When tutoring, it's extremely important to keep in mind the client's needs and schedule, aka "life." I had a wonderful session with my first WyzAnt client on Sunday, 7/17/2011. When the session was over, both parents said they would contact me to schedule the next session. Thinking that setting a date and time was a relatively simple task, I assumed that I would be contacted that day or Monday. When two days passed w/no contact from the client, I further assumed they really weren't satisfied with my services, and were seeking a different tutor. Between Sunday and Tuesday, I sent a couple of fairly lengthy e-mails, one thanking them for their help in making it a great session and asking that feedback be posted to my WyzAnt profile page, and another trying to explain why my services might not have been as effective as they could have been had our session dynamics been slightly different. The third, and shortest e-mail, was the boilerplate provided by WyzAnt for requesting feedback.
These clients are a wonderful, nuclear family: Mom, Dad, and two sons. When we met, they'd just returned (in the middle of the preceding night) to Washington from a family reunion on the East Coast; I should have realized they likely had some "life" catching up to do. One son will be entering middle school this year; the other will be starting 5th grade. Obviously, neither can drive himself to whatever activity he might be wanting to attend. Both parents work. This is a very typical scenario of today’s American families. Everyone busy. Everyone with needs and desires to attend to.
My mistake was in not thinking of these dynamics before starting to doubt myself, to panic. I am a single woman with no children. Compared to many other American lives, my life could be considered pretty simple (even though I would argue against that claim). The bottom line is, we all need to consider other’s points of view or life situations before making any judgments for or against ourselves or others. The saying goes, “Do not judge a man until you walk a mile/for two moons in his shoes/moccasins.” In this situation, I was judging both myself (as inadequate) and my clients (as untrustworthy). (Coincidentally, it was only as I was writing this blog that I realized that I was, in a roundabout way, judging my new clients.) I need to remember that not all clients lead somewhat subdued, orderly lives. In fact, if even two percent of my eventual clientele fits that description, I will be amazed! I have, however, walked for many more than two moons in my own moccasins, and I should know myself better and trust myself more.
So, please, do not panic. Trust yourself. Trust others. Be happy.