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3 Questions Parents Shouldn't Ask English Teachers

Viewed 4458 times 2019-7-1 10:03 |Personal category:Education|System category:Life

If you are looking for an English teacher or training center for your child, this blog will help to save face when asking questions to truly professional teachers.

Serious and conscientious parents are responsible for the child's education. Promptness to appointments and classes are essential if their student is going to be successful. We tell parents, 'if you are going to be late to an appointment, don't come.' I've heard every excuse under the sun. The most common excuse is, 'there was a traffic jam'. Well, here in Zhengzhou, every road has a traffic jam at least 50% of the time. So, 'traffic jam' is not a valid excuse. 

The fact is, if your child's education is important to you, you'll treat appointments with her/his teacher as a priority. Professional teachers are busy people. They take their students' learning seriously. They should never tolerate disrespect from a student's parent.

After 8 years of teaching English in China, I've talked to hundreds of parents of prospective students for my classes. I've heard some rather 'interesting' questions that have almost nothing to do with the quality of their child's English learning.

Here are 3 of the most common questions and what parents should ask or focus on instead.

1. 'What book do you use?'

I never dreamed that anyone would ever ask this question when considering who they want to teach their child. However, I've heard it many times.

First, Harvard College uses the same textbook for their classes as the low ranked, local community college. No matter the subject, most colleges use the same textbooks for each subject. The difference is not in the textbook. The difference is in the teachers/professors.

Second, most parents don't know English or learning methods well enough to judge a textbook. If it is a young learner's book, about all that a parent can judge is the pictures in the book. The reason you need a teacher is, you don't know how to teach English to your child yourself because you never learned it well.

Advice: Don't ask this question. It isn't a smart question. Find out about how other students have benefitted from taking the teacher's class. Base your decision on the quality of education that your child will get.

2. 'Can you change the class schedule for my kid? He/she is busy when you offer that class.'

Again, this is not a smart question though I've heard it many times. If you think about it for half of a second, you will realize that you are asking all of the other parents and teachers to accomodate only your needs. You haven't thought that the other parents have to fit into the schedule of the teacher. You think that everyone else will change their schedules to make it convenient for you. Again, not a smart question.

Advice: If you or your child's schedule conflicts with the time and day that is set by the teacher, you need to decide how much you want your child in their class. You need to adjust your schedule and be smart enough to realize that all the other parents in the class, as well as the teacher, aren't going to change their schedules to accomodate you.

3. How much do you charge?

I understand that some people aren't finanacially able to afford some classes. However, if you take your child's English education seriously, you won't make your decision based on the price. Hoperfully, you are looking for the place that can give your child the highest quality education.

Advice: If you are just looking for the cheapest price, then, quality of education has nothing to do with your decision. Just find a neighborhood English training school and put your kid there. Or just find the cheapest one and put your kid there. The fact is, higher quality schools and teachers are going to get paid more than the average teacher. Ask about quality first before asking about price. If you can't afford a quality teacher's price, then, talk to them and tell them. The best teachers are focused on helping children and not just focused on how much money they can get from you.

These three questions aren't usually asked by well-educated or intelligent parents. Parents don't ask about textbooks because they know that if a textbook can teach their child English, then, they don't need a teacher. Also, these parents are considerate enough to realize that 20 other people aren't going to change all of their schedules to accomodate you. Lastly, look for and find the best teacher if you are really concerned about your child's education. Discuss price later after you find out about the quality of the teacher or training school.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Michael is the author of the transformational book, Powerful Attitudes. He is a professional educator, an educational consultant, an author. He lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He enjoys playing guitar and writing poetry. He loves China.


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