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Tardy Students


Daniel
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I was just wondering what the teachers on this board did with their late students. Besides chastising them for being late (especially if it is a regular occurrence) do you make sure they still get their full lesson? Or do you end the lesson at the time it was supposed to end?

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It partly depends if, as you say, it's a regular occurrence. If there's a good reason for it and it doesn't happen often, then I'll usually try to be lenient and give them their full lesson, especially if I have the time avaiable. But if the next student is there and ready for their lesson on time I won't make them wait so the late one gets a full length lesson. I think it's rude to make the one who is on time suffer for someone else's problem. The tardy one will miss out on part of the lesson. I explain to them why. I know from my experience that if I allow one to go overtime then the next will deserve their time, etc, and by the end of the day I'm way behind with my schedule.

If it's someone who's always late, then I explain the same thing to them and then it's up to them whether they get their full lesson or not each time. I'll be much less likely to keep giving them leeway with it over time, though.

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Our problem is a lovely teacher who fails to schedule time in between lessons for late arrivals, unpacking violin, tuning etc. The lesson before my sons' ends at 3:30 and my son's lesson begins at 3:30. Except it doesn't....

She is a very sweet young woman and the students involved are little children - my son is the old man at 6 - but soon I will have to mention it.

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Engprof - A suggestion you might give your teacher - My son's viola teacher teaches out of his home. We walk into his house and go into a seperate room from where he is teaching to unpack and get ready for the lesson. There is also a basket there for payments. When the time for his lesson arrives, the previous students leave the teaching room and he goes in, all ready to go. When his time is up, he leaves the teaching room and goes back to the other room to pack back up. This means that no time is wasted during the lesson for the packing and unpacking.

His teacher keeps a very strict time schedule. He is very good about pacing the lessons. When time is up, you leave, even if the next student is not there. (If the next student is late, we will sometimes use that time to chat.) I think that if the teacher is very clear on their expectations and stick to them, parents and students will adjust.

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depends on the day and the student. if its a once in a great while thing i let it slide with the whips and chains. i havent had any habitually late students luckily. if they are late, and there is a student after them, they just lose the time, i can't change my schedule cause the shop where my studio is closes at 6. if there is an empty spot after the student i'll try to take it a tiny bit over, especially if its right before juries or something.

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Engprof, I'm a teacher who has exactly that problem. The kids tend to be very slow packing and unpacking, and I think its important to talk briefly with the parents if they come in at the end to pick their child up. I've considered ending each lesson 2 or 3 minutes early, but I also want each child to get their full time. Its not financially sensible for me to schedule extra time between each lesson- time which I will spend with the student but not paid for.

There is usually a 5 minute overlap period where my basement becomes a bit of a zoo. I often keep teaching while the next student unpacks... I think it's good for the kids to overhear a bit of each other's lessons. I don't like the very practical unpacking in another room idea for this reason.

How far behind does your teacher get? I personally think 5-10 minutes is reasonable (I know my own music teachers are/were always about that late) but do you?

What would you suggest to solve this?

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Its usually about ten minutes. I wouldn't mind starting ten minutes late, but hate to keep the poor kid who comes after my son waiting. On the other hand, my son only has a half hour lesson (and a half hour attention span)and you hate have 10 minutes cut off.

I am going to try harder to get my son to unpack in the hallway - his lessons are at a local college - to shorten the pokey bow tightening and rosin applying ritual.

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I have a "Studio Rules" doc that all students get when they start lessons with me. In addition to fees, etc. the rules clearly indicate that when a student is late, the lesson still ends on time. It is unfair to the next student to ask him/her to forfeit time because someone was tardy.

Also, the time it takes to unpack, etc. is just a regular part of the package. Otherwise lessons would get later and later depending on the nimbleness of the student in getting the violin out and ready. I also consider the time I spend changing strings and/or teaching the student to change the strings as all included in a lesson.

Hope this helps!

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