maternity leave advice please? :)

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speccyboo
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maternity leave advice please? :)

Post by speccyboo » 13 Jul 2010, 18:45

hi fellow pianists,
i am 12 weeks pregnant and need to start thinking about what i'm going to do about my 6 piano students. i am due at the end of January so initial thoughts are that i keep them going til Christmas. my main priority is one of my students is taking grade 2 in november and of course i don't want to abandon any of them but i will obviously need to stop teaching for a while when the baby arrives. what i can't decide on is how long and what to do about it. i have been thinking for a while about teaching from home, which would make life a little easier, but obviously i would need hubby or mum about to babysit. lessons only take up just over 3 hours of my time every week at the moment, spread out over wednesday, thursday and saturday.
i am thinking i will need to have a plan in place by september as i will be showing by then and the parents will want to know what's happening. the last lessons of this term are next week so i want to have a vague idea of what i'm doing by then.
i'm wondering if i give up teaching for a little while if i should find them a replacement teacher or let them look themselves, and if they find a fabulous one will i ever get them back??
has anyone got any advice please? thanks.

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: maternity leave advice please? :)

Post by Colin Nicholson » 16 Jul 2010, 08:15

If you have a good relationship with your pupils, and depending on how long you have been teaching them, you shouldn't have any problems resuming tuition with them in a few weeks during maternity. I have 18 pupils myself, and last year went to Australia for 5 weeks - and I well-informed them how long I was away, and made sure it didn't coincide with any exam periods.

It all depends on "Mum" aswell!! (great they are), and hopefully being able to work around a baby sitter so you can resume your teaching. Have you told your pupils/parents that you are pregnant?
Best to tell them immediately I think, and as long as you give them a rough idea how long you may be out of action, they should have trust in you. I know of a young girl who works in a bar..... she took one week off to have her baby, then back to work!! Obviously the first few weeks are very important for you to form a bond with your new baby.

I have never found replacement teachers for my pupils - don't think of it - not necessary, even once when I took nearly 2 months off. Of course you may have to reschedule them to come to you (assuming you travel to all of them) - if you did find a replacement, yes, you may not see their return - but most parents & pupils will build up a trust with you, accept Mother Nature to take its course (and remembering that pregnancy is not an illness - like my daughter once thought!!) - so it all depends on how smoothly the pregnancy runs, and keeping fingers crossed there are no complications. I can't obviously speak for you (and I'm a bloke!!) - but as long as you let them know, your Grade 2 pupil will probably willingly come to you. I teach piano in Bradford/Halifax/ Leeds - and sometimes they come to me. I am sure your pupil's parents will support you 100%
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speccyboo
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Re: maternity leave advice please? :)

Post by speccyboo » 16 Jul 2010, 10:20

hi, thanks for your reply.
i haven't told pupils or parents yet, as i don't have my first scan til next week, so i haven't told many people at all, only very close family. the last lessons of term have been this week, so i'm thinking i'll either ring round a couple of weeks before we start again in september, or write them all a letter or something with my vague plans in. I think i'm going to have to play it by ear and see how i get on. i will definitely keep doing lessons up til christmas, so my grade 2 boy will be ok for november, and maybe after christmas they could have the odd top-up lesson every month or so depending on how i get on, then get back to weekly lessons after easter. i'm hoping that the parents all agree to bring their kids here as at the moment i go to them.
oh it's all so much to think about!! i don't want them to think i'm letting them down at all so i want to be definite about what i'm going to do but i can't because this is my first pregnancy so i have no idea how it's all going to work out.
more thinking needed. :?

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Re: maternity leave advice please? :)

Post by Celestite » 07 Aug 2010, 19:57

Hi Speccyboo.

Hope all's going well for you. If you haven't already solved your dilemma regarding what to do with your pupils, perhaps I could tell you how I went about it when I had my son. The timing of your little arrival coincides nicely with Christmas and all the distractions which that involves so by the time January gets here your little one will be about 3 months, at which point you may well be desperate for some form of mental stimulation which doesn't revolve around nappy changes, feeding and sleeping! When I took maternity leave (and I had an awful lot more than 3 hours a week teaching) I packed all my pupils off with a bundle of work after clearing their exam commitments, with strict instructions to phone me if they got in a tizz. I'm very lucky with all my lot, in that we have a very good relationship, so the Mums were delighted with an excuse to keep up to date with all the news, and the pupils were chuffed to bits to be in charge of their progress with me on the end of the phone if need be. When I did resume teaching, ok, they hadn't made as much progress as they would have done if they'd still been seeing me, but it took very little time to get back in to the groove of things and, if anything, the break did us all good.

Hope this is of some help - good luck with everything (I'm also a dab hand at sleeping problems, heaven forbid you need it!!!)

speccyboo
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Re: maternity leave advice please? :)

Post by speccyboo » 19 Sep 2010, 13:53

a little update from me. :)
i have now told all my students and parents, there was only 3 phone calls to make and i made them the week before lessons were due to start again. all the parents are very pleased for me and are all very willing to change lesson times, bring their kids here for lessons, etc basically do anything to help me out which is fabulous. i am still sticking to the original plan of continuing until Christmas, and having the kids come here for their lessons after half term, so from the beginning of November. Only 1 parent has mentioned the possibility of finding another teacher, and only from the point of view that i might change my mind after baby arrives and decide that i don't want to teach anymore! they are all happy with taking the spring term off as well, and also that plans may change at any time. i am counting myself lucky that they are a lovely bunch of people.
now i need to have a mega tidy up of my house before november, and find out if i need any insurance or anything like that, as i am a bit clueless about that sort of thing. can anyone suggest what i might need?
thanks.

Gill the Piano
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Re: maternity leave advice please? :)

Post by Gill the Piano » 19 Sep 2010, 20:09

Hot water and plenty of towels...? :lol: Why don't you have a look at the Incorporated Society of Musicians website? If youh were to join them (£150 a year) you'd be insured anyway. Or ask your local insurance broker. ISM might be cheaper.
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