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Advice on dealing with teacher please?

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I have been unable to afford privates with my regular teacher for the past few months due to financial constraints and as a result my teacher's attitude towards me during weekly classes has changed considerably. I no longer receive corrections and have had some harsh criticism. I still like the weekly classes and would like to keep going but I feel extremely discouraged. Has anyone had a similar experience? Some advice would be appreciated. Thank you all.

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I can't offer you any advice but a number of years ago I heard a similar story about a heart specialist!

 

A chum of mine was covered by a health insurance scheme through work.  He had a heart condition and saw the specialist on a regular basis.  They were on first name terms and swapped details about family life.  The specialist and his family never had to pay when he went to the cinema my chum managed.  When my chum retired he lost his right to his health insurance and chose not to pay it for himself.  On his first visit after his retirement he had to wait (which he had never done before) and when he was eventually called in the specialist said to him "Hello Mr X, what can I do for you today?" as though he had never seen him before in his life!

 

When you describe the teacher's behaviour towards you in the class, does she behave the same way towards your class mates?  Does she give corrections to other dancers in the class, for example?  Is she sharp with other members?  If this is not the case then I believe her behaviour is very unprofessional.  

 

Might she think that you are now going elsewhere for private lessons?

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Have you made it clear to the teacher that your reason for having to stop extra lessons is not a lack of interest but for financial reasons?

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Corrections are still actively given to my classmates, and in the most recent class I was the only one receiving sharp comments but I'm not sure if I'm overthinking it! 

 

I have not mentioned it yet, but I used to have a private every fortnight and I believe my teacher knows that I would not go for privates elsewhere (have mentioned something to this effect before). I am still extremely attentive in the regular classes and I always make sure my body language displays interest (e.g. not standing with my arms folded, correcting myself and repeating the exercise when corrections are given to others).

 

I'm not sure if I want to discuss the financial situation for personal reasons but it's been discouraging to be harshly spoken and uncorrected, especially since I have been one of the more hardworking members of the class! 

Edited by dancedancedance

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I always think that being up front is the way forward (even tho often difficult). My advise would be to speak to your teacher in private, explain how you have been feeling in class and how upset you are that your private lessons are on hold for the moment. Hopefully it will clear the air and your positive relationship can be re-established. Fingers crossed that things get better for you soon.

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Thanks kat09! I don't like confrontation but I will speak to my teacher if it continues.

 

Not sure if I'm reading too much into the situation but a classmate who has recently started privates is getting the most attention in class now....

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What reason did you give for stopping the privates? If you did not explain about the financial issues then, what did you say? Or did you just stop making bookings and not give any reason?

 

If the teacher does not know why, she may think you are not taking it seriously any more. She invested a lot of time in you and may be annoyed with you if she thinks that it was all for nothing.

 

You don't say how old you are, but most teachers have seen many many keen students lose interest in their dancing when they reach their teens, either because of schoolwork pressures or just because they want to "be teenagers".

 

(Alternatively she may just be the type of teacher to have "favourites" , in which case you may have to accept that you have now been replaced in her affections by the other student who has the privates now.)

 

I agree with Kat09, the best approach wold be to speak to her in private after a particularly "bad" class and ask her if she is upset with you for any reason, because you felt that she seemed angry with you but you don't understand why as you are trying hard, and ask if she has any specific corrections for you. If she mentions the privates, for example by suggesting that you book one so that she can help you more, that is your cue to explain about the money. If not, you could volunteer that you really miss them and wish you had more money so that you could resume.

 

Are there any odd jobs you could do around the studio to help her out which could "pay" for them, for example helping with the admin or assisting in the childrens classes?

Edited by youngatheart
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Looking at this from another point of view, your ballet teacher is very likely self-employed, in which case your inability to afford private lessons may also be having an impact on her income/business/stress levels and so on, especially if several other students are doing the same.  If she's started treating you differently, that doesn't sound terribly professional, but then we're all of us only human ...

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My teacher is very much a 'solo operation' so I can't help out much... I did mention that I wouldn't be able to do privates for a while but have otherwise demonstrated interest in my regular classes and worked very hard in them.

 

I think the case may be as alison suggests... But should I continue with a teacher who might be unprofessional when situations like this arise? I get the feeling like I'm being criticised so that I'd feel like I need private coaching.

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I think you may have to "bite the bullet" as they say and say to your teacher the real reason why you have stopped having Private Lessons

That way there is no misunderstanding and everyone knows where they stand.

 

You never know but if you do tell her about your financial problem she may be able to do some sort of deal with you and I'm sure she would be sympathetic.

It's always best to be clear and up front in Life I have found as that is the most honest way.

 

If you have made it completely clear to this teacher why you suddenly stopped and she is still behaving differently towards you when she does know your situation then of course she is being unprofessional and indeed unkind.

If she is a good teacher of ballet generally speaking then you may have to put up with it or find another teacher who respects you.

But I feel there may be a genuine misunderstanding here which only you can put right!

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My daughter has private lessons with her teacher which started just to get her through a vocational grade quicker and has carried them on, although since then she says she gets a lot more attention and corrections in class which she gets embarrassed about. To be honest I think a good teacher shouldn't need to be giving private lessons and we all have to remember they are just offering a service and if it's not a good service then I would complain.

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Would just like to say that I do understand that it's much easier for an older people like myself to deal with situations like this than a much younger person.

There are a just few benefits from being older! It's much harder if you're still quite young to challenge or perhaps share some things with an older adult but anyway hope you can manage to pluck up courage to tell the teacher that you are finding it difficult to pay for the lessons.

Any teacher worth her salt on knowing this should be paying you more attention in class not less as she would know that you would like to have private lessons but can't .

Anyway have PM you.

Linda.

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Agree totally with you LinMM!

 

Just wanted to add that there is no need at all go deep into the detail of WHY money is a problem - that is a personal matter - if she is professional she should be able to respect that.

Edited by youngatheart
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