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#950217 - 04/29/08 09:51 AM Leaving position
kissyana Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 201
Loc: Northeast Illinois
I am leaving one of my teaching positions. I have too much on my plate and at this point and it is effecting my work, teaching, and health. I will be leaving several wonderful students and I know I will miss them dearly. My last day will be in late June. I've never done anything like this before and I was wondering when I should notify my students/their parents. My instincts are to notify them right away because I like to be open and honest. I just need a bit of guidance. This is not a "job" that I can just walk away from.

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#950218 - 04/29/08 11:20 AM Re: Leaving position
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4983
Loc: boston north
Oh, I know kissyana...teaching is not just 'a job'. We get so involved with our students.

I think you should let them know fairly soon. A letter written, yes, but in person during the lesson would be better.

And to have some kind of wrapping up session with your students will feel so much better for you and for them.

You could also guide them finding a new teacher and even have something on each student that could be passed to the new teacher -

Each student could put on a personal recital for you in the last lesson or a group lesson could be made with 4 students for 2 hrs to share music with one another and then a wrap up with piano games, picture taking, zoom recording etc.

You could call it a celebration of what we have learned together!

A list of books to carry them over for the summer, or even books that you buy for them (they pay you back) would help during the time without a teacher. (Most teachers start a set of new students in the fall.)

Best regards to you, LL
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

#950219 - 04/29/08 01:07 PM Re: Leaving position
AZNpiano Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 6510
Loc: Orange County, CA
Well, if I expect my students to give me a one-month written notice for quitting, I'd provide the same courtesy for them. I never had to do this (yet!), but I would imagine the following:

1) Give each parent a letter, using apologetic tone and showing gratitude for what has transpired so far in lessons.

2) Make the final lessons as pleasant as possible. Don't assign big, new pieces. Work on perfecting some little ones, fun pieces.

3) Play for the students. Introduce them to pieces that they can work on with their new teacher. Make recommendations for books.

4) Obviously, make professional referrals to other piano teachers in the area. When my first piano teacher left the country, she handed me and all of her students to her friend and colleague, who turned out to be a better, more experienced and responsible, teacher.
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

#950220 - 04/30/08 11:22 AM Re: Leaving position
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
i think 'playing for students' is a great idea, and a teacher should be proud of going away with a recital like that, and i would be grateful if my teacher would do that for me when he leaves this year.

#950221 - 04/30/08 01:26 PM Re: Leaving position
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 13739
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
A month's notice is fine. Along with a letter (and I recommend personalizing each one to discuss the pleasure you've had with the student, etc.), you should send a list of teachers in the area to help them get started in finding a new teacher. Be sure that you know the teachers you are referring, and if you don't know them, call them up and find out if they are worth referring. I would send the letter first, then openly discuss things with parents and kids at the lesson. I don't think telling them in person would be good, because I'm sure there would be tears. Let the child and parents react at home, and then they'll be better prepared for it during the last lessons.
private piano/voice teacher FT

#950222 - 04/30/08 01:43 PM Re: Leaving position
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7639
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
When my wife & I made the decision to return to the USA from Germany, I started notifying students in June, then announced it "officially" at the June recital. I said I would continue teaching until the movers came and got the pianos. About half of the students continued in the Fall, right up until November when the pianos were picked up. Believe me, it was tough leaving. But think of all the great students I've had here in the last 10 years.
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

#950223 - 04/30/08 03:08 PM Re: Leaving position
kissyana Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 201
Loc: Northeast Illinois
Thank you for all your suggestions. I am really going to miss these students. I like the idea of playing for them, writing letters, etc. I'm not sure if I'm really allowed to give them a list of teachers since I work at a music school and signed a contract saying I wouldn't steal students and such. Most of them will probably switch to another teacher at the school.
John- I would have been one of those students who stayed until those pianos were moved!


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