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annaliesey

Juggling timetables!

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OK wise people of balletco, I could really do with some advice. 

 

Juggling timetables has been, and continues to be a complete nightmare! 

 

Only really because we are keen to carry on with advanced syllabus classes and it does seem to be the more one advances up the grades the less classes are about. If we opted out of syllabus then it wouldn't be a problem and I just wonder how many other people have been in the same boat and what approach did you take?

 

As soon as my dd committed to a CAT scheme which involved one days training on a weekend and one evening mid-week, we seemed to be presented with an almighty challenge of trying to continue with syllabus classes to continue through the grades that she was enjoying (RAD & ISTD). Her main dance teacher has put every single grade (ballet, modern, tap) on at the same time as the CAT scheme making it impossible for us to take those classes without dropping CAT.

 

My dd also is committed to something which makes getting back to classes mid day on a Saturday impossible too and whereas the advanced classes used to be on their timetable for a time we could do, late afternoon, allowing for travelling, now she has moved that earlier too so it's impossible to do that without dropping the other thing (which I don't want to say what it is without compromising anonymity).

 

My dd is starting to take it personally because she feels she is being pushed out because she sees other children who have a preference for a class to be moved (clashes with netball, swimming, sibling arrangements, generally feeling a bit tired doing more than one class in the same evening, etc) and their needs/wishes are accommodated by the teachers with making changes to timetables for them, usually it might only affect very small class numbers (2-6 students) whereas she has just her CAT scheme and this one other thing on Saturday mornings and there's no flexibility whatsoever. 

 

It's been very much like it or lump it so I can only presume this teachers doesn't want us to stick with her but move on... ! 

 

We've enrolled for other classes elsewhere now as felt we had to as had no other choice. 

 

But would you handle anything differently? Do you all get lots of support and flexibility from dance schools/teachers with timetables if your child does associates anywhere? Or do you get met with the like it or lump it attitude too?

 

 

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I feel your pain! Twins here, very different interests, out most nights, and I work 12 hour shifts!! 😂😂

Just a thought though, surely the teacher is super proud of your DD, attending the CAT scheme?? I’d have thought she would be a bit more accommodating? Mmmmmmmmm...xxx

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10 minutes ago, MrsMoo2 said:

I feel your pain! Twins here, very different interests, out most nights, and I work 12 hour shifts!! 😂😂

Just a thought though, surely the teacher is super proud of your DD, attending the CAT scheme?? I’d have thought she would be a bit more accommodating? Mmmmmmmmm...xxx

 

oh gosh I don't envy you with your twins and different interest :) haha

 

as for teacher being proud? ... err no! ... if anything, she has nothing nice to say about it, has not once made a positive remark or reference to it, or anything that we have done outside of the dance school come to think of it.

 

If anything she likes to support the underdog as it were, and if you are a parent with a semi-serious kid who wants to aim for college then it's expected that you'll get your cheque book out and pay for private lessons :) .. if she has time, and if you kiss ass enough :)

 

Oh gosh I could type so much more here but I'm going to take a deep breath and go and get a coffee instead before I get all agitated hahaha

 

 

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looks like it might be time to find a school  that  has a different attitude  towards CAT /Associates then ... 

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I'd be looking elsewhere I think. Presumably there are other students at the CAT who are also doing syllabus classes somewhere, so I'd start by asking around there. Hopefully you'll find somewhere within reasonable travelling distance. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Pups_mum said:

I'd be looking elsewhere I think. Presumably there are other students at the CAT who are also doing syllabus classes somewhere, so I'd start by asking around there. Hopefully you'll find somewhere within reasonable travelling distance. 

 

 

especially as CAT seems to be the  dance world;s version of  'signing schoolboy forms'   in  the mainstream sports ... 

it should be a  thing that teachers  should  like  as a demonstration that they can get people into  these  things 

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29 minutes ago, Nicola H said:

looks like it might be time to find a school  that  has a different attitude  towards CAT /Associates then ... 

Well, Nicola, I feel I have unrealistic expectations here but happy to be proved wrong.

 

I haven't met many teachers that speak highly of CAT tbh. I feel that the ones I have spoken with don't understand it.  There was one teacher, in London, quite a prominent person, who ranted on about how rubbish CAT schemes were only to have not realised that 30% of their invite-only class were also CAT students (they just didn't share it with this teacher!). So I know it's not just local dance teachers that are negative. 

 

Maybe the CAT schemes have got a bit of work to do with reaching out to local dance schools a bit more, explain things like 100% success rate with of their graduates obtaining FE places. When you talk with the CAT managers they do seem to be aware of this issue and are trying to come up with things to reach out but it doesn't seem to be working much from our perspective. You would things such as Young Dancer with it's TV publicity would have done a little bit to change attitudes but apparently not. 

 

It's an hour and a half's journey to the CAT for us at weekends and there's only around 8 midweek students locally at our 'satelite' midweek centre. 3 of them are all at our local dance school (including us) but we are the only one with significant clashes by syllabus grades somehow. The others take classes in the city centre location (which is still about 30 mins from us) but dd has taken syllabus classes there last term and this term. 

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1 hour ago, annaliesey said:

 

as for teacher being proud? ... err no! ... if anything, she has nothing nice to say about it, has not once made a positive remark or reference to it, or anything that we have done outside of the dance school come to think of it.

 

Ah yes, dd had one of those teachers a few years back. We left and found another school which supported its students and celebrated their achievements.

It really is the only thing to do. Your dd needs a teacher with her best interests at heart, and who will be supportive and encouraging, and work with her to find the best opportunities possible.

 

When it comes to syllabus vs vocational grade classes, if one has to be dropped timetable-wise, then it needs to be the syllabus ones that are dropped, and carry on with the vocational grades.

Edited by taxi4ballet
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Oh you know how I feel about this Annaliesey, drives me mad that for so long you have had to try and juggle things, private lessons, plead your case and then other kids can say "oh but I have swimming that day" and just like that the class will change to a more suitable time for them.

 

I know teachers can't base their timetable around just 1 or 2 kids (who am I kidding I've seen this happen so many times lol) but you think they would have a bit of a 3 tier priority system;

 

1st tier, High priority (really try and work around ) - CAT's, associates, credible youth dance/theatre companies


2nd tier, Moderate priority (if possible work around) - Other comittments such as swimming, netball, parents work schedules/childcare arrangements


3rd tier, Low priority (if it's possible without disrupting tier 1/2 work around if not ignore) - Tired, prefer a different day, don't want to have to wait around in between / would like a large gap in between or whatever.

 

If it were me I would be looking at my "serious" dancers the one's who want to take their dance further and try and accommodate them as best as possible. From a business perspective it's good advertising to have these dancers, it means you are doing something right if they have chosen to train with you and are so successful. If someone is doing dance as a hobby then in the long run it doesn't matter to them as much if they have to drop modern for a term because it clashes with brownies VS a serious dancer who is taking their exam that term but can't get to the now changed class time because they have their associates class.

 

Although really it boils down to how the teacher views the school and if they feel they are a recreational school who do grades and all these "Abby Lee style" advanced kids are few and far between and not the norm, then more fool them. I don't get why anyone running a dance school would not want to have something so credible as an associates or CAT scheme saying yes your training is good, we have accepted your student into our advanced training programme, it's like a seal of approval. I also think some teachers can be so controlling it's almost a way of stopping students from doing anything that whole "I'm the best thing for you" attitude, they don't want to share this beautiful, successful dancer with anyone else, maybe that's the angle for a lot of them, they want to take full credit for getting a student into vocational school/employment, they don't want partial credit, maybe it's an ego thing.
 

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We were told by one dance school that the timetable was “set in stone”. It made getting to the school interesting when I had to drive twenty miles in less than half an hour between two areas that had notorious traffic snarl ups. I’m glad I don’t have to do that anymore. 

Edited by Fiz
Took out doubled word
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1 hour ago, MrsMoo2 said:

st a thought though, surely the teacher is super proud of your DD, attending the CAT scheme?? I’d have thought she would be a bit more accommodating?

🤣🤣🤣 Best laugh I’ve had in a while.... “proud teacher”.....what is one of those??! 🤣🤣......not that I’m cynical or anything!!

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14 minutes ago, taxi4ballet said:

 

It really is the only thing to do. Your dd needs a teacher with her best interests at heart, and who will be supportive and encouraging, and work with her to find the best opportunities possible.

 

When it comes to syllabus vs vocational grade classes, if one has to be dropped timetable-wise, then it needs to be the syllabus ones that are dropped, and carry on with the vocational grades.

 

yes, I know it's the only thing to do. I've just been a bit hesitant and reluctant as my dd had such a wonderful relationship with her a year or so ago. She benefited significantly from her tuition and we tried really hard to fit in and just be nice and lovely and patient. Ideally I would have liked to get that back on track but think I just have to accept things for the way they are and move on.

 

I'm just questioning my expectations really. I wouldn't expect her to change all her classes to suit us and indeed we have had a good number of class clashes that we have just accepted and given up on those classes without replacement. But, when it comes to advanced grades or vocational grades, for a school that doesn't have many students at that level, I honestly did have the expectation that things would have stayed the same so that she would have my dd do them. 

 

She is six weeks away from doing two vocational graded exam and the class gets moved to a different day to clash with the CAT. Hmm. ... someone obviously doesn't want us there or wants us to give up CAT or just wants private lesson income!

 

pah

 

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28 minutes ago, MuddledMama said:

Oh you know how I feel about this Annaliesey, drives me mad that for so long you have had to try and juggle things, private lessons, plead your case and then other kids can say "oh but I have swimming that day" and just like that the class will change to a more suitable time for them.

 

I know teachers can't base their timetable around just 1 or 2 kids (who am I kidding I've seen this happen so many times lol) but you think they would have a bit of a 3 tier priority system;

 

1st tier, High priority (really try and work around ) - CAT's, associates, credible youth dance/theatre companies


2nd tier, Moderate priority (if possible work around) - Other comittments such as swimming, netball, parents work schedules/childcare arrangements


3rd tier, Low priority (if it's possible without disrupting tier 1/2 work around if not ignore) - Tired, prefer a different day, don't want to have to wait around in between / would like a large gap in between or whatever.

 

If it were me I would be looking at my "serious" dancers the one's who want to take their dance further and try and accommodate them as best as possible. From a business perspective it's good advertising to have these dancers, it means you are doing something right if they have chosen to train with you and are so successful. If someone is doing dance as a hobby then in the long run it doesn't matter to them as much if they have to drop modern for a term because it clashes with brownies VS a serious dancer who is taking their exam that term but can't get to the now changed class time because they have their associates class.

 

Although really it boils down to how the teacher views the school and if they feel they are a recreational school who do grades and all these "Abby Lee style" advanced kids are few and far between and not the norm, then more fool them. I don't get why anyone running a dance school would not want to have something so credible as an associates or CAT scheme saying yes your training is good, we have accepted your student into our advanced training programme, it's like a seal of approval. I also think some teachers can be so controlling it's almost a way of stopping students from doing anything that whole "I'm the best thing for you" attitude, they don't want to share this beautiful, successful dancer with anyone else, maybe that's the angle for a lot of them, they want to take full credit for getting a student into vocational school/employment, they don't want partial credit, maybe it's an ego thing.
 

yes but... 

 

a. dance teachers aren't necessarily good business people 

b. advanced/semi-serious are likely to pay for private lessons

c. jealous parents make too much noise

 

:)

 

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Either she wants the money for private lessons or she’s touchy about the C.A.T sessions. I feel for you and your dd. It’s petty and hurtful.

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30 minutes ago, Fiz said:

We were told by one dance school that the timetable was “set in stone”. It made getting to the school interesting when I had to drive twenty miles in less than half an hour between two areas that had notorious traffic snarl ups. I’m anymore.glad I don’t have to do that anymore. 

 

Do you know what? I wouldn't even mind that! that's how desperate I am hahahaha

 

And I would prefer that to chopping and changing constantly for one or two kids here and they aren't doing anything or want to do anything vocationally it's just because of one other girls netball matches .... just really?! 

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2 hours ago, MrsMoo2 said:

surely the teacher is super proud of your DD, attending the CAT scheme?? I’d have thought she would be a bit more accommodating? Mmmmmmmmm...xxx

 

sorry but I laughed too as the harsh reality is that anything like that you had better keep a secret or your classes and exams will stop!

 

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8 minutes ago, annaliesey said:

 

sorry but I laughed too as the harsh reality is that anything like that you had better keep a secret or your classes and exams will stop!

 

 

Worded much better than my post annaliesey, but I was under the impression that a proud and supportive teacher was a mythical creature 🤣

 

 

All joking aside it is the very sad reality that not all teachers are proud of their pupils achievements and in all hosesty in a lot of schools it simply comes down to whether your face “fits” 

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15 minutes ago, annaliesey said:

 

Do you know what? I wouldn't even mind that! that's how desperate I am hahahaha

 

And I would prefer that to chopping and changing constantly for one or two kids here and they aren't doing anything or want to do anything vocationally it's just because of one other girls netball matches .... just really?! 

😮

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1 minute ago, Lema said:

 

Worded much better than my post annaliesey, but I was under the impression that a proud and supportive teacher was a mythical creature  

... it is! it lives at the unicorn farm :)

 

But can I apologise to the lovely dance teachers on here who we know are genuinely proud and supportive.

 

Can you just have a word with our dance teachers please :) 

 

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Oh absolutely, there are many wonderful teachers and to be honest not all “bad” teachers are bad for all pupils, it’s often more about finding the right teacher for your child and unfortunately for us that hasn’t happened yet!! Dd has had some very good teachers but they maybe just haven’t clicked.....maybe my expectations are too high?! I don’t know, all I do know is that dd once had a teacher that she did click with and she come in leaps and bounds, unfortunately we couldn’t stay with that teacher for various reasons and since then the battle to find someone that really believes in and supports dd has been a hard one!!

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It definitely sounds like its time for a move. I guess all teachers have their foibles, just by virtue of being human, but they are definitely not all like that.

Personally, I don't think I ever asked for a lesson other than privates to be moved because of other commitments, dance or otherwise. And even then I tended to try to sort it out myself and then say "so and so's mum is happy to swap if it's OK with you?".If we couldn't make a normal class that was just bad luck.

But if lesson times are being changed to suit other pupils/parents then I quite understand why you would be annoyed. It's not the lack of flexibility with class times, but the lack of fairness and consistency. It should be the same rules for everyone.

I know it's not always easy finding a new school, especially that teaches advanced classes, bit in your shoes I'd be inclined to cut my losses and try elsewhere after these next exams. It doesn't sound like your DD is getting a lot out of the school currently anyway so maybe you don't have a lot to lose?

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11 minutes ago, Pups_mum said:

It definitely sounds like its time for a move. I guess all teachers have their foibles, just by virtue of being human, but they are definitely not all like that.

Personally, I don't think I ever asked for a lesson other than privates to be moved because of other commitments, dance or otherwise. And even then I tended to try to sort it out myself and then say "so and so's mum is happy to swap if it's OK with you?".If we couldn't make a normal class that was just bad luck.

But if lesson times are being changed to suit other pupils/parents then I quite understand why you would be annoyed. It's not the lack of flexibility with class times, but the lack of fairness and consistency. It should be the same rules for everyone.

I know it's not always easy finding a new school, especially that teaches advanced classes, bit in your shoes I'd be inclined to cut my losses and try elsewhere after these next exams. It doesn't sound like your DD is getting a lot out of the school currently anyway so maybe you don't have a lot to lose?

 

Yes, thats precisely where I'm at now and we've started to trial, overlap, and take classes elsewhere, we've had to. DD is absolutely fine with this and is a positive person and her focus is unwaivering. She's just been in the classes when the teacher has been discussing moving classes and heard the petty reasons and just feels let down because it means she can't do the classes or might have to drop out or defer exams. 

 

But I just wanted to throw this question out there whether I had unrealistic expectations really or whether others had experienced and been lucky enough to have a little bit of flexibility or support?

 

Edited by annaliesey
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My dd was 12 when we'd finally had enough, and I started looking for somewhere else for her to go. It took nearly two years to find the right place.

 

I had to cast round and make a list of all the dance schools within an hour's travelling time that offered multiple classes a week for Inter upwards (pretty thin on the ground for advanced). Then a list of all the days and times that they all had those classes on the timetable.

I also had a good look online, Facebook etc etc, and asked people at associates and EYB rehearsals where they went.

 

Then cross off any where days/times of their classes clashed with associates/other non-negotiable stuff.

Then look at whether any of the schools had any success in getting their students into vocational training, and if so, how many and where. If they didn't, cross them off. 

Then see whether any of them were RAD (which is what dd had been studying so a move would be more straightforward) although she would have been happy to switch for the right teacher.

 

There weren't many schools left on the list by this stage...

 

Then I did a lot of telephoning to see who could offer what, and whether they seemed nice, interested and enthusiastic, and actually wanted to help. Crossed a few more off.

That left a small handful of schools (out of about 20 that I had started with).

 

DD then had some trial lessons. She decided one was a 'no' after a few weeks (which was a pity as it was the nearest!!), one was a 'maybe' and the last, which we only found about by accident as there was no online presence at all , was "OMG definitely yes!" so there she went. 

 

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If the current teacher never changed class times for anyone, I would, to be brutally honest, have thought you were being a bit unreasonable to expect her to do so for your DD. Clashes are a fact of life and sometimes you just have to choose. (I'm currently struggling to manage my youngest son's 2 sports so I do empathise.)

But, given that she does so for others,  then I would say it's reasonable to expect at least equal consideration for your DD's needs. Inconsistency is, in my humble opinion, one of the worst traits any kind of teacher or coach can have.

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DD ended up at a school where the timetable didn't have any higher-level classes on Saturdays, because they had so many associates. The timetable was organised so that the vocationally-minded students got the right classes on the days they could do them.

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I’ve just had a look at the school to which I used to take our two. No weekday lesson now begins before 4.30. * sits in a corner and howls piteously *

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12 minutes ago, Fiz said:

I’ve just had a look at the school to which I used to take our two. No weekday lesson now begins before 4.30. * sits in a corner and howls piteously *

Many of the secondary school pupils in our area aren't home until 4.30/5.00 so the classes for their age groups were always late. In DD's latter years she was often not finished til 9 or 10pm. I was very glad when she learned to drive! To be fair to teachers, it must be a bit of a nightmare trying to timetable around different school finish times, other commitments and so on. I guess from a business perspective you just have to go with what suits the majority.

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I understand that but playing beat the clock was a nightmare. 

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