your moving and your the instructor

tshadowchaser

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You as an instructor have been instructing for a while but do not have any Black Belts under you. You, because of any reason, must leave the area you live in and move at least 3+ hours away. What happens to your school and your students?

Do you fast track the highest ranking student ( they might only be a green belt) to Black so he/she can take over the school?
Do you another black belt of your association take over ( providing one is close)? What if the next instructor is of equal or greater distance from you?
Do you let the highest ranking student keep teaching in your place and hope you and he/she can get together once a month or two so he/she can continue to learn and teach?
Do you try top lace your students in other schools in the area where their needs might be met? What if no other schools are in your area or they are McDojos?
Do you just say well your all SOL
 

bluekey88

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I suppose it's like if you're a music intructor or psychotherapist. You give your clients as much notice of the move as possible and then you make the necessary referrals to competent professionals in the area. It may be someone in your association or another school owner. I wouldn't necessari;y fast track a student to make them an instructor...that would be a disservice to the student being fast tracked and his potential students that he/she would be teaching.

In the end, give your student as many resources as possible and then they cna make the decision where to continue training on their own.

Peace,
Erik
 

terryl965

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I wouild never give rank to anybody the best scenirio is closing down and helping the students find another place.
 

IcemanSK

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I have to agree with Erik on this one. (Very well said, BTW).

It begs the question however, what if you would reccomend any of the other schools? Not that you've ripped other schools in front of your students. But it would be hard to make reccomedation. I guess giving students options & info is the best way to do it.

Years ago, my instructor left & sold the school to someone I didn't respect. My instructor said, "maybe take up swimming," rather than reccomend any other school in that area.:ultracool
 

jks9199

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You've got some obligation to line things up for the students -- or at least give them the tools to do so for themselves. You might be able to guide a student-led training group "from afar" with regular weekend visits, but that can be difficult sometimes. You might be able to place them with other instructors from your style/association. Or you might simply help them assess and locate schools in the area.

What you can't do is promote someone who's not qualified. That doesn't help anyone.
 

YoungMan

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I've had to do something close to that (stop teaching in one area for economic reasons), You have two real choices.
1. Try to get another black belt in your organization to take over.

2. If that's not possible, try to recommend other schools in the area that can meet their needs.

Barring those two, there really isn't much else you can do, unless they're willing to drive to see you. Give them enough notice and see what they want to do.

The students I taught ended up getting absorbed by a master instructor colleague of mine. The black belt I still train when I get a chance. Fortunately she's not that far away.
 

MBuzzy

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I will run into this situation at some point I'm sure. If I start teaching, since I'm in the military, I will move and theoretically leave my students will no instructor. I'm a pretty straightforward guy though. I would go to the other schools in the area and probably just tell them who I was and what I was doing (hopefully they would allow me to watch a few classes in hopes that I would recommend some students) and I would review each one and tell the students flat out what my recommendations were.
 

morph4me

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If you know someone in your area that teaches your style, you can send your students to them, if not give them your best advice about the instructors that you do know in the area. Is your highest ranking student capable of teaching? If so, and if your comfortable with that choice, then go for it, if not then it's not an option. Every person you promote is a reflection of you as an instructor, fasttracking someone does no one any good.
 

Kacey

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There are quite a few variables in this particular equation - but I'll go back to what my sahbum told me 16 or 17 years ago when I went to talk to him about starting my own class: once you start teaching, you are responsible for and to your students. You cannot just not show up one night - because people are expecting you. You have to make sure that someone is there to teach them, whether you'll be gone a class or a year - that is your responsibility as an instructor. In fact, he did his damnedest to make sure I understood the level of responsibility I was taking on before I started - and he made damned sure I was serious about that responsibility.

I agree with all of those who said that you do your students no service if you fast-track a student to a higher rank... but who says you have to be a black belt to teach? I knew of a student years ago who was in exactly the situation you described - the instructor was transferred to another state, all the black belts left, leaving the senior student in charge - a green belt. The green belt taught the other students as best he could, and followed his instructor's suggestion of where to continue his own training - and a couple of years later he was a black belt, with a loyal and growing group of students, who all knew how hard he had worked to improve his own skills so he could become a better instructor. Is this an ideal situation? Not really, no... but it's a scenario I know has happened, and it's not been mentioned yet.

Assuming that there's not a student willing to take over the class, I would say that the instructor should investigate other classes in the area and make recommendations as best s/he can, to fulfill his/her repsonsibility to his/her students as best s/he can. It may be that the best recommendation to be made is that there's not a good school in that style available - but there is in another style. But to say to students that well your all SOL is inconsiderate at best, and irresponsible at worst. The instructor in such a situation needs to provide students with options - not leave them to twist in the wind.
 

Makalakumu

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I taught Tang Soo Do in Superior Wisconsin for eight years. During that time, I built up a loyal student base, albeit small.

When it looked like I was going to lose my day job due to economic circumstances, I contemplated turning the school into a full time business. After a detailed market analysis that showed that I could have started a successful bussiness, I decided against it. My wife and I started looking at other options. The road that led our family to Hawaii is circuitous, but makes sense looking backward.

Anyway, I closed my school. It was devastating on my students and their families. Some students, and parents, think I made the wrong choice and probably won't forgive me for doing so...but that is the price you pay sometimes when you make major life changes.

Due to the nature of my student base and the rigor of my curriculum, I did not have a black belt student by the time I had to close. I had a student who was close, but he chose not to teach in my stead.

So, I did my best to recommend different schools to my students and encourage them to keep practicing despite not being able to continue in my art. I am also encouraging my senior student to keep practicing. I have been monitoring and grooming him from a distance and plan on coming back into the area to check on his progress. He's trained with me since the beginning and he could be ready if he pulls it together over the next six to eight months. Before I left, I arranged a regular practice session between him and a couple of other students that will continue as long as he follows through.

The good thing about the internet is that I can monitor their progress with text, video, and live chat. Hopefully, someday in the future, Superior Tangsoodo will reopen its doors. If not, I did the best that I could do.

The harder part for me has been starting over. Moving into a place where the MA competition is so huge that teaching really isn't an option, has been difficult. I like to teach, but it's easier to be a student in Hawaii. Heck, people like Adrian Emperado are teaching in elementary school gyms in Hawaii. The established dojos are 50 to 100 years old. It's a different MA environment over here. I'll still teach, but it'll be more limited then what I was used to.

Well, in a nutshell, that's my story. It's still being told. We'll see how it evolves...
 

pesilat

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Interestingly enough I'm about to be in this exact position.

Specifically my situation is this:
I have one guy who is a 2 - 3 years from full instructor. Since everyone else is several years behind him he could certainly run the class and he could continue his development under me by coming to visit me or me visiting him on a regular basis. Or I could even wait 2 - 3 years for him to attain full instructor rank. But he plans to move away from the area, too. I have another guy - a peer to the first - but he has no interest in teaching and he's probably moving. Chances are that all 3 of us will end up moving within the next year. None of my other guys are less than 5 years from instructorship - and that's assuming they stick around and don't move away or anything else in that 5 years.

What I have decided is this:
Before I move I'll help the guys set up a training group. It'll be informal and led by the most senior guy present when they get together. It'll mostly be devoted to reps of the material they already have. My instructor is 2.5 hours away so some/all of them can go up there from time to time to further their training, some/all of them can come visit me and/or I can visit them from time to time.

It may not an ideal situation but it looks like the best we can manage and it does have some perks. For one, they aren't likely to ever take an instructor for granted (not that have taken me for granted but it is a trap many students fall into at some point). For another, they are very likely to work out some things on their own that will stick with them better than if they had been taught those same things. Self discovery is often more powerful than taught lessons.

I can't justify leaving any of them as an "instructor" in my place but a training group is totally workable and it can foster a more tribal/team mindset - that training group is very likely to become pretty close knit since they will end up primarily relying on each other for their development.

Mike
 

hogstooth

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You have a responsibility to your students to at least give them alternatives if not find another dojo that they can go to. You should give them recommendations at the very least. This is assuming that you have no black belts.
Under no circumstances should you promote a student up to Shodan unless they are of that rank. If they are not qualified to teach then do not trust them to take over your school. You name is on that school wether you leave or not.
If you do have BB's I would chose the most senior student to take over. This could be a good thing. You would have to go back occasionally to make sure they are keeping your standards up but essencially you would have two schools instead of closing a school and loosing old students.
 
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