I'm a studio owner, and I like to pop in on my teachers' classes. How can I be sure to not overshadow them?

Q:I’m a studio owner and I like to pop in on my teachers’ classes. How can I make sure they don’t feel like I am overshadowing them, though?

—Elizabeth Sansone, Albany, NY


A:I think the most important thing is to have good communication with your teachers when you hire them. This way they know if you plan to drop in on a monthly basis and won’t wonder why you’re there. Set up guidelines when you hire somebody, and let them know your procedures. When they agree to teach for you, they should understand what you’re going to be doing and what’s expected of them, and they won’t feel that you’re stepping on their toes.

I sit down at the beginning of the year with my teachers and we go over what the objective is, what students are supposed to learn, etc. I like to see what’s going on early on, but I don’t watch classes on a regular basis. If a parent comes to me and says, “My daughter loves the class, everything is great,” I’ll assume everything is fine. So I only have interaction with the teacher in class if I receive a complaint. Otherwise I trust my teachers to be doing what I’ve hired them to do.

Robin Horneff, a former DT cover subject, owns and operates Robin Horneff’s Performing Arts Center in Waldwick and Westwood, New Jersey.

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