“Why do you charge less fees? the caller inquired. “Don’t you feel that taking low fees gives a bad reputation to your classes? ”

Every year during admission time I get such calls where someone is worried about my low fees, someone angry, someone inquisitive and at times someone mocking. I always smile at such calls.😊Where tutors are demanding high fees in this competitive coaching market, my fees are far less than the current market price, in fact, half the amount as compared to what other tutors demand.

Is it because I lack the coaching skills? It’s not that. Where students book their seats one year in advance, I sometimes have to say no to admissions because of lack of space and time.

When I had newly started my classes; I had kept the fees reasonably low so I would get some students to start my classes with. And later more and more students showed interest in joining, but I hardly increased the fees. The reason was since I took group tuition, that is, I taught a group of students of one class together and did not give individual tuition. I thought it was not fair to demand such huge fees from each individual student.

When I began my classes, earning an income was not the sole reason. I felt somewhere that I could help students with their difficulties; I could make studies a little easier and a little interesting for them.

Also, I did not prefer working in a 9-5 job, simply because I am not a morning person. Getting up early morning has always been a challenge.🌄 Further, I could not work under somebody. Again, I had a lot of hobbies. Working 9- 5 was like giving up on those hobbies. And there were many other reasons, too.

Now I got criticized even on this; people expected me to have a good job, but I was here giving tuition… not something attractive, they thought. But I never paid heed to all that… I knew what I was doing.😏

And now when students tell me, “Teacher you made me fall in love with Maths,” I feel content.💖💖

Another student says, “Teacher I went running home with my mark sheet”

“Why what happened?” I ask

“Teacher because I never got such dazzling marks in Science in my life.”

And when I meet my students some of who are now good professionals in their fields and when they come and hug me (not in these covid times). I feel embarrassed that I don’t recognise them; they look so smart and well-groomed and I have to ask, “Which batch, dear?”😂😂😂😂

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Suchali Lotlikar

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