Wednesday, December 11, 2013

parents week...eeeek!

So this week is parents week....

i've been dreading it, 
in fact i avoid the parents so much that my boss
told me the other day i had to make a real effort to actually speak to them.

I'll confess, i havent done a really great job,
i need to get better at the schmoozing, 
lets face the parents dont really care how good i teach
their babies...all they care is that i'm
nice to them...
(and i'm not always nice to them!)

it has been interesting in some respects....
i've learned a little bit more about some of my students
through these (brief) interactions with the parents.

In one class on Monday i have one little 5 year old girl
who i just haven't been able to connect with
(she has informed me she isnt coming back next term)
and i really hoped that during watching week she might
actually pull her socks up and try doing some ballet
(she really seems to hate it!)
but she didnt, she fluffed her way through and made silly faces,
and i wondered what her mum was thinking about her little girls
attitude during the class,

and then at the end of the class when all the other children 
had gone home she sat crying in the corner,
her mother hadnt come.

'she pinky promised me'
she cried,
'she promised she would come, and she just didnt bother'

and it nearly broke my heart,
and i tried to tell her that i'm sure her mother
was so upset that she couldnt make it,
and that sometimes its hard for mummys to keep their promises,
but this was a little girl who looked like she had too many broken promises.

I'm not sure she will come back next term,
but if she did i would have more patience with her and
give her the love that she deserved.

I had another older teenage student in one of my classes
who is in a class well beyond her level,
i keep trying to explain to her its too difficult
and maybe she should think about going in another class.
but she wants to come to this class and she plods along,
i think completely unaware of how far behind she is.

and at the end her mother came up to me 
and thanked me for having her daughter in her class.
she said she could see it was difficult for me to have her
daughter my class, and that she is behind in so many
of her classes and that she was just so pleased that her daughter 
kept wanting to come and how good it must be for her.

And i realised there is much more to the story behind this little girl too,
and that i have to stop trying to point out to her how behind she is,
i'm sure that she gets that a lot in life and instead 
just let her enjoy dancing the way she wants to.

I guess by getting to know the parents a bit better
i'll get to know the children a bit better,
and seem them not just as kids that wriggle and cant keep still
but as children who need a loving natured ballet teacher as much as 
they need ballet technique.

 I read a book this week which said something along the lines of
how at a young age children rarely actually care about what they are being taught but
care what the teacher thinks of them and if they like the teacher....
i think its so true...
and i need to remember it.

1 comment:

  1. As a child dance educator, I completely relate to what you are saying in this post.

    It is very difficult to connect with some students and adding parents to the mix just increases the pressure of being an instructor. Just remember, they are not nearly as critical of us as we are of ourselves.

    Best of luck; I look forward to future posts :)


    Buffalo Britty