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ESL forum > Ask for help > I have a question    

I have a question


I have a question

To all private teachers:

How do you deal with constant cancellations at the last minute?
It is really beginning to bug me when people cancel half an hour before a class.
Hugfrom Israel

24 Sep 2009      


Wacko I know what you mean Judy
But... well, how to solve it? I really do not know... I talk seriously with the person and ask him / her not to do it again please or there will be problems... it has worked for me
I am not a manager of any school, I am talkign about when students do not go to a personal asessment...

24 Sep 2009     


Well, I simply charge them for the hour anyways... and they know that they either come or lose their money on that hour. We used to make up classes but not anymore - unless, itīs a medical emergency or they tell us a week in advance... but for half an hour, sorry, my time is worth money too..


24 Sep 2009     


That īs the reason I don īt teach privately.  That and trying to get the parents to pay on time.

24 Sep 2009     


Although we do have to realise that these people have lives too, and probably busy ones at that.  Sometimes a professional person may decide that they want to learn english in his or her spare time, but sometimes his real life will get in the way, deadlines at work, family occasions, sick relatives...

If it īs happening all the time that is terrible, and then I would say something to my client, but I think really all you can say at the moment is "That īs okay, but can you please give me more notice the next time."

It is annoying, I know that, but unfortunately we play second, third or maybe even fourth fiddle in this person īs life... thats just the nature of the beast with private tutoring.  Especially freelance

24 Sep 2009     


the situation in Turkey is even worse especially if you are a trainer teacher in a private school. students are given
the chance to decide when and what time to have the lesson. what īs worse we have nothing sanction for those
students who cancel the lesson on the last minute.

24 Sep 2009     


It seems you can īt do anything about it, you simply have to accept it the same as there are nights and days. When I can īt stand it any more, I just give up the student but it happens very rarely because they usually apologize and say "I know it īs bad, I don īt like myself for being like that, I will not do it any more... bla bla bla."
I just thought people are like that only in my country... How mistaken I have been! Unhappy

25 Sep 2009     


I know it īs already been suggested, but charging them for the class would really convince your students to be more organized. My son īs speech therapist charges her patients automatically if they don īt cancel at least 24 hours in advance. I īve never known her patients to miss a single appointment!

25 Sep 2009     

United States

I īm not a private teacher...but do take mandarin lessons from a private teacher in China... The first day she offered me a nice discount if I paid a month in advance...might be something to try.

25 Sep 2009     



I agree with Silke when she says, "in most cases I just ask them to consider that they had a fixed appointment with me and that I have therefore told others that I don īt have time to teach them." I use the same argument with my students and all of them understand it.

This way, it īs been a few years since I started charging for the full month, whether or not the students miss  one or two or more classes.

Since the very beginning, I tell them I charge the classes per month, not per hour. And that is it.

I also had so many headaches with cancellations, but now it is just okay. However, you take the risk of losing one or another student, like Silke (again) says: "If I would start charging these people the missed hour, they would probably be very annoyed and I might even lose these clients which is - of course - something I want to avoid!" However, there was a time I lost so much (money/time/gasoline) due to cancellations that it pays losing one or another student now and then.

Anyways, this kind of student that cancels so much that he will eventually cancel classes because he is paying for classes he is not having, would end up cancelling the classes anyway, sooner or later.

Lilli Zen. :)

25 Sep 2009     


I found the best way to solve the problem is to charge your students for the month, at the beginning of each month.  Let them know that they a can make up missed lessons and they are in charged when to make them up. All my students have agreed to this because they know that they can make up their lesson. If A student doesnt agree, I wont take them because they are not serious.

25 Sep 2009     

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