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#961584 - 07/18/07 04:58 PM Maternity Leave
mjelle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 38
Loc: OH
There was an old post about this topic, from 2005, I thought I'd see if there were any fresh perspectives.

What is the protocol for taking maternity leave as a private teacher? I was thinking 6-8 weeks would be enough.

How do you prepare your students, and how do you prepare the parents for the time off? I am worried some will be expecting to have lessons. I am starting a 10 month teaching year, with the cost of lessons averaged out so I have a steady income. Obviously I will have time off during this 10 months, do I still charge the same flat rate monthly, and just take 2 months off? Or do I refigure my teaching year and include the time off in cost of lessons resulting in lower tuition?

Any advice is appreciated!

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#961585 - 07/18/07 05:14 PM Re: Maternity Leave
elainelynn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/01/07
Posts: 215
Loc: Michigan
When are you due? I'm due in November and will be taking leave indefinitely - probably for at least a year. I have mixed feelings about it but this is my second child and I haven't been able to find reliable, flexible part-time child care for two kids that is also cost-effective.

Anyway I don't have any advice but I am very much looking forward to seeing the responses you get.


#961586 - 07/18/07 05:20 PM Re: Maternity Leave
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
This is one of the disadvantages of working for yourself. On the one hand, you are free to take as much time off as you like. On the other, you can't really expect students to keep paying for lessons they are not having and also you run the risk that some may wish to go elsewhere rather than wait for your return. My wife and I have decided not to have children. It just seems such a difficult thing to fit into our lives with us both teaching privately evenings and weekends.

I will be interested to read the views of those who have had children and how they have adapted their teaching as a result.

mjelle, how will your teaching schedule be affected by starting a family?
Pianist and piano teacher.

#961587 - 07/19/07 11:38 AM Re: Maternity Leave
sarabande Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 1597
Loc: Mo.
When my kids were babies and toddlers, I only had a few students of those who had asked me to teach their kids knowing I was planning to eventually teach but before I was officially ready to give piano lessons. My husband watched kids 2 evenings a week while a gave lessons. Those coming at the time were willing to still take lessons with the possibility of occasional crying babies in the backround. I did tell those families taking lessons, if there were to be a major disruption, I wouldn't charge for the lesson but although there was the occasional sound of a crying baby in the backround (other room), most students weren't bothered by it and it was rarely disrupted. Probably more noticable is the occasional lawn mower or chainsaw running in the neighborhood! But all those families taking lessons were made aware of the possibility of occasional disruption and were fine with it.

If I wanted to have a full studio, I would hire a babysitter, even a teenager/college student could watch kids in another area of the house. Or if complete elimination of disruptions are desired, have kids watched somewhere else, someone else's home or daycare, etc.

I found it easier to teach with kids around once they outgrew the baby and toddler stage. The last few years, my kids entertain themselves well after school and I could give about 3 lessons each afternoon while kids play and/or watch tv quietly elsewhere in the house. I have paid my kids to be good! - giving them $1 out of each hour of teaching if they don't interupt or have a problem while I'm teaching. That's cheaper than a babysitter.

I did find it difficult to teach when I had my first child because my mind was so much on my child and although I always loved music and playing the piano, even that seemed less signicant and not as interesting to me being enamered by a new baby. So I don't think I put my best foot forward in piano teaching at least for the 1st couple years of a new baby. But after that I grew back into loving and wanting to devote more time and attention to music and teaching.

I'm not sure how to advise on maternity leave and how to or whether to charge in lessons - but it's a good question. I suppose how to handle it would be similar to any other type of self-employment.

#961588 - 07/19/07 09:44 PM Re: Maternity Leave
mjelle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 38
Loc: OH
I currently have a 7 and 5 year old, in the same situation. They entertain themselves or student's siblings while I teach. They have learned not to interupt, and my families know and understand that I have kids. I started teaching however, after they were born about 3 years ago, so I have never had to handle a baby and teaching. I am lucky to have my mom close by to help with babysitting or I would really be in trouble!

#961589 - 07/20/07 03:29 AM Re: Maternity Leave
pevawi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 232
Loc: The Netherlands
First congratulations!

From my student point of view it's perfectly normal that you should leave for 2 months. However I wouldn't pay for it. It's your risk (bad word in this context). And you will loose some students because they won't wait for two months, but that's all business as usual, shouldn't worry about that. When you feel ready to start again you can fill those spots by taking on new students. I would inform your students before they start their 10 month/yearly investment. That gives them time to sign-off and find an other teacher.
Kawai K6


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