School owners, question for you

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by granfire, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    between organizations and parents/students where do you see your greater obligation?

    I am keeping it a bit vague for now, I will put some meat into this in a little bit, but first I want to hear your untainted opinions!
     
  2. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    There are several different things involved here.

    The school owner is a customer of the organization. They provide school owners with services and goods for a fee. School owners in turn have their own customers in their students or their parents who pay their tuition.

    Some organizations (and school owners too) try to cross beyond the monetary relationship to establish a Confucian elder/student link. If done correctly in my opinion the money becomes much less important and the mentoring will continue even in the absence of money.

    So my answer is: it depends. In a strictly business relationship, you go with whatever contract has a higher claim on your assets. This can often be the organization or the grandmaster who is effectively the organization personified.

    In my case personally, I do not belong to an org, but I do have a still living teacher that I am very loyal to. I value his opinion the most when it comes to my own personal practice of the martial arts since he taught me and he understands my own gifts and limitations. At the same time, I recognize that my own judgement is best with my own students since I am personally the one that works with them in every class.

    I can't picture a scenario where the two would ever come into conflict, so I guess my own thoughts are of little use to you until you give more details.
     
  3. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    Well since I am a Independant, I will say parent/ student comes first.
     
  4. Aikicomp

    Aikicomp Purple Belt

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    As a teacher (regardless of organization affiliations) your only true obligation is to your student and to your student only.

    Now the obligation I speak of, how I view, it is very close to the word "Giri" in Japanese.

    If a teacher puts the obligation to the organization before their obligation to a student....IMO....it would be a disgrace and they have no business calling themselves a teacher.

    But, thats just me.

    Michael
     
  5. Mark Jordan

    Mark Jordan Blue Belt

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    As a teacher, the students/parents will have to be the priority.
     
  6. goingd

    goingd Purple Belt

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    You no longer promote through Kukkiwon?
     
  7. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    Yes but that is not an org in my views, they fo not have any real requiemwnr and I get to teach things my way. When I think of orgs it is like the USAT always trying to get mire money out of you and telling the members what to do.
     
  8. scottie

    scottie Green Belt

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    Gotta be parents/students.
     
  9. cmassman

    cmassman Yellow Belt

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    it has to be parents and students first
     
  10. Archtkd

    Archtkd 3rd Black Belt

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    My clients keep my dojang doors open so they come first -- 100 percent. I'm am an invividual member of USA Taekwondo and club member of USNTF, but both organizations and their leaders have no control of any kind -- or ever tried to have control -- over how I run my business.
     
  11. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    LOL, seems there are no school owners locked into a controlling organization on board.

    I went back to reread the forum that sparked my question, making sure I got it right, I think so anyhow:

    Organization implements new changes to the curriculum. Slip in another test before advancing to the next rank (color wise, ok, not that big of a deal)

    cutting junior form in half.

    There are a couple more things, but they are not as far reaching.

    I think, with rough estimate, the extra levels per belt rank add almost a year before you can reasonably expect to test for Black Belt. Again, generally speaking not horrible, in most other systems you don't get a look at one in that time. But for those who signed up under the 'in 2 years you can make it' are understandably not happy.

    But what really got me was cutting the juniors down to half a form. That's like making ebonics an official language for school....the kids can learn it. the problems do not stem from them knowing too much form. And I am not sure if they are cured by doing less for a longer time...


    Anyhow. One gentleman defended those changes, pretty much disregarding the parents' concerns one of his quotes was 'I as francize owner should carry more weight at HQ than the parents because I have 6 schools'

    I was taken back with that statement, like so many of you pointed out, the organization does not pay the bills.

    I understand the value of a dollar, don't begrudge nobody making some.
    But I really can't stand when individuals take money then turn on the person who paid them.

    I think this person is not spending enough time listening to the parents that pay him....

    I know sometimes change is good, unpopular, but good.
    But how do you sell a hidden price increase of those proportions with a straight face?!
     
  12. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    Honestly I would not support removing half of each form either, but I would need to know a bit more before condemning it outright. Is it for every kid? Up to 12? What is is the cutoff? Are junior belts consider the same equivalent rank as an adult rank? If so, what allowance is made to ensure that the kids eventually learn the full form?

    The extra belt levels sound like a naked grab for more tuition and belt testing fees. Obviously the longer you study the better your knowledge gets, but I do not tie arbitrary belt ranks into the improvement process.

    Still if you're a member of an org, you're pretty much stuck with their curriculum even if it is an evolving (devolving?) standard.
     
  13. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    From what I gather (I am a bit out of the loop) it's juniors, that ranges from 6-14, then they go to the adult class. So you can have a red belt not knowing but half of all the forms going for a full (probationary) Black Belt...

    I don't know of any provisions made to catch them up, other than 2 classes spending on the 2nd half of the current form.

    What I forgot to mention, in those middle color ranks, I have noticed a lot of students hitting some sort of a plateau, be it burn out or boredom, having been in the same class for over a half a year...how is adding to that time span going to help retention?


    The sad part, the true reasons for the dropouts will never be known by the higher ups. In part because they don't listen anyhow, and partly because they won't be told the truth....(people are still polite, not telling you how your program sucks)
     
  14. StudentCarl

    StudentCarl 3rd Black Belt

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    I'm a student, not a school owner, but I have a stake in how this sort of thing plays out since I'm on the receiving end of instruction, I supply the money, and I'm your best advertising.

    My investment and trust, financially and personally, is in my master. He (or she) embodies taekwondo for me, and therefore the five tenets should be evident in how he/she acts. I expect my master to have the integrity to run the school in the way that is best for my learning, or at least best for the learning of students overall. Me helping pay the bills is important for the school too, within reason.

    Lack of integrity is sometimes evident when changes are made that do not benefit the school and students, and the damage can shut a school down.

    I think students are the best measure of the quality of a school, as they reflect your teaching. They're also your best advertising. I see them as Mission #1.

    Carl
     
  15. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    No, additional time won't help them break through to the next level all by itself. This is when curriculum design is supposed to help. By now, the students should have the rote part down for all of their basics. The instructor needs to start improving their technique through teaching of principles and more frequent correction. Often times, one can learn more from listening to other students having their technique adjusted.
     
  16. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    Well, since you kept it vague, I jhave to answer by saying you have different obligations. It may be difficult to say which is greater.

    If you represent yourself to be part of an organization, then you have an obligation to adhere to that org's standards and practices. If the students want something else and you feel that obligation is paramount, then you have an obligation to leave the org.
     
  17. SahBumNimRush

    SahBumNimRush Master of Arts

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    To answer the OP, The obligations are IMO first to the students (not the parents)

    I do not not belong to a "controlling" organization. We answer to our Kwan Jang Nim and teach his curriculum, but we do not pay him other than testing fees.. . We also belong to the USTW, which is a non-profit organization for the preservation of TRADITIONAL TKD arts. Again, not something that demands money or changes what you do in the dojang.

    I say that my first obligation is to the student. For the children in my class, I cannot and will not sacrifice the way I conduct my class because of parents' opinions. I teach traditional TKD, not the parents' version of TKD. Certainly I am very respectful to the younger students' parents, because they deserve it. However, they have little to no say in what goes on in and during class. 99% of the parents are fine with that, and unfortunately for the 1% of the student population that have parents that wish to control what goes on in class, those parents pull their students and look for a school or different activity that they have more say in. I'm totally okay with that.

    I personally believe you priorities are simple if you know where your loyalty lies. For me, my loyalty is to my art, plain and simple. I will not sacrifice my loyalty to MDK TKD, for organizations, parents, or students. I have a career outside of TKD, so I have the luxury of keeping a small student population. We've seen our school have 150 students (back in the 80's and 90's) and now we're closer to 60 students.

    I personally think it's because alot of today's generation don't wanna work for anything.. . They've grown up in a society that includes everyone and everyone gets a trophy.. . NOT IN MY DOJANG.

    Obviously I have to change somewhat with cultural shifts.. . We can't be as hardcore in class as it was back in the 70's and 80's, we'd undoubtedly get sued.. . haha! But within reason, my loyalty is to the tradition that was passed down to me.
     
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  18. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Unless the parents are my students, then my students first. Parents certainly should be listened to and treated respectfully, but ultimately, they should not be running your school.

    Orgs have an obligation to member schools, not the other way around. My only obligation to the org is to conduct myself in a way that will not bring shame or disrespect to them and to adhere to the regulations and practices of that org (you kind of agree to when you join them).

    But the school owner pays into the org, and the org has an obligation to the school owner and to the art itself, whatever that art may be.

    Daniel
     
  19. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    QFT!!

    Daniel
     
  20. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    Well, that choice is was a lot of school owners made in the past years.

    Like I said, I wanted it very vague at first, to get an idea...

    The problem is, in the last several years the organization has imposed several changes that seem nonsensical, were pretty much handed down from top to bottom, half a$$ed at best, with continued changes looming.

    A lot of those translated into more $$ having to be spend, some was just for the sake of being different. You live, and move on. (though there has been talk of legal action, the org suiting the school owners who parted ways and not fully departed from the curriculum).

    But I guess the straw that broke the camel's back is the assumption that the kids are no longer capable of learning a whole form. Add to that another level per belt color...we have disgruntled parents (who might not be the priority client, but in case of minors are the ones who control the cash flow) and kids wondering why they are deemed too dumb to do a whole form.

    I can't really pull the quotes that rubbed me the wrong way from the discussion on my forum (but feel free to browse ;) )
    Or maybe it's just the general attitude of that special individual, making me want to scream, but then there has been that feeling of helplessness in regard of having to sell those goofy changes...some with not having the full material at hand myself...

    but when you get statements in a discussion about how dissatisfied the customer base is like:
    " IMHO, it's the schools that are "in touch" with the obnoxious noisemakers that are driving their students away and can't enroll new ones because all they have in their lobby is the negativity that I toss out.
    and
    "
    As far as why we taught the old system until we got the change we wanted -- that's part of being in an organization. "

    maybe he didn't read the memo of the successful schools via KKW seminar, on awesome chocolate milk vending machines....

    I suppose, when it has come to a bunch of 'yes' men (and women) to run the show, the time to move on is near.
    (I really liked the program though when we started, it stressed academic values as well, even though in the frame work it did not have any real bite.
    It fit the need of those who have a day job and wanted to get in shape and a little better at life)


    I am off to coral my goat...rethink the matter before I respond to said individual - once more....

    But I suppose when the organization shifts from being an 'alliance' to an outright franchise program, there is no room for feedback from the base.
    123
     

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