Received Tuesday, July 13, 2010
So I´ve been teaching English this summer in Spain since June. The first family that I worked with wanted 4 days per week and had a flexible schedule. For the last 2 weeks of June they were my only job so we pretty much made plans with 24 hours notice. Since the beginning of July I have added 2 more families, one just starting this week. Here´s the dilemma...
Family 1 - originally wanted mostly afternoons with some mornings and now has changed to wanting mostly mornings. They have 2 girls who are 4 and 8. The older girl is the one I´m mainly supposed to be working with. She is extremely rude and basically uninterested in me being there. At times I´ll just play with and teach the younger girl, who is also rude, but not as bad. When I´m just with the younger girl the older cries and says that I don´t like her and only like her sister even though 90% of the time I¨m there I´m with the older girl. Not only are they the most difficult kids that I work with, but their parents also pay the least.
Family 2 - From the start said that they wanted Monday, Wednesday, and Friday´s from 11 - 12:30 which seemed like it would work fine at first because family 1 at that time wanted afternoons. They have 2 girls 5 and 7 who are very polite, well behaved, and I actually have fun with! Both of the girls have had english lessons from a young age so me coming and doing activities isn´t anything new.
Family 3 - I just started with today, they have one girl aged 8 that I teach. They want me Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 - 1. This girl already speaks english well and was a real joy to teach today. Usually after about an hour of lessons with family 2 things start to get boring and I really need to get creative, however with this girl the 2 hours flew by. When I took this job I knew that family 1 wanted mornings and I only had those tuesdays and thursdays left, but I took it anyway without even trying to change the times.
I really like the PARENTS from family 1, they´re nice, funny, and respectful. They realize their kids are pretty bad and very difficult to teach and work with me quite a bit to help settle the girls but nothing really works. Not only do they pay the least, but I really just don´t like their kids at this point. The 8 year old isn´t your run of the mill rude but she asks things like ´how much are my parents paying you to be here?´ or ´why did you say you came at 12 when you got here at 12:03?´ ... are you kidding me? I told her that it was between me and her mother and that it wasn´t her business and let me tell you she did not like me saying that. She also controls everything.. there are a lot of examples but I´m sure most people here have dealt with the controlling older sibling so you get it.
Family 1 is starting to notice that I´m not coming ANY mornings anymore and they realize I´ve added other families. I know they want to talk tomorrow about why I scheduled other people at their preferred time spot. I´m not sure what to tell them.
a) just flat out tell them that other families wanted the mornings and because of the kids behavior I gave them preference
b) Tell them that the other families ONLY could do the mornings and didn´t have flexibility or..
c) I need suggestions!!
Clearly option ´A´ is a bit rude but it might be pertinent to the future when they have another english teacher because I know that my friends who teach said that they just flat out would not work with these kids. I´m a teacher, not their nanny or even babysitter, so its not my position to correct their behavior. The parents might benefit from knowing WHY they´re being put on the back burner.. but at the same time I really like the parents and have gotten to know the whole family (ie grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) from both sides of the family.