At HORIZONS, we are going out of our way to accommodate our students and work around their schedules so that they can switch groups, make up for an absence, get their homework by email if they miss a class; we create personalized plans for people trying to cram for upcoming exams and fit their needs into our teachers' schedules...
As a teacher of English as a second language (anglais langue seconde), I've met students who keep you on your toes and push really hard towards achieving their goals. They always manage to be on time, always have their homework assignments ready and move ahead at a great speed, much to my delight. Needless to say, it's challenging, but very, very rewarding for a teacher to see such dedication. Because money is only one side of the coin: job satisfaction is the other. Just like you wouldn't be satisfied working only for a pay cheque, we like to see the results of our work, too!
Every now and then, someone will come along and ask for a "guarantee".
We keep calm and explain that a teacher's effort is only half of the job, and the rest is up to the student. No, we can't promise you that you'd wake up tomorrow and speak fluent English, sorry. We can't do your homework and we can't take your exam for you; we can explain, practice with you and engage you with audio and video, involve you in a discussion and check your progress. Fair enough?
Oprah once said, famously, that the magic weight loss pill doesn't exist - otherwise, she said, I'd be the first one to buy it, whatever the price... So, she packs her lunches and works out daily - but somehow there's an entire multi-million industry out there, promising you that you need no diet nor exercise - just that green tea or pineapple or seaweed tablet, and you'll be slim and fit - GUARANTEED! Oh, the money we are willing to pay for a quick fix!
Same goes for learning a new language: if someone promises you a quick and effortless process, run! Learning takes time. The methods can be dry and complex - or more dynamic and diverse - but either way, there are two participants and two sides of the story. A good teacher is only 50% of the success.
We, as adults, always presume our students innocent. OK, to avoid the criminal lingo, we give them the benefit of the doubt :-) Most of the time, we work with wonderful people. There are occasional individuals who think we, the teachers, are their personal employees, and they can show up if they don't forget. No-shows, needless to say, are nobody's favorites - and we are no exception. All we ask for is some respect and a cancellation call in due time. We promise to do the same.
Let us help you on your way to communicating well in English. It's our pleasure and your success story.