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Should I say something to the teacher? OT

Posted by on Dec. 15, 2013 at 12:08 PM
  • 21 Replies
I know you ladies will help me put this in perspective. Sorry if this gets long, I feel like there is some background needed.

DD 10.5 has been doing dance since she was 5. DHs aunt is the teacher. She is a very laid back teacher and really thinks dance should be fun, it's not a serious dancing school-no competitions, no dress code, etc. Typically, most kids thrive with it and love it and as they get older, some go to a 'fancier' dancing school where they are more serious. My DD will never be a serious dancer, she LOVES to dance, but I think that's because it has never been serious and competitive, she is not a competitive kid. Last year, DHs aunt brought in a ballet teacher who is more serious and a bit harsher on the kids, she is also teaching this year-just the ballet part, DHs aunt still teaches tap-the class is both. It can be good because she is pushing them and most of the time they enjoy the challenge...but this teacher is young and doesn't have the experience DHs aunt (who has been dancing for 60 years, teaching for 40) has.

As another piece of background, DD is not mine biologically, she is DHs from before we met. Her mother has all but abandoned her, she hasn't seen her in almost two years. The last time DD spoke to her on the phone even was April 2012. So, DD definitely has some 'abandonment' issues and she is really sensitive. She is also 10.5 and very emotional. And her last two years of PS she was bullied (it was mild, but it was very hard on her...in third grade even the teacher bullied her in some ways).

So last week at dance class, DD came out with a very red face from dancing so hard and she looked upset, DS made a comment to her to try to make her laugh and she just lost it, tears streaming down her face and soooo angry at him. He makes comments a lot, he thinks he's funny and sometimes doesn't know when it's not a good time to joke...she gets frustrated with him but this was extreme. So when we were alone, I finally got her to talk. She told me the ballet teacher yelled at her because she said "I can't" she said the teacher told her when the "big kids" (in the following class-7th ish graders) say I can't, they have to say something nice about the teacher. Which doesn't make any sense to me.

So DD and I talked about what she could say instead if I can't since the teacher doesn't like it. And we talked about really trying because now that they are older, the moves are going to get harder.

I know the "big kids" have complained about this teacher and I know one girl at least has stopped dancing because of the teacher and so DHs aunt was considering not inviting the teacher back for that class. I am wondering if I should say something to DHs aunt about how upset DD was? I don't want to fight her battles, and I do want her to learn to work with different styles of teaching...she wants to keep dancing and I'm glad for that. But I don't want her to be miserable during the ballet portion. This has been so much fun and such a constant in her life, I don't want that to change.

What do you all think? She has one more class then a couple weeks off for Christmas. Should I let it go for now? Wait and see if anything else happens? Mention it to DHs aunt right away? Or mention it casually if I see her at a family thing away from the dance environment?
by on Dec. 15, 2013 at 12:08 PM
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LilliesValley
by Member on Dec. 15, 2013 at 12:14 PM
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I see nothing wrong with telling the aunt so that she has more information to make a better decision. I would go and talk to the aunt. A Christmas party of family isn't the time to bring something like this up even though it would be easier for you.

I'd try to get dd to finish the class through the year. She's going to have a boss or someone she doesn't like and shouldn't let them stand in the way of doing something she loves or doing a good job.
debramommyof4
by Silver Member on Dec. 15, 2013 at 12:18 PM
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I would mention that it does not make sense and it upset your dd just so Aunt knows and can fix it before she looses more students. And let her know that is why so she doesn't take offense.
TidewaterClan
by Kate on Dec. 15, 2013 at 12:47 PM
3 moms liked this

 I would definitely talk to DHs aunt, either in person or on the phone, and explain the situation.  I'd bring it up before any family Christmas parties though.  If she's already lost one student more will follow.

My girls used to take ballet at the rec center and it was so much fun.  The young lady who taught also worked with students at a local elementary and she would bring in fake flowers for them to hold and stretch with.  She didn't mind that little dd wanted to use her Scooby Doo instead.  The learned loads of great moves from her and loved every minute of it.  She was replaced by a woman who had years and years of experience.  She cracked the whip constantly on them, in a nagging tone, and they quickly lost interest.  Half of the class, most of whom had also loved the previous teacher, also left before the next session. 

Life isn't all roses and sunshine of course, but if your dd loves this (and isn't going out for the NYC Ballet) it should at least be a warm and welcoming environment she looks forward to going to.  She'll have plenty of time to deal with other types of personalities as she grows.  JMO!

PS - her birth mother sounds like a true piece of work.  She's truly blessed to have you in her life. 

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Dec. 15, 2013 at 12:57 PM
1 mom liked this

IMO the Aunt is going to lose more students if she doesn't address this, and soon!  If you can come up with a tactful way of broaching the subject.  Keep it light and do not actually come out and blame the new teacher.  Something more like, "DD had a rough day at dance last week.  She felt like she couldn't perform and then felt very frustrated at having to compliment a teacher when she was already angry at herself for not doing the move well.  What should I say to her about the harder moves?"  Then she's notified that something is not quite right, and can take it from there.

I taught dance for years at a fun place.  Our instructor took on quite a few of us when we got older and we paid our lessons by teaching the younger kids.  Some of us did very well and others had these types of issues.  Madame wanted to fix any of these problems very quickly so she wouldn't lose students.  She very much appreciated getting the feedback about her other instructors.

TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Dec. 15, 2013 at 1:14 PM
I think DD will definitely finish the class at least, she really loves it and this was her first negative experience with it. She actually liked the teacher before this.

Quoting LilliesValley: I see nothing wrong with telling the aunt so that she has more information to make a better decision. I would go and talk to the aunt. A Christmas party of family isn't the time to bring something like this up even though it would be easier for you.



I'd try to get dd to finish the class through the year. She's going to have a boss or someone she doesn't like and shouldn't let them stand in the way of doing something she loves or doing a good job.
TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Dec. 15, 2013 at 1:15 PM
1 mom liked this
I will...I think we will go a bit early this week so I can catch DHs aunt before class starts and hopefully before the other teacher arrives!

Quoting debramommyof4: I would mention that it does not make sense and it upset your dd just so Aunt knows and can fix it before she looses more students. And let her know that is why so she doesn't take offense.
TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Dec. 15, 2013 at 1:18 PM
1 mom liked this
I am always chatting with a grandmother who brings her granddaughter to the same class (her older granddaughter is one that stopped going because of this new teacher) and we are always saying how if our kids wanted something crazy serious, we would go to a different school. DHs aunts method works so well for these girls, and she has been in business for 40 years, obviously she is doing something right! She charges a reasonable rate and give the girls a good time while building their skills. DD has been dancing with some of the same girls since she started, and they have grown sooo much in their skills! Their recitals are getting awesome because they have learned to dance together!

And thank you, I am just as blessed to have her in my life. Honestly, DH and my lives have been better-much less stressful- without DDs mother around...but it's not always easy on DD!

Quoting TidewaterClan:

 I would definitely talk to DHs aunt, either in person or on the phone, and explain the situation.  I'd bring it up before any family Christmas parties though.  If she's already lost one student more will follow.


My girls used to take ballet at the rec center and it was so much fun.  The young lady who taught also worked with students at a local elementary and she would bring in fake flowers for them to hold and stretch with.  She didn't mind that little dd wanted to use her Scooby Doo instead.  The learned loads of great moves from her and loved every minute of it.  She was replaced by a woman who had years and years of experience.  She cracked the whip constantly on them, in a nagging tone, and they quickly lost interest.  Half of the class, most of whom had also loved the previous teacher, also left before the next session. 


Life isn't all roses and sunshine of course, but if your dd loves this (and isn't going out for the NYC Ballet) it should at least be a warm and welcoming environment she looks forward to going to.  She'll have plenty of time to deal with other types of personalities as she grows.  JMO!


PS - her birth mother sounds like a true piece of work.  She's truly blessed to have you in her life. 

TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Dec. 15, 2013 at 1:41 PM
Thank you for helping me find the words to use! I am going to try to get there early this week so I can see DHs aunt before class, and hopefully before the other teacher gets there. I think it's good for me to consider how this will affect DHs aunts business, if her own niece is going home crying she should at least be aware of it.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

IMO the Aunt is going to lose more students if she doesn't address this, and soon!  If you can come up with a tactful way of broaching the subject.  Keep it light and do not actually come out and blame the new teacher.  Something more like, "DD had a rough day at dance last week.  She felt like she couldn't perform and then felt very frustrated at having to compliment a teacher when she was already angry at herself for not doing the move well.  What should I say to her about the harder moves?"  Then she's notified that something is not quite right, and can take it from there.

I taught dance for years at a fun place.  Our instructor took on quite a few of us when we got older and we paid our lessons by teaching the younger kids.  Some of us did very well and others had these types of issues.  Madame wanted to fix any of these problems very quickly so she wouldn't lose students.  She very much appreciated getting the feedback about her other instructors.

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Dec. 15, 2013 at 1:44 PM

You're welcome!  I agree, if her niece is going away crying, she definately needs to know!  I hope her experience is better after the break.

Quoting TJandKarasMom: Thank you for helping me find the words to use! I am going to try to get there early this week so I can see DHs aunt before class, and hopefully before the other teacher gets there. I think it's good for me to consider how this will affect DHs aunts business, if her own niece is going home crying she should at least be aware of it.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

IMO the Aunt is going to lose more students if she doesn't address this, and soon!  If you can come up with a tactful way of broaching the subject.  Keep it light and do not actually come out and blame the new teacher.  Something more like, "DD had a rough day at dance last week.  She felt like she couldn't perform and then felt very frustrated at having to compliment a teacher when she was already angry at herself for not doing the move well.  What should I say to her about the harder moves?"  Then she's notified that something is not quite right, and can take it from there.

I taught dance for years at a fun place.  Our instructor took on quite a few of us when we got older and we paid our lessons by teaching the younger kids.  Some of us did very well and others had these types of issues.  Madame wanted to fix any of these problems very quickly so she wouldn't lose students.  She very much appreciated getting the feedback about her other instructors.


TidewaterClan
by Kate on Dec. 15, 2013 at 1:49 PM

 That sounds like an absolutely wonderful class, and something dd won't want to lose if it can be helped.  Going early to talk to her aunt is a great idea.

I'll bet!  It has to be nice not worrying who will have her at Christmas, etc.  She just has to realize it's all about that woman, and nothing to do with her.  

Quoting TJandKarasMom: I am always chatting with a grandmother who brings her granddaughter to the same class (her older granddaughter is one that stopped going because of this new teacher) and we are always saying how if our kids wanted something crazy serious, we would go to a different school. DHs aunts method works so well for these girls, and she has been in business for 40 years, obviously she is doing something right! She charges a reasonable rate and give the girls a good time while building their skills. DD has been dancing with some of the same girls since she started, and they have grown sooo much in their skills! Their recitals are getting awesome because they have learned to dance together!

And thank you, I am just as blessed to have her in my life. Honestly, DH and my lives have been better-much less stressful- without DDs mother around...but it's not always easy on DD!

Quoting TidewaterClan:

 I would definitely talk to DHs aunt, either in person or on the phone, and explain the situation.  I'd bring it up before any family Christmas parties though.  If she's already lost one student more will follow.


My girls used to take ballet at the rec center and it was so much fun.  The young lady who taught also worked with students at a local elementary and she would bring in fake flowers for them to hold and stretch with.  She didn't mind that little dd wanted to use her Scooby Doo instead.  The learned loads of great moves from her and loved every minute of it.  She was replaced by a woman who had years and years of experience.  She cracked the whip constantly on them, in a nagging tone, and they quickly lost interest.  Half of the class, most of whom had also loved the previous teacher, also left before the next session. 


Life isn't all roses and sunshine of course, but if your dd loves this (and isn't going out for the NYC Ballet) it should at least be a warm and welcoming environment she looks forward to going to.  She'll have plenty of time to deal with other types of personalities as she grows.  JMO!


PS - her birth mother sounds like a true piece of work.  She's truly blessed to have you in her life. 

 

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