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Mirror, Mirror On The Wall…



‘Money is what money does’

An old quote my husband’s mother used to repeat during and after the WWII. She was one of the thousands of widowed ‘Trummerfrau’ in living in Berlin. There isn’t an exact translation I’m aware of in English but the word ‘Trummer’ in German means rubbledebrisruins. She was one of the thousands who helped clear and re-build Berlin with her bare hands and still managed to feed and clothe and be a mother to a small boy.

Yes, money is what money does because it eases the mind in critical situations. That was the lesson she was teaching her son.

Why is money such an emotional and psychological topic?

Money should never be the goal of life but with money comes the freedom of choice. My husband’s mother never had a choice, but there are many freelance teachers who waste their chance to earn enough to open the doors to the freedom of choice money brings.

How do they waste their chances?

They… wait. And wait. And wait ad infinitum.

Mirror, mirror on the wall… who’s the best teacher in the school?

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

Fairness in our judgement and handling of issues that crop up in a lesson is as intricately entwined into our work with students as into our own personal makeup. It’s a fact fairness is psychologically engrained into our systems. Without it we couldn’t carry out our job. And it’s this inborn sense of fairness that is our own downfall.

If you wait long enough, do your work hard and well, it’s going to be noticed. That’s fairness at play. You’re thinking the school director of studies is going to be fair during the assessment meeting. He (or she) will notice your extra efforts and reward you with a better lesson rate or students from prestige companies because you deserve it!

Unfortunately, he won’t because fairness doesn’t play a role in assessing you or your standard of work. He is more than happy to have a good teacher working at a lower salary. You can wait a lifetime and nothing is going to change this fact. The director of studies’ loyalty belongs to the school. The school has the money and with it the choice of freedom of choice! You don’t. That’s the unpalatable truth.

Fairness doesn’t exist when it comes to a fair division of money and work. You cannot afford to wait and be noticed because it’s just not going to happen. The school director of studies is, however, human. He’s not a mind reader. Talk to him. Describe what you’ve accomplished for the school and ask for a rate you want or students you would like to teach.

You only get what you demand; not what you deserve.

Waiting to be noticed, is – just – not – going – to – happen.

Mirror, mirror on the wall… who’s the best teacher in the land?

The same fairness problem applies to freelance teachers. They wait to be noticed by an uncaring world. Only this time, there is no school director of studies doing the marketing and decision-making for you. That onus is now on you! Including the money decisions.

Who’s fair?

Freelance teachers just setting up shop won’t have students beating down their doors without the help of signposts (marketing) to show them the way. The world doesn’t care how good you are or the fantastic results your students are achieving – if they don’t even know you exist!

Waiting for the word to spread is a waste of your time and your freedom of choice (money) to live the life you see fitting. You have to actively work on marketing your teaching service to help students and customers find your door before they can beat it down. You have to actively prepare a solid groundwork to state your case.

Like the employed teacher, once you’ve put in the work… forget fairness and demand your worth from the student market. Tell them why your fees reflect your expertise and resulting-getting work.

Fairness is a pitfall. A never-ending waiting game. There is nobody who cares about what you deserve; you only get what you demand.

Money is what money does!

It gives you the freedom of choice.


  • Money is what money does! It gives you the freedom of choice.
  • Mirror, mirror on the wall… who is the fairest in the land?

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What About You?

What do you think? Do you have something you would like to add or say about the fairness of fees and lesson rates? Add your comments and suggestions in The Add Your Comment box below…



2 Comments (Add Yours)

  1. This is really hitting the nail
    On the head. All new teachers
    should be given a copy of this!

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