Friday, November 17, 2006

Re-post: Telephone Enquiry - May 05

Friday, May 06, 2005

Had this slightly surreal conversation yesterday:

"Hi, is that Gill? I got your name and number from a leaflet our Education Welfare Officer gave me yesterday."
(That's the EO trifold: an excellent leaflet with a list of FAQs about home education, very clearly set out, everything explained.)

"Oh, right, yes. How can I help you?" I settled down in a chair, expecting the usual question, answer & reassurance session and instead I got this:

"Well my son is home educated and I wondered which tutors you use?"

"Oh! Erm. None, we're not using tutors at the moment. The children are learning at home on their own."

"On their own? Who's teaching them?"

"Well, me I suppose, if anyone is. They mostly do self-directed learning."

"Self-directed - what? What's that?"

"They learn what they want to learn, do their own research, work their own hours. It's also known as autonomous learning."

"Sounds crazy. We don't want that."

"Fine, well obviously you don't have to do it that way. You can use tutors, or do lessons or projects with them yourself. Whatever works best for you."

"So can you give me the contact details of some local tutors?"

"Hmm. Well, actually I don't know any local tutors. Sorry. You could try asking at the college or something."

"You don't actually know of any home tutors?"


"What a waste of a phone call. I wonder why they bothered giving me the leaflet with YOUR name and number on when you obviously can't help me at all. Good-bye." Click.

I came away thinking: Maybe I should have a list of local tutors handy. Then again, maybe not.

posted by Gill at 10:18 AM 8 comments


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