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#2073291 - 04/29/13 05:24 AM student mocking me rudely
Beth_Frances Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/12
Posts: 189
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
The first four years of teaching I didn't come across this once, and then in the past year I've suddenly got two of them. Anyone else come across this and what the heck do you do?

First student who does this is 12 years old boy who really likes playing piano. He never practices and after 3.5 years of lessons he is only up to Piano Adventures 2A, but he gets disappointed when his lessons are over and shows a decent amount of enthusiasm in lessons. However, over the past year or so he has started imitating my faces, vocal inflections, laugh, oft repeated phrases etc. It makes me really uncomfortable and feel really disrespected, but it is insidious enough that I don't know what to do about it. I'd like to just get rid of him from my teaching roster, but he manages to walk a line where it would be difficult to broach his mother about it and not just look like I'm crazy.

Second student is an 8 year old. He does things like over the top world ending level complaining about working further on a piece, then I say okay lets do something else, then he complains that he wants to go back to the piece he was just fighting against! He also sulks a lot, "hates piano", puts his arms flat down on the keys and his head on his arms, etc. Along with the whining, he has previously done a small amount of the mocking me stuff. I broached his mother about his behaviour last week (not the mocking - just that in general his behaviour had declined this year), and he came in today obviously thinking he was going to outsmart me so I was still upset but couldn't approach his mother about it. He upped the mocking enormously, copying almost everything I did and said in an exagerated way, and mixed it in with sarcasm, for example I said "now play that section with both hands" and he said in a silly voice "wow, what an interesting combination!" By the way I did tell him off multiple times for what he was doing, and asked him if he knew what he was doing, he said yes, I asked why, and he said because it was fun.

I've decided I can't keep that last kid - it causes me way too much anguish and isn't fair to the poor girl who has her lesson after him. Unfortunately I also teach his brother, who is a nice enough boy, so I will lose two, but I just can't keep ruining every Monday any more. It's starting to actually make me doubt myself, and that's just not a price I'm willing to pay. How do I inform the parent I'm not willing to teach him any more though? She seems oblivious to her child's nasty nature. And for future reference, are there any ways to nip this in the bud whilst remaining professional?

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#2073307 - 04/29/13 06:33 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
manyhands Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/12
Posts: 122
Loc: Md
1 don't take it personally
2 remember children are less able to communicate what is really sub consciously bothering them. Acting up/ out is an attempt.

try:
paradoxical approach: stop lesson...move away from piano...say ok we'll have mockery practice now and mirror back and forth with him. Listen for clues about what's bothering him. Be prepared for a laugh together!

straightforward approach: say to him....hmmm students usually behave like that when something is bothering them. What's up? Let's work on it together. Give him some power to say how he'd like lesson to be and see if accommodating is possible.

detach: calmly end lesson stating in no more than 3 sentences the reason...we treat each other respectfully at this studio. Mocking is not respectful. See you next week. Stand and walk to door. No further comment or dicussion by you. Parent may need to be forewarned to stand by.
_________________________
many hands many smiles

Big Mama Yama U1

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#2073320 - 04/29/13 07:15 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
pianopaws Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 71
Loc: North Carolina, USA
You shouldn't have to put up with disrespectful students, period. It sounds like in the case of the second boy in particular that he knows exactly what he is doing, and he is doing it to get under your skin. This is not acceptable, in my opinion.

My first step would be to talk with both parents privately (i.e., not in front of the student). Let them know what has been happening in the lesson. Tell them that their child has been disrespectful and explain how. If there are no underlying issues causing the behavior (Aspberger's, Tourette's, etc.) then I would tell the parent that this type of behavior is not acceptable in the lesson and if it happens again the lesson will be ended early.

Then, stick to it. if the child starts this behavior at the next lesson, calmly say, "Well, I guess our lesson is over for today. Goodbye." And walk them out to the parent. Don't get upset or show your frustration to the student.

I've only had this issue come up a few times in 15 years of teaching (thank goodness!) but my best advice would be to address it early with the parent and stick to your guns. If the child is doing this to you, he is most likely doing it to others, too, so don't worry about "looking crazy" when you talk to the parent.
_________________________
M.M., Piano performance and pedagogy
Member, MTNA and NCMTA

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#2073321 - 04/29/13 07:19 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: manyhands]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11693
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: manyhands
1 don't take it personally
2 remember children are less able to communicate what is really sub consciously bothering them. Acting up/ out is an attempt.

try:
paradoxical approach: stop lesson...move away from piano...say ok we'll have mockery practice now and mirror back and forth with him. Listen for clues about what's bothering him. Be prepared for a laugh together!

straightforward approach: say to him....hmmm students usually behave like that when something is bothering them. What's up? Let's work on it together. Give him some power to say how he'd like lesson to be and see if accommodating is possible.

detach: calmly end lesson stating in no more than 3 sentences the reason...we treat each other respectfully at this studio. Mocking is not respectful. See you next week. Stand and walk to door. No further comment or dicussion by you. Parent may need to be forewarned to stand by.


Great advice here.

I think stopping the lesson right away when they do this behavior is the best solution. It puts you back in charge: you don't *have* to teach them and put up with this, and you won't. I'd give it another go with some very clear directions to the kids. They need boundaries, it seems. Tell them (and their parents) that they will have 3 chances, if they get kicked out of their lesson 3 times within the next 2 months (or whatever boundaries you are comfortable with) then you will dismiss them.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2073329 - 04/29/13 07:49 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Rostosky Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/30/11
Posts: 3339
Loc: Lost in cyberspace.in the UK.
You could get a riding crop and smear the end with a little tomato sauce, leave it in plain sight and when the lesson commences take the riding crop and say "Oh, I have to go clean the blood off this, my last pupil was so badly behaved I had to use this on him and he bled on it"
_________________________


Rise like lions after slumber,in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew
which in sleep has fallen on you. Ye are many,they are few. Shelley

Founder and creator ofRostoskys 13th crystal skull project

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#2073333 - 04/29/13 07:58 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Beth_Frances
He also sulks a lot, "hates piano"...


He upped the mocking enormously, copying almost everything I did and said in an exagerated way, and mixed it in with sarcasm, for example I said "now play that section with both hands" and he said in a silly voice "wow, what an interesting combination!" By the way I did tell him off multiple times for what he was doing, and asked him if he knew what he was doing, he said yes, I asked why, and he said because it was fun.


I think it's good to let kids know that if they don't want lessons, they don't have to continue. I let the kid know that all I have to do is to tell the parent it is not working out. I had a brief discussion with a 5th grader who shows no interest (but practices). He concluded that he DOES want to take lessons after all.

I have found this to be useful: "Stop. You are not allowed to act like that here." This can go for banging on the piano or backtalk etc. It can be said in a way that startles kids. I wouldn't "tell him off"...as that confirms that he got your goat.

The little voice about the "interesting combination" would have cracked me up.

This thread reminds me of when I was 14 and at home (not in front of the teacher) I would imitate how the teacher answered the phone rolling his R's. "This is Roe (pause) Roe Van Boskirk". It amazed me that he didn't say "hello". I thought it was very classy of him.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (04/29/13 09:52 AM)
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2073387 - 04/29/13 09:51 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Beth,

I am reminded of a conversation with a woman who runs an after school program. If a kid sits on the table, she'll say "Do you sit on the table at home?!" If they say "No", she says "well we don't sit on the table here either". If they say that yes they do sit on the table at home, she says "Well this isn't your home!"

LOL! She had them either way they answered. A large woman who knows how to take charge of a group of kids.
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#2073528 - 04/29/13 02:48 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Rostosky]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10354
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Originally Posted By: Rostosky
You could get a riding crop and smear the end with a little tomato sauce, leave it in plain sight and when the lesson commences take the riding crop and say "Oh, I have to go clean the blood off this, my last pupil was so badly behaved I had to use this on him and he bled on it"



I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read this! smile

.
.
.

The advice about how to interact psychologically with the ill-behaved young one is very well put. I think it might be quite effective as well, but it requires a teacher who is interested in exploring that aspect of the child's problem. some people want to treat the whole child/family. Others want to teach music. Again, there isn't a single right answer or approach.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#2073550 - 04/29/13 03:08 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Joyce_dup1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/02
Posts: 191
Loc: Chicago
I don't believe this has anything to do with piano teaching or with the student's learning abilities. I believe it has everything to do with the fact that today's children are not taught to respect adults, authority figures, each other, or any thing. This is exhibited over and over - at the stores, on the phone, at the schools. An extreme example are all the violent attacks we're seeing on the streets, against random people and with no feelings exhibited by participants or onlookers. But more everyday, would be student's who openly yawn to be point of disrupting the lessons (I have two of these type), students who just refuse to follow instructions (I don't like doing that, I don't want to do that, etc.), students who fail to understand that their parents are paying for their time with one-on-one teachers - oh, I could go on and on. But it is so sad. All I can hope is that we can instill in our adult children, who are now raising their own kids, to instill respect. Respect. It applies to everything.


Edited by Joyce_dup1 (04/29/13 03:09 PM)

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#2073677 - 04/29/13 05:55 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
AndyJ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 219
Loc: Near Dayton, Ohio USA
Originally Posted By: Beth_Frances
....over the past year or so he has started imitating my faces, vocal inflections, laugh, oft repeated phrases etc. It makes me really uncomfortable and feel really disrespected....

What you describe reminds me of how I felt when my son first started displaying symptoms of Tourette's syndrome. The condition causes a wide variety of involuntary movements and behaviors. Echoing phrases and gestures is one common symptom. When it involves phrases, it's called "echolalia."

Other common symptoms include motor and vocal tics, compulsions that can include inappropriate touching, etc. The most famous one, blurting out obscenities ("coprolalia"), is actually rather rare but can be devastating.

People with Tourette's can be really irritating even to those who know about the condition, and absolutely maddening to others. I've suffered from Tourette's myself and find the tics really annoying and embarrassing. Stress tends to increase the number of tics, and feeling embarrassed increases stress, so having a diagnosis and being accepted can be a huge help for Tourette's sufferers.

I don't know how you could find out whether your student is presenting Tourette's symptoms. He may be developing the condition but it may not have been diagnosed yet. At any rate, reading up on it a bit and considering the possibility might be worthwhile.

Best of luck,

Andy

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#2073687 - 04/29/13 06:07 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: UK.
Great advice given.

I have noticed that behaviour has become more of an issue in recent years. Personally I think that many kids nowadays are just spoilt brats and too many excuses are made for them.

You don't need to put up with it though.

It might be worth explaining to them (and their parents) that piano lessons are not compulsory and that if certain standards of behaviour and/or effort are not met you will no longer continue to teach them. Kids know they can get away with it at school where teachers have no option but to keep them in lessons. They think piano is no different.

Wrong.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#2073773 - 04/29/13 08:48 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11693
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Beth,

I am reminded of a conversation with a woman who runs an after school program. If a kid sits on the table, she'll say "Do you sit on the table at home?!" If they say "No", she says "well we don't sit on the table here either". If they say that yes they do sit on the table at home, she says "Well this isn't your home!"

LOL! She had them either way they answered. A large woman who knows how to take charge of a group of kids.



Love it! In fact, I used it today. Worked like a charm!
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2073775 - 04/29/13 08:48 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Rostosky]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11693
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Rostosky
You could get a riding crop and smear the end with a little tomato sauce, leave it in plain sight and when the lesson commences take the riding crop and say "Oh, I have to go clean the blood off this, my last pupil was so badly behaved I had to use this on him and he bled on it"



LOL! Now I just have to get a hold of a riding crop... wink
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2073779 - 04/29/13 08:52 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7344
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
I may have shared this tale once before, but when teaching in Germany, we had a beautiful rose garden in the center of the back yard. It was about 8 ft long and 3 ft wide. When students started in with the attitude, I invited them to look out the window and admire the beautiful roses. Then I asked them if they knew what made really great fertilizer. Usually they looked perplexed. I replied that's where I put the students who didn't practice or gave me a ration at lessons. They never knew for sure whether I was serious or just pulling their chain.
_________________________
"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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#2073792 - 04/29/13 09:16 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10354
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Ah, this thread is making my day ... grin
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#2073796 - 04/29/13 09:27 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
I'm going to try out some of the methods mentioned on this thread...in particular the riding crop with tomato sauce. ha
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2073830 - 04/29/13 10:53 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Beth_Frances Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/12
Posts: 189
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Hmm, I think I'll steer clear of the riding crop idea. I'd be too tempted to use it in other ways by the end of the lesson...

It's really hard not to take it personally manyhands. My partner tells me it's ridiculous that I let kids get under my skin, with the "they're just kids!" exclamation, but I can't help it. I'm giving them my best with great intentions, and it feels like they're just slapping me in the face when they show how little they appreciate it.

This kid has let everyone know he doesn't want to continue piano, which started when he got teased at school that only girls do piano (despite the school recital having more boys than girls in it - go figure), but his mum is making him continue because she believes he has talent and will regret it later if he quits.

I'm stealing that "do you do ___ at home?" idea Ann. Gold.

Neither boys is it a case of Tourettes, although I can see how you might think that. The first boy is known for being a troublemaker at school, and I was warned of this when i first started teaching him by one of his teachers. He knows what he is doing, and smirks when he can see he is getting under my skin.

The second only amped up the mocking when his mother told him to stop the other bad behaviour, before then it was only a rare thing. Then after he got into trouble for his behaviour, he really threw it at me.

I do think it come down to these children being awfully spoilt. I work in a wealthy area, so all of the family's I work with are fairly well off, but I've noticed that children who come from the public school system have much better manners than private school children. They have more humility and compassion, rather than thinking they're always the most important person in the room.

The worst behaved kids always have the most delusional parents, who make up silly excuses to do with their kids behaviour, rather than facing the fact that their child is not very nice!

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#2073913 - 04/30/13 03:11 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: John v.d.Brook]
musicpassion Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 922
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
I may have shared this tale once before, but when teaching in Germany, we had a beautiful rose garden in the center of the back yard. It was about 8 ft long and 3 ft wide. When students started in with the attitude, I invited them to look out the window and admire the beautiful roses. Then I asked them if they knew what made really great fertilizer. Usually they looked perplexed. I replied that's where I put the students who didn't practice or gave me a ration at lessons. They never knew for sure whether I was serious or just pulling their chain.


That crosses over into the really creepy territory.
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2073923 - 04/30/13 03:56 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: UK.
I think ultimately you will need to fire both these students. It can seriously ruin your day knowing that you have to teach them, your entire week even.

By all means give them a warning first but in the end you need rid of them.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#2073991 - 04/30/13 08:08 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: musicpassion]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7344
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: musicpassion
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
I may have shared this tale once before, but when teaching in Germany, we had a beautiful rose garden in the center of the back yard. It was about 8 ft long and 3 ft wide. When students started in with the attitude, I invited them to look out the window and admire the beautiful roses. Then I asked them if they knew what made really great fertilizer. Usually they looked perplexed. I replied that's where I put the students who didn't practice or gave me a ration at lessons. They never knew for sure whether I was serious or just pulling their chain.


That crosses over into the really creepy territory.

Not for our non-electronic/computer generation. Prior to the 1960s, adults frequently used outlandish stories as teaching devices. Young teachers might want to invent their own, as they are most effective in controlling behavior.
_________________________
"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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#2074002 - 04/30/13 08:36 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2494
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
A local guitar shop uses hooks shaped like fingers to hold instruments on the walls. The hooks are said to be the fingers of students who did not practice.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2074037 - 04/30/13 09:29 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11693
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I would talk to the parent and then to the child at the next lesson. Give them clear boundaries and enforce them. I think so far you haven't done that and you happened to have some kids that will walk all over them. Most likely the one that doesn't want to play will do whatever it takes to get kicked out, but then you will have done all that you can on your part. This will tell the parent that they shouldn't force their child to play. Let him regret it and perhaps he'll appreciate his teacher more when he returns to piano as an adult learner. Or perhaps it will be the best thing for him to not study piano.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2074087 - 04/30/13 10:51 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
Whilst some of the silly mind games, mentioned above, are amusing, you should not have to stoop to this level.

Forget the 'three strikes' approach, all that does is provide licence to repeat his antics, and simply tell the student that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable, and the next time he shows you dis-respect, you will show him the door.
Sometimes, not having a second chance can work wonders.

Only you can decide how much you are prepared to take, whilst maintaining your own sanity.

Don't get me wrong, I have a reputation amongst my students/parents, for being exceptionally patient, and forgiving.
I have only ever done what I described above, once, but it had to be done.
_________________________
Rob

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#2074164 - 04/30/13 12:22 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: R0B]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11693
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: R0B
Whilst some of the silly mind games, mentioned above, are amusing, you should not have to stoop to this level.

Forget the 'three strikes' approach, all that does is provide licence to repeat his antics, and simply tell the student that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable, and the next time he shows you dis-respect, you will show him the door.
Sometimes, not having a second chance can work wonders.

I think perhaps you misunderstood? Showing him the door is a "strike" and the teacher determines how many times he gets kicked out of a lesson before he's dropped from the studio entirely. Or do you mean by "showing him the door" that he gets dumped from the studio right away?

If you never set rules/boundaries, then is it really fair when a student walks all over them when you've never told them how you wish to be treated in the first place? Common courtesy is not so common, and people need to be taught sometimes how to treat you. This is a teaching moment for the teacher, even if she ends up kicking him out, because then he will be knowingly doing things to test to see if she's serious about this. Personally, I would give him two chances, because usually after getting kicked out once it doesn't happen again, but it depends on the kid, and the most important thing is that the teacher be clear as to what the consequences are, and that she sees them through.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2074213 - 04/30/13 01:46 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3187
Loc: Virginia, USA
People, not just teachers, vary widely in their ability to deal with a rebellious or difficult child.

For some it has become a natural reflex. They know what to say to bring a child back in line without getting either party upset. Probably this isn't natural, but a skill learned by osmosis watching someone skilled, or from one's own parents if they were good at it, or perhaps in training classes at their work.

Others have to learn it. It's the separation of classroom behavior management from the education process.

It's not that hard a skill to pick up. Watching someone do it right is enormously helpful, if you pay attention.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2074257 - 04/30/13 02:48 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Bluoh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 421
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: musicpassion
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
I may have shared this tale once before, but when teaching in Germany, we had a beautiful rose garden in the center of the back yard. It was about 8 ft long and 3 ft wide. When students started in with the attitude, I invited them to look out the window and admire the beautiful roses. Then I asked them if they knew what made really great fertilizer. Usually they looked perplexed. I replied that's where I put the students who didn't practice or gave me a ration at lessons. They never knew for sure whether I was serious or just pulling their chain.


That crosses over into the really creepy territory.

Not for our non-electronic/computer generation. Prior to the 1960s, adults frequently used outlandish stories as teaching devices. Young teachers might want to invent their own, as they are most effective in controlling behavior.


Using fear to control people isn't right, in my opinion. I mean, jokes are fine, but if students are actually afraid of you, then that's way too far.

Human rights have progressed lots since the 1960s; kids are people too, and anyways, it's not healthy for you or for your students.

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#2074264 - 04/30/13 02:54 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Bluoh]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Bluoh
Human rights have progressed lots since the 1960s; kids are people too, and anyways, it's not healthy for you or for your students.

Really? On what planet? On planet Earth, it appears to be regressing. Especially here in the USA.
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#2074271 - 04/30/13 03:01 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: TimR]
Joyce_dup1 Offline
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What has worked best for me in dealing with a disrespectful child, is to give them a few warnings. If they persist, simply stop the lesson, tell them they may have a seat nearby, give them their music, and ask that they quietly wait for their parent. Then simply go about your business and ignore them. You may inform the parent or not, depending on circumstances. Usually, the behaviour is not repeated. If it pops up again, simply follow through with your response. I have never had it not work. But I have had the student ask to continue the lesson (on a first offense I may), repeatedly. Once they understand that finished is finished, they realize it's not wise to repeat that behavior.

Originally Posted By: TimR
People, not just teachers, vary widely in their ability to deal with a rebellious or difficult child.

For some it has become a natural reflex. They know what to say to bring a child back in line without getting either party upset. Probably this isn't natural, but a skill learned by osmosis watching someone skilled, or from one's own parents if they were good at it, or perhaps in training classes at their work.

Others have to learn it. It's the separation of classroom behavior management from the education process.

It's not that hard a skill to pick up. Watching someone do it right is enormously helpful, if you pay attention.


Edited by Joyce_dup1 (04/30/13 03:01 PM)

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#2074278 - 04/30/13 03:05 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Bluoh]
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bluoh
Using fear to control people isn't right, in my opinion. I mean, jokes are fine, but if students are actually afraid of you, then that's way too far.

Fear is just one method of teaching. It doesn't work for the great majority of kids, but for some it just might work. You might not agree with it, but in some countries/cultures fear is still being used in education. And those kids are doing way better than our kids are doing.

I just heard on the radio what Los Angeles Unified is doing with the free breakfast program. It was sheer madness. No wonder kids can't learn.
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#2074308 - 04/30/13 03:34 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: AZNpiano]
Peter K. Mose Offline
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Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
[quote=Bluoh]

I just heard on the radio what Los Angeles Unified is doing with the free breakfast program. It was sheer madness. No wonder kids can't learn.


You'll have to spell this out for us, AZN. Our radios don't all receive that far.

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#2074340 - 04/30/13 04:13 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Bluoh Offline
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Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: Bluoh
Human rights have progressed lots since the 1960s; kids are people too, and anyways, it's not healthy for you or for your students.

Really? On what planet? On planet Earth, it appears to be regressing. Especially here in the USA.


I am female and I am allowed to own a house, a piano, vote, and wear pants. Whipping is not allowed. Residential schools no longer exist. The church is no longer the 'higher power'. The court of law is no longer associated with politics nor the church.

In Canada, you are allowed to exercise your rights and freedoms so long as it does not infringe upon anyone else's rights and/or freedoms.

How are human rights regressing? Of course, it will never be perfect and politics will always be tied to it, but it's progress.

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#2074346 - 04/30/13 04:19 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: AZNpiano]
TimR Offline
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Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
I just heard on the radio what Los Angeles Unified is doing with the free breakfast program. It was sheer madness. No wonder kids can't learn.


Madness to feed them, or not to feed them? Not sure what you mean. But I'm pretty sure hungry kids don't have their mind on math.

I grew up in a small town in a northern state where most kids were bused in from dairy farms.

These kids were up at 0400 doing brutally hard chores, rode the bus an hour to school, and were expected not just to behave but to concentrate all day.

There was no way most of them could compete. They were exhausted.
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#2074363 - 04/30/13 04:37 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Peter K. Mose]
keystring Offline
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Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
[quote=Bluoh]

I just heard on the radio what Los Angeles Unified is doing with the free breakfast program. It was sheer madness. No wonder kids can't learn.


You'll have to spell this out for us, AZN. Our radios don't all receive that far.


Ditto, but I googled.

Google on Los Angeles Unified + breakfast

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#2074390 - 04/30/13 05:10 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: keystring]
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
[quote=Bluoh]

I just heard on the radio what Los Angeles Unified is doing with the free breakfast program. It was sheer madness. No wonder kids can't learn.


You'll have to spell this out for us, AZN. Our radios don't all receive that far.


Ditto, but I googled.

Google on Los Angeles Unified + breakfast


In addition to the articles online, I can tell you that the callers to the radio show were very diverse in their opinions. One teacher called in to say that the classroom is a place for learning, not eating. Some teachers were acting like waiters and waitresses. Kindergarteners were expected to peel oranges?

One Mom called in to say that it builds "team work" to clean up the spills in class, and that eating together is a "teachable moment." I was rolling on the floor laughing.
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#2074406 - 04/30/13 05:45 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
keystring Offline
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I'm not able to follow. Has the breakfast program continued, or has it been cancelled? Is the view that a cancelled breakfast program will hurt learning? Or that a continued breakfast program will hurt learning?

By the way, what is the earliest kindergarten age down there?

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#2074407 - 04/30/13 05:46 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Stanny Offline
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Fear worked quite well in my growing up years. My dad said if I quit practicing, he would sell the piano, and I really believed he might do that!
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#2074418 - 04/30/13 06:05 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Stanny]
Bluoh Offline
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Originally Posted By: Stanny
Fear worked quite well in my growing up years. My dad said if I quit practicing, he would sell the piano, and I really believed he might do that!

That's a different type of fear-- you weren't in fear of bodily harm, it's more of a worry. ; )

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#2074425 - 04/30/13 06:11 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
manyhands Offline
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The trick to not letting someone (child or adult) get under your skin is paying attention to what YOU tell YOURSELF about their behavior.

"They don't appreciate me etc." is guaranteed to make one feel bad.


"They sure are behaving oddly", which puts the focus on THEM, helps one keep a distance and deal with the behavior.

cognitive behavioral strategy...no charge!!
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#2074441 - 04/30/13 06:41 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Bluoh]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
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I guess you can choose to live in your fantasy world and I'll live in mine. After 20 years of living in Germany, returning to the USA, we couldn't believe how lewd and crude it had become. Telling stories to motivate, getting students to recognize their boorish behavior is not violating their "human rights" what ever that might be, but rather to recognize that a form of inappropriate behavior, is, well, unacceptable not only in public but in private as well.

BTW, your statement:
Quote:
In Canada, you are allowed to exercise your rights and freedoms so long as it does not infringe upon anyone else's rights and/or freedoms.
is only partly true. But this is not a political forum, so this will be my last post on the subject, and you can have the last word.
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#2074454 - 04/30/13 07:02 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: manyhands]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
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Originally Posted By: manyhands
The trick to not letting someone (child or adult) get under your skin is paying attention to what YOU tell YOURSELF about their behavior.

"They don't appreciate me etc." is guaranteed to make one feel bad.


"They sure are behaving oddly", which puts the focus on THEM, helps one keep a distance and deal with the behavior.

cognitive behavioral strategy...no charge!!


Thank you for the free therapy. smile

OT: It came in useful this evening as I'm feeling peeved over a parent's behavior. You're right. It is important to notice what I'm telling myself about the behavior. And change that.




Edited by Ann in Kentucky (04/30/13 07:17 PM)
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#2074455 - 04/30/13 07:05 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: keystring]
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted By: keystring
I'm not able to follow. Has the breakfast program continued, or has it been cancelled? Is the view that a cancelled breakfast program will hurt learning? Or that a continued breakfast program will hurt learning?

By the way, what is the earliest kindergarten age down there?

Kindergarten is 5-6. Preschool is 4-5.

The breakfast program is continuing, to the dismay of many parents and teachers. I used to work in a district that has the free breakfast program, too. It's a joke. They served quite a bit of junk (coffee cake for breakfast, anyone?), and a lot of spills took place. We had ours in the cafeteria, but apparently some schools serve food inside the classroom on a daily basis. What a nightmare.

Sorry to digress...
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#2074458 - 04/30/13 07:09 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
keystring Offline
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Interesting. We have "junior kindergarten" and "senior-kindergarten". With some birthdays, that means some of the kids are starting school when they are still 3 years old.

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#2074512 - 04/30/13 09:02 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: keystring]
malkin Offline
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Originally Posted By: keystring
... "senior-kindergarten"...


I'm sure it is politically incorrect as all get out, but this makes me giggle and think of a fun place for elderly people to go for a few hours each day.
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#2074523 - 04/30/13 09:20 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Peter K. Mose]
AndyJ Offline
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Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
[quote=Bluoh] I just heard on the radio what Los Angeles Unified is doing with the free breakfast program. It was sheer madness. No wonder kids can't learn.


You'll have to spell this out for us, AZN. Our radios don't all receive that far.

Here's the story from the Los Angeles Times. The huge Los Angeles Unified School District (from which I graduated in 1973) is fighting with its board about budget cuts. A couple of days ago the district threatened to "...eliminate a classroom breakfast program serving nearly 200,000 children...."

I was in high school there when the first big round of cuts went into effect following the property-tax rollback imposed by Proposition 13. I felt them personally as I had to attend summer school to get enough academic credits to qualify for university admission. In those days, every California school kid was required to take one period of physical education every day of their thirteen years in public school. As a result I was only allowed to take three academic classes in my senior year. California has gradually declined from leading the country in public education to a dismal near-bottom performance. Factors other than finance certainly contribute, but you can't maintain a school system with continually declining budgets.

Andy

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#2074605 - 04/30/13 11:39 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Bluoh]
SBP Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bluoh
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: Bluoh
Human rights have progressed lots since the 1960s; kids are people too, and anyways, it's not healthy for you or for your students.

Really? On what planet? On planet Earth, it appears to be regressing. Especially here in the USA.


I am female and I am allowed to own a house, a piano, vote, and wear pants. Whipping is not allowed. Residential schools no longer exist. The church is no longer the 'higher power'. The court of law is no longer associated with politics nor the church.

In Canada, you are allowed to exercise your rights and freedoms so long as it does not infringe upon anyone else's rights and/or freedoms.

How are human rights regressing? Of course, it will never be perfect and politics will always be tied to it, but it's progress.


Let's not forget equal voting rights for blacks and other races, more or less equal pay (we still need to do some-read a lot of work on that), and so on. There's still the issues of marriage equality (please for the love of God do not open this can, nay cargo ship, of worms and derail this thread any more), immigration reform, and other busy-sounding buzzwords for serious issues, but given that each side always says "no" to what the other side wants and vice versa (like kids at recess), these issues'll be up in the air 'til doomsday :P

Anyways, stand up for yourself. Confront the parent. Don't take crap from whiny kids. Another thing you could do is try teaching them pieces they're interested in, which is mostly not Piano Adventures 2A. Try looking up arrangements for songs from famous movies or video games. Show them that piano is more than just stuffy dead white people music. If you give them something that they're more likely to be interested in, it shows not only that you can understand them at least a little bit, but they'll have more incentive to learn to play the instrument. Case in point-the guitar teacher at my school not only teaches basic/advanced guitar method and the pre-requisite standard teaching songs, but also teaches them both classic and modern rock and metal, which is what the students want to learn in the first place, and as such all of his students respect him.

You know what they say-"you can teach an old dog new tricks, but only if he/she wants to".
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#2074651 - 05/01/13 12:49 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Bluoh Offline
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Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
I guess you can choose to live in your fantasy world and I'll live in mine. After 20 years of living in Germany, returning to the USA, we couldn't believe how lewd and crude it had become. Telling stories to motivate, getting students to recognize their boorish behavior is not violating their "human rights" what ever that might be, but rather to recognize that a form of inappropriate behavior, is, well, unacceptable not only in public but in private as well.

BTW, your statement:
Quote:
In Canada, you are allowed to exercise your rights and freedoms so long as it does not infringe upon anyone else's rights and/or freedoms.
is only partly true. But this is not a political forum, so this will be my last post on the subject, and you can have the last word.


It's not "telling stories to motivate"-- it's threatening. Threatening people shouldn't be part of anyone's teaching. It's not healthy and it's inappropriate. And it violates someone's human rights.

I'm not about to argue whether the USA has gotten crude over the years because I haven't been there long enough to know.

But I have been to the USA and I've noticed differences in behaviour (even though Target says we're neighbours), and it never feels the same as Canada.

It's still progress from the 1960s though. Which brings me back: human rights have progressed since the 1960s.

Anyways, if those things aren't progress in human rights (plus SBP's post) and more, then you must be pretty immersed in your fantasy world. :P

However, I'm not about to start an argument, and I'm not a political person anyways (I'm more of a dabbler in the field of law). I guess we can each exist in our own worlds.

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#2074808 - 05/01/13 07:50 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: AZNpiano]
TimR Offline
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Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

One Mom called in to say that it builds "team work" to clean up the spills in class, and that eating together is a "teachable moment." I was rolling on the floor laughing.


It seems self evident to you that eating in the classroom is a bad idea.

I see the other side of it: that kids who are desparately hungry aren't all that interesting in learning.
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#2076096 - 05/02/13 06:43 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
-Frycek Offline
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One thought about the first kid - this from my own childhood. I was once thoroughly chastised by my mother for "mocking" an old lady of our acquaintance after we left her house. The thing is, as far as I know I'd done no such thing and was totally bewildered. So bewildered that it was a seminal experience that has stayed with me for more than fifty years. All I can figure out is that I must've been subconsciously imitating one of the old lady's mannerisms. (I'm one of those people who tend to pick up the accent of whomever I'm talking to.) Your student number one may not realize he's doing anything offensive. He may not realize he's doing anything at all. It may be a form of flattery. I sincerely liked that old lady and never thought there was anything odd about her.
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#2076425 - 05/03/13 04:30 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
btb Offline
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I’ve never had trouble with child rudeness ...
but then I have a heavy set of eyebrows with a tortured rebel crease.

However, if I were in the shoes of the OP,
my solution would conjure the following scenario ...
when the rude student arrives (preferably with parent) ...
I would beg 5 minutes to conclude an earlier lesson in the main studio ... and with use of a trick recording which can be heard in the waiting room ... let waft upon the air the dire sound of knuckles being rapped and yowls of pain ... all heard above the daemonic roars of the angry PT ... with a closing shout “get out you useless waste of time “ ... ”use the back door and don’t come back”

If that doesn’t work ... resort to the blood-stained riding crop.

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#2076483 - 05/03/13 08:31 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: btb]
TimR Offline
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Originally Posted By: btb
I would beg 5 minutes to conclude an earlier lesson in the main studio ... and with use of a trick recording which can be heard in the waiting room ... let waft upon the air the dire sound of knuckles being rapped and yowls of pain ... all heard above the daemonic roars of the angry PT ...


I have always wondered if a variation of that actually happened to me.

Many years ago I was audited by a state IRS office.

As I waited in the examiner's outer office, I heard him on the phone. His end of the conversation went like this, "yes, I understand that your father is dying of cancer in the nursing home. But what kind of payment schedule can he set up?"

That did not set a good tone for my turn.

(as it turned out, I had overpaid and they owed me money instead of the other way around. But being the IRS, they just calculated some kind of penalty that exactly balanced it out.)
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#2076696 - 05/03/13 02:32 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Piano*Dad Offline
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As a person whose knuckles were rapped by someone who pretended to teach piano, I am not amused ....
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#2076698 - 05/03/13 02:35 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Quote:
as it turned out, I had overpaid and they owed me money instead of the other way around. But being the IRS, they just calculated some kind of penalty that exactly balanced it out.


I was waiting to hear if you told them what kind of payment scheme they would have to accept. smile
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#2076702 - 05/03/13 02:39 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Piano*Dad]
Dipsy Offline
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
As a person whose knuckles were rapped by someone who pretended to teach piano, I am not amused ....


I dont blame you, I would only want them rapped by someone who could actually teach piano as well.








Edited by Dipsy (05/03/13 02:41 PM)

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#2076705 - 05/03/13 02:45 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Hah! grin
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#2076707 - 05/03/13 02:49 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Piano*Dad]
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
As a person whose knuckles were rapped by someone who pretended to teach piano, I am not amused ....

That hurts more than having one's knuckles rapped by someone who is a master piano teacher.
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#2076709 - 05/03/13 02:54 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Piano*Dad Offline
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I think I was too young to notice the difference!
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#2076938 - 05/04/13 12:34 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Polyphonist Online   content
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This thread is getting a little strange... ha
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#2077292 - 05/04/13 05:44 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: AZNpiano]
Joyce_dup1 Offline
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When I was a kid, I used to go along with my friends to their piano lessons at the Catholic school. Sister Andriella kept a ruler next to the piano to whack their hands if they made a mistake. True story. Ah, the good old days.

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#2077334 - 05/04/13 06:59 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Nonna Offline
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Would the mother be willing to sit in on the lessons? If not could you video tape them? I would get the mother's permission (in writing) to video and then email her the video. There may be underlying factors (such as trouble at home etc.) but you are not the child's therapist and if it continues it will only get worse.
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#2077423 - 05/04/13 11:32 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Arabesque Offline
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What I recieve from your post is that the children are confused and frustrated because they are tired or frustrated in some way. Are you setting goals for them? And moreover, are they working on goals? Or just doing piano.

Although not an expert, I think we need to believe in students and show them our positive expectations. Set some targets and give positive affirmation. By. focusing on the annoying habits of the kids you make them bigger.

Of course a dialog with parent is important to find out motivations. Also kids are rounded individuals who have a lot of stuff going on in their lives. Boys particularly have all kinds of hormonal changes influencing moods. And when you can emphathise with some of these issues you will be able to create a better relationship with these students. But yes, be firm and work with them on 'their' goals - if it is to look cool in front of peers or whatever..
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#2078525 - 05/06/13 07:42 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Beth_Frances Offline
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Update on boy 2.

Yesterday he came into his lesson absolutely furious that I had sent his brother back to the car and asked him to come in first. Usually they have their lessons the other way around, but I have decided to try switching them around to see if using his brother as a buffer between him and the rest of my Monday lessons helps with my stamina. I had emailed the mother requesting this.

The first thing he said was "nothing is going to change!" very agressively, to which I replied "this isn't about you, I want to teach you first so I'm not still in a bad mood for the other kids I teach thisafternoon." Now i KNOW that was terrible, and I didn't mean to say it, but he makes me so mad that it slipped out. He stormed over to the piano, sat down with arms crossed and body language closed off and was completely unresponsive. I said happily "Let me know if you want to start your lesson, otherwise I'll be working on some other things." And walked off and got a glass of water and then started flipping through some admin work with my back to him. After about a minute he said "I didn't say I wasn't going to play. I was just THINKING!"

I came back to him, started the lesson, and in a switch that made my partner who was listening from another room question whether or not he might be bipolar, he suddenly turned what seemed genuinely friendly, was compliant, and even chatted along pleasantly for a bit about his upcoming school camp. No idea what happened there! The rest of the lesson went better than his lessons have gone in months.

I also got to have a good chat with his mum, and discovered that he is seeing a pschologist at the moment because of his behaviour issues (and he pulls similar stunts with the psychologist as well), and that the mum is receiving very long emails regularly from his school teacher about acting up in class. It was a huge relief that not only did the mum believe me but also that she wasn't surprised, and was very apologetic and told me I can call or email her any time to let her know what is going on and there will be consequences if he keeps it up.

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#2078536 - 05/06/13 08:13 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11693
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I think you handled this perfectly. He needs those boundaries, and perhaps he just needed some time to blow off some steam, then he could focus. I would be prepared to do this same routine each lesson if needed. I think he really appreciated it. Good for you!
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#2078538 - 05/06/13 08:24 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Stanny Offline
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Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
Wow, good job! I think he will begin to realize you aren't going to put up with his antics.
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#2078598 - 05/06/13 11:17 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Peter K. Mose Offline
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Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1335
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Well done, Beth! In a strange way, I have a feeling he even believes that you are on his side. Which you are. A huge accomplishment.

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#2078639 - 05/07/13 02:17 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: Beth_Frances


The first thing he said was "nothing is going to change!" very agressively, to which I replied "this isn't about you, I want to teach you first so I'm not still in a bad mood for the other kids I teach thisafternoon."


hehe Check out the frustration thread?

Quote:

I also got to have a good chat with his mum, and discovered that he is seeing a pschologist at the moment because of his behaviour issues (and he pulls similar stunts with the psychologist as well),...


... and she didn't think to tell you?
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www.justfingers.co.uk
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#2078681 - 05/07/13 07:11 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: ten left thumbs]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11693
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
Originally Posted By: Beth_Frances


The first thing he said was "nothing is going to change!" very agressively, to which I replied "this isn't about you, I want to teach you first so I'm not still in a bad mood for the other kids I teach thisafternoon."


hehe Check out the frustration thread?

Quote:

I also got to have a good chat with his mum, and discovered that he is seeing a pschologist at the moment because of his behaviour issues (and he pulls similar stunts with the psychologist as well),...


... and she didn't think to tell you?

We always find out the hard way, don't we?
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2078744 - 05/07/13 09:55 AM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Sometimes I think they take piano lessons because the kid has problems and they want us to make it better. Which is fair enough, but it would be wise to tell the teacher.

For what I know, bipolar mood swing last weeks or months, not seconds as described. Simple explanation, kid realized he wasn't going to get away with it and changed tack. But he has a therapist already for the diagnosis, so we're probably safe to leave it to them.
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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#2081979 - 05/13/13 03:56 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Kimsie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/08
Posts: 95
Loc: Arlington, WA
Originally Posted By: Beth_Frances
Update on boy 2.

I came back to him, started the lesson, and in a switch that made my partner who was listening from another room question whether or not he might be bipolar, he suddenly turned what seemed genuinely friendly, was compliant, and even chatted along pleasantly for a bit about his upcoming school camp. No idea what happened there!


One of our sons has schizophrenia and my brother-in-law is bipolar and I can tell you that from what you have said there is no reason to think this boy has either of those problems. You handled it well.

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#2082450 - 05/14/13 01:20 PM Re: student mocking me rudely [Re: Beth_Frances]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
Watching the trial of Jodi Arias, the slasher, on tv has been quite an education. I'm not saying your student has the same problem, but the child's tactics put me in mind of what I've learned about personality disorders. I'm hardly in a position to diagnose or recommend treatment! But there is one big difference: your student is seeing a psychologist for treatment (she never did)... and that could make all the difference in the world. A life-and-death difference, literally. So I applaud the parents for getting help.

At the same time, I deplore their not having advised you. But it's understandable that it may be a sensitive subject for them.

I think you did fine, personally. Maybe that fiery statement alone might have gone a bit over the top if it were taken by itself, but in the context of everything else you said and did, it was not inappropriate, and it certainly was not terrible. Some of these kids are dieing to have healthy boundaries laid down for them. Healthy and suitable boundaries help them to feel secure, and help them learn about respect. And then they can learn about piano.

It works with dogs, too--- I have five. All good dogs, all knowing where the boundaries are, all testing them now and then. BTW, a little treat when behavior is good helps to grease the gears wonderfully.
_________________________
Clef


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