Question on students acting up in class and parental repsonse

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Mark Lynn

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Thanks for the responses

Searcher asked if there were any assistant instructors.​
The class is at a rec center and at the time there were no assigned assistant instructors (that I know of). However there were young black belts, brown belts and a red belt in the class at the time. The instructor was working with the black belts after assigning the other students their tasks.​

This is a small class and in the past the head instructor has been lax on his discipline of the class. While he has some adult black belts they aren't always there for the earlier younger classes so he has to handle it alone. In this case I believe what happened was one of the BBs was teaching filling in for the head instructor.

I have discussed the students lack of discipline before with my friend who is the parent I spoke of, and I've seen it first hand when I have filled in for the head instructor. In fact I felt if I didn't say anything (after the last time I filled in for him) to the head instructor than I was being part of the problem by just washing my hands of the situation and saying "well it's not my class". So why this (lack of discipline) is a problem I think is a whole other thread.

However what I wanted to see is was I alone in my beliefs that parents should not interfere with a class, even if they see their child or another child acting up. Which from reading the responses on the thread so far I think for the most part everyone agrees that they shouldn't. I also thought it was important to see what instructors think and what parents and students think as well on the issue.

Mark
 

searcher

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It sounds to me like the instructor needs to make them understand that they need to be working on their assigned tasks and not playing around. It sounds to me to be partly the instructors fault, but it still goes back to the parents teaching respect and discipline. IMO, that would be a good place to start.
 

ares

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I personally don't think the parent should do anything. I am a student and if I was told to do something by the instructor, (and it was with these lower ranked students) I would be the one telling them to knock it off. In a suttle manner of course. My instructor will make us do push-ups for a while, if need be. But as a higher rank, I would have to take charge and get things going the right direction so he can teach others in class.
 

kingkong89

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hello i am an instructor, it is the instructors job to control the studens if they are acting up. the parents even though it is hard if their child has just joined should not intervene in the instructors duties. in my dojo their is a line. where the front desk is there is black duct tape marking the area for people to set and watch class then their is the training area. the front desk area is for the parents and they should set their watch class and leave the talking and dsciplining to the instructors
 

punisher73

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I usually let the parents know from the start, that when it is class time they can sit back and just enjoy watching it. That it is up to me to focus their child and ensure that they are learning and not being a distraction to others.

I have also had it in my open class where there is a parent and child in the class together, and I do the same thing. Let them know that they are here for their own education and let me worry about what their kid is doing so they can focus on their own study.

As a side note, I've noticed that usually the ones I need to pay the most attention to are the kids whose parents drop them off and then come back to pick them up. I think it might be a pattern of misbehaving to get some type of attention of any kind from an adult figure. I think that is important to understand as an instructor and look at that dynamic as well of why the child is being disruptive. I have told parents they might want to reconsider spending the money on lessons because the child doesn't want to be there at all and it is the parents making them show up and that is why they are misbehaving. But, if it is a child who just needs attention to feel wanted, I don't mind doing that and try to focus on their positive behavior so they model that to get attention instead of reinforcing their negative behavior for attention.
 

harlan

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As a parent, I'd let the teacher handle it. There were many times during the 10 years my son took TKD, that I saw this happen. My suspicion is that it was a problem that occurred because the school depended on the kid classes to survive monetarily, and there was an evident lack of respect given to the sensei/school owner. A clear sense of entitlement was evident in many parents, and it showed in their kid's behaviour.
 

jks9199

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Y'know... this is kind of at odds with some of the responses in the thread on the kid who was kicked to the point of injury while in the front leaning rest. Some people questioned where the parents were and why they didn't step in. But, we also have people (I think some of the same people; I haven't looked) suggesting that discipline in the class should be left to the teachers.

Now, I actually don't think they're as opposite a response as they appear. As a general rule, I think that parents need to let the teachers run the class. I wouldn't have personally had a problem, in the situation described (class broken into groups, and one group not doing the assigned exercise) had the parents simply said something like "What'd sensei say to do?" or called the problem to the attention of the instructor. But -- if an instructor is doing something that is obviously and inordinately dangerous to the students, the parents NEED to step in. At the very least, they should be questioning the instructor about the exercise. To me, if the instructor is unwilling to explain why they're doing something unusually dangerous (some danger is inherent in any training, and should be expected) or senselessly dangerous (sparring is dangerous -- standing there and practicing getting hit in the head is, in my opinion, senselessly dangerous), that's a major sign that there's a problem. In other words, the time for parents or other bystanders to step in is when the problem behavior, whether it's students or teachers, is endangering others outside of the norm.
 

setboy

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As a teacher I would not like it if a parent did this. If they want to take the kid home and yell it him/her and tell her/him what they think they should be doing, then fine.
 

Kacey

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Some of my students' parents stay, some leave; my class is in a room with a lot of traffic by it, so it's never been an issue. Every so often I'll have a parent with a loud phone call - I almost never have to say anything, as the other parent(s) present will usually do it for me. If I do, unless it's really a problem, I wait until after class - during class, I usually send my assistant instructor or a senior student to talk to the parent while I teach; I think that underscores that nothing should interrupt instruction.
 

morph4me

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I've had occasion to ask parents not to talk to their kids while they were on the mat, I've also had occasion to ask a parent to take her phone call outside, as she was getting very loud, it's never become an issue once they realized they were disrupting the class and they understood the ground rules.
 

MBuzzy

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Y'know... this is kind of at odds with some of the responses in the thread on the kid who was kicked to the point of injury while in the front leaning rest. Some people questioned where the parents were and why they didn't step in. But, we also have people (I think some of the same people; I haven't looked) suggesting that discipline in the class should be left to the teachers.

Now, I actually don't think they're as opposite a response as they appear. As a general rule, I think that parents need to let the teachers run the class. I wouldn't have personally had a problem, in the situation described (class broken into groups, and one group not doing the assigned exercise) had the parents simply said something like "What'd sensei say to do?" or called the problem to the attention of the instructor. But -- if an instructor is doing something that is obviously and inordinately dangerous to the students, the parents NEED to step in. At the very least, they should be questioning the instructor about the exercise. To me, if the instructor is unwilling to explain why they're doing something unusually dangerous (some danger is inherent in any training, and should be expected) or senselessly dangerous (sparring is dangerous -- standing there and practicing getting hit in the head is, in my opinion, senselessly dangerous), that's a major sign that there's a problem. In other words, the time for parents or other bystanders to step in is when the problem behavior, whether it's students or teachers, is endangering others outside of the norm.

This is a great point, I was thinking along those lines too....but I think that in situations like this, it is kind of a no brainer. There is a line...It is the instructor's job to keep order in the class. The parents should let him run the class and manage discipline, but any parent should make mention of unsafe behavior. It is not only a good idea, but their right as a parent. If I had a kid in a class and the instructor hit them with the intent to harm or "toughen them up," I'd have problems with it and find a new instructor.
 

Nomad

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As a parent, student, and sometime instructor, I agree with most of the posts that say to let the instructor do their job during the class and avoid interruptions. If I am on the sidelines, it isn't my job to chime in. My kids know me well enough to know they'll get an earful after class if they're goofing off, and I have called other kids (who I know and have taught) on it after class as well.

OTOH, if I'm "dressed" and have my gi and belt on, I'll be happy to bow in and assist in the class, especially if the instructor is looking frazzled, or is unaware of the situation. In this situation, I am less likely to discipline them on the spot than if I were leading the class or assisting from the beginning; instead I'll try to get them back on focus to what they're supposed to be doing. This IS doing my job as part of the dojo
 

Kacey

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As a parent, student, and sometime instructor, I agree with most of the posts that say to let the instructor do their job during the class and avoid interruptions. If I am on the sidelines, it isn't my job to chime in. My kids know me well enough to know they'll get an earful after class if they're goofing off, and I have called other kids (who I know and have taught) on it after class as well.

OTOH, if I'm "dressed" and have my gi and belt on, I'll be happy to bow in and assist in the class, especially if the instructor is looking frazzled, or is unaware of the situation. In this situation, I am less likely to discipline them on the spot than if I were leading the class or assisting from the beginning; instead I'll try to get them back on focus to what they're supposed to be doing. This IS doing my job as part of the dojo
It is, indeed, the job of students - especially more senior students - who are not working out to assist the instructor whenever possible. A significant and and very reasonable distinction.
 
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Mark Lynn

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OTOH, if I'm "dressed" and have my gi and belt on, I'll be happy to bow in and assist in the class, especially if the instructor is looking frazzled, or is unaware of the situation. In this situation, I am less likely to discipline them on the spot than if I were leading the class or assisting from the beginning; instead I'll try to get them back on focus to what they're supposed to be doing. This IS doing my job as part of the dojo

Excellent point

In my opinion I believe your last statement is key one. Our job as instructors, assistant instructors, and anyone higher than the person standing next to you in rank is to help the other students improve. either by teaching, answering questions, or setting the example for the lower ranked students to follow.

I always stress to my students even as yellow belts that they are the example to the white belts and they need to straighten up and show them the proper way to conduct themselves during class. I have a yellow belt girl student (6 yrs old) who is a great example of this. I have on several occasions brought her into my white belt class to demonstrate to the other young kids (say her form) to show them the proper attitude (she and her mom come early and wait outside for the earlier class to get over) and technique. All of the white belts try harder after she gets off of the floor because of the example she sets.
 
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