I recently had a student give me a low rating because I taught a conversation class when I was sick. I was coughing a lot and the student felt it was unprofessional. I had rescheduled many classes that week, due to my cold, but this student coouldn't reschedule so I did my best.
My question is this: As a student, would you prefer your teacher to show up sick and do the very best lesson possible in those circumstances, or would you prefer your teacher to cancel until the lesson could be conducted in the usual manner?
What do you think?
I prefer my teacher is well to give a good class. If the teaher is sick, take a rest. Health is first.
I'm not saying you did this, but here's a scenario you want to avoid. I've had several teachers request rescheduling with less than 24 hours before the lesson. My schedule is tight, and I want a lesson every day, so I need to replace that teacher for that time. I think many others are in this position - they need to replace you, not just shift you to another day. But if your student gets your notice with less than 24 hrs before the lesson, he's s.o.l. due to italki's scheduling rules. If I was your student and this happened, then I would definitely request that you do the best you can, and I'd accept your coughing in return for your effort with no penalty.
But if it was the case, did you know with more than 24 hrs, but let it slide until it was too late? I think you're a pretty concientious person, so you probably didn't do this. But almost every time I get less than 24 hours, it's something that they could have told me about earlier. Some have gotten indignant with me, telling me I'm required to reschedule. I see some of the teachers above calling the student "bad", but they don't even know the whole story. Of course if a teacher is this inconsiderate, I will cancel rather than reschedule the lesson.
On the other hand, it's very rare, but true emergencies do happen within 24 hrs, and both sides should be flexible. Like if you have food poisoning from the night before, I'd be willing to reschedule you, and I would also expect you to be willing to cancel the lesson and refund my money if that made more sense to me.
Thank you all for taking the time to answer. I wanted to look at the issue from the student side, and now that I have gotten some good advice, next time I will do as you guys suggested. I should have insisted about rescheduling, but I didn't want to lose a newish student. Thank you for giving me your viewpoints :)
Personally, cancel because you need to get well and the student won't feel "short changed." Also, you could offer a free lesson to make up for the rating, can't you? Against Italki policy?
I think rescheduling until the teacher is well enough to teach would be better. That's crazy, being penalized for showing up sick to a session. Or better yet, drop that inconsiderate student.