I recently had an employee take over a class that I was unable to teach anymore. He was an amazing instructor but, he was over weight. The class went from averaging 16 participants to 3 participants. I had a few members comment on his weight and make it known that is why they would not attend that class anymore. Is it okay for clientel to be biased about their instructors/trainers?
I want to add just a little to Michelle’s excellent answer:
People often hate change that has been imposed on them. I am sure the participants had gotten used to your style of instruction and may have found fault with anybody else who would have taken over the class. And then there is the aspect of changing from a female instructor to a guy.
How was he introduced to the group? How suddenly? Any “warning”? Did you acquaint the group with the new instructor? Also: are there a few ‘ringleaders’ in the class that influence everybody’s opinion? On the other hand: does he teach other classes where he is well liked and respected? If yes, what’s the difference?
But in the end: people are entitled to their biases whether we agree with them or not. This is a very tricky situation, and I wish you good luck.