To let go or not to let go....
Posted 30 May 2016 - 18:47
I am slightly envious of private teachers who have the choice (although I understand not always easy) to get rid of a pupil. If I have a difficult relative or patient, I'm stuck with them! Exercise your choice and show her the door. Life's too short.
Posted 30 May 2016 - 22:32
You don't have to give a reason!
In my experience, the more you try to say why you've come to a decision, the more you end up tying yourself in knots of reasons and excuses - which people like this mum will just keep throwing back at you so the dialogue will never end!
It's perfectly acceptable to write something like, 'I regret that from xxxx 2016 I will no longer be able to teach your daughter. Her last lesson will therefore be on ............ I have enjoyed teaching her and would like to wish her all the best in the future.'
If you really want to you can add in 'due to a change in circumstances' but don't be drawn into 'what change?' Just smile and say that you do not want to discuss personal matters with her.
Posted 31 May 2016 - 07:51
I totally agree with Cyrilla. Currently, I am incredibly fortunate to have really good students and families. In the past, oh boy, the awkward squad made my working life a misery. Knowing one student or family were likely to be difficult could ruin my day. Waving them bye bye is just so satisfying!
Cyrilla's letter template is perfect, professional and to the point! Use it and then breathe a sigh of relief. Intimidating parents are not worth the candle.
Posted 31 May 2016 - 08:51
I also absolutely agree with Cyrilla. I know how upsetting and unsettling one difficult pupil (or in this case mother) can be - it can affect your whole teaching schedule. If you could pluck up the courage to do this, you would feel SO relieved afterwards. Good luck! And keep us posted.
Posted 31 May 2016 - 11:04
Thank you Cyrilla and Norway. I do like the idea of letting the family go, I just don't know how I would go about it. I'm afraid P's mum could react very badly... I can't think of a reason I could give that she would accept. Unless I can find a reason no longer to be free when P has her lessons!
Yes, if you're afraid, as you say you are, then that is a very good reason to stop. You don't need to 'win' an argument with her. No one is forcing you to teach the child. You can simply say no longer wish to do so.
Posted 31 May 2016 - 11:37
Babygrand, Cyrilla and Norway have given excellent advice and I agree with them. Don't allow this mother to make your life a misery. I wouldn't have kept this family on - and as has been said, you don't have to give any reason. Just be polite, but firmly dismissive and don't allow any discussion.
Posted 31 May 2016 - 11:57
Posted 31 May 2016 - 12:17
Good advice from Badstrad about keeping your answer to the point. Do not be drawn into any discussion or elaboration of your position. That will just, potentially, lead to an argument.
Posted 31 May 2016 - 12:22
It is worth practicing the scratched record technique. Choose a phrase, such as "(I have told you) I am not prepared to discuss the matter further." Each time they try to draw you into an argument or get you to explain/backdown/etc you just repeat the same phrase.
This is a brilliant technique which I've used myself sometimes, albeit in a different context. I would just add that once you've said that, if you're face-to-face, don't hang around as if you're expecting a discussion to ensue. Follow on immediately with something like "Now if you'll excuse me, I have [a lot of things to do] [another pupil coming shortly] [an appointment to go to] and make a move which confirms the conversation is at an end. Like everyone else has said, you'll feel a lot better afterwards. It's so draining and time consuming dealing with people who like to make life difficult for others.
Posted 02 June 2016 - 19:20
Thank you everyone so much for your support and advice. It really is invaluable to me! I'm currently thinking it all over..... I will let you know what happens next, and what the outcome is.
In the meantime, I saw this today, and it made me laugh! That is very much what I am like.....which is horrible, but it is also good to know I'm not the only one, and to be able to laugh about it!
Posted 14 July 2016 - 13:35
So....this saga may finally be coming to an end. At the moment I'm (very nervously) awaiting a response from P's mum. If you'd like to know more details (or to calm me down!), please PM me. Just trying to make sure I'm not giving any recognisable details on here. Thank you all!
Posted 14 July 2016 - 15:54
Good luck - and stick to your decision. It's your life, after all.