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Re: Missed class policy
Osho #2717381 02/26/18 03:41 PM
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Osho,

I have a flex option that adults can choose, in which they can call when they want a lesson, and pay at time of service. Pay-as-you-go, schedule-when-convenient. It is good for those who have a variable work or family schedule, who may not always be able to attend the 45 scheduled lessons a year that my tuition-plan students are on.

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Re: Missed class policy
casinitaly #2717385 02/26/18 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by casinitaly
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Here's what I think most other teachers will not tell you.

We have our favorites, and we have people get on our nerves. When adults and parents of children are a pain in the butt, I hide behind rules. I know that if I give one inch, these people are going to take advantage, and if I do a favor one time, it will be expected in the future.

But behind the scenes I can be as flexible as I wish - after all, I made the rules in the first place.

So I don't have to make up same day cancellations, ever. There are some parents who call in before any lesson, and it happens a lot, and simply say that they can't make it that day. I know they are not facing huge issues. It's just not "convenient" that day, and they don't even bother telling me a day earlier because they don't plan that far ahead.

They lose lessons. Not my problem.

But other people are extremely cooperative, always pay on time, do not complain, and some of these people are high points of my week. Why would I want to miss teaching them? Is my life so busy, so important, that I can't make a reasonable effort to reschedule at my convenience, just making sure that a time I have will work for them?

That's all I'm saying.

I'll bet you that other people who don't SAY they will make exceptions actually do, for students they really like and enjoy teaching.


Again, I'm not a piano teacher,but I have a ton of private students, and this is certainly true for me and other teachers I know. Yes, we do have favourites. We try not to be obvious about it, but seriously, I think every teacher has favourites.

And yes, we make the rules to protect ourselves from the students we can't trust (or who haven't yet demonstrated that they can be trusted). We're not obliged to make up lessons any students miss - but if they have shown that they're interested, working and, let's be honest, respectful - they yes, we'll be as flexible as possible.

The mom who calls at the last minute to say little Giovanni can't come to the lesson because he has a project due tomorrow? Well, that's bad planning on their part and I don't even offer a make up lesson.
There are certain private students (lawyers) I won't even accept anymore because I know that their schedules are simply too unpredictable (I've worked extensively with them in the past, and i know it just doesn't work).

I really truly hate to charge for a lesson missed - and I will generally try to organize a make up lesson - but I make it clear at the beginning of the year that I have zero obligation to do so, and if it happens too often, I will suggest the student take a break until life is less hectic. When you have a lot of private students, your life can become a management nightmare if you aren't careful.


I don't think anything I do is the least bit different from what you just described, which is reasonable and realistic.

I don't have one thing to add. wink

Re: Missed class policy
outo #2717387 02/26/18 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by outo
My teacher has a strict rule about not offering replacements on scheduled lessons missed by a student. So I never asked because I knew the rules, I just told her in good time I would not be able to come. But she offered to replace the lesson anyway on another day. I do not know whether she does this always, especially if people frequently miss lessons. If it was a public institution it would be questionable to bend the rules depending on the student, but as a private teacher she is allowed to give special favors.

Just to be clear: when I bend the rules, I explain that I am bending the rules and that I'm happy to do it for a good student, but I stress that I don't have to.

However, my rules do not preclude making up a lesson when I'm given a lot of time, and if I never made up lessons, I would not longer be teaching a small number of my favorite students.

I have one adult who misses at least one lesson every month - his job makes him travel - but he is always 100% cooperative about scheduling when it works (not demanding), he always pays, and he practices as well as anyone I teach, of any age. So it is fun to teach him.

It's to my personal advantage to keep him coming for lessons as long as it will work.

I'm very up front about liking some students. I tell them that I like them. I tell them that I enjoy teaching them. Those are the students caused me to like teaching in the first place.

I'm not up front at all with the students I either do not like or who have highly uncooperative parents. It's pointless to say anything to the parents, who are absolutely not listening, and it would just be unfair to the kids to mention my feelings about their parents in lessons. It would also be highly unprofessional.

But I will tell you that those parents get nothing out of me except for what they pay for. No makeups, no extra time. Everything is strictly by the book.

I sincerely doubt they ever realize that their uncooperative and rude behavior has these consequences, and I'd wager they get zero cooperation from other professionals.

The one thing in all of this that really bothers me is when I have kids I REALLY like with rude parents. It does not happen often, but it does happen now and then.

You don't have this problem with adults, because if they are rude for any reason, they are rude in and out of lessons. I would also wager all teachers get rid of students like this ASAP.

Re: Missed class policy
Osho #2717933 03/01/18 01:02 AM
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Interesting perspectives. Thank you all for sharing.

Now, I wonder if it is the case that my teacher does not have different set of rules for favorites vs. rest or that I am not her favorite! What a conundrum!

Osho

Last edited by Osho; 03/01/18 01:03 AM.

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Re: Missed class policy
Gary D. #2718189 03/01/18 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by JazzyMac
Osho,

I had the same question a while ago and I was pretty much ganged up on in the Teacher's forum. So far I've noticed in this thread that Gary has remained objective in the fact that an even trade in respect, given availability, can work (given all other variables are also okay).

I shall say that some time after I made that particular post, I unfortunately had to leave the school. It was more than the scheduling. It was other things as well (not applicable to this topic). But scheduling was huge.

Communication might help given that you're both adults, however, sometimes the teachers feel that adult students are not serious, and they are not willing to take us through the elementary stage. If you ask me, yes, my job is more important that piano lessons (for now). If I don't work, I can't pay for lessons...and that's a lose-lose for all.

Heres's my thread on the same topic: http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...non-flexibility-etc-etc.html#Post2561700

I remember that post.

Here's what I think most other teachers will not tell you.

We have our favorites, and we have people get on our nerves. When adults and parents of children are a pain in the butt, I hide behind rules. I know that if I give one inch, these people are going to take advantage, and if I do a favor one time, it will be expected in the future.

But behind the scenes I can be as flexible as I wish - after all, I made the rules in the first place.

So I don't have to make up same day cancellations, ever. There are some parents who call in before any lesson, and it happens a lot, and simply say that they can't make it that day. I know they are not facing huge issues. It's just not "convenient" that day, and they don't even bother telling me a day earlier because they don't plan that far ahead.

They lose lessons. Not my problem.

But other people are extremely cooperative, always pay on time, do not complain, and some of these people are high points of my week. Why would I want to miss teaching them? Is my life so busy, so important, that I can't make a reasonable effort to reschedule at my convenience, just making sure that a time I have will work for them?

That's all I'm saying.

I'll bet you that other people who don't SAY they will make exceptions actually do, for students they really like and enjoy teaching.


I noticed that once I left that particular school, the scheduling issues with the teacher ceased to exist. I think my teacher will end up no longer teaching at the school as well.

Re: Missed class policy
JazzyMac #2718227 03/01/18 11:49 PM
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My teacher always makes up lessons when he has to cancel and I don’t Think that has happened more than two times in seven years. If I am sick or have to go to a funeral, he will make up the lesson. If I am choosing to go on vacation or do something else, I would not ask for a makeup.

However I only work three days a week and come during the time the kids are in school so it is easier for him to make up my lesson. He does a lot of accompanying and at certain times of year, he may ask to change my lesson and I am fine with that.

He usually takes a vacation the last two weeks of August so I know that in advance. This year his whole family went in a cruise together during the February break. I did not expect him to make up lessons for that time as many studios close for that week. He said to me I will give you a lesson on both Monday and Friday the next week.

I should note that I always pay on time and practice. I really appreciate how dedicated he is. He teaches privately now but when I first started with him, he was teaching at a Music School
that did have a strict cancellation policy but even then he sometimes came in on his day off for extra lessons. I initially chose him because the school said he expected a lot from his students and I wanted a teacher wh would take me seriously even though I wa an older adult.
He does expect a lot but he also gives a lot.


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Re: Missed class policy
Osho #2719299 03/06/18 06:53 AM
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I've now cut down my teaching to almost zero as I concentrate on composing ... . But when I had a fairly full schedule I had a very effective way of dealing with absences. I charge by the month ... and since some months have five rather than four lessons ... ( it works out to about 4 months a year) ... I make a point of offering that fifth lesson as a "free lesson" or a "makeup lesson" if you've missed one. This has a psychological advantage. Rather than feeling they're being charged for missed lessons, they feel they're getting a bonus if they don't miss any. A neat trick.

I use a variant of this in my teaching too ... when instead of lambasting a student for missing notes, I encourage him to locate the errors and then praise the student for finding them. Works like a charm. Even on adults.

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