Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28
  1. #1
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    7,069
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Courses, how many lessons do yours contain?

    I am curious if this is different for each teacher. What format do you offer? Do you allow drop ins or only students who paid for the whole course? How long is each course?

    Here is what I normally do:

    courses of 10 lessons and no drop ins. Drop ins (with that I mean people who turn up every now and then) are too hard because if they come in at say the 5th lesson they can't keep up anymore with the rest and they will slow down everything.
    Plus students pay for the whole thing in once. If someone wants to join later (and pay for the rest of the course what's left over), I'd allow, but they have to know they might not be able to keep up that well, lucky I have had some who were fast learners

    Now maybe for some other class format it is possible to have drop ins, but my classes have very set goals.
    The first course for beginners has as goal that at the end the students can do a little (simple) choreography and have also learned to do a bit of improv (again very simple). So dropping in at say, lesson 9 can be a bit tricky.

    When it comes to beginners 2, brand new students can not drop in anymore because they'd be too far behind, unless they already had classes with someone else. The ones who have been taking classes with me before (finished the beginners 1) could drop in in theory, but again, there is a set course which has been paid for in advance.

    When it comes to more advanced drop ins are OK in the sense that they can keep up, but I don't like the idea of people paying for seperate classes: you never know if someone turns up or not.

    I am way too strict but as a teacher you need to protect your income.

    A question for those who have ongoing classes with no set standards on how many lessons per course:
    do you have standards of what students have to be able to do after a certain amount of lessons? How do you deal with people who enter later in the year so they can keep up? Do you let them pay in blocks for a certain amount of lessons, can they enter at any time?
    Last edited by Amulya; 12-02-2011 at 02:40 AM. Reason: ETA more

  2. #2
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Kyabram, Vic
    Posts
    4,471
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I used to allow drop-ins because I was young & stupid. Not anymore. I stopped doing it because I was going broke & had no students.

    My focus sessions allow drop-ins but everyone knows they need to let me know in advance because there's limited places and if they're travelling & they decide to not tell me they're coming they could miss their spot. So theoretically I have drop-ins but over the 6 months I've been running them I've had precisely two payments on the day and precisely zero who haven't let me know at least 4 days in advance that they were coming.

    I guess it's different when there is a lot of time & money involved in travelling. People will be a lot more reliable under those circumstances.
    Bellydance in Kyabram!
    Skype classes a specialty.
    Email kyabrambellydance@gmail.com for more information.

  3. #3
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Rocky Mountains USA
    Posts
    15,289
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I became adament about this right after I began to teach privately or I'd have starved in a dark cold apartment that I was about to get evicted from.

    Students pay for the session. Whether they make it to all classes is their call but I find that students with a financial investment in classes tend to make the effort to attend unless there is a compelling reason to miss class. If I happen to be teaching two or three different classes I might allow students to make up lessons in another class but with the understanding that they are guests in that class and it may not be equivalent to what they are learning in their regular class.

    Would the same people sign up for a zoology class at the local college and expect to only pay for the classes they attend?

    And drop-ins? NEVER unless someone new just wants to try out a class, then maybe.

    Ooo. I'm even mouthier than usual tonight. We had a rehearsal for the twice yearly rec center recital tonight and that always revs me into high gear.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,952
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    New beginners have to sign up for a course of 8 weeks (10 hours). I will allow them to pay for a single lesson (with a 50% mark up) in the first week if there is space.

    Past that they pay for 4 or 11 classes at a time.

    No refunds if they don't turn up - unless it is a really good story.

  5. #5
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Rocky Mountains USA
    Posts
    15,289
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Forgot to mention number of classes per session. Privately I taught 8 classes per session, hour and a half to two hours each class. For the rec center I teach 12 week sessions hour and a half per class. Have occasionally taught a 16 week session but that's way too long.

    Good stories: this isn't a belly dance excuse story and therefore off topic, so give me an infraction and I'll tell the story:

    Deputy sheriff stopped a speeding car. He walked up to the driver's window and told the man behind the wheel, "It's late, I'm off shift in fifteen minutes, and if you can tell me a story I've never heard before I'll let you go without a ticket.

    The man said, "My wife ran off with a deputy. When I saw you I was afraid you were bringing her back."

    Deputy said, "Have a nice day" and returned to his car.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  6. #6
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    7,069
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I'd like to see opinions on how the classes/courses are put together . What do you teach in a course that takes 8 weeks? Or one that is 12 weeks? Any goals? Especially with beginners, do you still let people in (if they pay for the rest of the course) when it is already half way and there is space for them? What about for more advanced classes?
    Last edited by Amulya; 12-02-2011 at 05:42 AM. Reason: ETA as always

  7. #7
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sussex, England
    Posts
    4,855
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I'm not a teacher but... here's my 2 cents as a student

    My teacher went over to paid-in-advance courses (usually 6-8 weeks depending how terms play out) a couple of years ago. Great move. There was a little griping about finding the money in advance and paying for missed classes, but I think everyone has got used to it. Attendance seems to be better. Some weeks are quieter, but the vast majority will only miss the odd class and then be back.

    For me the advantages are:

    A set course really keeps things focused. People know that it's a short course so we have to crack on and not get sidetracked, or spend time going over last weeks material for the benefit of people who weren't there. The drop-ins were terrible for this, and IMO encouraged flakey attendance. Apart from the fact that you already paid for it, knowing you will miss significant content is an incentive to turn up.

    If you aren't thrilled with the topic, it'll be something new in a few weeks; any dance/music you don't like is not going to be the main menu indefinitely.

    It saves about 10 mins of faffing about paying every lesson.

    We only get the "sign up or the course won't run" reminders occasionally, rather than a constant worry.
    We've done all sorts of topics, usually around a choreography but not always. Choreographies for (student show) performance usually get more than one session as they can be a bit rough at the edges after just one, unless they are short and repeaty.

  8. #8
    Member Pleasant dancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Hampshire, UK
    Posts
    192
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I run 12 week courses of 1 hour long. These are divided by level i.e. beginners, improvers, intermediates, with a bit of an overlap if a student is willing/able to undertake something that might be a bit above them at the time (doesn't happen very often). They pay in advance, but can pay in 2 instalments of 6 weeks. I ask for post-dated cheques for the 2nd instalment, but only the new beginners do this, it tends to get lapsed with other students (but then again some of the really keen ones - and those who can afford to - pay for all 12 weeks up front).

    If they miss a class they can attend another of a lower level to make up, some do, many don't. Refunds are limited to long-term sickness and bereavement (or I offer credit).

    I usually have a different choreography each term (sometimes two) and often a theme, e.g. classical Egyptian, baladi for the term. I also drill and do combo's, often the combo's that I intend to put into a choreography at some point. If we have a hafla/performance we will rehearse choreography more.

    Beginners (and those joining at higher levels) can pay for a single drop-in to see if they like me and what I do. If they are joining mid-term and wish to continue they pay for the rest of the term pro-rata. I repeat the beginners course for 3 terms but using a different simple choreography with different steps, so newbie's are accommodated and repeaters don't get bored. Seems to work ok.

    I don't do drop-ins. Wouldn't survive very long if I did and courses wouldn't run. You only learn this by experience I think.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator gisela's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    4,624
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    This is my first year teaching so my experience is limited from a teachers point of view. I teach through a University sports organisation so they have all the say in how the courses are structured (except for content of course). I have weekly 1,5 hour classes from September through April. Students pay in advance for the whole season. If they sign up in January they pay half price. No refunds after two classes (I think). Possibility to change to a more suitable level for a small fee or for free if the teacher is in agreement.

    Then there is a separate summer session in May-June.

    The looong session makes me feel very calm and reassured that I have a (albeit small) income until April. It also gives a good environment in the class for working with the students and referring back to earlier moves and information. I like it.


    Usually though, the teachers here have 12-14 week sessions (Sept-Dec, Jan-April or May) and we pay in advance. At one school they pay once a month in advance, but you don't get a discount for missing a class, and you can't just start and stop how you like.

    I once tried a drop in class and I found that the lack of continuity and progress bothered me. It might work in some instances but I could not imagine me teaching in that format.
    immer glimmer

  10. #10
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,285
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Right now I am teaching privates only, so I haven't had to go through the drop-in dilemma. With that said, I have a pretty good idea of how I would set up class sessions, prices, and drop-in rules, with some room for accomodation depending on the studio, attendance, etc.

    Whether or not to allow drop-ins is something that I think should vary depending on scenario. Where I live and the way I teach, it would be very unlikely that I would be able to allow drop-ins in my class, because studio rental isn't cheap and a certain amount of students is needed to cover costs. That, and there isn't a lot of interest for belly dance at the time, so it's hard to get enough students. Plus, judging by student retention rates I see at other people's classes, I can tell new students are very flaky... so I wouldn't be able to rely on that, I'd have to receive payment for the full session from everyone up front.

    With that said, I am not totally against allowing drop-ins, and if the teacher's situation allows, I think s/he should not have a policy against it. At the beginner level it is more justified, because beginners' progress should be followed consistently and thoroughly, but at more advanced or mixed levels drop in classes can be a big help for people who just can't make it to a class every single week. I know I personally have taken advantage of drop-in classes from teacher who are much too far away for me to take classes with every week, but with whom I like studying.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •