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pupil having lessons with another teacher


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#1 zwhe

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 18:44

I discussed this in September when the child told me he might be starting lessons in school, and told the mother that I don't teach pupils who have another teacher. She has gone ahead and started the lessons this term anyway. I didn't know until this week, when he was confused over hand position "because his school flute is different". To make it even worse, the mother is a friend of mine. I had a brief chat after the lesson, when she said school is just supporting what I'm doing but, having thought about it, I'm going to have to phone her and stop the lessons. Has anyone else had this - its the first time its happened to me, and only the second time I've had to 'sack' a pupil (the first one refused to pay and then couldn't understand why I wouldn't teach!). Feeling quite cross and upset as its a friend who has done it.


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#2 Norway

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 19:12

Yes I've had a family tell me that their daughter was a beginner and had never had lessons before, only to find that she was having lessons at school once I'd started teaching her. I really don't appreciate being put in that position! Sorry to hear that you are having problems Zwhe. It's about time this "friend" took you seriously, and yes, I would stop the lessons.


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#3 fsharpminor

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 19:14

That's appalling. Sack him forthwith. It's just not fair.


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#4 Boogaloo

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 21:30

Yes, I've had to do that more recently but it never used to happen. With one other pupil I've managed to come to an arrangement as I actually work with the other teacher at another school to the pupil and it has worked out ok because we came up with a plan of action.


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#5 Sautillé

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 22:14

It’s only happened to me once - I took on a pupil and subsequently discovered that he was still having lessons in school (provided under. LA subsidy). I was sympathetic to the family (when I found out) as our local LA only supports joint 20m lessons and I could understand their frustration that things were moving very slowly for a fairly musical child..... personally I have no idea how you get any children anywhere in what must be effectively 15m shares between 2 rather mismatched children.... anyway that situation moved on and that was the end of it but - zwhe if I was in your shoes I’d feel very annoyed but also uncomfortable. Why does the mother want ‘extra’ lessons? Why isn’t she just happy with your teaching? Stand your ground. Tell her it is already causing problems and make her choose. Yes, you may lose a pupil but, if she’s not happy she’ll move child anyway and maybe child won’t do so well on school teaching.......
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#6 Cyrilla

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 23:16

I am wondering more and more quite what it is that makes people tick.

 

And how it is that you find out who your friends really are.

 

Absolutely make it clear you are not teaching the child any more.

 

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#7 ma non troppo

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 23:46

I don't think many parents understand there is a possible problem with this. After all, many pay for extra outside school tuition in other subjects. :)
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#8 Dorcas

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 05:50

I had a an issue last summer term, when it became obvious that a student was having overlapping lessons.  The parent tried to claim that the child was just having class music lessons, but that did not square with the annotations on the student's tutor book.  I stopped lessons immediately.  Possibly students and their families do not realise that it is an issue, and I am in the process of updating my T&Cs to cover this.  I noticed that my particular student was confused, my approach to teaching rhythm was different.  The parent tried to claim that it was because the student had late nights and was tired, and then became really silly.  I was really glad to see the back of them, to be honest.  


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#9 Leese

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 08:17

This has happened to me a couple of times. Usually it's the parent not understanding why two heads aren't better than one, but one possibility to consider that I don't see mentioned yet is that the school may be insisting upon the student having lessons with their teacher in order that he/she can take part in any school ensembles. That was the situation that a student of mine was in - he wasn't actually allowed to take part unless he was also having lessons with the school's woodwind teacher. Of course his ensemble playing was important so I tried to make it work for a while. His school teacher was also quite unreliable and as he was preparing for his Grade 2, I kept him on until after he'd done it, then got rid of them.
 
It's a pity because he was a nice kid and they were a nice family, and the school teacher was also writing *really* bad tips in his homework book that I wanted to correct - like "squeeze the reed really hard for high notes!" - but in the end I just wasn't prepared to have absolutely no autonomy over what someone I was teaching was learning (the school teacher picked all his exam pieces, so really I was just "coaching" him).

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#10 zwhe

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 08:49

The trouble is, the parent does understand because I explained it to her in October, before she took the school lessons. I really don't know what she thinks it will achieve as he is only 7 and is in a 20 minute group lesson with absolute beginners at school and he has been having lessons with me for a year now. He even has a different instrument for the school lessons - he is playing a specially adapted flute for small children with me, and a standard one with a curved head at school, so the hand positioning is different, and it is this that is confusing him - I also think the school flute is too heavy for a small child.

The local school ensembles are open to all children who attend schools in the area, and the minimum standard is grade 3, so that is not an issue here.

Academic tuition at an early stage also causes problems - I used to work in a nursery (in a former life) in an area with high levels of parents that didn't speak English. Several of them had got their children tutoring before attending, where they were made to sit for an hour each day learning the basics. The problem was, most of them were being taught to read by rote and not any phonetics, they didn't understand what they were reading as they didn't know any English, and they were taught to do sums without actually being able to count objects. Parents then were very difficult with staff (fortunately not me as I couldn't communicate with them!) as they thought nursery should be structured in the same way, with no play but all sat around tables doing 'proper' learning! The fact that their children could somehow speak fairly good English after 6 months didn't seem to be proof that we were doing anything with them...


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#11 agricola

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 09:20

I have done this occasionally and while it's not my favourite situation it can be made to work.  Of course I feel a bit miffed if the school enters a pupil for an exam when I've done most of the tuition but I can stand the pain for the very few pupils involved.  The best scenario is where a more advanced pupil has joint lessons as I will just ask them what they would like to cover each week.  This has happened several times where a pupil has got a scholarship involving free lessons at school but also wants to stay with me.  I also have a couple of pupils who have two lessons with me every week but also get some help at school and it doesn't seem to create any major problems.


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#12 elemimele

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 09:26

off-topic: what's really sad, zhwe, is that UK politicians periodically go off to cultures where the sort of teaching you describe is the norm, look at it very superficially, and come back raving about how brilliant it is.


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#13 The Great Sosso

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 19:23

I had this once:  had been teaching a lad for about a year, then he started group lessons at school, and told me after the fact.  I explained to parents that it was not good for him, as different approaches could be confusing and he had twice as much material to practice.  Thankfully, they saw sense so after a couple of terms stopped the school lessons.  (It actually wasn't all bad:  he was at a very early stage, as a slow starter, and we were still working on very basic technique, whilst school were focussing more on the notes - he learned B major scale with the school teacher, which was actually quite useful to me.)  But I can see why you are frustrated zwhe.  Could you soldier on for a bit but keep pointing out where the dual lessons are causing problems, until they get the message, as I did?

 

TGS X


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#14 sbhoa

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 19:59

Are you sure it's lessons and not whole class learning?


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#15 ten left thumbs

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 20:47

The trouble is, the parent does understand because I explained it to her in October, before she took the school lessons....

... does not compute!

 

You explained it. The parent did not understand. They just decided to not openly disagree with you at the time. They went and did their own thing. And so it will be with everything with this person. You may say something, but you will never know whether they accept or are undermining you without saying anything. 

 

Best just quit with the student now.


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