Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's Good to be Back (to Regular Lessons)

Last week was group lesson week. I always enjoy the break from the usual lesson routine, the chance to see my students interact, and the prospect of a bit more free time (though this usually never turns into reality as project after project clutters up those rare free spots!).

However, while I enjoy the group lessons, over the years I've come to enjoy the individual lessons much more than group lessons. I used to hold group lessons every month, now I've dropped it back to once or twice a term. Why? First of all, I got tired of putting so much into the planning when my students weren't turning up. The parents wouldn't be willing to commit to a monthly schedule change, so I'd plan and plan only to have a few students come to each group lesson and all those who didn't meant a loss of income for me for the week. Second, I thrive on routine. While it's good to shake things up every once in a while (or else I can get way too addicted to my rut) I find that too much of this means I'm one frazzled girl. Third, I feel like students benefit most from the one-on-one time, and that frequent breaks from this routine impedes the focus and flow of progress.

Finally, I just love the personal interaction. As each of my students has returned for lessons this week, I've felt like I've been catching up with a long-lost buddy! We discuss what they've been up to, and it's so good to re-connect- even if it's been only 2 weeks since our last lesson.

So the long and short of it is, while I enjoyed the week of group lessons, I'm happy to be back in the routine and re-connecting with each and every one of my students individually.

How do you personally feel about group lessons vs. individual lessons? Do you prefer one format over another? Do you feel your students benefit more from one or the other? I'd love to hear your thoughts!


  1. I tend to agree with you. I do group lessons once every semester, every three months. I get excited to try new activities that work well in groups but the progress happens during our one on one lessons.

  2. I used to hold group lessons once a month. Lots of years later I got really burned out. It's a lot of work and energy! I still like the concept of group lessons and my students enjoy getting together and really look forward to it. So I now do it once a quarter. It works much better for me. I think the kids appreciate it more. I always have about 98% attendance. I think what helps is the week we have group there are no regular lessons.

  3. I do a group lesson once every 2 months. It seems to be enough, though I am asking my parents/students in a survey if that is too much or not enough. The week of group lesson we have no regular lessons.

    I love all of the games that are posted, and spend a lot of time printing and laminating. Thanks to everyone who share their artistic talents!

  4. Thank you all so much for your feedback :) I always like to hear what other teachers have to say from their own personal experiences.