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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6118
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:29 pm    Post subject: Do you let parents watch classes? Reply with quote

Hi all,

Do you let parents watch classes?

In running my kids class I'm in two minds over this.

On the one hand it safeguards me and the kids against any untoward actions. Unfortunately in this day and age it's handy to have extra pair of eyes watching and witnessing what's happening in the room just in case someone makes a complaint or accusation. For the parents that are engaged it's also great that they are taking it in and can then help their kids practice at home and may even take it up themselves.

However the flip side to this is parents can be really distracting to some kids and they don't learn to stand on their own two feet as the parents are hovering the entire time. Tonight I also had a pair of parents talking the entire way through my class which I find to be disruptive and really messes with the classes ability to pay attention.

Thinking of kicking the parents out into the waiting area. Thoughts on this?
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Base on your two reasons; to the first I would agree 100%. All it takes anymore is an allegation of impropriety. To the second, if you're having problems with the kids attention being affected by their parents I would either speak to the parents and ask them to make sure their child's focus is on you/class or possibly ask them to wait outside until class is complete or at least until you've gotten the lesson across. But then I am a pretty direct person and some do not feel comfortable with this.

Just my 2 cents.
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14268
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watch!!!!

That's the optimum word...WATCH ONLY...without any ambiguity whatsoever. I didn't ask nor did I insist nor did I encourage nor did I employ any parent to do anything other than to watch nor did I do anything to give or hint or nudge or whisper or directly or indirectly allow them to do anything except to WATCH.

A parents opinion(s) have no bearing nor am I ever interested in a parents interjection(s) about anything that might be pertaining to the on-goings of anything on the floor.

Even more so, should a parent be a student as well...well...that said parent had better know their role nor should they ever assume a position that they've no right to ever assume in any shape, way, and/or form because they're part of the Student Body. I've instructors assisting me, and they are authorized to conduct many of things, and the safety of everyone in the dojo is paramount.

Having said that, the floor is holy ground...the floor's sacred...the floor's my domain...and if truth be known, the entire dojo is MY domain...wall to wall...door to door...ceiling to floor...corner to corner...and ESPECIALLY...the floor is no parents land...UNLESS invited by me, myself, and I, and that's a rarity.

Parents can ask all the questions they want just as long as they are respectful at all times, and there are no exceptions.

I wholeheartedly encourage parents, guardians, and/or whomever else to WATCH, nothing else, the comings and goings. Nonetheless, I am the operator/owner/CI, and it's my way or the highway, and if they don't like it or anything else, they're more than welcome to seek a more friendly skies somewhere else.

In closing, my mom came unto the floor without permission, at the Hombu once, while Dai-Soke was running the class, I was just a kid, and she was kindly put in her place with cause, and never ever did that again.

After all, I do have an office, and I've an open door policy, in my office, and I can discuss anything they want to. However, the sanctity of the floor covers my office as well; be respectful, or find yourself having a very lonely discussion by yourself...outside!!




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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2332
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Parent of a 5 year old and almost 8 year old speaking. It doesnít matter if itís MA or any other activity. The ďyouĒ doesnít mean you personally, itís a general you. Also, I 100% believe your intentions and motivations are pure here, so take absolutely none of this personally...

If I canít watch my kids directly, either through a window, camera, etc., thereís no way Iím signing them up. Too many people have done too many bad things to kids, and Iím not putting mine in any position to have that happen to them. If you tell me I canít watch my kids around you, I think youíve got something to hide; poor instruction, poor attitude with kids, or worse. It doesnít matter what you tell me your reasons are. Iíll even give you the benefit of the doubt and believe you. But I wonít sign them up. Iíll find another place.

Back to the JR we all know and love ...

Some kids and/or situations benefit from the parents not being present. Mine are perfectly fine with me being present. Telling the parents theyíre not allowed to watch is going to raise some red flags. The best thing you can do is request that the parents donít talk during class time. Explain that it distracts the kids. Tell them they should go outside or another place in the building where the students canít hear them if they need to talk. If a parent has been asked to keep quiet and doesnít, have a private conversation with them. If they donít change, dismiss the student if absolutely need be (although thatís a last resort obviously).

Another option could be building a wall with a big window for the parents to watch through. I donít if this is a possibility or not, just throwing it out there if it is. My daughtersí gymmastics and dance studios have this. Itís a pain in the butt, but itís an acceptable solution.
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6118
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JR 137 wrote:
Parent of a 5 year old and almost 8 year old speaking. It doesnít matter if itís MA or any other activity. The ďyouĒ doesnít mean you personally, itís a general you. Also, I 100% believe your intentions and motivations are pure here, so take absolutely none of this personally...

If I canít watch my kids directly, either through a window, camera, etc., thereís no way Iím signing them up. Too many people have done too many bad things to kids, and Iím not putting mine in any position to have that happen to them. If you tell me I canít watch my kids around you, I think youíve got something to hide; poor instruction, poor attitude with kids, or worse. It doesnít matter what you tell me your reasons are. Iíll even give you the benefit of the doubt and believe you. But I wonít sign them up. Iíll find another place.

Back to the JR we all know and love ...

Some kids and/or situations benefit from the parents not being present. Mine are perfectly fine with me being present. Telling the parents theyíre not allowed to watch is going to raise some red flags. The best thing you can do is request that the parents donít talk during class time. Explain that it distracts the kids. Tell them they should go outside or another place in the building where the students canít hear them if they need to talk. If a parent has been asked to keep quiet and doesnít, have a private conversation with them. If they donít change, dismiss the student if absolutely need be (although thatís a last resort obviously).

Another option could be building a wall with a big window for the parents to watch through. I donít if this is a possibility or not, just throwing it out there if it is. My daughtersí gymmastics and dance studios have this. Itís a pain in the butt, but itís an acceptable solution.

Thanks for your viewpoint JR. My Wednesday and Friday night venue is a studio in a private dance school and in speaking with the owner, she never lets parents watch in the class itself unless it is their first session. Just outside the door is a nice waiting area with sofas and she makes them stay out there. Inside the room I don't have chairs so if the parents want to stay I'm afraid they have to sit on the floor or stand. Part of me thinks maybe the lack of seats promotes the parents to talk among themselves? I don't have this issue in my Monday night class which is in the function room of a sports club. There I have chairs all in a line facing the class. Whilst a window would be a great solution, it's not my building so not really feasible for me at this point. My compromise if I was to ask the parents on Weds and Fri to leave is that I would still leave the door open so they can hear what I'm doing.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2332
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Itís interesting that the dance studio owner doesnít allow the parents in and theyíre ok with that. Perhaps itís simply the layout? I donít blame her for not allowing them in if theyíre sitting on the floor during class. Space issues and all is what Iím thinking here.

I think a great and appropriate compromise is leaving the door open. As a parent, Iíd be fine with that if there wasnít space in the room and no window.

As a teacher, it would really drive me up the wall if the parents were making noise and affecting the class. If itís an issue, Iíd suggest speaking with them and putting up a sign as a reminder.

I was thinking about this thread last night during my 5 year oldís dance class. Thereís a waiting room with a window to the studio. I kept thinking how uncomfortable Iíd be if there was no window and I couldnít see or hear what was going on. I also thought maybe itís a cultural thing and itís more accepted in other places. I also though maybe Iím a bit overprotective, so I asked a few parents I know there and people I work with how theyíd feel. All of them said they wouldnít feel comfortable, so I know itís not just me.

Take from that what you will. Just my opinions. No judgement. Youíve got to do what works for you.
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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh, since I teach at a college, I don't have to talk to the parents at all. In fact, I'm not allowed to (per FERPA.)
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14268
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

singularity6 wrote:
Heh, since I teach at a college, I don't have to talk to the parents at all. In fact, I'm not allowed to (per FERPA.)

I wish MA schools, outside of educational institutions, fell under the FERPA parameters of its law. FERPA is a necessary, and great, law.

I taught several years at the Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC) in Valley Glen, CA before I opened my dojo as a Sandan, 1975-1977. I could speak with the parents, but I could not, and would not anyway, discuss anything that was protected, and held in any students PII, and wasn't relevant to my teaching of Shindokan. I'd simply refer whomever might want that type of information to the LAVC Administration office.

When I did open my dojo in 1977, I wasn't under the FERPA law, however, seeing that any student information that I would have at the Hombu and/or at my dojo is proprietary, aka confidential, aka no ones business, aka SKKA/Hombu/Dojo and students confidentiality.

At LAVC, I could speak to anyone, and I did, about any of my students about anything that's relevent to the teaching of Shindokan, just as long as I never violated the FERPA law, in which that law protected a students PII.

I do miss the structured environment that LAVC life brought to that culture; it wasn't a wasted experience.



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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27636
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We do allow parents to watch the classes. The caveat is that the parents are informed that our MA class isn't like other sports, where parents tend to interject their own expertise into what their kids are doing from the sidelines, i.e., the back of the room. There's no cheering and yelling during sparring, either. If the parents have questions, I'm always available after class to talk, and if they want things to work on, I'll send a few points of focus home with them to help their child work on.

Its a pretty good system, and has served us well so far. As a parent myself, I love to see parents invested in what their kids are doing.
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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's an interesting and possibly related article I ran across:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/01/well/family/why-sports-parents-sometimes-behave-so-badly.html?action=click&module=Discovery&pgtype=Homepage
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