Trust and Respect

The first rule of our school policy is this:

“There must be a mutual respect among teachers, students and parents.”

Respect is crucial for building a solid relationship between a teacher and a student. Without respect for each other, student will not listen to the teacher’s guidance and play/practice accordingly; teacher will not listen to student’s opinion and think/feel in the student’s point of view. Without respect for the teacher, the parent will not coordinate with the teacher or assist to nurture the student properly whether in the progress of learning or in practice.

I do believe that no one wants to disrespect anyone in the first place. I think rather, Trust is not fully developed.

Why is there no trust?

It seems difficult to trust anyone in this modern world, especially when it comes to anything (product/service) related to money even when it is related to education. For example, a parent took a kid to learn piano for a year, later she found that the kid did not learn properly for whatever reason. She decided it must be the teacher’s fault. Then, she started to believe that all other teachers were in for money only. She became distrustful. She suspected the other teachers were probably the same. She looked for any little clues in the new teacher that, whenever the new teacher did something seemingly unusual, she suspected that this new teacher was the same just like the old one. And this is only just one of many examples I can list.

For me, one of the main criteria when I choose to hire a new teacher/staff is trustworthiness. I need to know if I can trust this person to do the right thing. Would this person be punctual for work/lessons? Would s/he be responsible to the students/parents? Would s/he continually contribute to the school and gain more skills/knowledge in music/piano/teaching? I simply cannot tolerate any teacher who is irresponsible for his or her own teaching/students. Being a teacher is a noble calling, and no one should take it lightly. That said, my teachers (and staff) are all very professionally trained, with music degrees and/music diplomas and teaching/performing experience. Above all, they care about their students and are dedicated in helping their students to progress and succeed, which for me is also a very important criteria to be possessed by the teachers I hire.

I trust my teachers and staff in their abilities in teaching and handling the students/parents. At the same time, I also need them to trust my judgment and guidance as well. I trust that we can discuss new ideas on school/music program/course books on an open level, that we can respect one another’s opinions even when they are conflicted.

I also need our students and parents to trust that my teachers and I are completely capable of teaching the students, that we know perfectly what we are doing, that we are doing our very best for their growth and development, that both the students and parents must respect me and my teachers . We the teachers really know the best when it comes to music learning/piano playing, while at the same time we do welcome and in fact encourage students and parents to express their ideas and opinions.

With trust comes respect. Or with respect comes trust. What do you think?

After all, what we want is the best for the students’ musical growth and appreciation.


Teresa Wong


”Every human being, of whatever origin, of whatever station, deserves respect. We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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