For nearly one year, I've been giving mathematics lessons to a high-school student. I think I have good knowledge of mathematics as I graduated from a French top engineering school and I specialized in operations research, a sub-field of applied mathematics and computer science.
During this year, I became more and more involved and concerned about the success of my student as he reminds me of me on many points when I was younger. I won't go too deep into this point as it is a bit personal. We do not do refresher courses but more homework and often deepening lessons. He will finally understand all exercises until then and he has the best grades in his class.
In the recent COVID-19 pandemic, I had to give him less lessons. Only two hours since the beginning of the restrictions, whereas I used to give him two a week. Even if it was only two hours and there might not be much more, I'm very concerned about the prices of our lessons. Indeed, I think that I'm much less efficient explaining to him the concepts while talking to him on the phone. Most of all, I find it very hard to write down the math, taking pictures of it, all the while thinking of my pedagogy, and finally sending it to him thanks to our phones. It appears we are less efficient.
That's why I was thinking of asking his mother to pay me less for those hours. Money isn't the main reason why I give those lessons at all. Enjoying doing some math, helping him, and having this experience are all more important reasons. So I don't mind at all being less paid and I'm much more concerned about the fairness of such discount. I don't think this is an important factor, but it appears their family isn't in need of money. I'm also concerned if it could degrade my lessons' quality opinion, maybe in general. And that's true, they are less efficient while online. I was also thinking of questioning my way of teaching online. Maybe I'm just not good at it, and many teachers can do it well, perhaps with practice.
I've searched online for good reasons to teach online instead of in-person and what I could find is:
- No travel to the student or teacher's houses or meeting place.
- Efficiency. This can be an innovative plus a recreational way of learning for the student
- Accessibility. Such lessons can benefit for disability students.
- Flexibility of schedules. Easier to plan the courses.
Points 1, 3 and 4 don't apply to my case. Point 2 is the opposite of my situation. Finally, if it was clear that it is fair and the right thing to discount my lessons, how do I know what percentage I should ask for?