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would you reprimand an adult student?

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#16 elemimele



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Posted 21 November 2020 - 18:40

A lot is going to depend on what the student wants, and what the teacher is offering. Some people want a highly critical teacher who will force them to achieve a lot; some want a teacher who wants results, and are prepared to be moaned at if they fail to practice - some adults even seem to want to suffer so they know their achievement was worth it! Others know they won't always manage to practice, and want a teacher who will accept that. Some teachers don't want to spend their lives on pupils who don't practice, and want to stick to those who put the hours in. There are no rights and wrongs about this, just wrong combinations, where the teacher and pupil are not on the same wavelength.


But there is a situation that leapt out at me while I was reading this thread. I thought of the situation of an autistic adult. Many autistic adults have had a miserable time, finding social situations hard to understand. Indirect "talking through the flowers" is confusing and hard to understand, and statements that must be interpreted in the light of non-verbal communication and body language are especially difficult. Many ASD people have suffered so many failures in social situations like this that they now expect any such situation to end in catastrophe. Self-confidence is low, self-criticality high. As a result, if you communicate something difficult (being told you're getting something wrong is socially difficult for both sides) then they will be expecting disaster, and will review everything you say, from every possible angle, until they can find a way in which it is evidence of the disaster they expect. I think their feeling is that if there's going to be a disaster, they'd prefer to find it, stare it directly in the face, and accept how bad it makes them feel - get it over and done with - than live in fear of a disaster that they can't see, in the future. In a situation like this, something that wasn't intended as a reprimand, merely a bit of guidance on how to do it better next time, may end up sounding like a reprimand. So if it happens to you - as student or teacher - don't be surprised. Just ask directly what's going on, and talk honestly about it.


(addendum: like others above, I'm not actually very keen on telling people they've got something wrong, or explaining what they ought to have done. I quite like it if someone gets to make their own mistakes, assess the situation themselves, and with appropriate questions and prompting, find their way forwards. But even a question intended to lead someone towards looking at what they've done can sound like a reprimand if someone is pre-programmed by life to go looking for reprimands from teacher-figures... life isn't always easy!)

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#17 ma non troppo

ma non troppo


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Posted 21 November 2020 - 19:10

I'm sorry, but this is just too weird to comment on in any meaningful way. I'm out!
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