Any suggestions about student's dad who is a habitual smokes : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

Hello, I am a beginning piano teacher who teach at students home.

I have a problem with my student's father who always smokes when I am teaching in the livingroom. It makes me can't breathe!

I would like to tell him that I can't concentrate if the livingroom is full of smoke but I'm afraid if he is angry because I think, he has the right to smoke at his own home. What I have to do?

Any suggestions will be appreciated Thank you Jenny

-- Jenny (, August 04, 2002


How frustrating!!! Just tell him that you have a new rule in your smoking inside and that if he'd like to smoke, can he please go outside?

-- C Purtell (, August 04, 2002.


I have always been unable to stand smoke anywhere around me. Years ago the smoker would take offense, but since I learned one great little phrase, my life has been much easier. Just say "I'm sorry but I am allergic to smoke." It's very true because we now know that second-hand smoke can be lethal. I believe that if you can die from something, you are allergic.

People understand and sympatize with allergies, so perhaps he will accommodate you. If not, perhaps you could suggest that due to your allergies you will have to teach the student in another location. That might make him more willing to accommodate you if he is threatened with having to travel and then be in someone else's place where he wouldn't be able to smoke anyway. Does the very smell of the stale smoke get to you? It does me.

I hope this alleviates the problem for you.


-- Flo Way Arnold (, August 04, 2002.


-- gabriela fernandez (, April 20, 2003.

C Purtell, Flo and Gabriela,

Thank you for your advice. I have good news, currently my student's father has found the new job so he always not at home when I teach. I can breath now!

-- Jenny (, April 27, 2003.

Yes, you really need to communicate with this man! New job or not. It's YOUR health...You are doing a HUGE service to teach in his home....I hope you're charging an appropriate fee for this...

Just simply tell him your having great difficulty being in this environment...and on a professional note, once people get the feeling that you NEED them for your carreer in teaching, you have lost a level of respect - and control over the lessons.

-- Grace Ferguson (, May 28, 2003.

Thank you Grace for your advice

-- Jenny (, July 20, 2003.

I take it you don't live in California or Utah, the non-smoking states. People there wouldn't DREAM of smoking inside someone else's home without asking first. Where does the guy put the ashes??? How about hanging up a friendly "country-cutesy" no-smoking sign just inside your entry door? (I've seen similar ones asking visitors to remove their shoes in the house.) You can always smile sweetly and say "sorry, allergies--you can smoke outside if you'd like" if they question it. Maybe put a garden bench or outdoor chair out there for them as part of the landscaping. Just be nice and friendly, but firm, no need to make a lot of excuses about it.

-- anon (, July 22, 2003.

anon, thank you very much. I ever had a student in past in which her brother (about 20's) are a habitual smokes, he seems not a good people.

When I was teaching in their livingroom, he smoked in the same area with us. It only once during I taught in their house. My student told me, "Please don't forbid him smoking, he will be angry and everytime you teach he will do it to upset you".

Fortunately, I don't teach for a long time in there. Their house like a hell for me.

-- Jenny (, November 04, 2003.

Oops, I misread the original post and thought the dad was smoking in the Teacher's house! Whew! Well of course, everyone has the right to smoke in their own homes. But smokers need to have consideration for those who don't smoke and not be offended if it bothers them. And non-smokers need to politely ask smokers not to smoke while they're around. My son has asthma, and once we had to take him to the emergency room directly from a restaurant because he had an attack from the smoke wafting over from a couple of tables away. We were certainly more careful after that! Anyway, just ask the person-- if they are good people they will understand.

-- anon (, November 05, 2003.

aon once again thanks

-- Jenny (, November 08, 2003.

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