Just say ‘No’

Grace said: Apr 12, 2006
 Violin
110 posts

Do any of you find you are starting to have problems with cancellations/asking for make-ups this time of year? I have a clearly written policy: If you miss your lesson, there is no refund, credit, or re-scheduling.

I pass out my policy in September, so the fall and winter were pretty good. For some reason it’s gotten bad in the spring—there are more activities going on, & maybe I need to hand out a “refresher” on my policy again…

My problem is I have a hard time saying “no”… So if they ask, especially if I “can just make an exception”—my downfall! I hate to say no and feel really bad and mean. Everyone has an excuse: grandpa’s funeral, field trips, movie audition (this student has a Hollywood agent), car broke down, family trip, tennis match, etc.

I’m paying the price for that as I’m starting to feel burned out. Today, I made a list of all the missed lessons since March 1 (only 6 weeks) and I’ve had 18! And I’ve made up almost all of them—teaching on my free days, tacking on an extra lesson at the end of my day here and there… I have not had one week of my regular schedule where every student just shows up when he/she is supposed to.

I guess I just need to vent a little. Maybe encourage another teacher who is going through the same problem. I know what I have to do—just say “no”. So hard for me, but then I know the price I pay when I don’t.

said: Apr 12, 2006
 44 posts

I think having a very rigid “no make-up” policy is self-defeating. You will always have people asking you to make an exception. Instead, I would offer a certain number of make-ups/semester or year (maybe just one) to be done at your convenience. You could offer Friday mornings at 7:00 or one Saturday morning per month—this would be a time when you would LIKE to be available. I would NOT offer make-ups to people who choose another activity such as a family trip or birthday party over their lesson. However, illness, a death in the family, or severe weather might be good reasons to allow a makeup. Otherwise, you may have a parent bring a sick child to your studio or home, exposing you and your family to strep throat, flu, or something worse. I know if I was going to lose a lesson, I might be tempted to load my kid up with Tylenol and tell him to tough it out. I think there would be a lot less resentment from parents this way. After all, if YOU cancel a lesson because YOU are sick or have a power outage, or whatever, the families will be inconvenienced and have to rearrange their schedules to accomodate you. A little reciprocity goes a long way.

said: Apr 12, 2006
 122 posts

I’m a firm believe in no makeups for student absences. My students reserve and pay for my time whether they show up or not. If a kid breaks an arm and can’t play, there is always theory lessons or lessons based around technique of the healthy arm.

I teach a 34 week school year and have 33 students and to this date I’ve had maybe 5 students cancel a lesson. When I used to give makeup lessons and schedule a few makeup weeks a year, just about every student cancelled a lesson at some point, and I ended up teaching 3 weeks a year with no chance to make income. Add vacation weeks on top of that and it was a recipe for poverty level wage that I couldn’t support myself or a family on. I hate thinking about teaching in this way, but you’ve hit the nail on the head by saying you’ve become burnt out by doing all these makeup lessons. Now every one of your student’s lessons will become affected by being burnt out-is that fair to families who show up every week and don’t ask for makeups?

I give out a swap list at the beginning of each term and tell parents to swap among themselves for missed lessons. On the list is the name of the student and parent, their phone number, and the day and time of their lesson. I pass this out each term so parents get my updated schedule and a reminder their are no rescheduled lessons. I still get people asking me for makeups and to which I tell them again to swap with another family if they want their lessons made up. One idea for making up legitmate absences (sickness, school field trips, etc) is to keep a list of this missed lessons and when another family cancels, email families on the list to see if they want to take the time. I don’t do this but other teachers might like to offer this option. I think expanding your workday or teaching on your days off is a recipe for burnout.

I’m not saying everyone else should have as strict of policy as mine. Every teacher needs to make a policy they feel comfortable with, and every parent has to find a teacher who they feel is a good educator and fits their family needs. A family who wants the flexibility of makeup lessons would not be a good fit for my studio.

“When love is deep, much can be accomplished.”
-Shinichi Suzuki

Mariam said: Apr 12, 2006
Mariam GregorianViolin
Ashburn, VA
34 posts

Keroppi, I so completely relate! Despite having a very clearly written policy, I’ve had several families ask me for makeups in the past few months. I’ve not actually given any makeups, but I know what you mean about feeling bad about it.

Here’s how I see it: Every family receives a copy of the policy sheet before they sign on to be in the program. By participating in the program, they are agreeing to abide by those policies. It is unreasonable of them to challenge your policy AFTER they are already in the program.

Every time a family has asked for makeups, I have told them that they are welcome to swap with another student, but the policy has always been that I don’t offer makeups. If I offered a makep to one student, it would be completely unfair if I didn’t offer them to everyone who asked. And what about the families that have respected the policy by not asking for makeups? It is especially unfair to them.

Keroppi, I’d suggest when the new term starts that you make a statement to all of your families that reiterates the policy. I’d also recommend having them sign something. Provide them with the schedule and phone numbers for swapping, like Junebug suggested.

Good luck!

said: Apr 12, 2006
 44 posts

Our teacher will be out for two weeks while he is attending the International Suzuki Convention in Italy and missed last week because he had the flu. He already has a very long teaching year without any extra weeks to teach. Therefore, he is doing “make-ups” by scheduling us for two lessons a week for 2 weeks plus a lesson on a holiday weekend. This is VERY inconvenient for us. I have four children and they do other things besides violin, plus I work full-time. I have rearranged my work schedule and my child will miss some other activities to make up these lessons. I think that if parents are expected to accomodate the teacher, the teacher cannot be completely unwilling to accomodate the students. Again, I don’t think a soccer tournament constitutes a valid excuse to ask for a make-up, but if a child has chicken pox that is another story. You are going to have parents bringing ill children to lessons and everyone will suffer.

said: Apr 12, 2006
 122 posts

Kidadvocate-
You’re choosing to study with this teacher and by studying with him you’re accepting his policies. If you need a more lenient teacher for your family’s schedule then you’re with the wrong teacher.

Your teacher is rescheduling lessons due to a professional conference. He’s not rescheduling them for a trip to the beach, a dentist appointment, or a birthday party. Think about a ‘normal’ job-it would include sick pay (rather than giving up income or teaching on your days off), vacation time, and professional conferences would be paid for (unlike your teacher who is more than likely paying for it out of his income) and would more than likely be during the work week. If you want your teacher teaching your children long term rather than giving up this profession for an office job, then you will have to deal with his schedule and policies. If his scheduling doesn’t work for your schedule then you should look for a teacher with a lenient policy.

“When love is deep, much can be accomplished.”
-Shinichi Suzuki

said: Apr 12, 2006
 55 posts

I do not have a specific “no make-up” policy, however the academy where I currently teach, states in their policy that if a student misses a lesson the teacher is not obligated to make that lesson up. If a teacher misses a lesson, a makeup lesson will be scheduled, or a credit will be given. I state very plainly that I have a very full schedule and do not have time for makeup lessons. If someone asks, and I know of a student who will be away, or I am not planning anything special at the beginning or end of my day, I will provide a makeup lesson, however, if it can’t be done I don’t feel bad about saying no. I also have some adult students who work shifts and I have been willing to be flexible with their work schedule.

I play in our local symphony and occaisionally have to reschedule students around a dress rehearsal on a Saturday. All Saturday students are warned of this before they commit to lessons on that day. I also have two children who are involved in fine arts activities. I will reschedule students in order to attend performances, and go out of town with my youngest daughter, who is a dancer. My students are also all made aware of this. I think my students need to be aware that my family obligations are important to me as much as theirs are to them. I need my families to be flexible at times therefore I feel I need to be the same for them, within reason. Several years ago, before I began teaching, I learned the importance of saying “no” and I have been selfish in that regard. I need to look after myself first or I am of no use to anyone. Having a full schedule does not mean it must be full of students!

Grace said: Apr 12, 2006
 Violin
110 posts

Thanks for all the replies! kidadvocate, I appreciate getting your parent’s perspective too.

In my policy, I also state that if I cancel or miss a lesson for any reason, the student has a choice of either a make-up lesson or a refund. I think that is only fair: If you miss, you pay; if I miss, I pay. (But I have not cancelled 1 teaching day this year.)

I have to turn down most families where both parents work full-time because I don’t teach on the weekends or evenings. But I do that because I know I will have conflicts with evening orchestra gigs and weekend weddings if I schedule students then.

This afternoon, I actually had two more students cancel future lessons! (I know it’s just going to keep happening until June…) But I showed them my “cancellations” list with the other 18 names on it. They were both very surprised by seeing all those other names! I told them I’d keep their name on the list and fit in a lesson if an opening comes up. But they told me they completely understood when I said I am not guaranteeing anything. So, I didn’t feel bad and mean!

I figure parents have to deal with “use it or lose it” policies if their kid gets sick and has to miss a basketball game, dance class, karate, kumon math, etc. So why not violin lessons too?

Mariam said: Apr 13, 2006
Mariam GregorianViolin
Ashburn, VA
34 posts

I actually make my schedule for the whole year in advance (September-June). There are days when I know that I will not be able to teach, such as during the Suzuki conference in May. I therefore do not charge for those lessons, so I don’t need to worry about making them up. Families in my program pay a monthly tuition that is an “average” of all of the lessons they receive from September-June. On occasion things do come up where I need to reschedule, but that happens at most once a year.

said: Apr 13, 2006
 44 posts

Junebug:
As I stated before, I would not expect a teacher to make up a lesson because a student chose to participate in another activity at their lesson time. However, a real illness is a different story. We are committed to our teacher and drive over 60 miles one way to study with him. We work around his schedule and he accomodates us as well. I am self-employed. If I don’t work I don’t get paid. I have no paid sick leave, benefits, or vacation that doesn’t come out of my pocket so I can relate to music teachers. I in no way implied that we were unhappy with our teacher’s schedule. I was just trying to illustrate that families often work around a teacher’s commitments such as orchestra performances, professional trips, and their own family commitments. I think teachers should do the same for students..I would never think a wholesale free-for-all in rescheduling is appropriate. Everyone has conflicts in the spring and has to make choices, but illness is unavoidable for teacher and student. Swapping lessons with another student is a great idea, but when my daughter had mono, she was out of school for three weeks. Doing theory at her lesson time was not an option, she could not even stand up.
I could have taken her to the lesson, but didn’t want the teacher exposed to a contagious illness. I think teachers should have a firm policy regarding make-ups, but setting aside one set hour per week or month for students to utilize for illness make-ups seems a reasonable alternative. After all, even your doctor and dentist probably allow you to reschedule missed appointments without paying for them.

Melissa said: Apr 13, 2006
 Piano, Flute
151 posts

kidadvocate:
I understand your feelings, but a teacher has 30-40 elements (families) and all of their issues to deal with. A family just has one, the teacher. Big difference!!
In my policy I have stated that there are no make-ups unless someone has cancelled, they then can have that lesson time if it is available. I do not teach outside of my teaching schedule.
As far as falling ill. In my policy I state that I am allowed two sick days where, if I do fall ill where I’m to sick to teach, I will do my best to make up the lesson, but if I can’t, there is no refund or credit. Limited to two days per student, per year. I also state that one of these days can be used for professional development if a workshop/institute falls on a teaching day. If I a have to cancel a lesson for any other reason, a credit is given (or a make-up if I have time, and that is what the parent wishes.)
These policies I feel are fair and benefit the way the studio is run. If I had to cater to every student and not take into consideration of what would happen if I get sick or an important edcuational experience is offered that would ultimately benefit my students and their families, then I would not be a very effective teacher. I would be going bonkers with making up lessons and losing income if I get sick.
I make sure parents understand these are my policies, and I stick to them. It has worked quite well. If your teacher has his policies written and you have accepted them, then there should be no complaints. If not, then he should have them clearly stated, and shame on him for not doing this. If when interviewing the teacher and his policies are clearly stated, at that point it is up to you, if you want to abide by his policies, if not, don’t take lessons from him.

Of course, their are exceptions. If a family that I know well, who has been with me for sometime and their child comes down with mono and they explain this to me. I would definately work with this situation.
But as general rule, no make-ups, even if you are sick, unless somebody else has canceled.

Kerropi:
After reading your last post. You need to be more strict with your policies! Then you will not be bombarded with families wanting make-up lessons. They will respect you more and their lesson time will be an added value and more of a priority!!

said: Apr 13, 2006
 122 posts

Honeybee has said just about everything I was about to post. I do want to point out that setting aside an hour a week or month results in us working for free (who wants to do that?), and if we have that hour free to teach we would more than likely take on a new student who could come at that time. In addition, setting aside time to teach makeup lessons would undoubtedly result in parent’s complaining they can’t make that time and would want other time set aside for makeups. Doctors are in a completely different profession. They have hundreds of clients and if someone cancels they can fill the spot with another client. I’ve had to wait weeks to see my doctor or dentist for non-emergiences. And if I could charge $120 for a 10 minute visit I too could probably afford to make up a lesson here or there.

“When love is deep, much can be accomplished.”
-Shinichi Suzuki

said: Apr 13, 2006
 104 posts

OK—the Suzuki parent forum is totally boring and nothing’s going on there, so I’ll poke my nose in here, although I rightfully belong in the other group!

I deal with three different music teachers and all of them have a different policy, from one makeup per semester to complete flexibility. I don’t have any teachers who give NO make-ups at all.

At my job I do get sick pay—the university does not dock my pay if I cancel classes due to sickness. So I understand why a music teacher would feel she deserves the same benefit. But the reality is, if you are self-employed, it just doesn’t work that way. There are in fact other obligations I have at the university that a self-employed teacher does not have (such as staff meetings, service activities, academic committees, etc.) I DON’T get paid for that time—it is essentially FREE work—benefits like sick pay are always tied to some other “hidden” free work. You don’t get something for nothing. Please don’t tell me that university professors make a lot of money, because we don’t. Most of us have spent 6-8 years obtaining a higher education (comparable to doctors and attorneys) but we will never get the money or respect those professions do.

I can see parents balking at paying for a lesson they didn’t get. I can also see parents appreciating a policy with recipricol flexibility in cancellations and make-ups (if you are allowed to be sick/go on professional development leave without losing money, why can’t the student also be sick or go to an institute without losing money?)

But I also believe that whatever you decide to make your policy, you really need to stick to it. All semester long, I deal with the same issues with my students—they have TONS and tons of creative excuses for why they couldn’t come to class or why their assignments are late. I am sure your parents are just as creative and demanding. I really don’t make exceptions to “excuse” anyone’s absences because I don’t want to be the judge of anyone’s reasons. Doing so also encourages people to lie and come up with “really good stories.” So I give two free absences and one late pass (which can be used to turn in any assignment up to one week late without penalty). The students are then responsible for saving those things for the real emergencies and not wasting them. Personally I think NO makeups is a little bit too hard—one make-up per semester seems very reasonable and also goes a long way to make parents feel you are understanding about their personal lives and challenges. Maybe you can print up a “FREE MAKE-UP lesson” pass and give it to parents at the beginning of the semester.

This is just my own view and I hope not offensive to anyone here. I am sure you put in a lot of thought into your policy—but I think since keroppi states she has a hard time saying “no,” a one-time make-up ticket might really be the answer to her problem. She’s not saying “NO” she’s just saying “LIMIT ONE.”

said: Apr 13, 2006
 44 posts

Junebug and Honeybee:
I am not complaining about our teacher. I didn’t mean to imply any criticism of him whatsoever, only that sometimes we have to work around his schedule and it is inconvenient for us to do so. However, we GLADLY suffer the inconvenience because he is a great teacher and we love and respect him. He also respects our family and was very gracious about working with us on scheduling. Also, remember that your doctor cannot work out of his or her home! The average overhead for a primary care physician is 60% of gross income. If you have a no-show, you can’t work someone into their appointment time if you didn’t know they weren’t coming.
I have four children and have a cumulative 43 years of attending their various music lessons: piano, violin, viola, cello, french horn, and flute. We have only had one teacher with an absolute no make-up policy and we are no longer taking lessons from her.

Melissa said: Apr 13, 2006
 Piano, Flute
151 posts

I have tried it BOTH ways. I was once Miss Lenient and was only taken advantage of. With experience I have found that running a studio with the policy that I stated has worked optimally, not only for me, but for my families.
I’m sorry profcornelia if you’re work is different than mine. Perhaps this is why I enjoy being self-employed and can run my studio the way I want, in the most efficient way, for both parents, students and teacher. It is nice being your own boss!
I must also add that I have plenty of work, related to my teaching, outside of lesson time, that I am not getting paid for.
And I am not a doctor nor a dentist or anything like that. I am a piano teacher and with years of teaching I have found what works the very best.
I have had no complaints. If there is a confict in lesson time, parents can write up on the board the date they need to switch with another family. 95% of the time parents are able to have their confict with scheduling resolved. If their child is sick and they call me, most often I am able to fit them in, because most often someone else has cancelled. It works out very well.
As a parent I have paid for a multitude of lessons where there is no make-ups and I completely understand. You just make a real effort to make it to the class/lesson.
Having a strict make-up policy also keeps parents from being flaky and more accountable and reliable.
I would never go back to giving make-ups like I did, because of this, and the fact that I honor and respect the time I need in order for me to be a good teacher.

Mariam said: Apr 14, 2006
Mariam GregorianViolin
Ashburn, VA
34 posts

profcornelia

At my job I do get sick pay—the university does not dock my pay if I cancel classes due to sickness. So I understand why a music teacher would feel she deserves the same benefit. But the reality is, if you are self-employed, it just doesn’t work that way. There are in fact other obligations I have at the university that a self-employed teacher does not have (such as staff meetings, service activities, academic committees, etc.) I DON’T get paid for that time—it is essentially FREE work—benefits like sick pay are always tied to some other “hidden” free work. You don’t get something for nothing. Please don’t tell me that university professors make a lot of money, because we don’t. Most of us have spent 6-8 years obtaining a higher education (comparable to doctors and attorneys) but we will never get the money or respect those professions do.

Profcornelia, you are correct that self-employed people have not traditionally enjoyed the same benefits that others have in the past…especially self employed music teachers! But this is something that is definitely changing. In the area where I live, for example, you’d be hard pressed to find ANY Suzuki studios that offer makeup lessons. This is part of the reason that I felt ok adopting a similar policy in my own program. We ARE changing the expectations of how self employeed music teachers should operate. This is a very good thing! More and more talented musicians are choosing to become Suzuki teachers, and this can be attributed in large part to the successful teachers out there that have proven that being a full time teacher does NOT mean that you have to live in poverty. Having more teachers that are talented, well trained, and enthusiastic about teaching benefits families especially. There are areas of the US (and the world!) that are desperate for teachers, and there just aren’t enough of us at this point. Policies that attract new teachers and make current teachers happier are ultimately beneficial for everyone.

said: Apr 14, 2006
 32 posts

As a Suzuki teacher married to a professor (English Literature = low pay, 7 years of graduate study), I can say with my husband’s approval that I spend just as much time emailing, talking on the phone, preparing for lessons and setting up concerts, recitals, etc. as he spends in meetings and such where he doesn’t get paid. I think it is pointless to compare anyway, as every job and every person’s needs are different! The fact is, everyone needs a job where they know what their hours are going to be. No one is happy in a job where the feel they are being taken advantage of. Last year I made up lessons and it was a disaster for me—I was working 6 days a week, and could not make plans with friends and family because I never knew quite what my schedule would be. I was unhappy, and my teaching reflected my feeling of being stepped on. This fall I implemented a no make up policy. I lost 11 students, but gained 8, and the families that I have now are committed to me because they like how I teach, not because I am convenient and will bend to their wishes. I have better students, better families, and I am a better teacher this year because I feel like I am being treated like a professional (which I am!) and can rely on a steady income and schedule. Everyone deserves this, no matter what their job is. I do not cancel on my students unless I am sick (in which case they have a choice of making up that lesson or getting a credit) because I have committed to be there at their lesson time every week, even though more tempting things come up sometimes; I expect the same from them—there is no reason why I should not. As long as I give them the option of a credit when I have to miss, I think this is very fair. If someone wants a teacher who is more flexible, I am happy to point them in another teacher’s direction—but I agree with twinkletoes that more and more teachers are adopting a no make up policy, and that it is a good thing for everyone!

said: Apr 14, 2006
 122 posts

Good point aunt rhody.

One big reason we have this assocation is to help this profession become a profession rather than a side job to a real job. This is why the business threads and makeup lessons threads get so long-us teachers are trying to run our studios and programs professionally so we can support our families and do this professionally long term! Otherwise this job can only be for college students, people who have spouses with benefits and decent pay, and those that are ok living at the poverty line.

“When love is deep, much can be accomplished.”
-Shinichi Suzuki

said: Apr 15, 2006
 38 posts

I have been teaching steadily for about five years, and just instituted a no make up policy last September, and it has changed my entire studio for the better. I hated rearranging lessons, and I hated constantly feeling pressured to open up my schedule when I didn’t want to just because one of my students wanted to go water skiing. It was stressful and frustrating, and added up to a whole bunch of extra work. I mean, if we had a regularly scheduled shift somewhere, how reasonable would it be for our boss to say, “Well, you were scheduled for 9-5 today, but I don’t have any work for you between 2 and 3 in the afternoon, so go ahead and go home, but make sure you come back from 3-5. Oh, and I need you to stay two extra hours tomorrow, because there will be work for you then.”

I think part of the problem is that a lot of parents (not all, but a good part) think that since you are teaching out of your home, that it’s a nice side job, and that it owuld be really easy for you to schedule a lesson since you’re at home anyway. I think a large part of the time, my students didn’t give a thought to asking if they could reschedule- they didn’t see it as an imposition.

Since I instituted the policy in Sept, everything has changed. I explained it to parents, and some of them were frustrated, but everyone has stayed in the studio. I had to explain it to one mom as “If you miss a dance class, you can’t go to the teacher and request a makeup on a special day. You don’t get makeup hours in school for the days you miss, and if your kids are in daycare and they get sick, you still have to pay for that day.” My frustration level has decreased dramatically, but there has been another benefit that I didn’t expect- Parents are taking lessons a lot more seriously. I know that since parents know that they can’t make up lessons, I don’t get students requesting to skip for a dance class, a sleepover, or a school conflict. For the majority of my students, if there is a conflict between violin and something else, violin wins. I did have one weather related makeup day late last year- the weather was so miserable that I didn’t want anyone to try and come to my house, and I made those up. I have also tried to impress on people that just because I work at home doesn’t mean that I can schedule myself at any time. I do not allow lessons to get behind schedule, and I have a sentence in my policy sheet saying that if someone is late, they only get the rest of their lesson time. I pay for childcare while I am teaching, and it’s not fair to my kids or my babysitter for me to go past time, or reschedule. Most parents are pretty understanding, and if they aren’t comitted, I can point them to another teacher.

said: Apr 17, 2006
 26 posts

A few years ago, I had a very busy teaching week, and just didn’t have time for ‘extra’ lessons. However, I did want to be accommodating so I devised a system which worked REALLY WELL…

I had a bulletin board in my teaching room and a huge pile of small pieces of paper (each about the size of a business card). Whenever someone told me of a lesson they would miss (school trip, family holiday, etc) I would place that date and time on a piece of paper and pin it on the board. I also had a few regular ’spots’ (times at which I was willing to teach a make up lesson) and they were posted on the board too. Sometimes I would decide to teach on a holiday or whatever, and those lesson times would be posted as well.

If a student had missed a lesson (or was due to miss a lesson) the parents could choose a ‘make up’ from the lesson times posted on the board. If nothing convenient was on the board, they would just wait for something to come up.

This system had a few really great benefits…

  1. Parents started giving me far more notice about impending absences
  2. No-one ever asked me for another lesson time—they just waited for something convenient to appear on the board
  3. I didn’t have to say ‘no’ to make up lessons. In fact, I was saying ‘yes—pick a time’. If they didn’t want any of the times on the board that was their choice.
  4. I had far fewer of those annoying gaps in between students
  5. The flexible families got more lessons in the end

I do believe that if we are understanding and accommodating when a student cannot attend a lesson, parents will return the sentiment if we need to cancel a lesson. But boundaries are important, or our kindness can be taken advantage of.

Grace said: Apr 17, 2006
 Violin
110 posts

Thanks for sharing your system, Piper Kate!

I would not be willing to offer any extra make-up time slots, so all the available times would have to come from other cancellations. The vast majority of my cancellations are less than a week before the lesson (of course, the sickness cancellations come the morning-of or the night-before the lesson.) So, do you have a way to use those time slots?

Do you find that some people cancel last-minute all the time and take advantage of people who are organized enough to cancel well in advance?

Do some parents complain that they can never use any of the available times (and pressure you to offer times that are more convenient for them)?

I guess the tricky thing with TIME is that once it’s gone, it’s gone. You can’t save it up to use later when it’s convenient because that’s taking away time from my own family or from my other activities that I can’t get back…

Melissa said: Apr 17, 2006
 Piano, Flute
151 posts

I do the same kind of thing as Piper Kate.
Except what I use is a dry-erase board. If someone needs to reschedule a lesson they write the lesson time up on the board that they will be missing and if they want, a side note stating what time works best for a make-up, with their phone number.
Parents then see this throughout the week and try to accomodate if possible.
In my studio info, I encourage parents to help out other parents; this way they will hopefully be reciprocated when their time for a make-up is needed.
The only difference to Piper Kate is I don’t use their lesson time (or my time) with me writing their schedule conflicts up on the board. The parent does this, usually before or after their lessons.
Also, if I see it written up on the board, I will do what I can to make-up the lesson, if I do have time.
If someone should call and is sick, they need to ask for me for a make-up, if they so choose, this way if somebody else gets sick or cancels within a two week period, I will call that parent and tell them of the opening.

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