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  1. #1
    linguist_inside is offline Newbie
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    Default School Teacher vs. Private Tutor

    I am currently tutoring a schoolboy. The main purpose is to help him with his homework and help him get better grades so I base our lessons around his coursebook and try not to deviate from it so as not to confuse him. The problem I have encountered though, is that his school teacher does not reward kids for good performance. He used to get very bad grades but now he is improving and the teacher says it is not his merit but that someone is helping him. Obviously, I never do his homework for him, but I explain the rules to him and teach him to reason and make the right decisions as to which tenses to use, etc. Now we find ourselves in this situation: the pupil is scared of learning and performing well because he gets told off by his teacher for improving, and I cannot work with him in such a state of mind. I can't tell him not to listen to his teacher because she has a certain authority. Anyone been in a similar situation? Suggestions are welcome.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: School Teacher vs. Private Tutor

    How does the teacher behave towards other students? It sounds as if she has a problem- a student who recognises that they need extra help and who has the drive to get it is doing well in my book.

  3. #3
    Esgaleth's Avatar
    Esgaleth is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: School Teacher vs. Private Tutor

    Been there, done that. The easiest way out would be to change the teacher. If it's not feasible, I'd advise the parents to ignore the grades for the time being and simply relax and make sure the boy can enjoy the lessons and English in general. Children have a tendency to grow up very quickly and quite unexpectedly. When he acquires certain skills in English, he might well become less dependent on the teacher (and any authority for that matter). Theachers are not eternal either - helping with homework only you never know what to expect from a new teacher. I'd definitely focus on English if his parents don't mind a few lower grades right now.

  4. #4
    linguist_inside is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: School Teacher vs. Private Tutor

    Thank you all for your answers! I also think that his love of English language and knowledge in general is the most important thing. Yesterday's lesson was a bit difficult for me as he wasn't focused and seemed miles away. When I made a few remarks about how important English language is he said he doesn't care. That must be because his teacher doesn't reward him for trying his best. I tried to convince him that the only way he can win with this teacher is to continue showing good results and make her believe him no matter how long it takes. Our next scheduled lesson is on Saturday but today he came to my place and asked if I can tutor him today instead. I hope something I said sank in. I value this experience and any other difficulties I may encounter in my teaching career and I hope posting this online will help others who might one day find themselves in a similar situation.

  5. #5
    linguist_inside is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: School Teacher vs. Private Tutor

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    How does the teacher behave towards other students? It sounds as if she has a problem- a student who recognises that they need extra help and who has the drive to get it is doing well in my book.
    He says he is the only one she picks on like that, but I can't be certain of that as he is just a kid, might be overreacting.

  6. #6
    PeterValk is offline Member
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    Default Re: School Teacher vs. Private Tutor

    I have actually encountered the opposite reaction recently. I was asked to help the son of a friend of ours with his German lessons.
    He didn't really understand German ( he's Russian ) and had some problems with his teacher en he soon lost all interest.
    Needless to say his grades plummeted and things got worse.
    But when I started helping him by quietly explaining some things, he sort of rebounded and soon the attitude between teacher and student became more appropriate. He regained some interest and now his grades have improved.
    Problem solved. ( hopefully)
    Last edited by PeterValk; 29-Nov-2013 at 18:02.

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