.
Obviously its annoying, and you will ask yourself if you could have or should have done anything differently etc..
But in the end people have their own agendas and sometimes they coincide with ours and sometimes not.
Hopefully you will get lots of other hours from other pupils.

:anjali:
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Re: How should I react?

Postby Tex » Tue May 11, 2010 6:44 pm

Hi, Anna.

I used to teach piano and guitar to kids of all ages, including teenagers. I had several similar to the one you described, which is to say "not interested in this enough to do what's required to learn it".

Even the best teacher in the world can't make a young person become interested in something if they're just not interested in it.

And I definitely would not call the school. This could be a blessing in disguise if you end up spending that same time slot with a better student who will gain more from your efforts.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: How should I react?

Postby Annapurna » Tue May 11, 2010 7:10 pm

Thank you, Peter and Tex.

Peter, you're so right:

But in the end people have their own agendas and sometimes they coincide with ours and sometimes not.


Hopefully you will get lots of other hours from other pupils.


Thank you. I hope so too. :smile:

Tex, thank you. It's helpful for me to hear about your experience, obviously you have a lot more than me. I've only been doing this for about a year now. She was my first student, and I still hear her mother saying: "What a blessing we found you, Lisa loves to come to you".

But before she came to me, she was with another teacher, and tired of him. Same old story. So now they're going to try a new one, until s-he finds out Lisa just isn't going to study, no matter with whom, and doesn't want to hear that she won't find a job with bad grades. She's a (spoiled) little princess, very sweet, but not fit for the 'real' life. Never had to work before...barbecued doves fly into her mouth.

This could be a blessing in disguise if you end up spending that same time slot with a better student who will gain more from your efforts.


Very true! I usually try to keep this in mind...

Only a while ago I lost a booking, fretted a little, but then thought: Perhaps it's better this way. I wasn't comfortable with the people.

I now got a booking from an old schoolmate which I'm a lot happier with, -for now.

I think what peed me off was the way in which she replied to my absolutely calm question, why:

"Are we married to you???"

:shock:

:rolleye:

Very defensive.

Speaks for a guilty conscience, no?
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Re: How should I react?

Postby Tex » Tue May 11, 2010 7:42 pm

Annapurna wrote:barbecued doves fly into her mouth.


Never heard this saying before, but I'm stealing it immediately!
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: How should I react?

Postby Annapurna » Tue May 11, 2010 8:49 pm

It's a modification from the "Tale about the Land of Cockaigne".[I'm a huge fairytale fan]

Wikipedia wrote:George Ellis printed a 13th century French poem called "The Land of Cockaigne" where

the houses were made of barley sugar and cakes, the streets were paved with pastry, and the shops supplied goods for nothing.

According to Herman Pleij, Dreaming of Cockaigne: Medieval Fantasies of the Perfect Life (2001):

roasted pigs wander about with knives in their backs to make carving easy, where grilled geese fly directly into one's mouth, where cooked fish jump out of the water and land at one's feet. The weather is always mild, the wine flows freely, sex is readily available, and all people enjoy eternal youth.[5]

Cockaigne was a "medieval peasant’s dream, offering relief from backbreaking labor and the daily struggle for meager food."[6]

The Brothers Grimm collected and retold the fairy tale in Das Märchen vom Schlaraffenland (The Tale About the Land of Cockaigne).
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Re: How should I react?

Postby Aloka » Tue May 11, 2010 9:19 pm

What would you do?




Hi Anna,

I was a schoolteacher for many years, before leaving teaching and becoming a complementary therapist.

My advice to you is to just let it go and move on.


Kind regards,


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Re: How should I react?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue May 11, 2010 9:47 pm

why react?

what would it change?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: How should I react?

Postby Annapurna » Tue May 11, 2010 10:16 pm

Thanks, Aloka.

Manapa, nothing can be changed about the situation with Lisa.

But perhaps future damage can be prevented. This school teacher "unrecommended" me, without even knowing me and caused me considerable financial loss. What does she think she is doing? Why? Is there bad gossip about me? I've had that before.

If it hurts me financially, that's where fun was had.

What if she does it again?

Don't forget, this is part of my livelyhood, and it hurts me to lose a student, only because a silly school teacher who doesn't know me at all badmouths me so much, that I lose a student.

I'm worried.

I've got to survive, it's hard enough already.
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Re: How should I react?

Postby Ben » Tue May 11, 2010 10:22 pm

Hi Anna

I wouldn't worry about it.
Its no reflection on you. I would say that there are other things going on between the teenage daughter and her mother.
Their lack of communication and rudeness says something about them, and not you!
Metta

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Re: How should I react?

Postby Annapurna » Tue May 11, 2010 10:39 pm

It's a possibility, Ben, thank you.

Puberty is a difficult age, indeed.

And this mother is very soft with her daughter and not doing her a favor with it.

It could be I hinted that and she took offence.

I suggested she introduce times for internet, AFTER times for studies, so Lisa's grades will improve, because she does NOTHING at home.

If studies are done, she can go online and chat, if not, then not.

Her mom replied to me, that then she would get stress with Lisa.....

And what do I hear next?

Lisa's got her own computer now!

Plus, who would supervise her anyhow? Nobody 's home. Mom's at work. Dad's at work.

Child is alone at home and surfs the web.

I'll make a prediction:

She'll be a teenage mom and depend on the state.
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Re: How should I react?

Postby Anicca » Tue May 11, 2010 11:00 pm

Annapurna wrote:...But perhaps future damage can be prevented. This school teacher "unrecommended" me, without even knowing me and caused me considerable financial loss. What does she think she is doing? Why? Is there bad gossip about me? I've had that before.

If it hurts me financially, that's where fun was had.

What if she does it again?

Don't forget, this is part of my livelyhood, and it hurts me to lose a student, only because a silly school teacher who doesn't know me at all badmouths me so much, that I lose a student.

I'm worried.

I've got to survive, it's hard enough already.


My wife and i have both taught for decades publicly, privately and at the university level. My wife has taught at home her whole career.

At the individual level - i think the advice to just let go of Lisa is best. That can hurt sometimes - each student is precious.

As far as the teacher goes - i would not confront her - but communication is key to prevent future problems. If there is anyway you can communicate and promote your services through any and or all of the schools in your area and get to know the teachers involved - often times they will appreciate having someone they know to recommend.

All that teacher knew is what your Lisa and her mom told her - who *knows* what that may have been.

Present yourself and your services in the best light possible to those who can help you. This may prevent it from happening again in the future - but people are funny. My wife went through a few years with one school were she was 'blacklisted' so to speak for no reason - but eventually, thru friends of friends and word of mouth - her reputation grew to where that school was giving her a great number of students!

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Re: How should I react?

Postby Anicca » Tue May 11, 2010 11:05 pm

Annapurna wrote:I'll make a prediction:
She'll be a teenage mom and depend on the state.

Even though you may know better - always think the best of and for your students - think the best thoughts possible for each and everyone.
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Re: How should I react?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 11, 2010 11:08 pm

Greetings Anna,

How should I react?


As taught by the Buddha here...

MN 2: Sabbasava Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: How should I react?

Postby Sekha » Wed May 12, 2010 12:23 am

similar situations occured to me several times. Some people make assumptions and judgements on you which sometimes have very few to do with the reality, especially teenagers and unfortunately their parents too. For a teacher, sometimes such unpleasant situations arise almost without direct causal connection with one's recent past deeds. In that case I just accept it, bear it as old kamma ripening, knowing it has arisen just to pass away.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

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Re: How should I react?

Postby Annapurna » Wed May 12, 2010 1:22 pm

Thank you so much, all.

I'm relieved to hear you guys have had similar experiences.

Anicca, I will try to make some personal contacts with teachers.

Dukkhanirodha, what you say is very true.

I also thought of old karma arising. I even know from where part of it stems: from last summer, when Lisa had to come to me twice a week during her vacation.

To make it easier on her, I (also) let her translate some English rock songs, while we listened to them, which pleased her very much, and I also asked her mom, if it was alright.

She was happy about it, that I am so "modern"!

Yesterday however, she attacked me with it: "You only did rock songs with her anyways!" :evil:

We only did grammar exercises, which shows how little this mother knows about her daughter. Lisa did great. I felt she finally had a major break-through, and loved doing the tests. I think it never worked better.

I still think the mother was made rebellious by this teacher, and,- I made up my mind to introduce myself to this teacher next week, and have a diplomatic little conversation with her.

In any case, I will make sure she will base her judgments on facts now, and not on assumptions or hearsay. And I may be able to understand where she is coming from...

Like I said, this is what I'm thinking right now, but I may change my mind about this until next week.

Thanks Retro for the link!

I'm ready to move on with the others. Who are motivated and are getting good grades now. :smile:

Metta,

Anna
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Re: How should I react?

Postby chownah » Thu May 13, 2010 2:49 pm

Annapurna,
Motivation is the most important thing in teaching young children . Different students are motivated by different things. It is clear that you were not able to motivate this one student.....it happens to all teachers. It is best to not dwell on the student's shortcomings since that will do nothing to help you improve your teaching skills....better to continue to think of new and better ways to motivate all of your students....which in my view is what every teacher should be doing every day.
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Re: How should I react?

Postby Annapurna » Thu May 13, 2010 4:58 pm

chownah wrote:Annapurna,
Motivation is the most important thing in teaching young children . Different students are motivated by different things. It is clear that you were not able to motivate this one student.....it happens to all teachers. It is best to not dwell on the student's shortcomings since that will do nothing to help you improve your teaching skills....better to continue to think of new and better ways to motivate all of your students....which in my view is what every teacher should be doing every day.
chownah


It is clear that you were not able to motivate this one student


Chownah, thank you, there is a lot truth in what you say!

But, let me share this with you.

I'm not a motivation trainer for the unwilling, .....but a coach for the willing....

I can only lead a horse to the water...but I can't make it drink....

See my point?

Anna
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Re: How should I react?

Postby chownah » Fri May 14, 2010 2:46 pm

Annapurna wrote:
chownah wrote:Annapurna,
Motivation is the most important thing in teaching young children . Different students are motivated by different things. It is clear that you were not able to motivate this one student.....it happens to all teachers. It is best to not dwell on the student's shortcomings since that will do nothing to help you improve your teaching skills....better to continue to think of new and better ways to motivate all of your students....which in my view is what every teacher should be doing every day.
chownah


It is clear that you were not able to motivate this one student


Chownah, thank you, there is a lot truth in what you say!

But, let me share this with you.

I'm not a motivation trainer for the unwilling, .....but a coach for the willing....

I can only lead a horse to the water...but I can't make it drink....

See my point?

Anna

My experience has been that most 16 year olds aren't interested in learning about much that requires a teacher or coach. If you don't try to motivate children then I think you will have alot of students who do not achieve what they might. In public schools in the US the ability to motivate is the major difference between excellent teachers and the rest....but you are doing private teaching so that's a different story. If you don't want to develop your motivational skills then there is no need for it....but I guess that your not wanting to develop motivational skills is not so different from your student's not wanting to develop English skills.....we all choose how to proceed and it sounds like both of you will do better because of the seperation.
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Re: How should I react?

Postby Annapurna » Fri May 14, 2010 5:15 pm

chownah wrote: If you don't try to motivate children then I think you will have alot of students who do not achieve what they might. In public schools in the US the ability to motivate is the major difference between excellent teachers and the rest....but you are doing private teaching so that's a different story. If you don't want to develop your motivational skills then there is no need for it....but I guess that your not wanting to develop motivational skills is not so different from your student's not wanting to develop English skills.....we all choose how to proceed and it sounds like both of you will do better because of the seperation.
chownah


Chowna, of course concluding from the obvious necessities of public schools in the USA to expensive private lessons in Germany is a bit hard.

And motivation is not the problem.
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