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« 370th! | Main | Midsomer Murders »
Monday
Apr202009

Why must I yell before something happens?

INCIDENT ONE

Last Friday, I had a horrible class. It was very clear nobody practised since last Sunday. All the same faults were still there. As the hour went on, I got extremely irritated.

"Girls, come here. I want to ask you all something. Did you practise?"

Momentary silence. Then, "Ya" (That was from two girls)

"Ya? How many times?"

"Once"

"I want to ask all of you. Do you do your homework?"

"OF COURSE!"

"If you don't, what happens?"

There were several answers, ranging from teacher will scold or punish or what ever. None said 'murder' although that was very close to my mind at that moment.

"You go to school everyday from Monday to Friday. Do you do your homework everyday? Or just one day?"

"Everyday!"

"So why do you only practise only ONCE?"

Silence.

"Practising ballet IS doing homework for ballet. If you don't practise then you are not doing your homework."

"Teacher, I got no time. I have lots of homework/tuition/what ever...."

"If you have no time, then you better not come. If you don't practise, which is doing homework then DON'T COME!"

"I CANNOT TEACH YOU OF YOU DON'T DO YOUR HOMEWORK. EVERY WEEK, I AM CORRECTING THE SAME MISTAKES. YOU ARE GIVING ME THE SAME OLD RUBBISH"

"I am going to see you again on Sunday. If you don't practise, DON'T COME!"

"NOW, GO HOME. GO AND WAIT FOR YOUR PARENTS. IF YOUR MUMMY ASK YOU WHY CLASS ENDED EARLY, TELL HER YOU DID NOT PRACTISE AND TEACHER KATY IS VERY UPSET!

On Sunday.

A very subdued class trickled in. I was teaching at the other studio. They asked Teacher Su-Anne who will be teaching them that day. Su-Anne was told what transpired on Friday. So she told them, "Dunno" or something to that effect.

ALL came. I half expected a few not to turn up. Th usually very noisy and boisterous class was unusually quiet.

"Come here. I want to talk to all of you."

Then I 'talked'..............

"Were you frightened when I yelled last Friday?"

There were nods and yes-es.

"I don't like to yell like that but do you know why I did?"

Silence.

"Well, I am sorry I did and yet I am NOT sorry I did. I am sorry I frightened you. But if I did not, you won't know the serious-ness of practising and you won't do well. I love you and that's why I yelled. I want you to do well."

Any 'normal' class, by this time will be a little teary and there'll be group hugs etc. But these kids are 'hardcore'. Even hard core, they melted a little.

"So I hope today, it will be different. Did you practise for me?"

"YES!"

And, yes, they DID. I had a stupendous class. Technical faults were, of course, there. But they knew their work and they TRIED!

Conclusion: Why must I yell before something happens?

Which reminds me,

INCIDENT TWO

This was a few weeks ago. Perhaps even more than a month ago. This happened to an older class. Week after week, these students came in and was taught the same old, same old and YET, they cannot remember those exercises.

I had enough. I YELLED! In short, I told them I don't need this. If they are not going to buck up and learn their exercises they can jolly well go to another school.

"When you don't practise, I cannot go on and cover what I have planned and when that happens, you are preventing me from doing my work! When I can't do my work, I get frustrated and upset and it affects my health. I DON'T NEED THIS! SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT!"

I walked out and exchanged classes with Bee Hong. I needed timeout. Or I may very well execute a perfect murder - after having so many theory lessons from Midsomer Murders, CSI, Dexter etc.

The next week.

They came early and practised and even asked for coaching from Yen Nee!

Conclusion: Why must I yell before something happens?

 

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