I do some English teaching (who doesn't!) and would like some advice.
I teach some children (usually between the ages of 8 and 14), and also some adults. I have had some problems. A couple of the parents have withdrawn their children stating "n'importe quoi" reasons. I take this to mean that they don't want to tell me the real reasons, but that they find my lessons not very effective.
In truth, I'm not surprised, as nearly all of them want me to simply help them with their homework. Because that doesn't take all the time allocated, I add other exercises from the English BLED (yes, it does exist!), or from lessons I find on the internet - for example Hallowe'en vocabulary, Christmas Quiz, Questions and Answers to introduce yourself to a friend and talk about your interests, favourite films, etc.
I know that my teaching methods will be nothing like the school teachers', and I do say so in my advert, saying that I seek to bring the language alive with short video clips, songs, stories, etc. The basis for this is that I'm not a trained teacher - and more impotently, if the children are being brought to me because their marks at school aren't good enough, this means that conventional teaching methods aren't working!
At first, people like my approach, but then they can't resist wanting to get back to what they know. A parents asked me to do more grammar lessons from the Bled book, and less reading (the boy reading, that is) from Horrid Henry. An adult has gone and bought her own book and CD so that we can do exercises from that, despite the fact that she said she wanted to do "mainly conversation", and I had, each time, pre-prepared things to converse about - topics of her choice - but with lessons prepared in advance - doing, or so I thought, a little bit more than she had asked.
Does anyone know what the French really want from us with these lessons? Do parents, for example, want me to set homework, do tests and award marks out of 20 or else it's not "real lessons"?
Any advice or ideas welcome! Thanks, Emily