Has crying ever helped you in class?

Problems with students

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Dec 24, 2010
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Hello!

I'm new here and I would like to hear an objective opinion from you.

It's about a student (6 years) whom I have been teaching for about half a year.

He is very talented and motivated and I like him a lot too. But at some point the problems started. For example, he often gets up suddenly and hides somewhere, or fetches his toys, and he can then no longer be got to the piano. I didn't think so at first, because he was still making progress and I also had the feeling that he enjoyed playing the piano.

Most of the time, his mother stepped in and persuaded him for ages to go back to the piano, but no chance.

The boy is very sensitive and therefore cries a lot. For example, once I came to class and he was crying and could no longer calm down, the reason: his mother hadn't allowed him to push the door opener after I rang the bell. By the time he had calmed down and got to the piano, the lesson was halfway through.

Something similar happens more and more often. He is also totally unpredictable in his moods. Everything was just wonderful, then suddenly the mood changes and he runs away and howls, and nobody knows why.
I am a very loving and patient teacher, I always give him great praise and also have the impression that he likes me. But something is wrong with him.

Lately he has also been sick very often, and the lesson was often canceled at short notice. However, the mother always tries very hard to find alternative dates with me and gives me the impression that I am very welcome. But lately it has hardly been possible to teach properly.

The mother plays the piano herself and practices a lot with the boy, and now she's always working with him. The way it works is that the pupil shows me in class what he has learned with mom, I then listen to it and he totally refuses as soon as I try to learn something new with him.
For example, I find out by the way that he has already learned to use the pedals and the thumb base, even though we weren't that far in class.

If many lessons are missed (due to the boy's illness), the mother says to me at the next lesson: "We have already worked a little longer." Aha. And suddenly we're already at chapter 5 instead of 3, only that unfortunately I didn't know that.

Neither do I understand that he is too sick to take classes, but not to practice extensively with his mother.

In the last lesson there was again a lot of howling, he hid in a corner and his mother talked to him: "Look, Ella is here now, don't you want to show her what we have learned? That's what she's there for." Just play once, come on. "
The boy refused. The mother then asked him when I should come back. He didn't know. And then suddenly he shouted: "She should NEVER come back! I NEVER want to see Ella!"
I was shocked, as was my mother, and asked him if I had done something wrong. He shrugged, no, he just said it like that.
I feel so sorry for the boy because he always cries so much ...

Now I have the feeling that my mother has taken on the role of teacher. I've totally lost control of the class and I'm just the type to be auditioned briefly once a week.
I also told the mother that SHE was actually the teacher at the moment, so she looked a little piqued.

She then said that she didn't think it had anything to do with me as a person. And I shouldn't have a guilty conscience. We should just wait and see how it goes.

But I can no longer work like this because I have the feeling that I am fighting against windmills.
But I don't want to give up on the student either because I really like him and he is talented.

What should I do? Do you have an idea?

Thank you for reading. ;)