Jon Dreyer: Time (Calendar and Cancellations)
I treat our scheduled sessions as serious commitments and ask that you do the same. Try to treat this commitment like you would any other commitment. Please don't make our sessions your first commitment to break when there's a conflict, and please don't surprise me with conflicts that have been on your calendar for awhile. (Both of those happen surprisingly often!)
My Calendar is online so you can verify (please do!) that I've scheduled our sessions properly. If it's on my Calendar, I'm planning on it, and if it's not, I'm not! This is regardless of holidays, snow, apocalypse, etc. If the calendar does not agree exactly with your plan, please let me know as soon as possible. Please don't make assumptions like, "I assume there's no session on New Year's Day" if you're on the calendar for New Year's Day. You're welcome to cancel on New Year's Day but please tell me about it as soon as you can.
Time slots are the natural resources on which my business depends. Holding your time slot prevents me from offering it to somebody else and also prevents me from taking music gigs and making plans with friends. I am happy to do this for you, but only if you take that time commitment seriously. I have missed out on a lot of income, music gigs and social activities unnecessarily because people didn't give me enough notice. I've gotten barely a day's notice of cancellations due to concerts that have been planned since the beginning of the year. Please don't be like that!
So please try not to cancel, and if you must, please give me as much notice as possible. I charge for missed sessions with less than 24 hours' notice unless both the cancellation and the short notice are unavoidable, but if you can give me a few weeks' notice or more, it really helps. I am trying to avoid going to a more draconian policy. You can help!
Legit reasons to cancel with little notice
Feel free to cancel for really important, unavoidable, and unpredictable conflicts such as sudden illness or death in the family. Please do cancel if you are contagious, or better, make it a virtual tutoring session if you are not too sick to work.
Legit reasons to cancel with lots of notice
You are welcome to cancel for vacations, holidays, and conflicts that are important and reasonably unavoidable, but predictable, such as student performances or athletic events. I charge for these with less than 24 hours' notice, but please give me as much notice as possible. Let me know as soon as those plans get made. Look ahead at least a few weeks on your calendar and mine. Lexington has its performing arts calendar and athletic schedule online.
Illegitimate reasons to cancel
Please do not cancel due to lack of homework; those can be the most useful sessions! Also please do not cancel because of a transportation problem or any but the most extreme weather problems; schedule a virtual tutoring session instead. Other reasons not to cancel include being too tired or having too much homework. I charge for any of those missed sessions regardless of notice. I hope you will understand that you should take the financial risk for those situations.
Alternatives to canceling: virtual sessions and rescheduling
In many situations you can schedule a virtual tutoring session instead of canceling or rescheduling. I share my screen with my student so these work very well. If you really can't have a session, think about rescheduling rather than canceling. If you plan ahead and reschedule to an earlier day or time, that usually helps me because it gives me more time to fill the remaining slot.
Also, please contact me if you'd like to be added to a (very quiet) email list with which (only) my students and their families can trade, offer or request weekly or one-time time slots. If you wish to make a change or cancellation for any reason, with any amount of notice, and can find somebody to take your slot, I'm happy to make the change.
No long term commitments
As you can see, I depend on your time commitments for my livelihood. However, I don't ask for long-term commitments. I've had many bittersweet moments when students have decided they have reached their goals and go on their own, and I fully support that choice at any time. But please do give me at least a week's notice if that does happen.
I know modern life is complicated and many of us are juggling multiple calendars. Thank you for respecting mine!