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#46 RPassacaglia

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 22:01

I think that's just common sense in most cases.
Trust me, I have very strong reasons for not wanting to teach the student in my OP, and they are not "dodgy reasons" in the slightest. I couldn't care less about race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, size, regional accent (!?)
What I do care about is not being harassed (very frequent attempts at contact), spoken to inappropriately, having my personal space invaded, having to sit through obvious recounting of fantasies etc etc.
Small boys, if taught basic manners and awareness have nothing to fear from a reasonable person. And if that person is not reasonable, then I don't think they should be wanting lessons from them anyway.

Sounds like you have perfectly reasonable reasons (for want of a better phrase) and you did the right thing by refusing to take on the student and not inviting discussion from them about it. I have been in the situations you have described, and no one should have to accept such things. Why put oneself at risk like that for fear of causing offence. It’s just not worth it.
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#47 DMC

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 09:07

Remember, it's literally your business, and you can teach whoever you like.

 

Saying you have no vacancy or are unavailable is fine, because who decides whether there is a vacancy? It's you!


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#48 elemimele

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 18:16

Ma non troppo, sorry, didn't mean any offence; I have no doubt that you have very good reasons.

The only reason that I chipped back in was that there is a genuine dilemma, and a number of posts began to give the impression that men in general need to be treated as potential trouble, which may be true, but is rather hurtful. I'm sensitive about it because I worked briefly in a place where security staff had been told (by HR) that a male staff-member had abused someone, and therefore we should all be watched like hawks. You can imagine how cheerful that place was.

But having said all that, I think when you're working on your own as a freelance, you have to do what's right for you, and it's silly for anyone else (including me) to intervene. 


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#49 corenfa

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 19:28

It's a shame that some [demographic of people] perpetuate [some stereotype] that give the rest of them a bad name. I've certainly got different combinations of filling in those blanks, and I try not to judge all of them by that, but my personal safety (whether physical or mental) will always have to be put first before hurt feelings. When I have felt I had to terminate interactions with people, I don't feel I owe them any explanation. I'm fortunate that this doesn't happen very often in my professional life.

I am however a piano student- if my teacher decided she didn't want to teach me any more, I'd probably rather not be taught by her anyway. If she had an "irrational" (to me) reason, all the more I wouldn't want to be taught by her.

PS. Not suggesting that OP's reasons are irrational! Just describing how I'd feel if a teacher told me she didn't want to teach me.
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#50 zwhe

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 19:55

Its probably worth pointing out that this sort of situation is not the norm. I have 'sacked' one family for non-payment, and turned away one man for being creepy. Generally, the ones I wouldn't want will also not want me - the most common situation is where a parent insists their little darling is the next Mozart and should do grade 5 next term, despite the fact they are still on their tutor book and somehow manage to make the piano sound like a strangled cat. After I have explained that I will happily teach them, but would not even consider entering them for any exam they wouldn't pass, I never see them again. It is very unusual to have to tell someone you don't want them when they still want lessons.


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#51 elemimele

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 21:51

... and I have to say, you're both speaking perfect sense! I must agree.


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#52 RPassacaglia

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 23:01

It’s that fear of causing hurt feelings that can often result in vulnerable people ending up in uncomfortable and unsafe situations. Once again, repeating what I said earlier, I don’t automatically assume every adult male enquirer is up to no good, but I have learned from experience to be a bit more cautious and take extra precautions. And, as I also said earlier, creepy enquirers is far from the norm. The vast majority of male adult students who come to me genuinely want to learn. As a general rule it is a rewarding job where I feel safe and get on well with the people I teach. But, common sense should tell anyone that you shouldn’t automatically assume everyone in the world is good. There are strange and dangerous people out there, both male and female, and it is sensible to be extra cautious if someone (male or female) makes you feel unsafe. Just because someone needs to be cautious doesn’t mean they automatically see all men as dangerous. It’s a shame some people end up putting themselves in danger because they’re so afraid of causing offence.

And I should probably add, before this gets misconstrued: I am not in any way implying this is a frequent problem or that it is a dangerous job. Once again, problems like this are few and far between. Most clients are lovely people. It just pays to have common sense, that’s all.
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#53 ma non troppo

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 23:12

Ma non troppo, sorry, didn't mean any offence; I have no doubt that you have very good reasons.
The only reason that I chipped back in was that there is a genuine dilemma, and a number of posts began to give the impression that men in general need to be treated as potential trouble, which may be true, but is rather hurtful. I'm sensitive about it because I worked briefly in a place where security staff had been told (by HR) that a male staff-member had abused someone, and therefore we should all be watched like hawks. You can imagine how cheerful that place was.
But having said all that, I think when you're working on your own as a freelance, you have to do what's right for you, and it's silly for anyone else (including me) to intervene.


Don't worry - no offence was taken - you make some very valid points and I agree with what you say.
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#54 corenfa

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 11:32

Shoe on the other foot and all that- as a female, I would not be offended if a male colleague wanted to conduct meetings in a room with a glass door or a window if he wanted to exclude possible allegations of impropriety. I have no intention of ever making false allegations but I'm not offended if someone recognises the theoretical possibility and wishes to eliminate it. (The place I work at is open plan and has glass walls everywhere anyway)
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#55 RPassacaglia

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 11:46

Shoe on the other foot and all that- as a female, I would not be offended if a male colleague wanted to conduct meetings in a room with a glass door or a window if he wanted to exclude possible allegations of impropriety. I have no intention of ever making false allegations but I'm not offended if someone recognises the theoretical possibility and wishes to eliminate it. (The place I work at is open plan and has glass walls everywhere anyway)


Exactly. I feel the same and I would not be offended, and my feelings would not be hurt if a new adult male student wanted to take precautions to guard against such a theoretical possibility. After all, a complete stranger doesn’t know me and I don’t expect them to naively and blindly trust a complete stranger. Likewise, my feelings are not hurt when a parent of a new young pupil doesn’t feel comfortable with leaving their child alone with me and would rather sit in on the first few lessons. I would say that’s perfectly reasonable and sensible when leaving someone vulnerable with a complete stranger, and they need time to get to know that stranger. Most men I know do not find it hurtful and do not take it personally to think that a lone woman would feel vulnerable when left alone with a man who is a complete stranger who is physically stronger than themselves, and might want to take precautions to ensure they are not alone, at least until they’re no longer a stranger.
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#56 jenny

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 12:08

I always ask my son or daughter-in-law, who live close by, to be here if I do a consultation lesson with an adult male. 


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#57 ma non troppo

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 12:40

I've actually asked an adult student who I know well to stay behind for a few minutes if I am doing a consultation lessons with a new adult male student. Otherwise I am in the building on my own with them. It's a sensible precaution.
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