I've been teaching privately for six years.
This afternoon, I received and email from one of my students' Mom saying that she is transferring to a different teacher because, "our personalities clash." I feel terrible! I know not every teacher is perfect for every student, but I've been teaching her for a year and a half and I've invested a lot of myself in her. This is the first time I've had a student transfer away from me. I've had numerous transfer to me.
She wanted to quit in the middle (because of her social life) and we all had a chat and got it worked out to a different day. Things were fine from there until recently. She's in general a fairly rebellious, nearly gothic high school girl, and it's a challenge to make any corrections without her becoming defensive. I've tried asking for her input (never led to a response except what she wants to do later this summer) regarding the content of the lessons and my teaching, I've tried different attitudes in the lesson (positive/proactive, tough, enthusiastic, normal, etc.) and none of them have changed the energy in the lesson for us. I don't address her dark mood really, because A. it's none of my business, B. she never indicates a desire to, C. When I did once it made it worse, and D. I didn't want to appear judgmental of her lifestyle. She's really talented in the areas of expression and musicality, and I've told her this in a variety of ways, but her technique isn't all there yet and she has the same issues every week with the response of, "I'm working it." I've tried to ask her to consider different routes of working on things, but she shuts down.
I don't know where I went wrong. Her Mom thanked me for everything I've done and wished me well in my career, so I'm pretty sure I'm not a bad teacher, but still. Does this happen to anyone else? How do you cope?
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