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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post

    If reading about challenges teachers have with students upsets you, don't read the thread. I don't mean that in a snide "get out of the kitchen if you can't stand the heat" way, but offer it as a compassionate suggestion. Wait until you have a bit more experience and a little thicker skin before reading the "My students are driving me NUTS" threads. Go read the "my teacher is driving me NUTS" threads instead.
    Given that this is an open forum, I should be able to go ANYWHERE and not be offended. I would never write something that would be offensive or possibly hurtful to anyone (even if I just needed to "vent") and then ask that anyone who might be offended not go there. Saying that one has a difficult student is a cop out, to me. If you had a difficult child would you rant about them in a place they could possibly see it?

    I do not think that teachers should just act like everyone is great and like they do not have issues with students because, obviously, they do. I guess having been a teacher briefly, I could never imagine bad mouthing any student in particlar or certain types of students no matter how frustrated in a place where they could possibly see it. That is like one of the very basics in teaching etiquette, I think. I also would never start a thread asking for opinions and then bash someone with less experience who answers giving their opinion.

    Someone noted getting advice from someone who doesn't have kids or someone who has been married for a short amount of time and really I don't think advice is based soley on how long someone has done anything. One of my best friends has no kids and excellent advice on children. She has grown up around children and is a very observant person. Meanwhile, I know women with kids whose advice I would never take in a million years, so that argument doesn't really work for me. If I ask for opinions then I will respect all of them because I asked for them.

    That said, I'm really not taking it personally. I am an adult. I know we all have our momens and frustrations. It was just kind of disheartening to see quite a few post griping about students in a short amount of time and sort of gave me that "great, back to high school and cliques" kind of feeling. I'm not going to let that bother or deter me though. I was just curious to see what others thought on the matter.

  2. #12
    Super Moderator gisela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CurlyBellyGirl View Post
    Given that this is an open forum, I should be able to go ANYWHERE and not be offended.
    I really don't think that is possible. We can all try to be nice and polite to each other as I think we are already but people have different levels of when they are offended or when they think they are polite. Just see the Ishtar-thread. That is partly because it's an international forum but partly also just because people are different even within the same culture. Some have no problem with critique, others flee when something is slightly unpleasant.
    I think that everyone can use the critique others get, to go through in their own minds: "how do I act in class? Can I be a better student?" etc, as well as the critique given in class: "She needs to controll her arms more, Do Ineed that as well? Am I paying attention to my arms?" That kind of thing.
    However I do agree that as a teacher (as well as in many other jobs) you should have a certain level of proffessionalism to not slander or gossip about your students in a way that it could get out to a bigger group of people.
    immer glimmer

  3. #13
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    No matter what is posted in a public forum, someone is going to choose to be offended by it. Vehement acrimony distresses me, so I take my own advice and don't read many of the heated debates. The only thing that distresses me more is the contention that possibly offensive discussions should not take place in public forum.

    In the best of all possible worlds, teachers would be selfless creatures, overflowing with compassion, wisdom, talent, god-like understanding and the ability to swallow all difficulties without comment to anyone. Students would be attentive, intelligent, diligent, pleasant, non-disruptive, willing to practice between classes, and patient with the foibles of their teachers. However, the world inhabited by most of us is filled with people who lose patience with other people, complain about the situation, seek guidance, and then go back out to do their best. I try to cut at least as much slack for people who have temporarily lost it as I hope they will cut me in the same situation.

  4. #14
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    I agree with Gisela. If everyone was avoiding giving any possible offense we'd just be sitting around telling each other you are fabulous, which is no way to learn anything.

    I've been dancing for 3 years now and I've also sometimes felt why do I bother even trying to dance? after reading some on-line critique sessions. But what you must keep in mind is that they are not talking about you. If your performances/video clips or whatever are clearly labelled as being a student performance, and you are not pretending to teach, or represent yourself as a professional belly dancer, no decent teacher or serious student is going to be deliberately nasty. They might offer constructive criticism, but they all know how difficult it is. You get points just for getting up there. If people are being bitchy about student performances on-line it says more about them than the student.

    Same goes for your opinion on anything else - there are many areas where your opinion is just as valid as anyone else's. You don't have to have been studying for years to have a response to a performance. Or to know an Ugly Belly Dance Costume when you see one!

    PS - what Shanazel just said. Daresay I can't leave rep (as usual ), but
    Last edited by Aniseteph; 12-16-2007 at 08:40 PM. Reason: PS

  5. #15
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CurlyBellyGirl View Post
    Given that this is an open forum, I should be able to go ANYWHERE and not be offended.
    Well, I'm offended by ultra-prudishness, by mystic claptrap masquerading as science, by fakelore, by teachers passing on this made up "history", by consumerism, by ... quite a few things actually. But, on the whole, I live and let live. Otherwise I'd only interact with a very small group of people. And I might even come to believe that everyone thinks like me (ie correctly )

    Quote Originally Posted by CurlyBellyGirl View Post
    If you had a difficult child would you rant about them in a place they could possibly see it?
    I might if I thought it would be the only way they would see what they are doing - and more to the point see that the consensus of other parents/teachers is similar - ie Mummy isn't the only mean Mummy around.

    Seriously, this is why a private teacher only group was formed on Bhuz - and now there are people complaining that it is a private group because they want to see what the teachers are saying - and no doubt they will then complain that they are offended!

  6. #16
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    I think my "I should be able to go anywhere" statement was misinterpreted. Of course, there will be topics that are sensitive, especially as they relate to cultures, etc. I am not speaking of topics that are debates, but rather when teachers come and post negative things about a specific student or new students in general. In my mind, this is VERY different than having a debate or sensitive dicussion on styles or whatever. With certain topics, such as politics or whatever, I can understand that discussions might be on the "hot" side, but I still think there is a difference.

    I have been a member of other online communities and there were, of course, offensive threads and sometimes heated conversations, but no one ever openly bashed any of the other members or new people of the group. And when threads were offensive I don't think the offended persons choose to be offended. lol... I think sometimes it just happens when something rubs us the wrong way or strikes a sensitive cord for us.

    I also see a differece in asking for critiques of one's dancing ability/skills/costuming, etc. If one asks what someone thinks of what they are doing then I don't see how one then should be angry/hurt with unfavorable responses. I would also hope that all feedback would be constructive criticism and not just bashing, which is different.

    I'm sorry, but I think that if you claim to be a professional then you need to act professionaly at all times relating to your business. I work in a very stressful field and I can't just openly flame or rant about my clients no matter how big idiots they may be or how frustrated I might be in a place where they might potentially read it... in a place that is set up so that people in the field can keep in touch with eachother and share. They are my clients and paying the bills. But for them, well, there would be no work. Perhaps that's what makes these types of forums somewhat difficult because professionals also use them for personal entertainment/enrichment thus blurring the lines some. Just as newbies are students we are also clients, no?

    Again, I posted this thread just to see what others thought on the matter and it's nice to read how everyone else feels and what everyone else thinks.

    I do think it's totally appropriate to have a private place where teachers can go and talk about teacher things. I think that keeps the level of professionalism a bit higher, although I can understand people feeling like it causes seperation and wondering who/what is being discussed there.

    Honestly, it's not that big of a deal to me where I would let if affect my real life or where I study dance. I know that the people posting these things would never say those types of things to anyone's face and I understand that people really do have moments when they just need to vent. But, if I did read something specifically about me or one of my classmates from one of my teachers I would be inclined to question their integrity if they could openly post negative stuff, but not talk directly to me/my classmates about it.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Eshta's Avatar
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    I think you pose a very pertinent questions

    I think it would be wrong for teachers to NOT seek advice from each other in a forum like this with such a wealth of experience in how to deal with certain situations that arise in the class. And not seeking that advice just because the student may possibly visit this forum and may possibly identify themself is NOT a good reason for not seeking out advice on how to deal with a situation. That's just cowardice.

    But bitching and putting down students? That would be totally unprofessional and to be honest I think (or at least hope) it would not be tolerated on this forum by other teachers, and I am struggling to recall any such posts - please feel free to PM me if I have missed something, it does feel that you have a particular thread in mind. To bitch about one's own students would make me question the teacher's motives for teaching in the first place.

    Bitching about other professional dancers? I confess that some threads have occasionally degenerated to a level that I don't personally find constructive any longer. So I don't read them. Makes it easier for me to read the 10 other threads or so that DO have constructive information in them!

    I can understand how OD.net can feel a bit intimidating sometimes - there are a lot of strong personalities who are online often and know each other quite well and aren't afraid of healthy debate. There are some highly knowledgeable members and some highly passionate members, without whom debates would be much shorter and the forum would be a worse place for it. I think perhaps it can be easy for our 'veterans' to forget what it was like to be new to OD.net forum.

    That said, Aziyade's post is very succinct and does a great job of explaining why it can sometimes appear that "newbies" comments often get rejected and seemingly "ganged up" on! This isn't meant to be harsh, but a lot of the people here really want to help and correct misinformation when it arises. It's not meant to be a personal attack and although these people may be saying the same thing, that in no way means they are in a clique - you only have to read the next thread (or sometimes even the same thread) to see the same group of people battling it out over some other issue!

    If you do see some comment you find to be less than constructive, it's ok to question that post and it's possible to do that in a non-provocative manner. Ask why the poster feels that is appropriate, it's easy to misjudge people's intended tone and it's easy to write something that can be misconstrued. I would be personally very upset if OD.net ever did become a place to just be nasty about other dancers, so sending in the BDPD every now and again can't be a bad thing !

  8. #18
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    Just for clarification, my original post noted that it was not here that I saw such posts. I actually have found this forum to be one of the most helpful, encouraging, responsive, etc. and really feel like I hae been welcomed here with open arms.

    I, too, think it's important for teachers to seek advice as needed, but I my issue was more with complaining about new students who want to do certian things, or new students in general and not specificly seeking advice for a student who wants to do "x" or who is having troubles with "z."

    I still wonder, just in my own mind, whether or not it's appropriate for teachers to seek answers to questions in a public forum where students can view them, but that again is just my own question. I haven't come to a conclusion either way, but based on my own RL teaching experience I doubt that I would seek answers in a place where my students could see that I was struggling with an issue knowing that they look to me for the answers and to be the one to show them the way, so to speak. I was not teaching dance though, so I dont know if the same rules would apply.

    Either way, I have no issues with teacher seeking answers to problems, but do wonder about how things are phrased and at some of the way newbies have appeared to be regarded on other forums, which has not always been with a lot of respect (IMHO).

    It is because I feel comfortable here, and beacuase I felt like I would not be personally attacked, that I felt safe to ask this question without fear of backlash or rude comments. As I am a newbie I realize that there is much I do not know about this art form, however I do think my views on life are valid and that my opinions should be repected. It's just a general view of life that we should repsect everyone. I do not look down on children because they are children even if I feel I may know more then them, KWIM? Sometimes children say amazing things and view the world in a way that I can't because I am an adult and feel that I do have all the answers.

    Anyway, I am rambling now and it is late, so perhaps not the best time for posting. lol.... Again, I do feel very comfortable here and it was not here that I, personally, have felt like awkard or offended as a newbie.

  9. #19
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Again, I do feel very comfortable here and it was not here that I, personally, have felt like awkard or offended as a newbie.
    Good! I am glad to hear it.

  10. #20
    V.I.P. janaki's Avatar
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    Hi Curlybellygirl,

    Everyone on this forum was new at one stage. Because you are new it doesn't mean you are any less or any more than anybody else. People on this forum have differents depths in their dance talent and the dance knowledge. I personaly respect everyone's input, good or bad. You learn from everything in life. I want you to feel warm and welcomed in this forum. I enjoy being on this forum. There are very passionate people on this forum, I am one of them. Happy posting!!!

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