Are you about to start teaching private lessons? Feel a little intimidated? You're definitely not alone. Taking on the challenge and responsibility of guiding a student's learning isn't something to take lightly. Here are some of the things I wish I had known starting out:
Plan out your lessons. Make sure you have more stuff planned than you have time to do in one session; you never know when a concept will click right away and only take a few minutes when you planned on it covering half the lesson.
Don't be afraid to try something new. If your student is struggling with something and an idea occurs to you that might help them, don't file it away and mull it over for the next time. Invite them to try it with you.
Write your name on everything. Students will be in and out of your studio, and will most likely make use of your tuner, metronome, or sheet music while they're there. These things are easily swept up in your students' things in the end-of-lesson pack-up, so make sure your stuff is labeled or be prepared to buy metronomes in bulk.
Alcohol wipes. So many alcohol wipes. You'll need to try your students' flutes, adjust their hand position, and touch the same doorknobs they touch. Sanitize everything, especially during cold and flu season; this includes flute keys and lip plates.
Ask for parent and emergency contact cell numbers. If a parent leaves their child in your studio, it's up to you to see them safely back to their parent at the end of the lesson. If no one shows up to claim that child, you need to have some phone numbers to work with. (NOTE: this incident has happened to me exactly zero times. Parents usually want their kid back.)
Have a good time. Make the studio a space that feels warm, welcoming, and fun. Put up some decorations! If you seem at ease, it will put your students at ease.
Have parents pre-pay by the month. Let them know ahead of time how many lessons they have scheduled and the total they owe, and have them pay at the first lesson of the month. This cuts way down on the number of last-minute cancellations and no-shows.
I hope you find these tips helpful! Share your own helpful hints in the comments below!