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Emergency Cancellation

QuestionQuestion
Sue L., California

I am sad to say that my mother-in-law is very ill and may pass any day. I sent an email to my students and parents giving them a head’s up. So if/when I have to cancel lessons, they will be ready. Also I did it because it saves talking about it during lesson time. This is when it is hard to be self-employed, as taking time off now, especially after the holidays, is very hard on our finances. I wish I had a back-up teacher who would take my lessons for free. (now that would be a Dream Come True) I appreciate any thoughts or words of wisdom you can share.

Answer
Missy M., Nebraska

Instead of raising tuition over the 11 years I’ve taught, I schedule more weeks off during the year. Included in that are “floater” breaks for unplanned occasions like bad weather, illness, emergencies.

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Paula W., Michigan

On my studio calendar I have six major holidays and two “floating” holidays I use at my discretion for vacation, sick, bad weather, etc. If I need to use more than the two, I schedule a make-up day. Tuition is the same every month regardless of the number of lessons.

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Joy O., Alabama

You might try to plan for some make-up lessons, even in advance, so you can take the time off you need. Offer to do an extra lesson per week for students now, anticipating that they will have a missed week.

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Kerry V., Australia

I have on a few occasions taught for other teachers. One I was able to teach her students on line, that way they still had lessons and I got to learn more about using on line way of teaching. I taught for a teacher last year for 3 weeks while she was away, another time one went overseas to be with her ill mother. Another one, my first one I can’t remember. That is what’s so good about SM that you can roll on from any teacher, especially just for a short stint.

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Nancy N., New Hampshire

I charge by the month now September through May. June is reserved for making up any lessons canceled by me or missed due to snowstorms. For a couple years I offered 2 makeups for student absences, but now I don’t because there’s not enough time in the year for that. I travel in the summer, and most of my students do too.

Original discussion started January 14, 2019

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