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Just a moan


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#91 ten left thumbs

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 13:37

No, I'm no hero! If I hadn't had the advice I got here I would have fluffed the whole thing. Elemimele I think you are right about this mother. I do have the impression she lives inside her own head and doesn't know that other people have different heads! I will certainly keep that in mind for future dealings with her.

Well done Aquarelle! She may live inside her own head, but she demonstrated over the course of an hour (!) that she can communicate, *can* cope when challenging things are put to her. It may just be that she has no or little empathy for how another person might be feeling, and really needs that to be communicated to her in words. An exasperated sigh just will not do. Again, as you go forward from here, you need to be super-duper clear about everything, and if something isn't right, don't let it build up, tell her asap. 


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#92 Dorcas

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 14:00

 

No, I'm no hero! If I hadn't had the advice I got here I would have fluffed the whole thing. Elemimele I think you are right about this mother. I do have the impression she lives inside her own head and doesn't know that other people have different heads! I will certainly keep that in mind for future dealings with her.

Well done Aquarelle! She may live inside her own head, but she demonstrated over the course of an hour (!) that she can communicate, *can* cope when challenging things are put to her. It may just be that she has no or little empathy for how another person might be feeling, and really needs that to be communicated to her in words. An exasperated sigh just will not do. Again, as you go forward from here, you need to be super-duper clear about everything, and if something isn't right, don't let it build up, tell her asap. 

 

 

I agree with this, maybe you will not need to tread on eggshells with this woman as much now?  There are people, without empathy for others, who have learned that acting in a domineering way gets the results they want.  

 

Elimele's point about people who expect others to read their minds is a good one.


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#93 jenny

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 15:28

I think the fact that Aquarelle is telling us that she couldn't have done this without help from other teachers here says such a lot about how supportive and helpful this forum is to many of us. We all know that instrumental teaching can sometimes be a rather lonely job, especially for private teachers and I for one am so very grateful that I belong to the forum. smile.png   


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#94 maggiemay

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 21:17

Goodness ,me, Aquarelle - what a marathon!

I have to say that i think you’ve been much more successful in this situation that I would have been,. I’d have lost patience many months ago!

I can imagine that mum’s need to control everything makes life difficult for the whole family. Maybe she’s someone who is not terribly comfortable in the role of mother?

Gordon’s point about boss and employee is a good one. A boss can delegate authority, but ultimately they are still responsible,

I do hope this is the start of a better understanding with this family, and a much less fraught relationship all round. Doubtless the children can sense that you’ve been ‘on their side’ in all of this, and ultimately they will remember that.
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#95 Norway

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 08:30

It has struck me that the thing that is most likely to result in a child succeeding in their instrumental lessons is not how much talent they may or may not have, but the extent to which the two adults involved are prepared to work on their relationship. Like Maggiemay, I would have moved on by now - way too stressful!


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#96 Aquarelle

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 18:53

There is a little epilogue to the story. I arrived at school for the last lessons this morning and a mother drove in behind me and came up to give me a little gift which she said she hadn’t managed to organize  last Wednesday  - when her four delightful little girls had their last lesson. She handed me a jar of Chivers ginger preserve and a packet of green tea with lemon – saying she had no idea if I liked that sort of thing but she thought if I did I could think of them at breakfast  every morning during the holiday.

 

I then took a risk. I do not normally discuss families with other parents but I suddenly felt I had an ally here. This mother is actually quite friendly with mother X – something I discovered when mother X was at mother Y’s house stuck with a puncture. I had the boy with me for his lesson and mother Y rang me to ask if I could hang on to him until they had found someone to come and collect him. I did, of course, but never got a thank you from mother X.

 

I asked Mother Y if she knew mother X well. She hesitated a moment and then said that she did, that she liked her but that it wasn’t easy. She then asked me if I had had problems. I said yes, but didn’t go into details. I added that I thought mother X was not really very well. Mother Y put me a little more in the picture, filling me in on some things I didn’t know and giving me some examples of behaviour she herself  and this Catholic  community had had to manage. She also said that she had learnt a lot from watching the way the head teacher of the school their children attend deals with mother X. This school is run by nuns and mother Y said that the nun in charge always remains calm, patient  and good humoured but firm. (I suppose that is easier for a nun than for me!!)

 

What really struck me was the kindness and compassion of mother Y towards this difficult family – and particularly towards the children who are stuck in the middle of it all. She said something that I think put it in a nutshell. It was this:   “X is the prisoner of her own reactions.”

 

That struck me as a phrase I would like to share with you.

 

I think this has taken more out of me than I realized – I don’t think I have ever been so tired at the end of a school year. But lots of end of year  things went really well and after a few good sleeps I should be back to normal. Anyway, the holiday has finally begun and if you have been following the Cat Thread, Brynner is back!


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#97 Dorcas

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 05:06

Thanks for the update Aquarelle.  Mother X sounds an unhappy person, perhaps finding the strictures of her life difficult?  You may not be a nun, but you have at least an idea of the best tactics to use!!  A had a conversation with an old school friend last week, who packs many things into a busy life, 'stay calm and it will happen'.  It made me chuckle at the time, but it resonates.  At least you know that you really are not alone in having to manage Mother X.   And Brynner has returned!

 

chorale.gif   A little end of term celebration.


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#98 Hedgehog

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 09:01

I've just caught up here - well done Aquarelle. At least you have used the same tactics as the Head of the school (- though I have come across nuns who are certainly not patient and have a very sarcastic turn of phrase!!)

Interesting that the community have a pretty good understanding of Mother X (makes her sound like a nun!) - they will probably have had an understanding of the things you have to cope with and will hopefully be supportive too.

I hope you have a good summer break. smile.png sun.gif


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#99 jenny

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 09:10

I'm not surprised to hear you say that this situation has taken more out of you than you had realized, Aquarelle. I felt concerned about you and about your well being during the last couple of weeks. Even very experienced teachers can get personally involved and upset by this kind of thing and it's hard to 'let it go'. I'm sure you lost sleep over this woman's behaviour and I sincerely hope that she will mend her ways next term. Thank goodness that most of our families are so lovely. I wish you a very restful summer break. 


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#100 Aquarelle

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 11:24

Thank you everyone for your kind wishes. Yes, I do need a break, but who doesn't? Let's hope we all get a nice summer -  not too hot -  and that we all get a chance to relax. My brother arrives from England in a few hours and we are planning to go out tomorrow and buy a couple of garden chaises longues so that we can find a shady spot in the garden to  relax - that is if the cats don't get there first!


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#101 Minstrel

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 15:08

What a lovely and insightful update, Aquarelle. I wish I could be so thoughtful .
Bonnes vacances !
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#102 ten left thumbs

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 15:09

...  “X is the prisoner of her own reactions.”

 

...

Funny, that. Something I share with X! :)


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