Online Teaching Policies for Mary Martin
Refunds and Withdrawals
Families will receive a full refund if they withdraw before the class begins. Families who withdraw after class begins will receive a prorated refund based on the time remaining in the class. (For classes purchased on or after 10/5/2020: Refunds made more than 30 days from purchase date will be docked a 10% administrative processing fee.)
If the withdrawal is for schedule conflicts or a learner struggling with class content, I am happy to work with families to try to find solutions.
I try my very best to avoid class cancellations. I often teach classes even if the minimum number of enrollees has not been met. However, I do reserve the right to cancel a class if the minimum enrollment is not met. I will do so 48 hours before class begins and issue full refunds.
In the event of an emergency that requires me to cancel an individual session, I will work with individual learners to find a sufficient make-up strategy. This may include a recorded session or a rescheduled session.
In the rare event of an emergency that requires me to cancel a substantial portion of the class, I will either find a substitute or issue prorated refunds for the class. If I must find a substitute, families will have the option to receive a prorated refund instead of continuing the class.
Mindfulness classes build on each other, and it’s important for learners to be present for all of the classes. I understand that unexpected things happen. My only request is that before you sign up for a class, you look at your schedule or the schedule of your child(ren) and make sure there are no conflicts that you know of. One, at most. Your classmates count on you being there and the classes tend to become strong, cohesive groups that rely on one another and trust one another. But this only happens when everyone is consistently present.
I recognize that students—both kids and parents—have different comfort levels and experience with participating in online class environments. Students are welcome to participate in the way that works best for them. I strongly prefer students to appear on camera, although I don’t require actual verbal participation. If you prefer dim lighting, that’s okay. Trauma-sensitive mindfulness is best practiced when I can see what’s going on, and if someone is getting upset or dysregulated. We go for minutes, sometimes, without dialogue, and I need all of the information I can gather about your experience.
Mindfulness doesn’t “work” without home practice. The class meetings merely support what you are doing in your life outside of class, which is where all the magic happens.
Mindfulness classes, therefore, are for people who are interested in doing the inner work the curriculum recommends. For MBSR that’s 45 minutes of guided meditation per day (which often results in falling asleep, and that’s okay and I can explain how to work with that). For non-MBSR, home practice is a fraction of that, however with that likely comes a less-powerful experience.
It is important to me that all students have a safe and enjoyable classroom experience, so I have some behavioral guidelines to help us in that direction. My general behavioral guidelines are as follows (and will also be announced directly to students in an age-appropriate way):
- Mute microphones if there is excessive background noise
- Raise your hand if you would like to speak
- No interruption/talking over others
- No advice-giving (which can be very difficult for parents!)
- No mean-spirited language
- Students must wear clothing when on camera
- I don’t use the chat function except for private chats to me as I find it distracting, and part of the reason for the classes is to learn how to focus and pay attention.
- No sharing contact information with other students without parent permission
- No disruptive behavior that distracts other learners (such as constantly changing background screen, changing screen name to something silly, making faces at the camera, etc.)
Response to Behavioral Concerns
My top priority is that all learners get the best experience they can out of the class. This means that my response to behavioral concerns is to address the individual problem with the least amount of disruption to the student concerned as possible. In general, I try to mitigate a specific behavior rather than remove a student from the classroom or limit their participation.
Here are some examples of ways that I may address behavioral issues in order from least to most invasive:
- Privately reach out to students to ask them to stop the behavior during class.
- Reach out to students and their families to brainstorm a solution to a behavioral issue outside of class.
- Require a parent/guardian to be present during live sessions in the event of repeat behavioral violations.
- Remove a student from live sessions but allow them to continue in the rest of the course and send recordings.
- Remove a student from the class.
In the very rare event that a student is removed from a class for behavioral concerns, a prorated refund will be given.
My policies also extend to the way I treat learners in the classroom. I believe that respect is the foundation of positive educational experiences, so I have the following policies in place to help ensure that my respect for learners is centered in my interactions.
- I will call learners by their preferred name and use their preferred pronouns.
- I will announce methods to get my attention in the case that a learner is having trouble being heard in class. These can include using the “raise hand” button, sending me a private message, or creating alternative ways for a learner to participate that works best for them.
- I will do my best to accommodate requests for alterations that help make materials accessible.
- I will be available for questions outside of class and answer those questions in a timely manner (generally within 24 hours).
- I will give feedback in a constructive way that respects the efforts learners have made.
- I will be understanding of learner differences and individual personalities and be as flexible as possible as I strike a balance between keeping the class productive for everyone and allowing room for everyone’s individual needs.