Saturday, February 5, 2011

Communication Boundaries with Students

As a teacher, I've found it difficult to know where to draw the boundaries of communication outside the studio with my dance students, especially now with the popularity of Facebook and texting. For me at least, the only time I need or want to communicate with my students is when it's dance-related - to send them an article, pump them up for competitions, or send a reminder. Of course, there are those who will abuse the boundary and communicate inappropriately with their students, so as a studio owner, it is prudent to set boundaries for your teachers and students.

In an article from Dance Teacher Magazine entitled "Business: Setting Boundaries," one of the studios  recommends writing up a contract that both your teachers, students and parents sign so the boundaries are very clear. That same studio "forbids teachers from 'friending' students on Facebook," but created a Facebook page for the studio where the teachers and students could communicate online.

Diane Kelley's studio in West Boylston, MA has a code of conduct which "states that contact with students (social networking, cell, online chat or phone calls) is prohibited outside of class without studio consent...with some flexibility allowed."

Yet another studio in Orem, UT, which has alumnus like Julianne Hough and Chelsie Hightower, has a very lenient policy on communication with students and creating such rules is a "foreign concept."

For more details, check out the article here: Business: Setting Boundaries.

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