I'm about a week and a half into my month-long break from teaching, so I thought I'd post an update about how I've been using my free time.
It's been very nice to get to sleep in on Saturdays; since I commute 45 minutes to my studio and my first student arrives at 10:00am, I have a fairly early start to my day. Combine this with a late night working my restaurant job on Friday, as well as another serving shift on Saturday night after teaching, and it makes for a pretty sleepy day. I never mind it, though, because I enjoy teaching so much.
I think that having this month off to rest up and relax will help me to bring a high level of energy during Saturday morning lessons; if you walk in excited for what the day will bring, your students will feed off of that energy and be more engaged. Similarly, if you bring a downtrodden, exhausted element into your studio, you'll find yourself struggling to keep your students engaged.
I remember being relieved as a student when my teacher would take the week off from teaching, because it meant I would have two weeks of progress to bring in the next time we met. Seeing how much my playing improved between those two lessons was always really encouraging, and I want my students to have a chance to feel that sense of accomplishment, especially as the new year starts and as two of my students enter high school, a transition which is sure to be challenging for them.
Short version: so far, this break has been helpful, although I miss seeing my students every week and watching them make breakthroughs in their playing.
Have you ever taken a voluntary break from teaching? Share your experience in the comments below!