Student or Client?

Loyalty is a great thing amongst friends, employees and family.  This is a subject which was raised in conversation amonst Martial Arts Instructors recently.  The one I think is also important is the student’s loyalty to his or her teacher and school.  As a Teacher, I admire the friendship, connection and trust built over time with my students but that is not always sustainable with everybody. 

Students want as much as they can from their teacher and school and they in turn usually pledge a long term relationship with the teacher and the school.  Students do not want to be treated as clients, they want to be treated as friends.  Some people go to great lengths to prove their loyalty which is something which is usually built over time.  Those who understand it would find it very hard to break that bond but sadly there are those who don't understand. 

This is not new; every Instructor has a story to tell and this is when I, as a Teacher, have to treat some students as just clients which is sad from a teacher’s point of view to think that way.  The best way for a Teacher to handle this is to think of the many good people and students he or she will spend many years together with.  A school without loyalty is only a school with clients.