Asking a Student to Leave

turtle

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Terry's thread about teaching lead me to a question I've always struggled with. Have you ever asked a student to leave class, either because you didn't feel you could teach them or because they were too disruptive? Has anyone in your school ever been asked to leave, that you know of?

I've had a few experiences with this and it's always been hard. The only obvious case was a teenager who was trying to sell drugs to younger kids in the locker room.
 

terryl965

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Yes over thirty years of teaching I have ask a few to leave because they where just negative people it brought the feel of the school down. As a school owner this is absolutely the last thing I would do. As a student goes though the ranks they need to be getting a positive feeling for what they are doing if not this is not for them and they should go and find what will make them happy. I also feel nomatter what a negitive person is just that negitive about every aspect of there life and does not want to change or try a new approach t training in the school or life as well.
 

K31

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We had one student in my class that I wish the instructor had told to leave. He obviously didn't want to be there and went about everything halfway. He also had poor social skills which I guess are probably his parents fault. By that i mean that he had no inhibitions about telling you exactly what he thought about you. Fortunately these type of people eventually run into someone who doesn't take criticism well.
 

Flying Crane

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We had one student in my class that I wish the instructor had told to leave. He obviously didn't want to be there and went about everything halfway. He also had poor social skills which I guess are probably his parents fault. By that i mean that he had no inhibitions about telling you exactly what he thought about you. Fortunately these type of people eventually run into someone who doesn't take criticism well.

The sad thing is that I think some of these people actually have a low-grade mental disability of some sort. It is subtle, and they don't realize that they trample boundaries and stuff, but they do it. These people are otherwise fully functional, have families and friends, but they just lack a certain awareness, something I describe as having "faulty antenna". I personally think it is actually a type of mental disability. It can make for an awkward situation. Under the wrong circumstances these people can be difficult to be around, but in a way it's not really their fault.
 

IcemanSK

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Terry's thread about teaching lead me to a question I've always struggled with. Have you ever asked a student to leave class, either because you didn't feel you could teach them or because they were too disruptive? Has anyone in your school ever been asked to leave, that you know of?

I've had a few experiences with this and it's always been hard. The only obvious case was a teenager who was trying to sell drugs to younger kids in the locker room.


As an instructor, I've not had to deal with this, yet. But, I've seen it a few times. The way my best friend dealt with it taught me a lot about this issue. He is a BB & father of two boys. All take TKD together. They all love it! His younger boy (7) is more reserved. His older (8), is head-strong & quick tempered. The 8 year old swung at or tried to kick his brother in anger at home. My friend went to the instructor & told him he was pulling the older boy out of class for a month for the stunt. The instructor agreed. He boy was warned of the result if it happened again. Within 2 weeks of him being back in class, it happened again. He was pulled out for a year. The instructor also agreed.

My friend is in a unique position as a father & a BB to see the importance of such things. Most parents don't have the such a perspective. Many think, "as long as I pay, the kid stays." The hard part for instructors is, we have to look at our financial bottom line as well as class morale. ("Will this parent bad-mouth me to other parents?" etc.) But a kid causing a repeated problem for you &/or the class doesn't help your cause. This isn't news to any of us, but it takes guts to take the risk when we have to tell a parent we won't teach their child, anymore. But sometimes it needs to be done.
 

ArmorOfGod

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I have not had that yet, but I have told three people over the past six months not to come to my school.
It is an odd form of racism. People see me on my website and see that I am white and assume that I am a racist (like them). They have no idea who my best friends are, who I am married to, or who raised me.
The first guy that did this to me caught me off guard. He asked "how many blacks were in my class." Yes, he said that. I replied "quite a few and if that's a problem you need to go somewhere else." He immediately pretended he meant nothing by that but I never saw him. I wish I had been ruder.
Another lady actually called me twice and made a racist comment that I couldn't really call her on the first time (it was worded strangely), but the second time she called, I told her that obviously she and her husband were bigots and they could not come to my school. She immediately pretended she didn't mean the hate filled words she just spewed, said goodbye, and hung up.
That attitude is never allowed in any school that I am a part of. If it is, someone is leaving, whether it is me (if it is not my school) or the racist.

AoG
 

IcemanSK

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I have not had that yet, but I have told three people over the past six months not to come to my school.
It is an odd form of racism. People see me on my website and see that I am white and assume that I am a racist (like them). They have no idea who my best friends are, who I am married to, or who raised me.
The first guy that did this to me caught me off guard. He asked "how many blacks were in my class." Yes, he said that. I replied "quite a few and if that's a problem you need to go somewhere else." He immediately pretended he meant nothing by that but I never saw him. I wish I had been ruder.
Another lady actually called me twice and made a racist comment that I couldn't really call her on the first time (it was worded strangely), but the second time she called, I told her that obviously she and her husband were bigots and they could not come to my school. She immediately pretended she didn't mean the hate filled words she just spewed, said goodbye, and hung up.
That attitude is never allowed in any school that I am a part of. If it is, someone is leaving, whether it is me (if it is not my school) or the racist.

AoG

Good for you, AoG. I'm sorry that happened. I'd like to pretend that would only happen in the South, but I wouldn't dare.
 

Jade Tigress

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Well, I view training as a privilege. McDojo instructors may not care, looking only at the $$ signs. But instructors with integrity look at the whole picture.

I would hope that before refusing to train a student, there would be a conversation discussing the matter and offering the student a chance to redeem themselves. If for some reason this does not work, I think it's perfectly acceptable to refuse to train someone. These are martial arts being taught, whose hands do you want this skill/knowledge in? Do you want a person who disrespects others, or their training, to possess this skill? Do you want them representing your school?

This doesn't mean a student must conform to all ideals of the instructor, only that they be worthy of the knowledge they receive and try their best in class. If classmates or instructors are disrespected, or they bully, they should not train.

I am not including those who may have any sort of disability. For those people, extra understanding by the instructor is needed. I feel who can train should be the decision of the instructor, and they have the right to refuse anyone further training if they feel continued training of someone would be a detriment to the integrity of martial arts. You never know, asking someone to leave, with a clear explanation of why, may be just the thing they need to make some changes. Later they may return with a new attitude and be allowed to resume training.
 

kidswarrior

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Yes over thirty years of teaching I have ask a few to leave because they where just negative people it brought the feel of the school down. As a school owner this is absolutely the last thing I would do. As a student goes though the ranks they need to be getting a positive feeling for what they are doing if not this is not for them and they should go and find what will make them happy. I also feel nomatter what a negitive person is just that negitive about every aspect of there life and does not want to change or try a new approach t training in the school or life as well.
This is a great way to look at it, Terry. I just learned something. Thanks. :asian: :)
 

kidswarrior

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I would hope that before refusing to train a student, there would be a conversation discussing the matter and offering the student a chance to redeem themselves. If for some reason this does not work, I think it's perfectly acceptable to refuse to train someone. These are martial arts being taught, whose hands do you want this skill/knowledge in?

You never know, asking someone to leave, with a clear explanation of why, may be just the thing they need to make some changes. Later they may return with a new attitude and be allowed to resume training.
Wow, Jade you're getting wiser with age...er, with living longer. ;) Again, a great answer that really speaks to some things I've been working through myself lately. Thanks. :asian: :)

The sad thing is that I think some of these people actually have a low-grade mental disability of some sort. It is subtle, and they don't realize that they trample boundaries and stuff, but they do it. These people are otherwise fully functional, have families and friends, but they just lack a certain awareness, something I describe as having "faulty antenna". I personally think it is actually a type of mental disability. It can make for an awkward situation. Under the wrong circumstances these people can be difficult to be around, but in a way it's not really their fault.
This is another astute observation, and points out an area in which my students probably have at least their fair share (given that most come out of my day job). Thanks for bringing that up, F C. Very validating. :asian: :cool:
 

Laurentkd

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I have only experienced two such students.
One was a little guy who just caused too much of a distraction in my pre-tkd class (4-6 years old). After maybe 5 or 6 classes of me spending the entire time trying to get him to stop running around with his arms out making airplane noises and to get back with the group I told his mom that I didn't think he was quite ready to join our program yet, but that I hoped she would bring him back in a couple of months. The mother seemed to understand and the other parents were really impressed that the training environment for the other students was more important that the money we would have received from that student. We have actually gotten a couple of referrals just because of that incident!
The second was an adult black belt who transfered into our school just before testing for black. When he first started out he seemed cool, and definitely liked to train hard (who doesn't'?!) But as the years went on (he was probably with us for 3) he became more and more aggressive (even mean spirited) in classes (we actually had a couple kids quit and found out later it was because they didn't want to be in a class that this guy taught or was in). He also blatantly sighed and rolled his eyes at my instructor during a public demonstration This happened within days of talking to the previous students who quit and these things together was basically the last straw and he was told ever so nicely that it seems that his attitudes/actions toward martial arts (aggressive, put-downs to other, and a general lack of respect for seniors and juniors) didn't align with what our academy was trying to teach.
Two drastically different examples, but both solid reasons for letting a student go (in my opinion). Guess I'll have to teach a little longer before I face the hard cases.
 

matt.m

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We had a kid in the tkd class that was disruptive, needed to pay back dues. Drove a couple of the masters quite literally insane. So until his attitude improved he was only allowed back occassionally on a trial basis.

He has "mended" his ways, is coming to compete today and is doing quite well in the class. Sometimes people need a little help along the way.

just my .02

I have in the past been over critical of the younger ones. That was totally my fault and took corrective action on my own, however, when class is in session then that means business is going on. Period, end of story.
 

Jade Tigress

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He has "mended" his ways, is coming to compete today and is doing quite well in the class. Sometimes people need a little help along the way.

Sometimes all it takes is a little "tough love". :)
 

YoungMan

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I would never kick someone out for lack of ability. Everyone has talent, you just have to find it. I would refuse to teach someone for either going behind my back or showing lack of respect. It goes back to the issue of trust.
 

DArnold

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Jade targeted a great point that usually only experienced instructors know.

One question I have learned to ask is, "What do you want the outcome to be?" Many times this question really S&*^s and will prevent you from taking the knee-jerk, easy way out of a situation.

It is similar to the thread where some were saying they only take fit, physically talented students. I really don't consider them instructors. A true instructor can make a star out of the worst student.

If the job of an instructor is to put hurdles in front of students and show them they can achieve, and overcome these hurdles, how can you be an instructor if you haven't learned this lesson/methodology after years?
 

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I've pitched two students in my career. Sadly, both of them really needed to train and learn the positive life skills that m. a. teaches, but I was not willing to risk the damage they would do to the school.

One was a thief. The other was pitched because of the actions of his mother, who was disruptive and abusive to other people. The first one, I had a closed door session with the student and his parents. The second one, I had a public confrontation with. Not by choice, but by necessity, and when it was over, I had other parents come up and thank me profusely for getting rid of her.
 
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turtle

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I had a kid who was stealing from people's wallets in the locker room and when we finally figured out who it was, we talked his parents and agreed that he could continue classes if he made restitution and was escorted to the mat by his father and then escorted out of the school immediately after class so he had no opportunity to continue stealing. The kid had a lot of other issues and really needed to be in class so it was a workable solution and we didn't have any more problems with him after that.
 

deadhand31

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I've only known of two students being kicked out, and both for the same reasons.
Student a's case was a lack hygiene and lack of respect for other peoples air. At the age of 16, he left a solid turd on the dojang floor, completely throwing an atom-bomb in my instructor's lesson plan for that evening. Before and after the butt-biscuit disaster, he had no qualms about flatulating in the dojang. He did it often, silently, and noxiously. His doboks tended to get washed only once a month, and I'm guessing you can imagine the green aura which surrounded him. Eventually, my instructor realized enough was enough, and wouldn't let him resign after his contract let up.

The second's case was simply his flatulence. He would constantly let out terrible odors that had the freakish habit of having his own distinct stink. Behavior modification was tried, where he would get 10 push ups for every person who smelled it (our advanced classes have upwards of 10-20 people). This didn't work, and he was basically told to go to another school.

Attitude tends not to be a problem, as the ones who don't shape up usually end up quitting due to intense physical discipline. Most, however, do shape up for self-preservations sake.
 

Flying Crane

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At the age of 16, he left a solid turd on the dojang floor, completely throwing an atom-bomb in my instructor's lesson plan for that evening.

He was actually allowed to stick around for a while after doing this? Holy smokes, your teacher has a lot more patience than I would have had. That kind of thing is absolutely inexcuseable. I just cannot imagine someone old enough to be out of diapers doing this.
 
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