When Ben was first born, Adam took Jack to a tumbling class at The Little Gym. It was their special bonding time, and I got some alone time with Ben. Jack loved it.
Any day now we will have another two kids. So Adam suggested another weekend gym class for Jack, Ben and himself. However, we thought now that Jack was 5, it was time to start him in a more serious class, less bubbles and parachutes and more actual gymnastics. Also, we were looking for a place that Adam could drop Jack at a class and take Ben to a class at the same time. (After 3 years of age, most classes for kids are drop off.)
So for the past 2 weekends we have started attending classes at Lakeshore Academy.
The first week, Ben loved it. I’m not sure if he did well following the instructions. I know I didn’t since there didn’t seem to be any instruction. Every time I turned around the parents were doing another activity and I blindly tried to follow along. Ben enjoyed using all the equipment, though.
Jack didn’t fair so well. The instructor, Tina, never called Jack’s name, and after 15 minutes we were forced to wander around the gym asking which class was Jack’s. Not a very welcome start. His class was composed of 5 other girls and a woman instructor. By the time we joined, they were doing floor exercises. Jack was shy and hid behind either Adam or I. Tina mostly ignored him, except when she made a token effort to give him a blue circle to sit on. Besides being fairly unwelcoming, I watched her make comments that seemed counter productive for an instructor.
She asked them to practice bridges. To a little girl named Samara who was struggling, she said accusingly, “Come on, I know you can do it. I saw you do it last week.”
Then she left her to struggle on her own, no helpful hints or a lift up to get her started.
Instead she turned to Jack and I and said, “Boys normally can’t do this”.
How is that comment going to help Jack join the class?
In the end he barely participated. Adam talked to him about the class and the fact that there were no boys in it bothered him. He promised if there was a boy in the class next week he would participate.
Next week there was another boy in the class. Adam took him by the hand and led him to the mat where class was starting. On the way, the instructor, Tina said, “You can stay for 5 minutes but then you have to leave.”
Adam asked Tina, “Well, what do you suggest I do to get him involved?”
Tina had no ideas. But after 5 minutes where Jack clung desperately to Adam’s legs she said, “You have to leave. I will get in trouble if you stay. He’s old enough.”
Trouble with who?
After Adam got kicked out, I picked Ben up mid-class and we all left. We asked for a full refund of our $500 for the ten week session we paid for our two kids. We were told that that they normally don’t give refunds. But we were given the manager’s name since there was no manager on duty (they couldn’t supply a card because they didn’t have one at reception!) to call and ask for our money back.
Hopefully in the least we will get our money back. I’ve heard from friends that during the week there are better instructors, but after this experience we didn’t want to go back and find out.
FYI Tina teaches the 9:30am class on Sunday mornings.