No, you are not too late . . . thus beginneth the email to an inquiry I sent off after seeing an ad, language teacher wanted, must love kids. The ad was over a month old when I noticed it, so I added a quick comment about how I hoped it wouldn’t be too late. Here’s the thing with offers that don’t get snatched up right away, the longer they fester, the bigger the likelihood that there’s something seriously wrong. In this case I don’t have to wait long.
The email went on to state that they live pretty far away and “some people have found it too far to travel.” Let’s just say if you lived in CT and commuted into Manhattan every day, the commute I’d have to do would be akin to a road trip. Nothing against road trips, there’s a time and place for everything, but I’d like to think that a road trip is either a relaxing adventure or you running away from some type of authority. What the good woman is looking for is this: she has two kids, kindergarten age. And she wants someone to teach them English three times a week, “basic kindergarten stuff” as she puts it, before adding that she will pay 250€ / month for that, not to mention how glad she is “that you’re fluent in English, as my oldest seems to be lagging.” Keep in mind that she was advertising for a native speaker, which I am and have stated.
So let’s do the math on this one. Three lessons per day at three times per week gives us . . . a whopping 6.944444€ per hour. And that’s before deduction of taxes etc. And just how much do you want to bet that the good woman’s husband can write it off as a necessary expense of some sort (business or private). Now we factor in the fact that a return ticket costs 10€ (and somehow I’m guessing that they’re not exactly going to feed you or even offer you anything while you’re there. Not that I’m saying people need to feed the teachers, but it’s a nice gesture to offer something, though in some cultures this is more the norm than in others), which leaves you with a total of cash-in-hand before taxes of 130€. The family in question would not reimburse transportation costs in any way shape or form.
Actually, this would be the perfect job for a multi-lingual kid in junior high, ideally one living in the same neighborhood. But something tells me that the mother, upon hearing of a teenager coming in to do the job, would not pay them at all. And quite frankly, I’d pay the teenager the going rate for baby-sitting i.e. 10€ an hour in the first few months, even if it was their first job.
And the kicker? The good woman herself is a native speaker. So what’s stopping her from teaching her kids? And coming from a cross culture background I can assure you that all it takes is for the mother to speak her own language with the child, the father speaks his own language as well, and there you have it, two instant languages. Though it might be worth to add that it helps if it’s done naturally i.e. if neither party makes a big deal out of speaking in their native language. Unless the good woman wanted a baby sitter on top of everything else. Which, considering all of the above, doesn’t strike me as that unlikely.
I posted this a while back and took it out for a while. While the post was up, a good friend of mine made a comment how these are the types of people who, a few centuries ago, would have kept slaves. I thought that was such a perfect comment, I wish she’d write it again. Maybe she’ll see this and comment . . .