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#1974118 - 10/16/12 02:56 PM Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students
MrsLois Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/19/12
Posts: 75
Loc: Manitoba, Canada
So I find myself dreading my lessons this evening. I did not exactly have an inspiring start to the week! I had multiple students become snappy and rude last night, and in the end I just said to them 'If you're choosing to be like that today, I guess I'll see you next week. I'm not prepared to deal with that in my classroom.'

To set the record straight... their pieces and studies were NOT pushing them too hard. They were not focusing, regardless of how often I reminded them that it was time to learn.

I realize that having this issue with multiple students points all fingers to me as the cause of frustration and a challenging evening, but I have always prided myself on being a positive person in the classroom, and I do not feel that last night was any exception.

How do you deal with students bad attitudes? Have you ever had a student be downright rude to you, and how did you deal with the situation?

Looking forward to hearing your insights! smile

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#1974121 - 10/16/12 03:09 PM Re: Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students [Re: MrsLois]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
It happens to me most days, I think I've just got used to it.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1974132 - 10/16/12 03:25 PM Re: Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students [Re: MrsLois]
Bluoh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 421
Loc: Canada
I'm quite surprised, actually. I haven't had a group of students who are intentionally rude.

How old are the students?

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#1974138 - 10/16/12 03:31 PM Re: Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students [Re: MrsLois]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
I suppose it could depend on your tolerance levels. If you were having a bad week or even a bad day you might be more sensitive to their behaviour. I have to say that most kids pick up on this and some will even try to push your buttons deliberately.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1974153 - 10/16/12 04:21 PM Re: Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students [Re: MrsLois]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I'm very lucky not to have had rude students. I have students who don't practice like I tell them to, or don't do their homework, but not rude. That would be a deal breaker for me.
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#1974162 - 10/16/12 04:42 PM Re: Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students [Re: MrsLois]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5512
Loc: Orange County, CA
FIRE THE STUDENT!!
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1974168 - 10/16/12 04:49 PM Re: Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students [Re: MrsLois]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
Can't fire them all though presumably.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1974185 - 10/16/12 05:26 PM Re: Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students [Re: MrsLois]
MrsLois Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/19/12
Posts: 75
Loc: Manitoba, Canada
There were a range of ages, from 7 to 13. Maybe my tolerance levels were lower than usual, but I don't tolerate rudeness in my classroom regardless of how my day has gone.

And no, I can't fire my students! They are all awesome kids, and I love working with them. Just frustrating :p

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#1974202 - 10/16/12 05:59 PM Re: Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students [Re: MrsLois]
pianomouse Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/12
Posts: 93
Loc: Europe
Dear Mrs Lois
I guess you won't see them till next week. So you have time to calm down and let your anger evaporate. If they have been acting rude for the first time, I suggest it's worth talking to them in the next lesson, asking them if they were actually aware what was happening in their last lesson and that - as you usually have great lessons together - you don't want them to act like this again.

I'm glad to only teach single lessons, but I know from other experiences that groups can develop strange dynamics. Maybe, the weather was strange, or they were tired, or....

Hopefully, this was an exception and you're having many great lessons to come :-)
_________________________
The piano keys are black and white,
But they sound like a million colours in your mind.
(Katie Melua)

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#1974281 - 10/16/12 09:04 PM Re: Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students [Re: MrsLois]
Monaco Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/11
Posts: 387
Loc: GA
I have one little boy who is rude on occasion. He like to tell me how to do things and tell me I'm wrong and he's right and stuff like that.
Two things I do in response.
One. Look him square in the eye and tell him "no." Don't blink. Don't make excuses. Just "No. We don't behave like that."
Two. Get the parents involved. If the parents don't support you, fire the student.
_________________________
Ben Ereddia
Piano Teacher
Beginning Tech

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#1974283 - 10/16/12 09:19 PM Re: Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students [Re: MrsLois]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2611
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Are they rude on purpose? That is, do they know they are being rude?

Sometimes I have my kids with autism practice saying something "in a nice way" and "in a grouchy way" and "in a mean way." This week we have also been saying things "in a vampire way."
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#1974287 - 10/16/12 09:30 PM Re: Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students [Re: MrsLois]
Brinestone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 357
Malkin, I love it! Do they do a Transylvanian accent?
_________________________
Piano teacher since 2008, member of NFMC

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#1974321 - 10/16/12 11:07 PM Re: Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students [Re: MrsLois]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2611
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
OT:
I saw a recipe for fake blood and thought it would be fun to make with the kids. I needed to fill out a 30-45 minute group, so I got the book "A Drop of Blood" which is non-fiction, but the narrator is a vampire. So, we read the book, or look at it and talk about the pictures and say "A Drahhp of Blahhhd" in our scariest voices, and then we concoct fake blood in a blender and then the kids fingerpaint blood on a little outline of a body with a heart on construction paper and by then the staff and the kids and the room are all a big sticky red mess and it is time to clean up.

Piano related, but still OT:
One group yesterday walked past the piano on their way in to the room and I had them listen to a "Spooky Song" (which was A minor chord inversions) because we would be doing a spooky group.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program!

Take care MrsLois. Maybe everyone was just a bit on edge this week.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#1974586 - 10/17/12 02:05 PM Re: Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students [Re: MrsLois]
bmbutler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 226
Loc: North Carolina
I had a student like this who transferred to me some time ago. We finally had a "come to Jesus" talk and that stopped it. Children will behave exactly how you allow them to behave. I expect respect and I get it.
_________________________
Bachelor of Music (church music)
Master of Church Music (organ, music education)
Piano Teacher since 1992
Church Musician since 1983

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#1974590 - 10/17/12 02:08 PM Re: Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students [Re: bmbutler]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
You pretty much summed up my thinking on the topic. We're the adults in the relationship, we should act like adults, and expect students to behave with proper decorum. If they haven't learned it at home, then you can have a teaching moment.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1974621 - 10/17/12 03:18 PM Re: Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students [Re: bmbutler]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5512
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: bmbutler
Children will behave exactly how you allow them to behave.

That's not always true. You can demand all the decorum and respect you want, but there will always be the rotten apples. Not all children will behave properly, even given the strictest of teachers.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1974622 - 10/17/12 03:19 PM Re: Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students [Re: Monaco]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Monaco
I have one little boy who is rude on occasion. He like to tell me how to do things and tell me I'm wrong and he's right and stuff like that.
Two things I do in response.
One. Look him square in the eye and tell him "no." Don't blink. Don't make excuses. Just "No. We don't behave like that."
Two. Get the parents involved. If the parents don't support you, fire the student.


Great advice here!
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1977271 - 10/22/12 08:40 PM Re: Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students [Re: MrsLois]
manyhands Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/12
Posts: 125
Loc: Md
Modeling "rude" and then "polite" behavior with plenty of "polite" practice is a great strategy since some kids don't know what is considered rude. One must be explicit.
_________________________
many hands many smiles

Big Mama Yama U1

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#1977386 - 10/23/12 01:52 AM Re: Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students [Re: MrsLois]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
I once had a student who was being both rude and uncooperative. I stopped the lesson, walked him out to his father and told him exactly what happened and told him the lesson was over. Two days later I received a note of apology from the child, written in his own hand. He was quite cooperative after that and was never again rude to me.

You need parents that back you up.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1977546 - 10/23/12 11:26 AM Re: Bad Attitude and Rudeness from Students [Re: MrsLois]
bmbutler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 226
Loc: North Carolina
I don't allow rotten apples in my studio. Sorry, but I don't. Don't have the time for them. Many times the rotten apples became that way because (just like a bully) no one has called them on their behavior.
_________________________
Bachelor of Music (church music)
Master of Church Music (organ, music education)
Piano Teacher since 1992
Church Musician since 1983

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