If you are in the northern hemisphere, chances are you have been teaching for a month or two & noticing a few changes. The leaves are changing colour. There is a definite nip to the air in the mornings & evenings. Perhaps you have been lucky enough to see the harvest moon! Students are settling into lessons & your lesson routine is flowing smoothly. Parents are happy to see you each week &, hopefully, telling their friends how amazing you are.
But, as the weather changes there are a few things that need to change for us as well. This is your guide to have the best fall ever in your travel studio!
When you travel to your students’ homes, it can be a stressful part of your schedule once the weather starts changing from early to late fall. Where I live, we usually get at least one big snowfall before the end of October that goes away as quickly as it came. I have a photo of the boys from a few years ago going to the first day of school (in September) in full-on snow gear. This year, it was tank top & shorts. But, the real cut-off is Halloween. Right around the end of October we get the first snow that stays for more than a day or two. And, THAT changes how I get from home to home.
If you live somewhere that gets snow, don’t wait for the snow to arrive.
- Make sure those snow tires are on. I can’t begin to tell you how many times my snow tires have made it possible for me to get up hills in residential areas that haven’t had the snow plows go through yet.
- Get your winter gear ready in the car. I have a collapsible shovel, blankets, extra gloves, a scrapper/brush for the windshield, plus jumper cables. The collapsible shovel came in very handy a few years ago when I client & I spent over an hour digging out my vehicle after lesson. Fun times.
If you are dealing with non-snowy weather,
- Keep sunglasses in your vehicle. I know it sounds odd when I am talking about the weather getting colder. But, this is a time of transition for the weather … and, at least where I live, the sun tends to hang out right under the sun visor blinding many a driver. Sunglasses at least make it bearable.
- Let it go. I completely empathize getting frustrated when someone else cuts you off, doesn’t bother signalling as they veer across multiple lanes, or is driving substantially under the speed limit. But, we will drive ourselves crazy if we get upset about those things. Not a great thing when we want to arrive at our clients’ homes in a positive frame of mind.
My father-in-law said something that really resonated with me. He also drives a lot for work & experiences the same frustrations. “When someone does something I don’t like, I just remember that I’ve made mistakes driving too. Today, it was that person. Tomorrow, it may be me.” Taking this mental approach has helped me remember that it all works out in the end & lets me go of the frustration much faster than in the past.
Remember that it’s important to get to each home safely, not “on time”.
Hopefully, when you signed up clients you let them know there would be some change in the time you arrive for lessons depending on the weather & traffic conditions. This is the time to remind them!
Below are the reminders that I give all my clients around this time of year.
- Depending on traffic & weather conditions you may be 5-10 minutes later than you have until this point in the academic year. For clients later on in your afternoon/evening schedule that may possibly mean rescheduling a bit later if its an especially bad winter.
- Please leave a light on outside so it is easy to get to the front door & back to the vehicle safely.
- Please ensure that the driveway or sidewalk (depending on where I park) & the walkway up to front door are cleared of snow & ice before lessons.
Your travel bag
You’ve had a bit of time to settle into lessons. Is there anything that can be taken out of your travel bag?
On an older Top Gear episode, the guys were tasked with purchasing camping gear for a challenge they had been given. Jeremy Clarkson & James May picked out things based on … well, I’m not quite sure what criteria. However, Richard Hammond, who camps extensively, had a very specific list of items he wanted AND was checking the weight of each item so it wouldn’t be too heavy to carry or load down his vehicle too much. We want to be Richard Hammond.
Be very selective about what goes in your travel bag both item-wise & weight-wise. Not only does it save our shoulders & necks from strain over time, but it’s a safety issue once the snow & ice are here. Anything that throws off your balance makes injury all the more likely.
Your fall tips
What are the tips you have to make your fall travel teaching a breeze? I would love to read your ideas below!
Have a great weekend!