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Originally Posted by BrainCramp
It may be that she's very unhappy and having trouble adjusting to a new country generally, e.g. missing her friends, making new ones, etc.

I like Monkey's suggestion of pointing out the cultural differences to her. When she mouths off, say something like, "Talking to an adult that way isn't acceptable here in this country. If you say things like that, people here will think you're very rude."

That lets you keep it impersonal and constructive. It's good for the parents to hear that, too.

I wouldn't emphasize this. It would be rude for anyone to treat anyone this way. Let her know that you expect the behavior from her that you show her. That way, there's no way to object.


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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Fire the student.

Now.


You have fired a couple students just the in the past few days, shall we keep any? grin

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Originally Posted by The Monkeys
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Fire the student.

Now.


You have fired a couple students just the in the past few days, shall we keep any? grin

There's no need to keep the rude ones. I can put up with the slow or the untalented, but the in-your-face attitude displayed by that girl? No.


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Originally Posted by AZNpiano

I can put up with the slow or the untalented


Ouch.


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Does firing an student over "All Cars Eat Grass" sound right to you? Or "D vs C" really worth ending the session?

Able to control the classroom situation is one of the key competence of being a teacher, handling the attitude and behavior of an 8 year old is normal part of a music teacher's life I suppose.

There are many ways to handle the situation lightheartedly, Mrs Lois just gave a few good ones.

Teacher's own attitude is also important, being more assertive and authoritative will discourage this kind of behavior.

As with any profession, we need to learn to deal with the situation skillfully rather than emotionally. It does take time and practices to develop the skills, but it is what makes a better professional.

Last edited by The Monkeys; 04/23/13 01:33 AM.
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As a piano teacher (ancient by any standards), I must underline the issue of sight-reading which bugs all young students ... if the teacher were to concentrate on making lessons "fun" ... and tempering the sight-reading bogey with slow but helpful progressions ... especially finding
a piece of music which the student likes ... a rosier future beckons.

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Since she has done this in front of her parents, I am guessing that she has parental support for doing so -- spoken or unspoken. I do not see a happy ending. Talk to the dad, and assess what steps they are willing to take to stop this.

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Originally Posted by The Monkeys

Able to control the classroom situation is one of the key competence of being a teacher, handling the attitude and behavior of an 8 year old is normal part of a music teacher's life I suppose.

Can you share some strategies that you have used as a teacher that you have found are effective?

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Originally Posted by The Monkeys
Does firing an student over "All Cars Eat Grass" sound right to you? Or "D vs C" really worth ending the session?

Yes.


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Originally Posted by Whizbang
Originally Posted by AZNpiano

I can put up with the slow or the untalented


Ouch.

?


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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Fire the student.

Now.

If the student is a large enough emotional burden to the teacher, I agree this is the answer. Only the OP can assess their own state of mind on this, however.

I think that even if the OP fires the student it could be a good thing for the student too. I accepted a transfer student whose previous teacher gave a description somewhat similiar to what's above. I'm really hard to run over, and I know that, so I thought I'd give the student a chance. It's been working out great. I've had zero difficulty from the student or the parent and they are musically flourishing.

I'm not the right teacher for every student. None of us are. Sometimes dropping the student is best for teacher and student.


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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Whizbang
Originally Posted by AZNpiano

I can put up with the slow or the untalented


Ouch.

?


As a student who is slow and untalented, it is offensive to be 'put up with' as one might put up with a neighbor's incessantly barking dog or a car alarm in the night.

I'd prefer to have a teacher embracing the challenge of teaching me or perhaps even enjoying this challenge. If my teacher's attitude were merely putting up with me, I'd seek another teacher.


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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Whizbang
Originally Posted by AZNpiano

I can put up with the slow or the untalented


Ouch.

?


I was on the slow and untalented side of the spectrum, so thinking back and realizing that my childhood teachers might also have just been putting up with me kind of felt like a gut punch.

Last edited by Whizbang; 04/23/13 09:59 AM.

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Hi all,

Since the post, I took the suggestions some of you gave me and have emailed the parents telling them I will not tolerate her behavior any longer in my studio and will kick her out the next class that she speaks to me that way. The reason I emailed is because there are language barriers in communication between the parents and myself and I am not sure they always understand me verbally.

I emailed her father this time, not her mother. He emailed back saying he was shocked and surprised to hear this and that she acts this way around him and her teacher at school too and he did not notice it as bad behavior. He told me that I should tell him what she's doing wrong and that he will work with her. The mother emailed me, grateful that I said something, and told me that this is how the father and daughter talk to her at home and that apparently her father is the one who taught her to challenge the teachers, even going back to her days in China. Since the father is the one who dominates what goes on in that household, and does not listen to the mother much at all, this is why the daughter is behaving this way.

Since clearly, neither the dad nor the girl realized this behavior was bad, I will continue working with them for now to see if this improves and explain to the dad that this behavior is not acceptable here, nor should it be acceptable anywhere.

As far as toughness...I am actually known for being tough and reacting quickly. The reason I emailed on here is because I want to know the professional and dignified approach for dealing with this. Sure I could tell her several things, but doing it in a more professional manner is what I am after.

She is actually smart, was taught the right way in China (i.e. came to me with real knowledge so I did not have to start from the beginning). I hope that with time and parental involvement we can shape her into a polite young lady.

Thanks everyone who contributed to this post. Your suggestions and opinions really helped me begin to address the situation.

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Originally Posted by malkin
As a student who is slow and untalented, it is offensive to be 'put up with' as one might put up with a neighbor's incessantly barking dog or a car alarm in the night.

I don't put up with incessantly barking dogs or car alarms at night. If I don't bother them, they don't bother me.

Originally Posted by malkin
I'd prefer to have a teacher embracing the challenge of teaching me or perhaps even enjoying this challenge. If my teacher's attitude were merely putting up with me, I'd seek another teacher.

That's your call. You can take your money wherever you want. The question remains: How can you tell if the teacher embraces the challenge, or merely puts up with the challenge?


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Originally Posted by ezpiano.org
I seriously think that she thinks you are idiot from your descriptions. You have three options as stated above. I would choose option two.


It does sound like the teacher has not earned the respect of the student yet. The bad attitude is simply the clumsy (and wrong) way that the kid uses to communicate this. To keep this student, being firm in discipline is secondary, the main issue is whether the student will truly respect the teacher and whether this can happen fast.

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Originally Posted by P.M.
Since clearly, neither the dad nor the girl realized this behavior was bad, I will continue working with them for now to see if this improves and explain to the dad that this behavior is not acceptable here, nor should it be acceptable anywhere.

Everything is sound and good, except that I would downplay the fact they're from China and they're in a new country. End your last sentence at "acceptable." The last thing you want to do is coming across as being xenophobic.


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Thanks AZNpiano for voicing what I was thinking while reading through these posts. Where this student came from is not the issue -- focus on what behaviour is and isn't acceptable in your studio.

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Malkin, and Whizbang:
There's no need to take a sentence like that to heart. Some people are looking to feel offended. We're all a bit of a pain or bother to somebody. Do you know how some seniors worry they'll be a burden to their family as they age? Newsflash: They were a burden long before that. Everybody tries the patience of others.

Have you never encountered people (not students necessarily) whom you had to work hard with to engage in conversation? Or people whom you had to entertain for your husband's sake? Or boring people at your job?

Are there students you have to put up with?
Absolutely.

Does that mean they're not worth investing time in?
Absolutely not.

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Originally Posted by LadyChen
Thanks AZNpiano for voicing what I was thinking while reading through these posts. Where this student came from is not the issue -- focus on what behaviour is and isn't acceptable in your studio.


Exactly what I was thinking. The rude student I had, who was dismissed from my studio, is not a "foreign student". It doesn't matter, there are rude people from every ethnicity, it's not the issue.


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