Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Unsure whether I have any classes to teach at YB Far today. Last week, I was told there were no classes for me-- a fact confirmed by a coworker who said the student load was extremely light. Normally, I get an email from YB Far on Tuesday night, confirming my schedule for the following day. Two Tuesdays ago, I was given only four hours' work (out of six); last week was a big zip, and then last night, I didn't even get the regularly scheduled email, so I'm bracing for a second Wednesday with no classes.

It could be that the nice lady running YB Far had forgotten that yesterday was Tuesday and not Monday (we all had Monday off for Memorial Day); it's easy to slip up like that when it's a short week. I'm worried, though, that if she thought yesterday was Monday, then when she made the schedule, she assumed the following day was Tuesday, which is normally a Kevin-free day. So it could be that I've got no classes today-- not because of a dearth of students, but because of a gaffe in planning. I won't know what the story is until 1PM, when the YB Far office opens.

As other coworkers have noted, YB Near is a much better-organized office than YB Far. I've put in a request to work at YB Near for all four days of the week, starting at the end of June. This will save me a good deal of gas, and maybe even save me some stress. YB Far can be a more stressful place to work; the nice office lady sometimes schedules four students to sit with a tutor for two hours, which is technically against YB's corporate policy: the student-teacher ratio isn't supposed to exceed 3:1.* There's been no such trouble at YB Near, primarily because student numbers are already low there (yesterday was a rare 3:1 day for me, for both of the sessions I taught).

YB Near often schedules me for short days, but short days are preferable to having no work at all from YB Far. I hope I can endure the current instability for another three weeks.

UPDATE, 1:20PM: No class today. No explanation given. At a guess, student volume is low, and will be getting lower as we move fully into summer mode. That, or the office doesn't want to admit that they made a clerical error.

*A three-to-one ratio doesn't sound like a lot, but keep in mind that the students are of different ages, learning different things. There really is a waiter-like aspect to this job, as the tutor rotates from student to student-- now in math mode, now in English mode, now in science or history mode-- while making sure that everyone is always working on something. As others have pointed out, this sort of multitasking is overrated, and isn't as efficient as having all students work on the same subject, or maintaining a 1:1 teacher-student ratio. The YB arrangement is also shortchanging the student: the parents pay for two hours' instruction, but the student receives only forty minutes' worth.


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