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  1. #1
    Member staranise's Avatar
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    Default contradicting the teacher in class

    Hi everyone

    Is it acceptable to speak up directly in class and tell the teacher that what she is teaching is "wrong?"

    I'm not the teacher, but I was leading the class in a drill while my teacher was having a toilet break. I am however, using this as teaching experience because I have intentions to start classes in the semi-foreseeable future. Anyway...

    We had a new student who had studied ATS with another teacher elsewhere, and she was coming along to our intermediate class. After I had finished leading and the teacher returned, she spoke up and said what I was doing was a completely different move to than the one I meant to be working on (suggesting I was doing laybacks instead of bodywaves.) I was quite shocked and put aback, and I apologised and said that was how I was familiar with the movement. But she said outright that we were wrong in a very snide manner.

    I have since reviewed my sources and found what I was demonstrating was not incorrect. Perhaps what she was picking on was a slight size variation due to the fact that I am significantly taller than the majority of my classmates?

    Regardless, I felt like I shouldn't have been contradicted like that, it kinda hurt and undermined both my teacher's and my confidence.

    so how do you deal with this? I did confront her after class and told her how I felt, but she didn't seem to understand. She's not coming back in any case.
    Last edited by staranise; 02-06-2010 at 01:01 AM.

  2. #2
    AFK Moderator ~Diana~'s Avatar
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    I'd take a deep breath and say in my head "must not kill her, must not kill her" LOL JK.

    What you did sounds good to me. She was in the wrong to confront you like that in public when it could have been done in private. How did your teacher respond to the other students outburst? Did your teacher look at what you were teaching to see if the students outburst was appropriate?

    Either way, you know you were correct and the fact that the student is not coming back I see as a relief.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1. Beginning dancer. Knows nothing.
    2. Intermediate dancer. Knows everything. Too good to dance with beginners.
    3. Hotshot dancer. Too good to dance with anyone.
    4. Advanced dancer. Dances everything. Especially with beginners
    .
    ~ Attributed to Dick Crum, a folk dance teacher ~

  3. #3
    Member staranise's Avatar
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    My teacher saw me and didn't see an issue. She got a bit shaken and admitted that bodywaves were not her strong point and that she'd review the dvds and get back to the class next week. It was the tone of voice the student used - it was really argumentative, and she just seemed, well, pissed off!

    oh well. I just want to know how to keep your cool in these kind of instances so you don't automatically go into defensive mode. I mean, what do you say? and what if you are wrong? I mean, mistakes do happen...

  4. #4
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    Height, weight, muscles and bone structures all contribute to variation of movements. You can teach thirty dancers the same move and every single one will have a slight variation.

    Sometimes wonder what dancers are thinking when they are being rude to one another.

    You double checked, good job. In the next class make it a point to bring up your resources and for clarity you did refer back to them and were correct in your teaching.

  5. #5
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Is it acceptable to speak up directly in class and tell the teacher that what she is teaching is "wrong?"
    Unless you are Queen of Belly Dance and know everything and your knowledge is so valuable that everyone will be grateful for your contribution... then no, IMO it is not acceptable.

    If she was that bothered she should have taken it up with you and your teacher in private after the class. Publically, it looks like points scoring, stirring it between you and your teacher, and deliberately embarrassing people.

    It's a strange way to behave when you are new to a class too - isn't it more likely to come across as obnoxious know-it-all than experienced dancer impressing teacher with valuable alternative input?

  6. #6
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Is it acceptable to speak up directly in class and tell the teacher that what she is teaching is "wrong?"
    No. It's rude and disruptive.

  7. #7
    V.I.P. PracticalDancer's Avatar
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    The great Chelydra (disclosure: also a friend) used to have an article on her site about this. The link is not working today, but the gist was to "leave your dance in your dance bag" whenever you are a student. That is, you are paying to learn something new, a different way of doing things, or for someone else's perspective. My blunt summary is to hold your tongue and open your ears. Hear what is said, practice what is taught, and then only after you have left the class decide whether it is something you will keep and practice or leave untouched in that classroom.

    And, since you were subbing, I say the offender was still in the student role.

    When you are ready to teach, just take a deep breath and remember you are there to teach the dance. They'll need to pay you extra to also teach them manners!

    Regards,

    Anala

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Real teacher needs to pull wanna-be-teacher aside and inform her that it is not appropriate for a student to correct another student.

    Any concerns a student has with her teacher should be addressed privately between the two of them. This girl's behavior was in NO WAY appropriate and was disrespectful to both you and the regular teacher.

  9. #9
    Senior Member maria_harlequin's Avatar
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    Didn't your teacher say anything to the girl when she was confronting you? That kind of behavior shouldn't be dismissed.

  10. #10
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Any queries like that should be adressed after class. Every student has the right to get things straight in their head but not to distract and embarass.Miss Big Mouth should be informed of that.
    Sadly the world is full of those who get pleasure/deal with their own problems/inadequate lives by bringing others down.

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