I could use some polite help.
I can add an additional piano student to my after school roster which would help my schedule and income, IF the music classroom teacher allows me to come in 30 minutes earlier than I have been. We have an...interesting, but working relationship
(jump to letter in purple, below)
long version below-
I teach piano three days a week after school at a private school my kids attend.
Three years ago, I subbed general music for an entire semester, but was not hired on because I am not a certified voice teacher. I was asked to train the new hire, but politely declined. I was asked to accompany her in chapel, and even teach hymn stories, since she does not play piano and is uncomfortable speaking in front of crowds. I did so for one year, for free, but after one year, I politely declined.
She is nice, and we get along, she had even asked me to sub for her sometimes.
I teach piano in her room beginning at 3:30pm. Her last class ends at 2:30pm. She keeps to herself and has a private office.
The school split this year how upper grammar is taught, and hired three new staff for grades 4-6: voice, choir, and orchestra. The new choir teacher also accompanies the high school choir, and plays in a local band.
Cut to a big school fundraiser, with silent and live auctions, big dressy event, adults only-
The two teachers (choir and accompanist, and the K-3 general music) are next to each other, with their boyfriends, that I have never met, but have heard about.
I walk DH over and we exchange pleasantries. I introduce the choir teacher with, "This is Teacher P, who does choir and accompanying and also plays piano in so-and-so's band that you know" and then I (re) introduced DH to the K-3 teacher, who he has met before and vaguely knows through church friends, "and you remember Teacher D, who teaches music and plays games."
And we all chatted, and then moved on to differently assigned tables for sit-down dinner.
Cue several weeks later, when i come in to teach and she is putting up a Christmas garland.
Me, "Hello! Getting ready for Christmas, looks good! btw, several recitals are scheduled in this room in a couple of weeks and I wanted to check how you wanted things arranged."
Teacher D, "Ugh. Yes, we need to talk about that. I am having a really hard time sharing this room,"
(her room is a holding room for 15 minutes every morning for early drop-offs since she does not have first class till 30-60 minutes after school begins, depending on the day) (she is not assigned to watch the kids, other teachers take turns) (plus her room is sometimes used for meetings in the evenings since it is large and open and has folding chairs on risers)(and after school music lessons- a voice teacher also works in there one day a week)"Plus, you really hurt my feelings a few weeks ago!"
Teacher D, "Yes, when you introduced me and Teacher G, you told your husband this long list of what SHE does, but then you just said that I 'teach music and play games.'"
Teacher D, "I really need this job and I feel disrespected by so many people here, coming late to my class, trashing my room when I am not here, borrowing stuff, and so on. I had a really bad situation at my other school and I really needed to come to a Christian school. I am single, and I need this job."
Me, "I am so sorry. I honestly meant no offense at my introduction. DH sort of knows you, but nothing of Teacher G, I am sorry if i put you down.
Question-have I ever left your room in dissarry?"
Teacher D, "No, you are one of the few that is very careful and good to keep it in order, and even leaves me notes. Maybe I misread your tone at the fundraiser, but I know you used to have this position and it is MINE!"
Me, "I have spoken to you about my future plans to expand my home studio to home school piano students once my kids graduate, you can check with the offices, I have never
applied for your job after you were hired."
Teacher D, "well, maybe it is just me, but it has been a rough year."
And that was that. We even hugged.
The next day or so was poinsettia delivery day so I took an extra that my MIL had bought for me, and left it outside her door, with a note stating, "this is my gift for you, to decorate you room as you wish since we have to share it for lessons and recital."
Never heard a word.
recital day, at least 5 music teachers had recitals in her classroom. I was the 2nd, so was long gone and had no idea how her room was the next week.
Cue to new year-
Fine Arts Coordinator tells me that three new piano students are signing on with me! yeah! But one wants an earlier time of 3pm. which I can do,
teacher D gives me permission to use her room at 3pm instead of 3:30pm like I have been.
The Fine Arts Coordinator checked that Teacher D's last class that day ends at 2:30, and that she has a two hour block of time twice a week to just be alone in her room, during school with a computer and printer, and all her books and files.
When I worked the full semester, there was a piano teacher that taught in the room three days a week, beginning at 2:45, and since he was a Doctor of Music, he ReQuiRed that no one else be in the room at the time.
So I hightaled it out of there early for him. He now teaches mostly older kids in the high school building.
all of that to ask,
Should I write an apology/beg letter to Teacher D asking if I can use her room? I could help arrange or clean the board, or bring a small gift, or should I just let the chips fall...
Something like this, Dear Teacher D,
Hope your New Year is off to a great start!
I wanted to be sure that with this new semester, that all is clear and good between us. I have no plans to teach at (school) except for piano and subbing, and I think your students are enjoying your music classes. Please do not feel that I am trying to cause you stress.
As (coordinator) may have asked, I have an opportunity to teach a student on (day) at 3pm, but I would need to use your room 30 minutes earlier. Usually you are gone by then, but I could come early and help you out if you would like. I know the next day you have over an hour after school begins before you have your first class, so I could even set up after my lessons are done, if you need extra time.
I understand that it is your room and that sharing it with me is a gift. I would appreciate your consideration.
(I think the middle is too wordy, and some of it is maybe rude to point out that she has more time in the morn, but I put that in for e-hell to see that she does have time) (Plus, other teachers share their rooms for tutoring, other music lessons, clubs, and coaching for academic events, so sharing is very common at this school.)
please help me figure out how to ask her nicely to use her room early.
(Financially, it makes a few piano students equal to a full day's pay from subbing. And on this one day, this one extra student is the push I need to make it worth not subbing because of an on-going appt/scheduling concern that I set up and piano gives me freedom in my time more than subbing on-call demand)
I know it was long, virtual cookies and a hot beverage just for reading!
spiked beverage if you respond with help! (edited to add a short version at top)
Dear Teacher D,
Happy New Year!
Hope your year is off to a great start!
As (coordinator) may have mentioned to you, there are several new students that want after school lessons, but in order to accommodate them, we would need to use your room on (day) at 3pm, instead of 3:30pm. Would that be a possibility? The student(s) would need to know by (date) so we can start the paperwork.
Thank-you! I appreciate your consideration.