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Missed class policy
#2715497 02/18/18 07:52 PM
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Hi,

I am currently taking classes with a teacher, who does not provide make-up classes for missed classes. I am still required to pay for the class though.

I miss about 1 in 10 classes (I take 1 class per week), primarily because I am out of town on business.

How common/reasonable is this? I am happy with the teacher in general, except for this policy.

Thanks
Osho


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Re: Missed class policy
Osho #2715503 02/18/18 08:24 PM
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Hello Osho, I miss generally 1 class a year, because my husband and I go on vacation and the school is open. Because I take 2 hours classes, I do pay for this as a courtesy. However, if I was missing 10% due to my job and could tell the school/owner director a head of time and still had to pay, I would look at private lessons from an individual or another school. If there is a university close by, you may call the music department and see if there are music students who teach for extra income.


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Re: Missed class policy
Osho #2715504 02/18/18 08:33 PM
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I'd be fine with that arrangement, but if you aren't, that's ok too. You can propose a different arrangement to your teacher, seek a different teacher, or decide that the current arrangement is acceptable after all. Or you can stew about it.


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Re: Missed class policy
Osho #2715538 02/19/18 12:00 AM
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This is a very common policy.

You could ask your teacher if make-up lessons are available, especially if you can provide advanced notice.


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Re: Missed class policy
Osho #2715549 02/19/18 01:12 AM
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I'm allowed 4 make ups per year, and they can be scheduled at a different day/time of the week, or an extra 15 minutes added to 4 lessons overtime, etc. However, the school recently made a change such that isn't available for everyone. Some students/parents decide at the last minute not to show, and miss many lessons. There are no makeups for them ;0


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Re: Missed class policy
Osho #2715557 02/19/18 02:08 AM
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I think most teachers will reschedule with 24 hours notice. However, if your teacher is quite busy, this is a perfectly good policy. The problem with makeup lessons is they can't always be scheduled three days apart from your regular lesson day. So the teacher ends up teaching you Monday and Wednesday for instance. That means you only have one day to practice, possibly two. Not much progress to work with. And in your case, it's you who creates the need for a makeup lesson. The teacher has slotted you each week, and now she will have a space she can't likely use (unless you give plenty of notice). Plus another day gets too busy when you come for the makeup lesson.

I think I'd just accept that your teacher is a professional who doesn't have time to play with. You can ask for an exception, but really, it makes you look a bit nigly, considering she can't help it you have work commitments.

Re: Missed class policy
Osho #2715569 02/19/18 04:01 AM
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I always provide at least a week's notice, and usually two weeks notice.

What I don't like about this is that I have paid for 3+ classes in last 6 months or so without actually taking any classes. I know she is busy, but not that busy that she cannot make up classes. But, she doesn't usually show any willingness to do any make-ups. I have never had a make-up class with her since I started taking lessons.

She will do make-up classes if she is sick and can't take classes, which is great. But, if a student needs to reschedule, she doesn't seem to have any interest in doing any make-ups.

Osho


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Re: Missed class policy
Osho #2715571 02/19/18 04:06 AM
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Osho, how far in advance to you notify your teacher of changes.

Re: Missed class policy
keystring #2715584 02/19/18 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Osho, how far in advance to you notify your teacher of changes.

At least a week - often two weeks.

Osho


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Re: Missed class policy
Osho #2715623 02/19/18 11:13 AM
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It's quite normal here that you don't get refunds or get to reschedule if you cancel a lesson as a student. However my teacher has offered to reschedule those times when I have a work trip and cannot make my lesson. But it has only happened 3 times or so during the 6+ years of my lessons: I make my lessons a priority. I would not expect her to reschedule 3 times in 6 months because the terms were clearly stated when I started.

Re: Missed class policy
Osho #2715624 02/19/18 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Osho
I always provide at least a week's notice, and usually two weeks notice.

What I don't like about this is that I have paid for 3+ classes in last 6 months or so without actually taking any classes. I know she is busy, but not that busy that she cannot make up classes. But, she doesn't usually show any willingness to do any make-ups. I have never had a make-up class with her since I started taking lessons.

She will do make-up classes if she is sick and can't take classes, which is great. But, if a student needs to reschedule, she doesn't seem to have any interest in doing any make-ups.

Osho


Having this discussion here is really very unlikely to address the real situation with your teacher.

How do you know how busy she is?

Recalculate the financial cost of your lessons to reflect a longer term. Instead of thinking about paying $50 per lesson, reframe to think that you pay $200/ month or $3600/year to study with this teacher. The cost per lesson will increase a little bit. If you still feel like it isn't "fair" to you, stop doing it.

Or go ahead and continue to stew about it.


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Re: Missed class policy
Osho #2715630 02/19/18 12:04 PM
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I run a freelance business as a translator, and I was originally a trained teacher, and later did some serious tutoring. People who are employed often do not grasp the reality of running one's own business. Time management and financial management are two biggies. A teacher has to organize her 30 or so students within the space of her teaching time, and must be available for each student at those times. This is her commitment. She cannot give your time to someone else. If you cancel your Wed. 6:00 - 7:00 p.m., she can't find someone else to take your slot. If she then teaches you on a different time as makeup, she has had to be around for the time that you were not there which was reserved for you, and also another hour for your makeup, all for the pay of the original single hour. If this happens for 10 students in a month, then she has worked free of charge for 10 hours. She has also lost 10 hours of her time - increasing her work time. These are the logistics.

Some teachers will do a makeup with advance notice. Say you cancelled your Wed 6 - 7. Mary cancelled her Friday 7 - 8. So let's put you into Mary's slot, and give John your slot, because John cancelled 2 weeks ahead of time. But this is also a lot of extra work for the teacher. She has to play telephone tag or e-mail tag trying to reorganize everybody. I would find that stressful, especially if I had to do it most weeks.

The general idea is that you are paying for a time slot, not for the lesson in that time slot. But if you appear for your lesson in that time slot, you should have your teacher's full, professional, and undivided attention.

Re: Missed class policy
Osho #2715633 02/19/18 12:12 PM
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I offer make up lessons, but I can see why a teacher would not (and am considering going that way in the future).
One issue that I run into as a teacher is that make up lessons often make more work for me. Any time a student requests a reschedule/make-up, I have to spend time looking at my schedule and then going back and forth on email or text with the student or parent. I've tried to streamline this by posting available lesson times on my website, but not everyone checks the schedule before contacting me. Or they don't give enough notice to make their time available to someone else. Parents often expect to schedule make up lessons on days that kids are out of school, but then I could end up with 2-3 more hours of teaching on top of my usual afternoon/evening schedule. Too many of these marathon teaching days lead to feeling burned out. Not to mention taking away from practice time for playing gigs.
From the student's perspective they are only asking for the one hour of the teacher's time that they have already paid for, but if a make up is given, the student also gets an extra lesson time and the admin work needed to arrange the make up lesson, in addition to the original lesson time. Asking to reschedule one lesson may not seem like a big deal, but multiple students making the same request each week can put a strain on the teacher.


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Re: Missed class policy
keystring #2715635 02/19/18 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
I run a freelance business as a translator, and I was originally a trained teacher, and later did some serious tutoring. People who are employed often do not grasp the reality of running one's own business. Time management and financial management are two biggies. A teacher has to organize her 30 or so students within the space of her teaching time, and must be available for each student at those times. This is her commitment. She cannot give your time to someone else. If you cancel your Wed. 6:00 - 7:00 p.m., she can't find someone else to take your slot. If she then teaches you on a different time as makeup, she has had to be around for the time that you were not there which was reserved for you, and also another hour for your makeup, all for the pay of the original single hour. If this happens for 10 students in a month, then she has worked free of charge for 10 hours. She has also lost 10 hours of her time - increasing her work time. These are the logistics.

Some teachers will do a makeup with advance notice. Say you cancelled your Wed 6 - 7. Mary cancelled her Friday 7 - 8. So let's put you into Mary's slot, and give John your slot, because John cancelled 2 weeks ahead of time. But this is also a lot of extra work for the teacher. She has to play telephone tag or e-mail tag trying to reorganize everybody. I would find that stressful, especially if I had to do it most weeks.

The general idea is that you are paying for a time slot, not for the lesson in that time slot. But if you appear for your lesson in that time slot, you should have your teacher's full, professional, and undivided attention.


Exactly. Well said.
I teach a lot of private lessons (not Piano, but these above concepts are exactly what I would have written) and people really do not understand what a juggling act it can be to change lessons sround.
As far as my own piano lessons go: if I miss a lesson, I pay. No discussion of refunds or make up lessons.

If I miss a lesson I do everything possible to make up the lesson as soon as possible, when it is convenient for the student.
If my piano teacher misses a lesson we make it up at the end of the year or I get a refund. In all the years I have been with this school the lessons cancelled by the teacher have always been made up.


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Re: Missed class policy
Osho #2715643 02/19/18 12:41 PM
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When I was a student, lessons were charged by the term, not per lesson. It didn't matter how long the term was.

If the lesson fell on a public holiday, you'd still get your lesson (though of course Easter and Christmas were during school holidays). If the student missed a lesson due to illness or having to attend football coaching (assuming that's more important than a piano lesson), that was his/her problem.

But if the teacher had to cancel because of illness or whatever, the student would get an extra lesson to make up.

I don't recall ever having missed a lesson in ten years, either because I or my teacher was indisposed.


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Re: Missed class policy
Osho #2715678 02/19/18 02:59 PM
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Osho
I totally understand your issue, as I need to travel for work as well. My situation however is different in that my teacher has a very small studio so she is able to rearrange lessons that either one of us need to move. If we can’t find a time to rearrange, which is very seldom, I am not expected to pay. There could be no make ups at the end of the year because I take lessons 52 weeks of the year. If she had a full studio, she could not be so flexible.

At this point, I think you need to either understand The difficulty of your teacher would have rearranging your lesson, that she’s made a commitment and that timeslot for you or look for someone else who has a smaller studio and could be more flexible. If my teachers policy changed, I would just accept the change and pay for the lesson, as I could not imagine taking from anyone else. What is the benefit of your taking from this specific teacher and paying for missed lessons is a question that only you can answer.


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Re: Missed class policy
Osho #2715693 02/19/18 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Osho
Hi,

I am currently taking classes with a teacher, who does not provide make-up classes for missed classes. I am still required to pay for the class though.

I miss about 1 in 10 classes (I take 1 class per week), primarily because I am out of town on business.

How common/reasonable is this? I am happy with the teacher in general, except for this policy.

Thanks
Osho

I don't think it is the least bit reasonable, or fair. I think it is high-handed and a crappy way to treat a good student.

I have a couple excellent adult students who have to miss now and then because of business and other similar things of that sort.

If I'm so busy that I don't have time to reschedule 1 out of 10 lessons with a good student then it's time for me to quit teaching. And it means I don't give a crap about my students. I would NEVER deny a make-up under such conditions.

Re: Missed class policy
Osho #2715697 02/19/18 03:54 PM
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For the student, it's maybe only one in ten lessons that they are requesting a rescheduling for, but for the teacher with thirty students who have similar requests, it adds up to a big investment of time and general hassle. As for having to pay for the missed class, that issue should be clear to everyone concerned from the very start. If you as a student know you're going to have to miss a lesson or two, those missed lessons can be factored into the cost per lesson.

I pay by the semester (my teacher teaches at a college). We do regularly reschedule lessons into the summer months, which works out well for both of us--schedules are much less demanding for my teacher, and I get a few lessons during the summer gap. But if I miss more than can be rescheduled, it's on my dime.


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Re: Missed class policy
dogperson #2715759 02/19/18 08:13 PM
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Thanks all for your responses and thoughts.

There is another teacher in my area whose policy is that, he will allow up to two make-up sessions in a term (~4 months). I think that is fairly reasonable that also makes sure that students do not randomly cancel and ask for make-ups very often.

Originally Posted by dogperson
What is the benefit of your taking from this specific teacher and paying for missed lessons is a question that only you can answer.

Thanks This is the only teacher I have ever had lessons with - for about 6 months now. I am happy with the lessons themselves but I do not really have any basis for comparison.

Thanks,
Osho


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Re: Missed class policy
malkin #2715834 02/20/18 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Instead of thinking about paying $50 per lesson, reframe to think that you pay $200/ month or $3600/year to study with this teacher.

Yikes! If I managed to spend $3600/year by paying $50 a week, I think I'd go crazy.


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