It is not unusual for at least one student a class to not attend for whatever reasons: they have to wash their hair, there is a football game on television that night, something I said to them the week before hurt their feelings and they have not yet emotionally recovered. But recently, of the four classes I teach each week, I had to cancel two due to lack of students and the other two were under strength, one having only one student in attendance.
After more than thirty years of teaching I still find this disturbing.
I have trouble understanding why any student would choose to do anything rather than train. Instructors, yes, I have no problems empathising when they do not want to turn up and teach, but students, no.
Over the years, however, I have stopped taking it so personally. I used to think it was up to me to motivate students to want to attend the classes; that if they were not there, there must be something wrong with either the content or the teaching.
Fortunately, I have not felt this way for quite some time.
There is enough hindsight to know the classes are always well structured, the content relevant and well taught, no matter who is taking the class.
So if a student chooses not to attend for whatever, lets face it, to me, irrelevant reasons, it is a reflection of their personal circumstances and not a reflection on the School.
I will probably always regard such decisions as short sighted and borderline crazy, and patiently wait for the day when they can see the Path.
What do you do if the bird does not sing?