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  1. #1
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    Default Social Media Protocol

    I recently had a "falling-out" with my former teacher. No words were spoken but I had decided to move on for a number of reasons and found a new teacher who, at this stage in my dance journey, is giving me what I feel I need.

    By way of background, I live in an Asian country which has only a few established teachers (in other words, the bellydance community here is tiny). I am also of the opinion it's good to keep cordial relations and avoid burning bridges.

    Anyway, my former teacher's school was a"friend" on Facebook. I didn't delete or unfriend for the above stated reasons, plus I love her style so I had not ruled out going back to her at some stage for either private classes or workshops. However, about a fortnight ago, she deleted me.

    Is the normal response to a student who has gone AWOL. I felt my former teacher was cutting her nose off to spite her face as deleting me is so final and surely let me know that she was not interested in keeping ties or having me back as a student. Just to add, I recently taught a beginners class and I did recommend her as I really enjoyed studying with her. I had also recommended some of her advanced students for gigs (the ones who were at performance level).

    Sorry to sound rather long-winded but I am interested in knowing your thoughts. As teachers, would you delete a former student (not knowing if one day they may come back) or even recommend you or your students? My feeling is that it doesn't make good business sense, let alone it can make things rather awkward in such a small community.
    Last edited by Habiba; 05-09-2012 at 12:35 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    My thought is that Face***k et al are cesspools of drama best avoided altogether.

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    Member chirel's Avatar
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    People use social media for different reasons. Maybe she has her students as friends because she uses FB to communicate about canceled classes or upcoming events or other belly dance related things. As you are no longer her student maybe she felt that she doesn't need to inform you about these things anymore. It doesn't have to be personal. Another thing is that as a teacher she is unique to you, but any teacher who has worked for more than a couple of years will end up having hordes of ex-students. Do you expect her to keep all of her ex-student as her FB-friends? She'll have thousands of people there and the only connection would be that these people ones attended her class.

    If you were friends in addition to there being teacher student relationship then I think the situation is unfortunate. Talk to her and explane why you changed teacher ans that you respect her and like her style. Maybe she felt that you just ditched her.

    A bit difficult to speculate and Zorba is definitely right. If it's on social media, don't take it too seriously.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zorba View Post
    My thought is that Face***k et al are cesspools of drama best avoided altogether.
    Zorba, I understand where you are coming from, but if used responsibly, I think social networking can be a fabulous tool. In fact, I have learnt so much about the dance through Facebook - been invited to events that I would not have known about otherwise and have made invaluable contacts within the community. I also found my present teacher through FB!

    However, as we can see from my story, it can become a little uncomfortable when we add unfriending to the mix. Just what are the protocols? Everything is so on the fly and not at all established. From a business/teaching perspective, I don't see why you would delete a former student unless something nasty was going on (which I can assure you from my end, there was nothing of the sort).
    Last edited by Habiba; 05-09-2012 at 03:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chirel View Post

    If you were friends in addition to there being teacher student relationship then I think the situation is unfortunate. Talk to her and explane why you changed teacher ans that you respect her and like her style. Maybe she felt that you just ditched her.

    A bit difficult to speculate and Zorba is definitely right. If it's on social media, don't take it too seriously.
    We were actually very friendly and I do believe she feels I've "ditched" her. However, students do come and go (you're right) but as a teacher, I would always allow a door open for a student to one day return - or recommend other potential students. Burning bridges makes no sense.

    My present teacher creates private groups which she closes at the end of each term/course - this is great as you don't necessarily need to be "friends" and can yet still communicate about the classes etc.

    As for taking it "too seriously", I'm not. I'm rather interested in the protocol and business side of things. And given that bellydance is such a small community, I think it's particularly important to keep the best relations we can (on both sides).

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    I wouldn't take it personally. If you are bothered by it, best to send her a quick phone call or email or offer to meet for tea and tell her all you have said here. Otherwise, just let it go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunyah View Post
    I wouldn't take it personally. If you are bothered by it, best to send her a quick phone call or email or offer to meet for tea and tell her all you have said here. Otherwise, just let it go.
    Please, I'm really really not taking this personally.

    I am truly interested in how other teachers handle former students. Is it normal to delete them off social media just because they found new teachers?

    From a business perspective, does it make sense?

    Edit: There is a reason I called this thread "Social Media Protocol" and not "I feel slighted my teacher unfriended me" :-)
    Last edited by Habiba; 05-09-2012 at 04:06 PM. Reason: Added for clarity

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    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    I would say that there are better ways of keeping in touch with students on fb without being personal friends (private groups have been mentioned, others solve it by having multiple profiles).
    Unless you actually are friends (which is not the same as being friendly to each other), I'd find it strange to have this connection on fb.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Habiba View Post
    Please, I'm really really not taking this personally.

    I am truly interested in how other teachers handle former students. Is it normal to delete them off social media just because they found new teachers?

    From a business perspective, does it make sense?

    Edit: There is reason I called this thread "Social Media Protocol" and not "I feel slighted my teacher unfriended me" :-)
    I don't use FB to keep in touch with students, I create an email list. That's how I do it. My FB dancer page is more to post upcoming events.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daimona View Post
    I would say that there are better ways of keeping in touch with students on fb without being personal friends (private groups have been mentioned, others solve it by having multiple profiles).
    Unless you actually are friends (which is not the same as being friendly to each other), I'd find it strange to have this connection on fb.
    Hi Daimona,

    The teacher's profile was actually that of her school - so it was more like a "Page" than a personal profile. Perhaps that's wherein lies the problem.

    I think it's interesting to discuss as being such a new platform, the protocols are evolving. I've had well known teachers/dancers wanting to "friend" me on FB so a lot of people are obviously not finding these types of connections strange. But it certainly can lead to some interesting situations.

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