Morning Coffee Time for Teachers ☕️ | Talking About Burnout for Teachers

Good morning my fellow teachers! The morning is always the best time to begin preparing for your day. I have been lucky to create my own a schedule because I am a piano teacher. I know that other teachers have to wake up earlier than I do to get to their classrooms. Whichever kind of teacher you are, I hope that your morning goes well and that you are extra productive today! Most of all, I hope that your day runs smoothly. These two wishes are what I wish for my days every day. Not every day is good, but each morning is the start of a new day.

Today, I want to talk about burnout for teachers. Teachers have burnouts all the time. Our students don’t know this about us, but we are human. There are good days and there are bad days too. Most of all, there are days that I don’t enjoy teaching. It’s nothing related to my students, but I sometimes feel burnt out on teaching in general. I have to find ways to relax or else I almost break down.

As a teacher, I don’t treat my students badly if I am having a bad day. It’s not their fault and they definitely do not deserve a mean teacher. I have to hide my emotions from them. In my heart, I wish that I could take a short break from teaching for awhile. I need some time to myself. I have to not think about teaching for three or four hours at a time. After I take a break, I feel so much better. When you have a day like this, try to treat yourself to something nice or take a small break. Try not to be too hard on yourself. Burnout is real for teachers and it can be so hard. It’s difficult because we are almost always around our students. We cannot show them our frustrations.

Often, the weekends are the best time for me to try relaxing from the work week. I feel guilty taking this time away, but I need it. I try not to answer any messages or phone calls during the weekend. I need some space. Once I have this space, I notice that I am a much better teacher when I come back from the weekend.

As a teacher, be nice to yourself. You deserve a break and don’t overwork yourself. A happy teacher is a great teacher. Try to remember that you are only human and you will make mistakes! Making small mistakes doesn’t make you a bad teacher. We are all in the same boat and you are not alone. Take care of yourself and avoid burnout!

Pocketful of learning – Can Teachers Have Blogs?

It has been nearly three years of having a blog and I am still thinking back to the days when I first began blogging. This blogging experience has been a whirlwind of learning lessons. I feel like I have learned so much and the biggest question that is on my mind is: can teachers have blogs? Even further, we should ask if teachers should have a blog. There’s a lot of questions that needs answers. I hope I can shed some light and answer these two questions.

Can teachers have blogs?

The answer is yes. There is nothing stopping teachers from having blogs. We have the right to speak our mind about anything. Teachers are just like anyone else. If a teacher wants to create a blog, then they will. There are plenty of teaching blogs online and they have been very successful.

One thing I would caution to teachers that have blogs is to never mention the names of their students or post pictures of their students without their permission. If you want to start a teaching blog, my best advice is to talk more about ideas/concepts than to speak about specific names/places.

Should teachers have a blog?

The answer to this question differs. It depends on why you want to have a blog. Are you looking to monetize your blog or is your purpose to start giving online lessons? It depends on what your goals are. If having a blog makes sense for you, then don’t be afraid to start one. Creating a blog takes a lot of time and effort. If you are thinking of making one, don’t waste time contemplating. It took a long time for me to create my blog. I had to constantly work at and continue to expand my blog presence. All the work that you put into your blog now will pay off in the future. Start your blog today and I hope you enjoy creating a teaching blog as much as I enjoy creating mine!

How to start a piano studio

Starting a piano studio from scratch is a daunting task. It is easy to be discouraged when you find yourself not acquiring any new students. Do not give up! Everything that you are feeling is normal and it takes time to build a successful piano studio. Make sure that your mindset is in a good place because you do not want to build something with the mindset that this is a quick way to make money. Building a successful piano studio takes time and patience.

The first step to building a piano studio is to decide which piano method book that you are going to teach with. I recommend going to a music store and looking through the books to see which one fits your teaching style the best. The reason why I recommend doing this is because I wish that I would have went through and researched method books before I started teaching. The more familiar you are with the books, the easier piano teaching will be for you. Familiarity also brings credibility when you start acquiring piano students.

The next step is to start telling people that you are teaching. I recommend telling people around you like family and friends, but also post on social media everywhere. It’s not enough to post only once a month. The best method of remaining top of mind is to post once a week. I would also recommend creating a flyer because the best way to not have to repeat all of your studio details is to just hand out your flyer to all prospective clients.

My main advice is to build a strong presence on social media. Social media is a slow platform for advertising, but it has been the most effective for me. I’ve found that I can rely on it overtime. I don’t always get messages from new students every day. However, I will get messages once or twice a week. My logic is that if I am posting free advertising on a social media platform, the consistent income I receive from a student each week pays for it. I have also been known to buy $1/day ads. I’m not running ads currently, but they are super effective. If you want to rely on free advertising, post at the beginning of each week in Facebook groups and the first of each month. Use a scheduler to post to your facebook story three times a week during the most popular times. Most importantly, update your post frequently to show that you are managing your piano studio well.

Once you receive your first piano student, think about payment details. More specifically, let them know which form of payment is best (zelle, cash, PayPal, etc…) and when you want to be paid (each lesson, every other week, or the first of each month). All of these details are important to be clear about before starting lessons. Make sure you and your student are on the same page with expectations. Communication is the most important factor of building a successful piano studio.

The next step is to start your first lesson! This is the most exciting part of starting a piano studio. The nervousness of not knowing how your first lesson will be is normal. I was super nervous when I had my first lesson. I also had no idea how to teach. Afterwards, I found myself so exhausted from just a 30 minute lesson! Don’t let your new student know that this is your first lesson. Go to this lesson prepared with music books, pencils, and extra paper. All of your materials should be prepared in advance. If you want, you can gift your student some new materials that they can keep. It’s your first lesson with them and try to remember that they are also excited too! After the lesson, take some time to reflect on how you can improve on your teaching. If this is your first time teaching, try not to be too harsh on yourself. Remember that you are learning also and teaching takes practice to get better at. It is expected that you will have some hiccups in the first few lessons. Reflect each time on how you can improve your lessons and you will get better at teaching.

My last piece of advice is to consistently find ways to market/advertise your studio. I currently own my real estate business and I am always looking for new clients. Think of your studio as a bucket that you are consistently refilling with water. Not all students are going to be loyal and stay with you for many years. I think that long-term students are great, but they are also rare. Have expectations that you will say goodbye to some students, but also be sure to welcome the new students. I describe new students as a bundle of sunshine because they are so happy and eager to learn the piano. I can’t wait to be a part of their piano journey. It’s exciting and it brings me joy when other students eventually leave my piano studio. In summary, spend as much time as you can looking for new students. As you fill your time slots, the nervousness of losing students will be gone because your consistently replenishing your time slots with new students. Be sure to have fun and I wish you all the best of luck in starting your new piano studio!

How I balance my work life and personal life as a piano teacher – and also as a real estate agent!

I don’t think I have announced this yet, but I am officially a real estate agent. I have been working on this journey to becoming a real estate agent for a couple of months. It happened during Covid when I had a mini crises about what I should do with my life. I know that I must have been acting very dramatic, but I took the plunge into studying for the real estate exam. All of this took place when the lockdown was happening. I am still teaching the piano full time and I’m also taking continuing education classes for real estate. Life has been amazing. I’ve talked about this before, but I feel like so much has changed in my life. I am so grateful for all the blessings that I’ve had over the past couple of months. I can’t wait to continue to work harder, and continue to enjoy life with my husband and my yorkie.

The most important thing I always remember during the week is that I am working hard to make sure my small family has a great life. You have to remember what you are ultimately working hard for. When you have your why, everything just falls into place. My husband and I have goals to move to our dream place. Each day I work hard for 10+ hours, I remember why I do so.

Another important aspect of balancing my work life with my personal life is that I have the weekends to spend with my family. We spend a lot of time together on the weekends. The weekends are when we plan our fun activities. I have something to look forward to every week because I know that the weekends are ours to enjoy.

My biggest piece of advice is to plan things to look forward to. Plan a vacation that you are really excited for. Reward yourself for teaching your milestones and set goals. When you have a purpose, going to work each day becomes so much easier. Continue to work hard every day. It will pay off!

The impact of recording piano videos and how it changed my piano studio

When I began reviving my music studio, I always had a dream of recording my own piano videos of myself playing the piano. It is one of my top favorite things to do and I always envied other piano teachers that were posting videos of themselves playing the piano. I dreamt of this for so long, but I never acted on it. It wasn’t until I realized that I wanted to record my own piano lessons that I knew that I should also record myself playing the piano. If I was going to do it, I knew that I had to record a lot of videos. I didn’t want others to think that I was only recording two or three videos. I wanted the community to notice that I could play multiple pieces and that I was working hard on my craft. I slowly began posting. It began to change my life. I never noticed how many people watched my videos and how they would respond to it. The response from everyone was of awe.

When I was in a lesson today, one of my students told me that they watched my videos. I felt like a famous YouTuber even though I’m not even close to that level of popularity. They asked me to play some songs that I played in my videos. The response from the community has been more than I could ever imagine. I love recording. I now understand why famous pianists record themselves playing the piano. It takes awhile to record piano videos, but the response makes it all worth it.

A huge reason why I also wanted to record piano videos was because it would show the community that I am serious about the piano. I wanted them to know that I am worth my lesson price. I have more followers on my Facebook page than last year and more people follow the page every day. It amazes me that people like my videos. I hope to make more of them. I gained many new students just form posting my videos. I imagine that in the future, I will also post double bass videos to garner more double bass students. If you are a teacher that is looking for more students, I highly recommend trying to record yourself playing your instrument! Let me know how it goes!