Friday, September 14, 2007

Professionalism with ESL Students

I always meet my potential ESL students for a free first meeting. This gives the student an opportunity to meet me, and me to meet the potential student so that we can decide whether we want to work together. This first free ESL meeting is as much for me as it is for them. If I get a weird feeling from the student, or just decide that we wouldn't be a good match, then the student has not spent his or her money needlessly. (I really don't believe that all that much teaching and learning can be accomplished in a first meeting with a student without knowing about the student.)

In our first meeting together, I always do a needs assessment. I follow a form that I've developed. Using this form and asking other relevant questions as needed shows the potential student that they are working with a professional. Since they are paying good money for my lessons, this helps to set the tone of what they can expect and it impresses the potential student.

Apparently, I'm one of a rare few ESL tutors in my area that offers a free first session. I don't understand why. It really pays off in the long run in finding quality students and happy students (and paying students!).


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