English Teachers -scarily spot on

Something a bit lighter today (it is Saturday, after all). A web-based comedy series with surprisingly good production values came out earlier in the year. They are updating it gradually, and episode four came out a couple of days ago.

Here is the first episode. I used to work in a sleazy eikaiwa school in Sendai, so this rings so true at points…

9 Sep 2009, 6:51pm
business EFL eikaiwa kids


Variable fees: a crazy idea?

I had a wild thought last night as I headed home last night at 23:30 and thought I would throw it out there for consideration…

Has anyone tried/thought about charging variable fees based on how ‘good’ students are? (I’m thinking about kids here).

For example, you would have a standard monthly fee of, say, 8000 yen.
If a student participates actively in class, does all homework, and gets into English, after a month or two they would change to a lower monthly fee, say 6000 or 7000 yen. This is like an academic scholarship, and is dependent on their good behaviour continuing.
On the other hand, if a student does not participate actively, is disruptive, doesn’t do homework, then they move to a higher monthly rate (to compensate for the extra difficulty of teaching them), ie 9000 or 10000 yen. Their parents would be contacted a month before the change and warned. If the student’s behaviour improves, they would move back to the standard rate or even the scholarship rate if they become a model student.
I came up with this as I pondered what I will be doing once I ‘retire’ (won’t happen for a while), and continue teaching for pleasure rather than out of necessity. I suspect a system like the above might encourage parents to become more involved with their children’s English studies, as well as encourage less serious students to quit. I find that the pareto rule applies to our students, where a small minority of the students cause all the problems.
Obviously I would like to make a difference to all our students’ lives, and ‘rescue’ the less socially/academically able, but a lot of the time it’s not really feasible to make a difference with an hour a week when parents are not helping at their end with encouragement/interest.
Now, I am not going to implement this myself at the moment (we’re trying to grow at the moment!), but if we were at full capacity or oversubscribed I may consider it. What does everyone else think?
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