Why didn't my student book another lesson?

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10 comments

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    Getulio Tamid (Edited )

    Big time thank you for the article! 


    That was really helpful and made me understand that I have made the right choices and I am so glad that it worked out. Although my slot is weekly fully taken I have regular and loyal students because it is not only a matter of extending the red carpet but being attentive and considerate to the students needs. 
    It is a shame that many teachers and tutors will not read this article because it could really be enough in terms of avoiding mistakes that will jeopardize the whole thing. Although I also happen to agree with my peers that italki sometimes charge so little from students, for instance, they accept students who don't place a simple profile picture. Such a simple thing! We teachers are sometimes in the dark as well. 

    Long life to italki! 
    Thanks

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    Angela Palmitesta

    L'articolo è sicuramente utile per chi ha poca esperienza di insegnamento e non ha seguito corsi di didattica sull'insegnamento della lingua. Sicuramente è utilissimo se qualcuno, entrando in classe, "dimentica"  che ci sono anche  regole comportamentali  da seguire mentre si fa una lezione e che l'insegnante deve  sempre dimostrare di possedere anche  un modello di educazione  ineccepibile.

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    Hank

    I think this list might be a bit discouraging to some teachers.  For example, I feel like sending a bunch of messages to a low level student will overwhelm them.  Also, I have taken the advice of thanking each student for booking a lesson and asking them what their goals are, but almost no students respond to the messages I send.  Maybe 2 total have done so.

    I think the problem of understanding the students needs is not solved by the teacher info form.  All incoming students should be required to take a level test, such as duolingo's. Ideally the test would determine some things they could improve, and the student could confirm those items.  I know italki wants to give teachers autonomy and I really admire that, but when only one out of seventy students gets what they are looking for, I feel like that isn't an issue with my teaching.  If not a level test, then something to break up the notion of cup and bottle teaching, where I'm a jug full of water and the student is an empty cup and I simply pour the knowledge into them.  I think italki needs to be a bolder about shaking up peoples' expectations about learning.  Not sure if I was able to state a clear case for that, but yeah.

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    Lauren USA English (Edited )

    I'm a community tutor (with many students who book multiple lessons) but when I imagine myself as a student I feel that it's more likely that I wouldn't continue taking frequent lessons with someone because I don't want to spend that much money on something that I can learn by myself watching videos and talking to myself (how I learn languages.) I know not everyone learns that way, but it is true that many students are not financially committed to investing this much, or mentally committed (and there's nothing we can do to convince them.) The reality is that most people cannot maintain the same level of motivation over a long period of time for something in their life that's not required of them, no matter what we do. That being said, there are some points on this list that are unacceptable and easy to avoid if you're a decent teacher. I think we have to take responsibility where it's obvious but also understand that at the end of the day we can do everything right and the student still may not be financially/mentally committed.

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    Karen Muñoz S.

    Yep I agree with most of this. Now we need the teacher's version. Most of the time I give everything, additional material, clear explanations and they don't study at all :S so next lesson we need to study again. 

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    Corina_Elena

    I agree with Karen Munoz. Teachers should have the opportunity to express their views as well. I think that most of the students expect teachers to be perfect, but almost no one takes the time to ask for the teachers' point of view. I would be more than glad to take part in such a survey.

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    Małgorzata

    While I agree with the list, another question comes to my mind: did the students say what do they need? Being a teacher with some years of experience and teaching the same people for years (over 100 lessons booked by one person) I know that very few people respond to the messages when I ask them before our first lessons about their learning experience, goals, expectations. I can't read anyone's mind and guessing only by the profile on Italki is fairly not enough. It maybe the reason why now I teach only the "old" students. Another problem is that they don't read the course description and they book, for example, a conversation for advanced learners while they can just say "Hello" in Polish (the language I teach on italki) so how could I be prepared for that? 

    And, I am a language learner myself. I teach and study on italki, so I'd dare to say I know both sides of the problem.

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    Kyla

    Thank you for the list! It's helpful. As a teacher, I'd like reply to some of the comments above. I usually get replies from almost all of the people I message. If they are booking a trial lesson for conversation, I start correcting their mistakes almost immediately (kindly, of course). I think that helps students build trust in you as a teacher. I would suggest that if the students do not reply to a message asking an important question, you should not accept their lesson request. When you decline it, just explain to them that it was because you felt you didn't have the information needed to prepare and leave the option open for them to book again if they reply. I have some students who have a huge time difference with me in their countries. I let those students know if it is not likely I can meet their needs for booking so they can choose whether it's worth it to book a package. Being honest and upfront always helps! 

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    Yanawut Paeyai(Arty)

    It's useful article , Thank you.
    .
    Every time I teach I really think about students.
    His purpose that he wants from studying each time.
    And find ways to support him to succeed.
    That gives students the benefit of studying in every class.

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    Viktoria

    Hi dear teachers! As a student I would like to share my point of view, too. There are so many good teachers on italki. With different personality, spoken languages, experience, age, gender and focus. I really think you should not take it personally if a student does not book you anymore. It can just happen that one teacher fits better than another one. I would stuggest you to dare to show more of your personal interest. For me it is really important to find someone whom I feel on the same wave. And that is just not easy, at all! The more one feels «safe», the more you can open up about yourself and your feelings and thoughts, experiences. Teaching a language for me is about knowing myself better and daring to express myself! I will definitely not talk about other people, but about me and my opinion in a discussion. So, that said, keep up the good work, and maybe also dare to ask your students to give you a feedback! We all need feedbacks! Good luck with your old and new students!

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