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clay lover

If one of your students....

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Clay lover, maybe the way to this disagreeable student is through that best buddy. I think once one student starts antagonizing a fragile person in the class, one cannot let it go.

I am guessing you went right away to the declining old lady to make sure she continued to feel comfortable and supported, despite the impatience of the out-of-control mental health therapist. 

What a difficult situation.

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The "declining old lady" is a lovely 58 yr old, younger than I.  To me, she presented as a quiet, retiring, shy person.  She used to work with the others in this group, they all know and care about her.   They tell me she is a shadow of her former vibrant, active, funny self.   I am happy to have her,  I'm an old Special Ed teacher,  I understand how to work with all kinds of disabilities and have had other challenged students, but this is my first mean one.  The best friend is OK with the problem person's behavior, it's nothing new and they have been  running buddies  for many years.  it's a small(5) group, so there is room for everyone to have their own space to work and tools don't need to be shared.  It's the verbal digs that have to stop.  If problem person makes another comment aimed at the fragile woman,  I will snatch her a new one.    I can't stand a bully.

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When I was in college I had a declining fragile woman in several of my art classes.  She was kind of snippy with me now and then but not to much trouble.    On the final day in printing making class she shows up with sticks and ribbons as frames on her prints.   Instructors want you to frame it according to their instructions.  The teacher told her none of them met the requirement and then pointed out my work as a good example.  At our break the fragile woman grabs me by the neck and slams me against the locker,  with her hands around my throat she starts banging my head.  She is ranting about the teachers liking my work and not hers, what was so special about me.   I could have easily fought  back but I was 40 years younger than her and I didn't want to hurt her.   A group of students pulled her off of me and security took her away never to seen again.   I went to college for two years and had to quit,  fifteen years later I returned to finish and found out I was part of a campus legend.   I was back in the same class room for another printmaking class when a young girl told me about a story she heard about a woman strangling  a student in this room.   Considering the number of years the story wasn't to far off.     Denice

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Age, mental health, infirmities of any type, are something that we all hope not to deal with, and not to  be the victims of, and most of us really do not want to deal with it. As we get older, we all find that age does catch up to us, but by then many of us deal with others that have infirmities in a different manner realizing that "there but for the grace of God, go I". I used to use that phrase on myself when teaching and having to deal with students that had a less than perfect life. Now I tell myself the same, as the possible problems of old age, could happen to me. I hope I have become more tolerant of a slow elderly person in line, or of one bowling on my team or on the team against us, or one who gets irritated easily because of a memory issue or med issue, or one who has to have help getting up, or zipping their coat, or other such problem. . . . why?  Because someday maybe that person will be me, and I would hope that others would have the patience to allow me to get through life with some pride left.

 

best,

Pres 

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well as a licensed therapist she has at least read about setting boundaries so she shouldn't have trouble with the concept.

I've actually always found smart people with overly aggressive personalities actually respond pretty well when faced with boundaries being set. They often test the limits a bit after you set them but then learn to stay in the center lane if they want to continue. I think one thing to consider is that this person may well really want to be a part of what you have put together and faced with a threat of getting tossed may well choose to tone it down.

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I'm hoping you are right.  There are actually several other 'make and take clay party' type arrangements near me, but I'm the only person offering real instruction in my immediate area.  She has participated in them and is just as dissatisfied.  So  if she wants to learn,.....  There is a place for everyone, but not everyone fits my process.

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On 2/9/2018 at 9:59 AM, PotterPutter said:

 kick her out.

^.  I can tell from your posts that you are a really nice person.  Don't give her a second chance.   I've kicked a few customers out of my retail businesses over the years for what I consider to be "verbal abuse" without giving it a second thought. 

Edited by DirtRoads

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I had to do that to when I owned a wallpaper store,  one time I had a group come in and the leader of the group looked like he was head of the Chinese mafia.   He picked out a pattern in a book that was commercial vinyl  that costs 30 dollars a roll.  He kept coming up to me and demanding I sell it to him for 50 cents a roll,  I finally asked them to leave.  There intimidation techniques didn't work on me.  Denice

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On 4/5/2018 at 8:21 PM, clay lover said:

I'm hoping you are right.  There are actually several other 'make and take clay party' type arrangements near me, but I'm the only person offering real instruction in my immediate area.  She has participated in them and is just as dissatisfied.  So  if she wants to learn,.....  There is a place for everyone, but not everyone fits my process.

Sounds like the unpredictability of the whole ceramics process annoys her. Maybe she could be gently directed to painting or stained glass classes where the colors don't change on her. 

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It takes all kinds. The fact that you're doing a favor to the community by teaching private lessons in your own home is reason enough for people to behave.

Maybe the person in question is deteriorating from age, then the response for me would be to 'Have a Laugh" about the situation and then move on.

Otherwise I would have just told her that she was welcome to leave any time she wished...

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