Monday, May 9, 2011

Pros and Cons of Teaching From Home

     Although I'm passionate about teaching piano, I am first a wife and mother.  So that means that there are times when piano teaching takes a back burner.  Last week sickness hit our house just in time for me to have to cancel my lessons on Thursday. I only teach part time anyway, so go figure that an interruption would happen right before my teaching day, right?! Murphy's Law in full swing, I say. :) But it got me thinking about some of the pros and cons of teaching from home:

1. If sickness strikes, lessons likely have to be cancelled, even if Teacher-Mom isn't sick. 
2. If Daddy-Babysitter is late getting home, lessons are a bit more challenging with trying to keep 2 toddlers calm and quiet.....but then if they're TOO quiet Mom-Teacher starts to worry and is distracted from teaching. (This has actually only happened to me once)
3. Babysitter-Daddy has to be creative in keeping children semi-calm or take them outside for several hours.
4. The home studio may feel less professional to some students (mainly adults).
5. You have to carry a tenants package with your insurance company. (We probably wouldn't otherwise)

1. You can set your own hours (love this!) :)
2. Babysitting services are right under your own roof- you married him! (love this too)
3. You can set your own wages.
4. You can still be a stay at home Mom while living your dream.
5. You don't have to share your studio space, instrument, and teaching aids with other teachers/students.
6. The teaching relationship is more individual (instead of getting the feeling that they are just another student, as happens sometimes with university and conservatory teachers).
7. You can choose your own vacation time(s).

     Those are the main ones on my mind.  I see the pros a lot more than the cons, and I am so thankful for the privilege to work from home and not have to leave my children or have a ridiculous shift to work. I've served my time with jobs like that, but there's nothing better than getting paid to do what you love. Sure, there are challenges, but what a rewarding "job" we have, teachers!  
      Teacher-Moms (or Mom-Teachers depending on the moment!), what are the pros and cons in your life when it comes to teaching from home?


Heidi said...

I love the picture of your piano room! The carpet looks miraculously light/clean for a mom of 2 little ones.
Another benefit of teaching at home is that my family gets to hear a lot of music!

Leah said...

Heidi, I wish that was my piano room but it's just a pic I had on my computer. The piano looks like mine, though.
Great point about the family hearing music! I've noticed that even when I play classical pieces my 2 and 4 year olds pick up on the melody and hum along when I'm playing. And sometimes I hear them humming those same tunes while they play- I think that is awesome!! I'm hoping it will get them interested in classical repertoire and in learning to play (which they won't have a choice in). :)

Shauna Leavitt said...

This is my first year teaching as a new 1st time mom. It's been a challenging year for me with juggling babysitters and my dear husband's work schedule. I've had to relax a bit and just take each day as they come. Sometimes you just can't predict when your child will be sick or when your sitter cancels - but that's why it's nice being my 'own' boss. Teaching has always been such a big part of my life, but now I have this little one that has taken priority. :)

Leah said...

Yes, sometimes it is difficult to make everything work. Thankfully, it seems that as children get a little older, they can entertain themselves a bit better for small time blocks. For this reason I don't have my lessons totally back to back. I leave some time in between for family needs- it makes my teaching time a little longer but that way I can "check in" with the kids and my husband throughout the evening and make sure they have supper, etc.

Anonymous said...

I love teching from home! You have a great pros and cons list here. While I am not a mom (yet), I think having the flexibility to set your own ours and accommodate your/your families own schedule is great. I've also worked in a studio setting, and having to lug around all my teaching aids was a huge pain! Also, while some people may think your home studio is "unprofessional", I also ink that some people really appreciate the comfortable setting of a home studio. Mi casa es su casa"

Leah said...

Great thoughts. I agree- the home studio can be even more personal than a public studio could ever be. And that is so important, especially for students who are nervous about who is around when they play. I have one like that, and I work really hard to make her feel at ease so she can play her pieces well.

LaDona said...

I'm on the other end of this - my oldest (of 3) is in University and my youngest is already 14. Teaching at home has been good - yes, there have been the challenges especially when the kids were younger - but overall I wouldn't have done it any other way.

The years go SO fast! I remember what a much older teacher said to me a few years back and I quote, "I wish someone would have told me to relax more when my kids were younger. I wish I had known how much time I would have to only be concerned with my husband and my teaching."

I'm beginning to see what she meant.

Leah said...

LaDona, that is such great advice! Thanks for sharing that- I needed that reminder about relaxing more when the kids are young.