Forum Q&A | Safety Practices for Traveling Teachers

Wow, last week’s Forum Q&A received some great responses about advertising!  Thank you, and be sure to read what everyone had to say by clicking here!  As always, it’s never to late to add  your thoughts to the discussion.

A few days ago, I received an email from a Color In My Piano reader with this question:

When traveling to a new students’ homes, how can you screen students before agreeing to teach them?  What kind of safety precautions can be taken before going to a stranger’s house (especially an adult student)?  If they sound questionable on the phone, is there a way to politely decline giving them lessons?

Please leave your advice in the comments below!

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Joy Morin is a piano teacher in Perrysburg, Ohio (United States) who enjoys keeping her teaching fresh with new ideas and resources. ColorInMyPiano.com serves as a journal of her adventures in piano teaching as well as a place to exchange ideas and resources.

Joy has blogged 1119 posts here.

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7 Comments

  1. Posted 20 September 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    I just had a questionable adult ask for lessons at home; I told him that I was full and am not taking students. One good safety precaution is to schedule another student directly after the drive-to one, so that if something should happen, someone will know right away. Maybe I have watched too much 20/20, but that’s what I always do!

  2. Posted 20 September 2011 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    When I was driving to students’ homes I would make sure someone had my “route” with the phone numbers, addresses and names. If it was an adult student we met for coffee in public for an initial “interview” with the understanding that I was “full” and putting people on a waiting list. If we clicked then I suddenly had an opening :)! Obviously having a cell phone is a must. I have to admit I’m glad those days are behind me LOL!

  3. Erin
    Posted 20 September 2011 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I don’t travel to student’s homes, but now that students are coming to MY home there are some similar concerns. I try to schedule in back-to-back chunks, so that someone’s due at the house soon.

    There was one incident where I was contacted by a slightly odd-sounding adult student, and we met for the first lesson at a church practice room rather than at my house. That was easy enough to arrange & excuse.

    Finally, because I teach in two towns, I thought this was going to be mostly driving tips. ;)

  4. Posted 20 September 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Because I am a mom I no longer travel to students’ homes. But there are some similar concerns with having students come to my home. I have a personal policy that I will not teach adult males unless my husband is home. Also, I always have new students “audition” which is a good way to screen them. If I ever don’t feel right about accepting someone for some reason I just go with my gut.

  5. Posted 20 September 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I am always so shocked as to how seriously Females take these sort of things. I suppose being a male giving in home lessons, I have never once had any concern about who it is I was giving a lesson to.

    I mean think about this some other way. The dangers of driving itself are far far far more dangerous than having a bad run in with a stranger.

    I did decline one potential client once not because I was fearful of anything but because he just didn’t seem very polite and mumbled on the phone and argued about my studio’s pricings. I just told him have a great day and I am sorry that I can’t help you.

    It’s always interesting reading the females viewpoint on these type of issues, it’s something I just can’t begin to understand!

  6. Posted 21 September 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I teach 2 days a week at a church, and I travel on the other 3 days. I always do a phone interview before I agree to meet in person, and so far I haven’t had any problems. I’ve turned people down for being too far to drive, but that’s it! I guess I’ve been lucky :)

  7. Shannon
    Posted 26 September 2011 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I can pretty much only mimic what everyone else has said. ;) I only teach adult males in my home and when my husband is home. Most men understand and respect that when I explain it to them. For all of my other lessons, I let my husband know exactly where each location is and numbers for each. So far, everything has worked out great. :) Oh, and the excuse that “I am full” seems to be pretty standard for anyone that just doesn’t feel right.

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