Kylie S., Australia
This past week I had a horrid encounter. A parent, during class, was very rude, arrogant, and aggressive in his manner towards me and and SM program. He is usually in a group with other parents/kids, but this week he and his child were on their own – so he let loose! I think I am dealing with the actual things he said – and even why he said them. I have reported him to the school so that they are aware that his behaviour was inappropriate and to keep a “tab” on him in case he tries this on other teachers.
My question is what to do/say if he does this again – particularly if there are other parents in the room. Has anyone has experience with “uncoachable” coaches being disruptive during class time and voicing all their disapprovals? I would like a professional, kind, but firm statement to say to him. Help!
I had a parent who, in a private lesson, was very disrespectful to me. My regret is that I didn’t let them go immediately because in all the ensuing lessons, I felt very uncomfortable. I was embarrassed that the student saw the parent talk to me like that. Finally they stopped lessons without paying the last month’s tuition. I learned a lesson, and it won’t happen again. I have read similar stories on other teacher bulletin boards, and the advice is to let them go.
Robin Keehn, Washington
I really don’t know what transpired with this parent but I would be talking to him directly, prior to the next lesson. I would let him know that I found his actions/behavior at the last lesson inappropriate and that I only work with students and parents who are coachable and meet my requirements. One of those unspoken but assumed requirements is respectful and meaningful conversation and questions. Anything other than that is not allowed in my classroom. I would ask him if there is anything he wants to discuss with you right now. Depending on what he has to say, you could either give him the opportunity to attend another class and see how it goes or just fire him on the spot.
If you choose to fire him, I would say that you feel that this is an irreconcilable situation and that you can no longer have him in lessons. Ask if there is another coach that could attend lessons with the child. If not, they need to go.
Don’t stay in a situation that causes you grief or worry or concern. You will start to dread that group and that is NOT the way you want to feel.
Thank you ladies. Your responses have made me feel OK about needing to let them/him go. That is the plan I wish to take – sooner rather than later : )
It’s just not worth the dread/worry.