The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
 
 
User: Guest

Home / Life  % width posts: 22

Freelance English teacher - Are Polish people unreliable? They continually cancel lessons...


Luvie 3 | 4
24 Jun 2012 #1
I just wanted to know why Polish people don't like paying for services. I am a freelance English teacher and I have found some Polish people to be unreliable. They will pay 3,000zl for the new iPhone or iPad but when it comes to learning English they continually cancel lessons or claim they don't have enough money for lessons. And these are the same people who say that they are serious about improving their English language skills. It frustrates me, because I am finding it difficult to make a living in this country. And for the record, I came to this country because of my (now ex) fiance. Now I am trying to make enough money so I can go to Germany.

Anyway, I just wanted to know what other people think about Polish people. Do they seems unreliable to you?
Bieganski 17 | 901
24 Jun 2012 #2
Poles are not unreliable; many just have very good intuition.

You already admitted you are frustrated and added you just want to make enough to move to Germany.

I think it is more a matter of prospective students picking up on your negativity and short-term outlook and realizing it won't be money worth spending.

It's only human nature to want to learn in a positive social environment where a student can be comfortable knowing his or her teacher is committed to delivering quality. You don't need to worry about getting any of that out of an iPhone. A teacher/student relationship is completely different from the purchase of a gadget.
pawian 170 | 11,330
24 Jun 2012 #3
Do they seems unreliable to you?

Some are and some aren`t. I would say that about 10% of my private lessons are cancelled due to various reasons, and unreliability makes about 2%, usually in adult classes.

You seem to have little experience. Try to teach English in other countries, then come back and relate your adventures with reliable clients. :):):):)

I think it is more a matter of prospective students picking up on your negativity and short-term outlook and realizing it won't be money worth spending.

:):):) Excellent remark.
4 eigner 2 | 831
24 Jun 2012 #4
Poles are not unreliable

let's put it that way, many of you guys don't stick to agreements and promises (my own experience). Different world, different culture, different people.
rybnik 18 | 1,462
24 Jun 2012 #5
It frustrates me, because I am finding it difficult to make a living in this country.

why not collect up front for a block of lessons?
Ironside 49 | 10,304
24 Jun 2012 #6
I came to this country because of my (now ex) fiance.

How come?
pawian 170 | 11,330
24 Jun 2012 #7
why not collect up front for a block of lessons?

Not practised in Poland.
scottie1113 7 | 898
24 Jun 2012 #8
they continually cancel lessons

I've been teaching in a private school in Poland for five years and I also have private lessons. I've never had a cancellation. Postponements or reschedules, sure. That's life. Maybe they're sick or have to work late. Whatever. It happens to all of us.

My cardinal rule is that if a student doesn't show up for a lesson without notifying me in advance, our relationship as student-teacher is over. That's just common courtesy. And it's never happened to me.

I don't advertise for private lessons. My private lessons are either referrals or former students. They're looking for a high quality lesson and that's what I give the,. I've been with some of them for years. It's all about attitude, professionalism and preparation, even for a coversation lesson.

why not collect up front for a block of lessons?

Some teachers in Warsaw do this, and if a student misses a lesson-for any reason-they still get charged. I think that's deplorable.
eberhart 13 | 120
25 Jun 2012 #9
Despite what the nationalists say and despite whether the OP has a bad attitude or not...Poles cancel things a LOT. Everyone I know who teaches has cancelations all the time and most are professional teachers. "I am sick" is the common excuse.
pawian 170 | 11,330
25 Jun 2012 #10
let's put it that way, many of you guys don't stick to agreements and promises (my own experience).

I don`t mind when an adult learner cancels a lesson. I am even glad that I will have more time for myself and family.

Different world, different culture, different people.

Yes, definitely. :):):):)
LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431
25 Jun 2012 #11
When it comes to cancelling private lessons last minute Poles are no different than others. No better or worse. I have a friend who teaches French in the US and it happens to him all the time with his private students.

You need to have a 24 hours cancellation policy and charge for cancellations otherwise you will be messed around.

Scottie1113's comment is sensible but a bit too strict because students should be able to cancel lessons in case of emergency if they are stuck at work or be sick or whatever , as long as they pay who cares for the teacher should not be penalised and waste his/her time and money.

The best is to explain this to your students during the first lesson and inform them that you will charge them for last minute cancellation or try to ask students to enroll for a block of 10 lessons or more, after all if they attend a language school that's what they ll have to do.
scottie1113 7 | 898
26 Jun 2012 #12
Scottie1113's comment is sensible but a bit too strict because students should be able to cancel lessons in case of emergency

It's not strict at all. Last minute cancellations happen and I accept that. What I don't accept is no notice at at all and a no show. I always explain this during our first meeting, which is free, And as I mentioned, it hasn't happened in five years. It works for me.
rybnik 18 | 1,462
26 Jun 2012 #13
I agree. The teacher sets the rules. My daughter's piano teacher had a similar understanding with her students(parents). It kept us honest.
natasia 3 | 368
26 Jun 2012 #14
Not practised in Poland.

I always practised that ... and it worked ... but then again, I was adored by all my students (especially the teenage boys ; ) ....

MY THOUGHTS:

Poles aren't exactly unreliable, but what they are is pretty ruthless, and they will usually do what is right for them, without any scruples.

You might get the odd lesson missed, but usually only due to genuine reasons, and usually made up and accompanied by a lot of apology.

If you are getting a lot of cancellation/not paying, I'm afraid to say that is because they probably aren't happy with the lessons. They won't be English and say 'sorry, this just isn't working out' - they will just vote with their feet.

Sorry to say that, but my advice is: think about how you are as a teacher, and how good your lessons are, and how satisfied your clients are. Students who enjoy the lessons and feel they are worth it will not cancel, and will pay.
LwowskaKrakow 28 | 431
26 Jun 2012 #15
Luvie has probably not asked to be paid when the lesson was cancelled .In anycase teaching private students means highly unpredictable income because if you have 4 or 5 students scheduled per week and each of them cancels last minute for various reasons ,you lose all your week's expected money and your time.

Scottie1113 has the best strategy, make things clear at the end of the first meeting.

As for Natasia 's comment linking cancellations with quality of teaching, i don't believe that: If a student is unhappy with lessons it is easy to make up a story,give up and not schedule any lesson upfront.
poland_
26 Jun 2012 #16
Poles aren't exactly unreliable, but what they are is pretty ruthless, and they will usually do what is right for them, without any scruples.

I would agree with this point. My wife rescheduled many lessons with teachers, when I suggest it is wrong, she explains they will understand we have no contract with them.
WatWat 3 | 43
26 Jun 2012 #17
I think it is more a matter of prospective students picking up on your negativity and short-term outlook and realizing it won't be money worth spending.

So, so this and what Natasia said.

I've had no problems keeping students, and even had a few ask to keep on with me once I left the school I taught at. I've only had a few reschedules, they were very valid reasons, and I never had any problems collecting the money for the missed lessons (my cancellation policy is no later than 20:00 the night before).
scottie1113 7 | 898
26 Jun 2012 #18
Mine is more flexible than that. A call even five minutes before a lesson is fine with me if they suddenly find out they have to work late. At 20.00 the night before they might be feeling fine but if they wake up sick on the day of the lesson, have an accident with their car, anything, all they have to do is call.

My lessons are in my flat with the exception of one couple I've known for four years. He picks me up at my flat and drives me back to their flat where after three hours of lessons (90 minutes with each one), she always cooks dinner. Last year, in lieu of a lesson, we went looking for mushrooms in a forest. No charge for that one. :)

As I've said, the first lesson is free. I want to find out what they expect from me and I want both of us to decide if we want to continue working with each other. Since all my private students are either referrals or former students, we've always continued.

The money I receive from private lessons supplements my regular salary as a teacher. I don't need them as a sole source of income, so perhaps I can be more flexible than others. At any rate, I'm satisfied with my policy and very happy with my students. Sometimes we meet for coffee in addition to their lessons. We chat, and there's no charge for this. Value added I guess, and it builds loyalty both ways.
MummyM - | 3
26 Jun 2012 #19
I agree with having strict rules at the beginning, then everyone knows where they stand! i have worked with polish people for many years and have alot of close polish friends and aprt from the odd one I have met now and then, I find them very reliable!! :)
jon357 63 | 15,214
26 Jun 2012 #20
You need to set the rules right at the start - they won't respect you as a professional if they think you're desperate.
WatWat 3 | 43
26 Jun 2012 #21
Mine is more flexible than that. A call even five minutes before a lesson is fine with me if they suddenly find out they have to work late.

Well, I'm not totally unreasonable, but I don't tell them there are any exceptions. I actually travel to my student's homes (depending on how far), so it's rather a hassle if they cancel last minute. I live in a small town though, so traveling isn't as big of a deal, and it's better for me than having someone come to my home.

That said, when I move to a bigger town and start having students come to me, I might rethink my policy.
scottie1113 7 | 898
27 Jun 2012 #22
Well, I'm not totally unreasonable, but I don't tell them there are any exceptions. I actually travel to my student's homes (depending on how far), so it's rather a hassle if they cancel last minute.

That's a valid point, and it's also why I don't go to them. If they want me me, they come to me, with the exception I mentioned before.


Home / Life / Freelance English teacher - Are Polish people unreliable? They continually cancel lessons...
BoldItalic [quote]
 
To post as Guest, enter a temporary username or login and post as a member.