Quiz: Should I Drop This Student?

by   |  April 30, 2012
Frustrated Girl

When is it time to let a student go?

Just because a student has potential doesn’t mean you should keep teaching her.   Your methods may not be well-suited to her needs.
 
Continuing with an uncooperative student isn’t worth the time or money for either of you.   In fact, it can quickly sap you of the energy you need to teach those students who are a better fit for you.
 
Breaking up is hard to do, but it may be time to refer her to another teacher.
 
Rate your agreement to the questions below in regards to your student.   (Keep in mind that the answers to all of these questions are personal and highly subjective, not a reflection of how “good” your student is.)
 
 
 
 
For each question, use the following scale as a reference:
1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10

Strongly Disagree      Disagree      Somewhat Disagree      Somewhat Agree      Agree      Strongly Agree

 

1)                       The student listens to me and is on board with my agenda and methods.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
2)                       The student is cooperative and strikes a good balance between following and leading.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
3)                       The student is reliable in showing up, completing assignments, and making payments on time.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
4)                       The student shows measurable progress.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
5)                       I feel that my encouragement really allows the student to shine.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
6)                       The student asks me when she doesn’t understand something.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
7)                       The student is open to learning new concepts.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
8)                       I am pleased with the amount of practicing she does each week.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
9)                       Our relationship is characterized by mutual trust and respect.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
10)                   This student would never progress as quickly without my instruction.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
11)                   The student’s inquisitive nature help set the tone for enjoyable lessons.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
12)                   The student gives me helpful feedback during the lesson, which helps me understand her needs.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
13)                   Our personalities work well together.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
14)                   I always know if she really understands something because she feels comfortable tell me.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
15)                   I don’t become easily frustrated with this student.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
16)                   I am effective in holding her interest through the duration of the lesson.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
17)                   After each lesson, I feel satisfied in my work.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
18)                   When disagreements arise, we are always able to work them out by communicating effectively.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
19)                   We both learn from each lesson and feel edified.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
20)                   Overall, I feel gratified when teaching this student.

1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  6                  7                  8                  9                  10
 
 

What your scores indicate:

180-200 = 90-100% = Excellent!
 
This student is a good fit for your teaching style.   Your expectations and goals consistently complement one another, although you may have occasional disagreements.   Wouldn’t it be nice if all students suited you so well?
 
 
150-179 = 75-89% = Could Be Better
 
You have some kinks to work out in your relationship.   Be open with your student about these concerns.   Raising mutual awareness could easily solve the problem.   If not, a different instructor may be better for this student.
 
 
51-100 = 26-50% = Not So Great
 
Hopefully this exercise has helped you determine the underlying reasons for dysfunction.   You may have so many disagreements as to render reconciliation impossible.   To avoid unpleasant relationships in the future, make sure you set clear expectations with each new student.
 
 
0-50 = 0-25% = Simply Awful!
 
This relationship is so bad that it has likely caused you to lose some sleep.   You’ll be glad once it has ended.
 
Look back at your answers to determine why this arrangement isn’t working.   This will help you be able to recognize your ideal student in the future.

More on: Classical Music, Communication, Music Teacher
About the Author:

Having achieved so many of her own dreams, Mimi West has devoted her career to paying it forward to the rising generation of musicians. You can follow her on Twitter @mydreamteacher.
Publshed: April 30, 2012  | 
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