How should I handle out of control students on CK? Should I hide? Message the parents? HELP

Dear Cambly,

How do I hide my profile from a student on Cambly Kids and not suffer consequences? I teach exclusively CK and I do adore most of my students. Regrettably, I have a few that are habitually tardy, so distracted they won’t participate in class,  or so ill behaved that I have anxiety in the days leading up to the class. I know I am probably getting a bad rating. My ears hurt from the screaming they do and I am tired of trying to bribe, reason, cajole, threat, and placate a tyrant who stands less than 3 feet tall. Often the parents are absent. I feel like if I send a stern yet politely worded message saying their kids are out of control I’ll get a bad rating. If I hide from them I’m worried I’ll get kicked off CK by Cambly admin. How do I handle situations like these? I don’t want to teach these few students yet I don’t want to jeopardize my ability to book CK either.

Signed, HELP ME!

Oh, dear!

Some of the most famous tyrants in history ran on the shorter side, but still, sorry you are going through this! Some students are more challenging than others, for sure.

Sometimes, our personalities don’t mesh, or our teaching style doesn’t suit the student. When it comes to CK students, though, we need to be extra careful.

The first step is to talk to the parents. It’s awkward, I know, but it needs to be done. Let them know why you think you might not be the best fit for their child. If they don’t know how their child is behaving (or misbehaving, as the case may be) in class, they can’t address the issue. 

If they have some suggestions on how to best deal with their child, great! Crisis averted.

If you decide you can’t work with a student anymore, you can then consider hiding. How do you do this? Message the parents and gently let them know that, unfortunately, you think it would be best to find a different tutor who is a better match. You might reach out to your fellow tutors on the Cambly Kids Corner FB group and ask if any of them specialize in high-spirited students so that you can recommend them to the parents. It can be hard to find the perfect tutor, and most students go through a few before they click with the right one.

Then, after notifying the parents, you can cancel any upcoming reservations that the student has made. 

Once you’ve done that, you can hide your profile from the student. It’s essential to inform the parents first so that they know why the reservations have been cancelled. And please, don’t hide during a reservation as that causes wayyyy more bad feelings than anyone wants to handle! We hope this helps you navigate the tricky waters of hiding! 

Following these steps also lets the Cambly Team know you are trying your best to manage the situation. There may be some nervous moments as you communicate with the parents, but once it’s over, we hope you’ll be back to looking forward to your classes.

Keep your chin up, you got this!

Your Friend, Cam

One thought on “How should I handle out of control students on CK? Should I hide? Message the parents? HELP

  1. Offering rewards as an incentive for speaking, repeating accurately, making an effort, staying on-camera, and/or following directions (pick your battle) have usually worked for my students. “Mom will see the Stars. Yay!” Also, Parents usually expect the adult to be in charge. Recently, I used a stern voice (“Don’t tell me to stop talking. I’m the Teacher”), Mom was perfectly fine with it and gave me thumbs-up on camera! A cheerful tone resumed, and Mom later told me “He said Teacher Val is so sweet.” Again, the idea of Rewards for the desired behavior is the main emphasis here. Offer them, give them generously, and remove one if the child doesn’t continue the desired trend. Have a dozen (or more) and make a big deal of them. “Mom will see! YAY”

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