Friday, April 8, 2011

Getting out - Going nowhere

"genuflect" - lower one's body briefly by bending one knee to the ground in worship or as a sign of respect. -Genuflection (noun)

Getting out - Going nowhere

This post is continued from "Downstairs and Diamond Water" which in turn began at "A Difficult Start" It would be best to read the full story so you can grasp the forward progression of our life in Kuantan.

I went on many afternoon walks in the sweltering sun as part of my 'getting out' campaign to find more students. I spoke to people I met in the streets, at their houses and in shops. I even met one parent whilst playing snooker on a free lunchtime. His son began attending, and subsequently brought along his friends too.

I also put up posters around some parts of Kuantan advertising my tuition classes. This was somewhat successful as I received a few calls as a result of using this method. The Kuantan Curry House put one of my posters up in their restaurant, and a number of Indian students came from that, most notably Mukund, a young boy who spent two years attending my classes.

I also spent a year or two teaching adults of various ages, who had come across my English services. It was the first time I had ever taught adults English so it was difficult at first as I had to come up with ways to personalise my lessons to their specific needs. (My oldest student was a 67-year-old Chinese man!) Now I've stopped teaching adults, which I usually did in the early mornings, because my wife is 7 months pregnant and we have a new baby on the way! So I won't be available at 8am anymore! I also have more than enough school students to make up for the loss of adults. Maybe one day those classes will start up again...

It was such a thrill to get to the point where I was earning enough money from teaching English to pay all of our expenses monthly with a little left over. This happened just as our cash wedding gift had run dry.

The next task was to improve the standard and variety of my teaching to keep the students I had, and at the same time, attract others. So whereas earlier I had to 'get out' to find students, I'm now at the stage where I can sit at home and basically 'go nowhere', and still have a steady supply of new students.

Parents talk about and recommend my tuition classes with their friends, my current students bring along siblings or classmates, and even some people come across this, my blog, before emailing me regarding sending their children to my English tuition.

Going nowhere is a lot easier than going out. I now spend good portions of time developing and expanding my syllabus, resulting in more effective, interesting classes, and a wider variety of exercises and games.

This ensures that my students have fun in my class, as well as experience efficient learning, and desire to share it with their friends.

Do you work at home? Or are you employed by another? Which would you prefer?

Who would be worthy of your genuflection?


  1. Great post once again! I really enjoy reading about your adventure! It must be a relief to have the students come to you now! Well done, it must have been so much work in the beginning! I think it is very rewarding to see your students progress :) I know it is!
    I'm not sure if or how many other teachers you have in Kuantan also teaching English.... In my city there are tons of schools, private tuition ads, so it is quite a challenge, but I'm really looking forward to it.
    To answer your question, I currently have a 9-5 job in a corporation :/ but my dream is in my own business! :D
    I'm looking forward to future posts! I really enjoy your work :) Thank you for sharing! :)

  2. How rewarding and well done to have built up the business with such hard work. I spent a short time teaching English to adults who had recently arrived in England. I found it much harder than teaching children. There's something special about working with children, it's to do with their sense of awe and wonder that the world hasn't yet knocked out of them.

  3. I would love to work from home :)

  4. I will have to check out the other posts! This was a really interesting read.

    Thank you for coming by my blog.

  5. Bz, there are quite a number of tuition centres here in Kuantan - people are a little tuition crazy here - but that's good for my business!

    Rosalind, teaching adults was a lot more difficult indeed. They were at immensely different levels, meaning I had to teach one-on-one to be effective, and it just seems that children's minds are more easily taught!

    mac-and-me, The Golden Eagle, thank you for dropping by!


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