Teaching tip Tuesday: Give yourself a vacation!

Teaching Tip #7: Give yourself a vacation!

When I plan out my teaching calendar, I make sure to give myself needed and desired vacation time. As a self-employed private music teacher, you deserve a vacation just as much as any employee of a company! Tuition is always the same amount each month, even if some months have three lessons and some have five. You may need to get your students’ parents used to this idea, but it makes so much more sense. If you plan it out in advance and let students know (I like to send out a calendar at the beginning of each semester), you will be able to enjoy those times (such as Christmas break, your summer vacation, etc.) without worrying about not being paid for a couple of weeks out of the month. When the semester’s tuition is broken up into equal monthly payments, you are essentially getting paid vacation time.

In addition to the obvious holiday breaks (Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.) I like to take days off such as my birthday, family birthdays (don’t want to be teaching on my child’s birthday, no sirree!), any holidays that land on a teaching day that my husband is not in school, etc. You work hard, give yourself a break!

Happy Tuesday!

Jennifer Boster

3 Responses to “Teaching tip Tuesday: Give yourself a vacation!

  • This is my second year doing flat monthly payments with a set calendar for the entire year. I love it! Question: how do you handle your own sick days? (I ask since, I am having one right now…) Do you simply find ways to make up any lessons missed due to your illness? Do you find it hard to take needed time when you are sick because of the pressure of having to find time for makeups?

  • Hi Luba! Thanks for the comment, and I'm sorry you're sick! That is an excellent question. I do a couple of things: 1) I usually build in an extra week or two into my calendar, so students each have a "freebie" week (so, for example each student should receive 18 lessons during the semester, but there are 19 weeks available) – this way, students can use their free week for vacation or sickness of their own. Or sometimes, they don't use it, and it is available for a day when I am sick. 2) I don't generally do make-up lessons, but I definitely have no problem with it when I am sick. When you're sick you need the day off! I wish I was better at preparing for sick days though – like building in a specific "make-up day" into the calendar (that's probably what I'll do from now on) or something. Sometimes I give extra time at a couple of lessons to make up a sick day. Or I make it up later in the week (which can be hard with a full schedule, though!). I'd love to hear what others do in this situation! 🙂

  • I also do a flat monthly tuition rate, regardless of the number of lessons given. As for sick days, my studio policy states that I have two "bonus" weeks built in to my annual calendar to off-set any unplanned time off I might need. If I don't take the time then they get 2 extra lessons.