Monday, July 12, 2010

Retaining Students

I was watching another taiji class practising the other day (while waiting for my wife to finish her drum lesson) and it set me thinking. Why is this taiji class here so big? Why is it that some of my teacher's classes are large while some are small?

Looking at this other class, I guess I have the answer.

It is not about the teacher. It is about his students. If the senior students are willing to help out and teach the new students, the class size will grow. Because a single teacher can only teach that many at a go, especially if they are all of varying levels. But the more helpers (senior students) that he has, the more people his class can accommodate. And when you are able to customise your class to meet individual (or almost individual) needs, people will stay because they feel that they are learning/getting something out of their time spent.

The question then is how to get the senior students to help. They need to stay committed (they need to turn up for every class), and sometimes, that is a hard thing to do. Especially since the teacher is obliged to turn up for class (he is being paid to do so) but the senior students are not obliged to teach (they are obliged to turn up for class being they need to respect the teacher's time for showing up).