Have you fired a student?

debmc

Well-Known Member
#61
That's true, but you see that in every line of work. I see patients all the time with hypertension or diabetes but they don't follow the prescribed therapy. I even see patients show up late for their own surgery! I don't assume that they are lazy, but I do assume that for some reason they are not proactive about their own health.
 

debmc

Well-Known Member
#62
Perhaps there is a difference in the way pros see their work? It seems that most of us 9-5 people ( actually I am hardly 9-5, but using it as an example), know that we have to experience a variety of situations at work and deal with it. We don't quit our jobs...or dismiss our clients whenever a tough situation arises. Pros, is there a difference between how you view your work vs the usual 9-5'ers, and I ask that question legitimately, not as a challenge.
 

bia

Well-Known Member
#64
Perhaps there is a difference in the way pros see their work? It seems that most of us 9-5 people ( actually I am hardly 9-5, but using it as an example), know that we have to experience a variety of situations at work and deal with it. We don't quit our jobs...or dismiss our clients whenever a tough situation arises. Pros, is there a difference between how you view your work vs the usual 9-5'ers, and I ask that question legitimately, not as a challenge.
I can't speak for the dance teachers, but just based on the examples in this thread, I'm not sure that there's as much difference as that. First, true "firing" seems to be quite rare (I don't consider it the same thing as telling someone they're not allowed to take a group class at a level they're not ready for yet). And many are situations where someone in another profession might well talk to HR (if it were a co-worker), talk to a boss about transferring the person to someone else or not renewing a contract (if it were a client), or ask a customer to leave (say, a disruptive person at a bar/restaurant/store). Everyone has to deal with people behaving badly, but most professions provide a mechanism for separating oneself from the worst of them.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#65
Perhaps there is a difference in the way pros see their work? It seems that most of us 9-5 people ( actually I am hardly 9-5, but using it as an example), know that we have to experience a variety of situations at work and deal with it. We don't quit our jobs...or dismiss our clients whenever a tough situation arises. Pros, is there a difference between how you view your work vs the usual 9-5'ers, and I ask that question legitimately, not as a challenge.

Disclaimer: I am not a dance pro, so feel free to ignore everything I say.

I think there's a very big difference between a dance teacher/student relationship and many other types of professional relationships. A dance teacher and student have a relationship that may be hours per week for years. A relationship with a patient or client involves a whole lot less time and a whole lot less personal contact, both physical and emotional.

While clients who don't attend to their health may concern or even irk you, they're not in your office two hours a week every week for the next year. A dance student who is emotionally unstable, overly clingy, obnoxious, etc, is, IMHO, a whole different ball of wax.

And, as far as students who keep cancelling lessons. Most medical professionals that I know of, for example, keep credit card info on file and automatically charge you for no shows. It's not costing the medical office anything but inconvenience if you don't show. Many independent dance teachers that I know of don't offer credit card payments and, even if they did, would likely be hesitant to autocharge. It's on an honor system. in a lot of cases. Any student who's cancelling half their lessons (especially at the last minute) is not, IMV, all that likely to voluntarily honor the teacher's time by paying for it. They've already shown a lack of respect for the teacher's time. It's costing the teacher a portion of their livelihood.

I think these are two very different types of relationships.
 

debmc

Well-Known Member
#66
That makes sense... thanks Bia and Pygmalion.On a personal note, I think I have canceled one lesson late in the last 5 years... and I paid for the time lost... and I felt that this was fair. I can see lost time and late cancellations being an issue. Some of the earlier postings sounded more cavalier to me. Totally get the cancellation postings.
 

Larinda McRaven

Site Moderator
Staff member
#67
Perhaps there is a difference in the way pros see their work? It seems that most of us 9-5 people ( actually I am hardly 9-5, but using it as an example), know that we have to experience a variety of situations at work and deal with it. We don't quit our jobs...or dismiss our clients whenever a tough situation arises. Pros, is there a difference between how you view your work vs the usual 9-5'ers, and I ask that question legitimately, not as a challenge.
I don't know Deb, I've overheard my dentist tell the receptionist in his office that he didn't want Mrs So-N-So to be able to schedule with him anymore. I have no idea the reasons behind his decision but I would assume it would be pretty close to my reasoning. So I don't think that we, as professional dancer teachers, are taking liberties not also extended to any other professional industry, even the medical field.

Not following my professional advice they are paying me for is not enough to dismiss a client or a patient. It makes me sigh but I don't fire them for it. When someone is verbally abusive, is disruptive to my ability to earn income, and shows complete lack of regard for the civility of the community I create so that other clients don't want to come back... those certainly are within the rights of any professional or business to stand up against.
 

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
#68
Some situations are different. Web designers are often counseled to fire their overly troublesome clients, because the client will consume too much time to be profitable. Web designers usually don't get paid by the hour, but by the completed project. Another distinction is, the client is not the website.

If a dance teacher gets paid by the hour and wants the money, the more hours the better. If a dance teacher cares more about the end result than the money, the teacher can't make the project happen without the cooperation of the client/student. In dance, the student is the project, and the student is the only one who can make it happen.
 

dbk

Well-Known Member
#69
One thing I know for sure, no adult should ever be scared or intimidated by another, regardless of position, regardless of whether you are pro/teacher or client/student. Neither should be scared of the other...
Which is why I put "scared" in quotations, and clarified "at least aware that they can't act like a spoiled child".

Frankly, no adult should be afraid of a word... and those who are afraid of getting "fired" are going to be just as afraid of getting "expelled," anyway.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#70
and there are only some occupations in which the analogy works...folks who are responsible for their own clientele have the capacity to make those calls, folks who have to answer to some level of management above themselves are not...that some people have the luxury and some don't doesn't negate the reality that it is a perogative of a dance teacher or an independent owner operator of a particular service....
 

twnkltoz

Well-Known Member
#71
...And many are situations where someone in another profession might well talk to HR (if it were a co-worker), talk to a boss about transferring the person to someone else or not renewing a contract (if it were a client), or ask a customer to leave (say, a disruptive person at a bar/restaurant/store). Everyone has to deal with people behaving badly, but most professions provide a mechanism for separating oneself from the worst of them.
Exactly. If your co-worker is making your job unbearable, you address it with your supervisor or HR and find a solution. Either you get moved, or they do, or they get counseled on their behavior, or whatever. If the transgressor doesn't change their attitude/practices/etc., they might get fired.

Anyone remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine went to the doctor for a rash, and the doctor wrote "difficult" in her chart and she couldn't get a doctor anywhere in the city to look at her because she was "difficult"? A comedic situation, of course, but I'm sure there are doctors and other health care providers who finally get sick of a patient for whatever reason--abusive to staff, multiple cancellations, etc.--and refuse to treat them.
 

twnkltoz

Well-Known Member
#72
That makes sense... thanks Bia and Pygmalion.On a personal note, I think I have canceled one lesson late in the last 5 years... and I paid for the time lost... and I felt that this was fair. I can see lost time and late cancellations being an issue. Some of the earlier postings sounded more cavalier to me. Totally get the cancellation postings.
I'm interested to know which posts you consider to be cavalier.

One more note...with most co-workers and clients, you are not wrapping your arms around them and pressing your body against theirs in order to create an art form that is semi-emotional in nature.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#74
I don't know Deb, I've overheard my dentist tell the receptionist in his office that he didn't want Mrs So-N-So to be able to schedule with him anymore. I have no idea the reasons behind his decision but I would assume it would be pretty close to my reasoning. So I don't think that we, as professional dancer teachers, are taking liberties not also extended to any other professional industry, even the medical field.

A friend of my sister was banned from *get this* ever having another baby at a particular hospital. She behaved so exceptionally badly that the staff asked her never to return to that hospital.

Another one of my sister's friends was banned from a dentist's office after she got hysterical during treatment and repeatedly bit him. (She was a grown woman at the time.)

Lessons? One: My sister has some crazy-behind friends. Two: If it's your business, you have the right (and one might argue responsibility) to limit what kinds of behavior you're going to accept from your clients.

I think Larinda made an excellent point earlier, when she implied that bad behavior on the part of a student can impact the experience of other students. Twinkltoz implied the same thing. The guy with the heavy left hand that nobody wanted to dance with was NOT an asset to the group class. I implied the same thing. The diva chick at my studio who could do nothing but complain made life difficult for all of us who were anywhere near her lessons (God help you if there was a showcase coming up!)

When considering hiring/firing students, I think there's a lot more to consider than just whether a teacher "likes" a student or not. IMO, it goes way, way beyond that to a cost/benefit analysis. Is the value that the student is bringing far and consistently surpassed by the angst and/or maintenance costs they bring? If so, it might be time to consider firing them.


ETA: I suppose I should add that it's my perception that firing really doesn't happen often at all. Usually, in my observation, pain in the butt students are tacitly acknowledged as pains in the butt and may even be handled with kid gloves. But they don't generally get fired.

Just my humble view.
 

debmc

Well-Known Member
#75
Interesting perspectives and experiences. I am fortunate that I have met just wonderful students... many who have become my good friends. I cannot relate to all the talk about firing and difficult students, because I have had consistently good experiences with virtually all of the students I have encountered in the dance world.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#76
I have seen/heard a few students speak to/treat their pros poorly...I have seen the same from pros toward their students...I think it is rare....mainly because most people will make a change if something like that is more than occasional
 

chomsky

Well-Known Member
#77
Thanks for taking the time to write such a thoughtful response. That clears things up for me. :)


My take? I never have understood how so many teachers (particularly ones who are employed by a studio rather than independent) manage to smile while putting up with so much ungodly crap from students. Some students need and DESERVE to be fired. IMV, three of the scenarios that have been mentioned in this thread are great grounds for firing. The crazies, the cancellers and the don't wanna learners.** If you can't be respectful of the teacher and her/his time, then what the heck are you doing there? That applies to the first two. And the third scenario is a waste of everybody's time. If you don't want to learn, leave. If you want to learn, develop a little humility and *try to* learn. Otherwise, why torture everybody?


There are probably other scenarios in which firing would be deserved. Just haven't thought of all the possibilities.



** I might be a little more merciful on a don't want to learner who was the reluctant half of a couple. That situation has a whole bunch of complications involved.
I loved this!!!!
 

chomsky

Well-Known Member
#78
Heh...tonight I taught two guys who are my favorite type of student: diligent, thoughtful about their dancing, listen carefully when I talk and try to apply what I say, want to get it right from the beginning. One of them thanked me for my patience with him and I had to laugh. It's always the ones who DON'T require any patience at all who apologize and thank you for your patience. The ones who try you the most are completely clueless about how much patience they require...or they don't care.

I really love teaching people who love to learn and apply themselves. It makes me feel so fulfilled to watch them progress.
i just loved this,it cheered me up!!!!
 

chomsky

Well-Known Member
#80
Interesting perspectives and experiences. I am fortunate that I have met just wonderful students... many who have become my good friends. I cannot relate to all the talk about firing and difficult students, because I have had consistently good experiences with virtually all of the students I have encountered in the dance world.
same here!!!
 

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