Now that summer is here, there are a lot of students who are looking for private teachers. Some students just want someone to talk to; others need to find a teacher who has a firm understanding of grammar and linguistics. While you're certainly welcome to contact me about classes (e-mail me at stop.spanglish (at) yahoo (dot) es!), I know that the Stop Spanglish way of teaching isn't for everyone, and that you may be looking for different things in a teacher.
I've often thought about how the relationships between students and teachers work, so here are some thoughts that I had. I hope these help you find a teacher you really like.
You have the right to have a teacher who answers your questions and who helps you. You do not have to tolerate a teacher who talks endlessly and who doesn't listen to you.
You have the right to ask for help with specific skills. If you're the student, you're the boss. You are the person who understands your needs the best, and while the teacher is there to help you, he or she can't possibly understand everything you need. You have to be assertive and clear about what you want to do.
You have the right to a teacher who acts in a professional manner: someone who is on time, someone who understands the material they are going to teach you.
You have the right to ask for homework. But if you do, you also have the obligation to actually DO that homework.
Remember that teachers don't do this work for fun. Many of us have rent and bills to pay and it's very insulting when students cancel at the last minute (and we don't get paid), or when students try to get us down to a lower hourly rate. Do you ask your lawyer to reduce how much he charges? Do you ask your gestor not to be expensive? True English teachers are trained professionals who are worth the money you pay. Remember: a lot of people pay their cleaning ladies a measly €12 per hour, and a lot of cleaning ladies can't even read and write properly. You can pay €12 an hour for English classes, but beware: you get what you pay for.
I'm sure I'm forgetting some things, so if you want to make a comment or a suggestion, I'd love to hear from you.