What if you could get inside the minds of your students? Wouldn't it be nice to receive a little feedback now and again?
Imagine that you are unpacking your gym bag after class. There is a note sitting on top. It says…
Thank you. I appreciate what you did in class yesterday when those two women would not stop chatting. You tried your best. Please don't feel badly that they left. Those of us who stayed weren't sorry at all. I personally think you gave them more than enough chances to get with the program (maybe even too many). They either didn't realize or didn't care that all of your calls for quiet were directed at them. Short of getting off the bike and going right up to them, I'm not sure how you could have been clearer. I mean really. Four separate requests, each one a little more direct than the previous? They were just rude. Maybe you should have started with the comment that finally got them to leave. I believe you said something like, "This is not the place for conversation. If you must talk to each other, please do it outside the room." That was great. You should use that first next time so we don't have to endure the pain of watching them disrespect you while we have to listen to their yammering. I know that it threw off your composure when they actually walked out, but please don't feel bad!! We don't.
See you next week!
Having riders who do not respect the need for conversations to end when class begins is a frustration nearly all of us have faced at one point or another. There are numbers of creative ways that we as instructors can get the quiet we want from our students. There are also tactics that will cause more damage than good. What have your experiences been with talkers and how have you handled them? Did it always turn out well?
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- Dear Instructor: If you don't have something nice to say… - January 15, 2017
You must teach spin class to a bunch of English majors, LOL!
I do not mind the occasional quick talk between students. I do mind when people are using the class to just talk away.
Normally I start classes with some quick ground rules. Things such as keep your hands on the handlebars at all times during exercise, feet on the pedals, follow directions as close as possible, turn off and put away phones and other audio devices and minimize conversations.
Normally it works pretty well. However when it doesn’t I remind people that they should be concentrating on the task at hand while giving hard stares to the chatty people. So far, I have never had the need to go further than that.
But I have seen instructors that address chatty people directly — “Please stop talking! It’s disrespectful to others”. And, most often, the outcome of this approach is that chatty people just leave. Not sure that these chatty people were really serious about class in the first place.
Agreed Alan – they’re there for social hour. Krista you are dead on here. It’s more a case of being disrespectful to the other participants, than to you the Instructor. Once I figured that out I’ve had no trouble asking talkers to limit their conversations.
This interview begins with a very polite & direct opening monolog you can give so everyone knows in advance it’s time to shut up and ride.
And it’s not just indoors. I have had multiple occasions where I’ve asked people to; “focus on where you’re riding”, instead of the person they keep turning toward while they are talking.
I have also used, “If you are talking right now, you are not working hard enough”.
Most of the time it works.
If I hear conversation, my first response is to “SHH” the class, and then remind them it’s about a workout, not a social hour. If it continues, I usually say something like “you can talk all you want at Starbucks downstairs”, while staring that them so they are clear I’m directing the comment to them. If that doesn’t shut them up, I get off the bike and tell them either to shut up or leave, and if I have a choice in the matter, I’d prefer they left.
Of all the behaviors I’ve seen from riders, talking during class tests an instructors professionalism like no other.
Often, thank God, subtle hints work when accompanied with ‘the look’. For the most recalcitrant be aware. Know who you are confronting before you do.
At one corporate facility I had a loud talker. A short guy with one of those big egos. After months of subtle hints I finally turned off the mic, went to him personally and suggested that if he needed to continue his conversation to please do it outside the studio.
He suggested I was calling him out for a fight. Wow. I just asked him to do the right thing and walked away. Turns out he was the head guy. Though all the other riders in class backed me, the fitness dept head was given a choice. My job or my job and her job. You can guess how that went.