My Daughter’s Teacher Told Me To Find Another Teacher!

My Daughter’s Teacher Told Me To Find Another Teacher!

So last night I went to parents evening at my daughter’s school.

It’s not exactly an evening I look forward to, firstly because it means having to sit down and pretend to be civil with my ex wife, but also because I’m always reminded of just how much I used to hate the same evenings when I was a kid.

Anyway, long story short, it turns out my daughter’s not doing too well in her maths class.

The maths teacher asked me if I’d considered hiring a private tutor to help her pass her upcoming GCSE’s.

My first reaction was…’you’re the teacher, shouldn’t you be teaching her rather than telling me to get someone else to do your job?’ but after reflecting on it I think it’s actually not a bad idea, and here’s why…

At school, in every class there’s a wide mix of abilities. Let’s say my daughter is at the bottom of the class, well the teacher needs to keep those at the top of the class engaged too.

That means they have to press on ahead with more complex topics to keep the clever ones engaged despite the fact those at the bottom haven’t grasped it yet.

There’s also the issue of personalized, one to one attention.

No matter how much a teacher wants to help (and I do believe her teacher genuinely wants to help), they just don’t have the time to be able to give the one to one attention each student with diverse abilities all need.

So bringing this back to a business context (this is meant to be a business blog afterall) I guess you can say that the value of paying for a tutor comes down to putting a premium on a personalized service.

I’m happy to pay for that, I guess.

Especially if it means the difference between my daughter passing or failing.

There’s also the issue of convenience.

I’ve been researching this morning and it seems online tutoring (hiring someone to teach via Skype) is the best fit as far as our circumstances go.

The price between an online tutor and face to face is more or less similar, online slightly cheaper, but in terms of the convenience it provides, if it saves me even 30 minutes a week, it’s something I’d happily pay extra for.

I mean, look at it this way – if it means not having to jump in the car and get stuck in traffic during rush hour, acting as a glorified taxi driver in order to drop my daughter off and pick her back up again once her lesson is finished – then that 30 mins a week soon adds up.

It’s time I could better spend elsewhere, like working on my own projects – keeping this blog updated, for one!

Now, going back to the whole Skype teaching malarky, if you’re business minded and you’re reading this thinking it sounds like an easy way to earn a bit of extra cash, there’s a great guide written about how to start online tutoring that’s well worth a read.

Anyway, now I’ve got to try to arrange a time to interview a few teachers to see which one is best for the role.

No doubt the one I think is best will be met with opposition from my ex. She’ll probably like the one I think is worse!

Chalk and cheese….

PS: if you’re feeling generous and you want to help towards the cost of brining up a teenager seems to want a new designer handbang every other week, book me to speak at your next event!



Do businesses have the right to refuse service?

Do businesses have the right to refuse service?

In my old business we had a critic.

Everything we did, this guy vocally hated.

Vocal, because he was a journalist.

A journalist for a major newspaper, in fact.

Anyway, one day I lost my rag. “From this second on, I don’t want anyone to serve him” I said at an emergency damage control meeting, after he’d slated us for the bazillionth time.

“You can’t do that” came the reply from my board. “Think of the backlash”.

It poses an interesting question: do businesses have the right to actually refuse to serve someone?

Well, let’s consider a few ramifications.

Legally, provided you’re not discriminating based on age, sex, religion, race etc then yes, a business owner is well within their rights to refuse service.

But from a practical standpoint, it’s not always so clear cut.

Let’s say James comes to your restaurant one day and starts complaining. You tell James to leave and never come back. But the very next day, he’s back in again. In this situation, having already warned him, you’re well within your rights to refuse him service.

However, the issue comes when James invariably starts playing the victim.

“You’re refusing to serve me because I’m gay/black/brown/Dutch/a journalist” (*insert any adjective you want here*)

Now what do you do?

He’s kicking up a stink in your restaurant, playing the victim card, and accusing you of discrimination.

We come back to the same issue I faced – fear of backlash.

Now common sense would tell you that in this situation you calmly explain that your refusal to serve is based on none of these issues, and it’s due to his past behaviour.

However, you’ve got to remember that common sense isn’t common. To all the people sat in your restaurant that have witnessed the commotion, none of whom will have any sense of context or seen what had happened the previous day, like it or not you’re going to be judged.

When they get home that night, you’ll be the topic of conversation.

“You’ll never guess what happened at that restuarant today…” they’ll gossip.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is this.

From a legal standpoint any business owner DOES have the power to refuse service to anyone provided it’s not for discriminatory reasons.

However, from a realistic standpoint, I’d argue that except for extreme situations that can easily be proved – the guy beat up your member of staff for example – it becomes very difficult to ban someone and not have them play the victim card, potentially runing your reputation in the process.

Remember, reputation can take years to earn but can be broken in seconds, especially as in our case, the man in question has a huge platform to spread his views (the newspaper he still writes for), or increasingly, a social media platform with thousands of followers.

And that’s where the issue lies.

If it’s something like refusing to serve a rude customer, it might be a controversial take but I’d say just serve them and get them in and out as fast as you can.

Yes, legally you have the right to refuse, but often you’ll find that those that cause the biggest problems also cry the loudest and are the best at getting attention for themselves/playing the victim too.

As far as my personal situation goes, I was eventually persuaded to see sense by my board and we did indeed serve our critic.

It inspired me to actually create a right to refuse service policy in our employee handbook in which I eloquently stated that our company policy was to serve everyone unless there was extreme situations which we could easily prove (CCTV of the guy smashing up a shop, for example).

If in any doubt, just serve. It’s probably not worth the headache.




Before He Was President, He Was A Business Man!

Good or bad, ‘The Donald’ is set to rule the free world for the next four years.

It remains to be seen what the outcome is – the whole world holds its collective breath – but one thing I know for sure is this…

When it comes to business, few have achieved the heights Donald Trump has.

From nearly bankrupt to reaching billionaire status, there’s a lot to be said for his resilience, tenacity and ability to strike a deal!

If he’s able to achieve even half as much as President as he did whilst building his vast business empire, he’ll be one of the best things to have ever happened to America.

In the video below Donald talks to the legend that is Oprah Winfrey about how to strike a deal.

“You either have it or you don’t”, he says, almost poetically.

We all hope you do, Donald…

We all hope you do.