Miguel 雷明
Community Tutor
Teacher with the highest lesson to student ratio?

As we know, the most sincere recommendation teachers can get is having students return for more and more lessons. You can take the numbers of lessons someone has taught and divide it by the number of students he has had, and this is the "lessons to students ratio". Let's call it LSR for short. Some people even go as far as saying that this is the only number that matters when selecting a teacher. Of course, even for good teachers, this number might be low if they still don't have a long track record, or if they've been in the process of rising their fees. Now, let's talk about records:

-I once found a professional teacher with more than 5K lessons (which makes him look good) and almost 1.5K students (which might also look good on surface). This gives him a LSR of less than 4. Since he's been around for more than 5K lessons, I guess we can trust this number is not going to change a lot. Not very impressive.

-On the other extreme, I once found a community tutor with 2.5K lessons and a bit more than 160 students, giving her a fantastic LSR of almost 16! I bet she's an amazing teacher.

I'm curious if someone has ever found a teacher with a LSR higher than 16.

May 29, 2019 12:14 AM
Comments · 2
I totally agree that the ratio of returning students is a key indicator that a teacher is providing value for the price charged. I really wish italki would find a way to calculate and highlight this score so that students would have an even better user experience (which would benefit all of us teachers as well). I also wish they would bring back statistics such as “dispute points” and “terminated packages”. When choosing my teachers, I go a step further and compute the “returning student score” (RSS). The difference from the LSR is that I remove the first lesson, because the first lesson just means the student liked the profile. So, if a teacher has 400 lessons and 100 students:
400 lessons - 100 first lessons = 300 returning student lessons. 300 / 100 = 3. From what I’ve seen, 5 or 6 is fairly typical, 7 or 8 is good, anything higher than that is very good or excellent. Of course, there are other criteria to consider, but the RSS is my first check. Of course, we’d have to compare teachers in the same price range — which is what students usually do anyhow.

May 29, 2019
I have seen some teachers with 20+ lessons per student, including a charismatic community tutor with whom I had a few conversations. The first time I spoke to him, it was obvious why people went back to him: he had a way of making students feel at ease and was a very positive, energetic and encouraging individual.

On the other hand, I once worked with a very professional and established teacher with a similar ratio (20:1), and I was extremely disappointed. I gave the person a chance over several lessons, but the attitude/manner just wasn't for me. Some teachers have a high ratio because a handful of people like their style, while most others don't return. I think this was the case with this teacher. That's fine, but what pleases those few people might not be for everyone.

Usually, it is a good indicator, though. I've seen other teachers with 20 or more lessons per student, but not that many, usually community tutors who are affordable, extremely available, and have some other positive quality.

The highest ratio I've ever seen is 100+ lessons per student, and this was for a teacher who had fewer than 5 students but had kept working with the same people for years.
May 29, 2019
Miguel 雷明
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, Japanese, Latin, Spanish
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, Latin