Question about prospective new student

Karra said: May 10, 2009
 Cello
51 posts

Hi everyone,

I had something occur today that I have not dealt with before. I recieved an e mail from a mother looking for a new teacher for her son, and she went into quite a bit of detail about teacher X, with whom they had been working with for several years, and why she was now doubting this teacher’s ability to teach her son. I realize this is par for the course, but this is the first time I’ve gotten a message like that where the teacher’s name was mentioned and it was a local Suzuki teacher I know. I don’t know her well, and I know her teaching even less well, but what I have observed didn’t exactly leave the best impression. That said, I would never share such thoughts with a student, or a parent of a student, former, current, or present- to do so would be both unethical and unfair to my colleague. I called this parent anyway, expecting to have the usual initial interview, but it took far longer than usual, mainly because she was dishing dirt on the still current teacher. I didn’t know what to say, or whether or not I want to take on such a family. I figure she may have been really upset at the other teacher because they’d had the conversation about switching today, and I know emotions can fly high when that happens. How do you all respond to parents when they say not so nice things about your colleagues?

“It may very well be music that will one day save the world”— Pablo Casals

Connie Sunday said: May 10, 2009
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
667 posts

My feeling is that if she will do that to her other teacher, she is apt to do the same to you. I would probably mention that to her, that fact. She needs to hear it from someone.

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Grace said: May 13, 2009
 Violin
110 posts

I would stay FAR AWAY from such a parent! Yikes! :shock:

said: May 15, 2009
 145 posts

I wouldnt take the pupil on. It’s just such a bad starting point and so far removed from Suzuki’s teaching phylosophy, I’d think that the Mother would probably be always a problem and I wouldnt want that stress in my life !

Karra said: May 27, 2009
 Cello
51 posts

Thank you Nelly, Keroppi, and mshikibu for your feedback. It turns out I’m to be spared the task of turning this student away- they decided to stay with their current teacher. Good for me, but it makes me wonder about that poor teacher. For my part I would not want a student who so obviously didn’t appreciate my teaching.

“It may very well be music that will one day save the world”— Pablo Casals

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