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#16 ma non troppo

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 12:33

So sorry to hear this Aqaurelle, but as others have said, it sounds like you are doing the right thing. I know it is often prudent to be vague about why you are stopping lessons, and *probably* that is the right course of action from a professional standpoint. However, the children sound OK and *maybe* it would be a learning curve for the unreasonable mother to realise that there are direct consequences for her behaviour. It would need carefully wording though. And frankly you may just want a quiet life. Best of luck!
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#17 Dr. Rogers

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 13:53

My sympathies, Aquarelle.  Sometimes dealing with parents can be the most challenging aspect of our profession.  I commend you for your longsuffering patience with this mother, and I think you have made a correct and most reasonable decision.


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#18 maggiemay

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 16:01

Very sorry to read of your experience with this parent, Aquaretlle, and I can only echo what many others have said.

I certainly do feel sorry for the children. Some situations are just not resolvable, sadly, and I can only wish you the best of luck in getting through the rest of the term. Also to your student - for getting through his exam with a fair degree of confidence!
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#19 Gran'piano

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 17:18

Been there. Had that done to me. It was the father not the mother though. It is really horrible being shouted at when one is doing a good job.
I agree with everyone else. Close the book with your head high. It looks as if no explanations will get through to the mother, so short and sweet is the name of the game.
Good luck and hope you can shake it off.
Pity about the children but you cannot win ‘em all.
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#20 DMC

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 18:55

See condition 8 of the ISM contract relating to conduct:

 

'If the Teacher, in his or her reasonable opinion, feels unable to continue tuition on account of unreasonable conduct by the Pupil or anyone connected with the Pupil, the fees for any outstanding lessons will not be refundable.'


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#21 ma non troppo

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 20:05

I wonder how enforceable that would be if legally tested.
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#22 Aquarelle

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 20:44

Actually I don't mind refunding the fees. At least the mother won't be able to tell other parents I refused to teach children and kept the money - and I suspect she would be quite capable of doing that. I have, perhaps been spoilt by the number of really nice families and pupils I have. I haven't favoured this family with special treatment in order to avoid trouble but I have put on my kid gloves whenever I thought something needed to be handled carefully. Well, it worked for a while but I'm afraid this really was overstepping the mark. It caused me a sleepless night and I can't afford that too often so we simply have to part company. I will miss both children, particularly the little girl but that's life - these things happen - as many other teachers know.

 

Again thank you all for your much appreciated support and advice.


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#23 DMC

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 22:21

I wonder how enforceable that would be if legally tested.


The ISM contract was drawn up in consultation with lawyers and has been tested in a court of law, according to the ISM.
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#24 ma non troppo

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 23:45

That's interesting - has that particular clause been tested in a specific case, do you know? These statements can be a bit vague - what constitutes having been "tested"?

Back to Aqaurelle, I think you are quite right to refund the money in this case - it sounds like a small loss, you seem to operate in an environment where people may " talk" and it means you can hold the moral high ground even more. Best of luck - some things just aren't worth the hassle.
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#25 Hedgehog

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 08:34

Bit late to this conversation.  I think you've been the epitome of reasonableness Aquarelle, and from your previous posts over the years, I think you navigate a difficult system very thoughtfully, so if you are feeling you've come to the end of the road with this family because of the parent then I think you can feel justified in your conclusions.  I hope it all works out ok. 


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#26 DMC

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 12:21

That's interesting - has that particular clause been tested in a specific case, do you know? These statements can be a bit vague - what constitutes having been "tested"?

Back to Aqaurelle, I think you are quite right to refund the money in this case - it sounds like a small loss, you seem to operate in an environment where people may " talk" and it means you can hold the moral high ground even more. Best of luck - some things just aren't worth the hassle.

 

I have my criticisms about some aspects of the ISM legal offering (see my other posts here) but contract law is where they absolutely excel - as long as you use their contract, or get one of their lawyers to approve your own. 

 

Basically, if you use an ISM contract, and there is a breach, you can hand it over to them and they will sort it. In December, a colleague of mine had a  non-payer (owed them a terms fees), and the ISM redeemed the fees in full on their behalf.

A year or two back, another colleague had a parent who felt it necessary to send a tirade of abusive emails, so she stopped the lessons. The parent wanted the refund. She refused. The ISM backed her up.


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#27 EllieD

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 07:56

That's interesting - has that particular clause been tested in a specific case, do you know? These statements can be a bit vague - what constitutes having been "tested"?
 

 

Interesting to read about the contracts - that's great from ISM! I doubt, given the sums of money involved, it would ever go to court to prove the point - legal fees even for a small case would far outstrip even a term's worth of music bills.


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#28 Dorcas

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 08:58

It seems Aquarelle has worked out a reasonable exit strategy, and like everyone else on here, I wish her all the best with this.  Thinking about it, the ISM clause about behaviour sounds a good idea.  My own terms and conditions are due an overhaul, and I think I will include something similar.  Let's face it, most students and their families are delightful.  Recently though, I had a new student start, whose parent agreed to my T&Cs, apart from attending regularly and paying regularly, and so on.  When I informed the parent that they would have to move to my ad hoc rate, which was nearly double my normal rate, I was accused of being dishonest, at great length!!  Onwards and upwards.


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#29 Aquarelle

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 13:47

Sorry to hear you had that trouble Dorcas. It does seem that some people simply don't understand what they read or hear, however clear one is.

 

Continued thanks and appreciation for all the encouraging posts. I will see this family next Wednesday for the last lesson before the exams and again on exam day. We then have two more lessons before  the concert which is on 30th of June so I just have to keep things calm until then, particularly for the sake of the children.  After that there remain 2 lessons until the end of term and those are the two I will refund.

 

That leaves  the decision about the way I inform her. Email  or SMS is out as they don't have a computer or a mobile phone. She rarely  answers the land line and I am not happy about leaving a message -either explaining my intention or asking her to ring me. I could write a letter but the last time I had to use that form of communication she denied having had any letter.  There remains the option of a registered letter with advice of reception but the timing for that would be awkward.  Since  the advice of reception doesn't always get back to the sender for several days she could still claim not to have received a letter and I wouldn't necessarily have proof to the contrary. So I think it is going to have to be face to face. Any other ideas would be appreciated.


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#30 jenny

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 14:02

It seems you don't have many options, unfortunately, Aquarelle. I'm sure you wouldn't want to have a face to face conversation with her at the concert, so perhaps you could do it after the exams. Do you think that she would be upset/offended enough to then withdraw her children from your concert? That would be a shame. These days it's so normal for teachers to send messages by e-mail or text that few of us would need to resort to face to face conversations with 'difficult' parents. But if she doesn't answer her phone or admit to receiving letters, it seems you don't have much choice. I'm so sorry that you find yourself in this situation, but you will feel so relieved once it's done. Good luck!    


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