It’s so great to have you involved in my online learning community!
I know that while you may have subscribed primarily for some great training, downloads and resources (and there’s plenty of that inside), I hope that it will be the online community and connections that you make that will be the focus and key to your ongoing membership.
This, after all, is the whole reason that I put so much effort into the social functionality of the forums.
As you know, for me, effective teaching is all about sharing. Five years ago, people would come up to me at conferences amazed at the amount of information that I was simply giving away. This simply never happened in the ‘old school’ style of education; teaching studios and classrooms were revered sacred spaces behind closed doors. “Watch me teaching!? Have my lesson plans? Share my resources? You have got to be kidding!!”.
Thankfully those days are rapidly disappearing.
The advent of blogs, Facebook groups and YouTube, is changing everything. People are sharing ideas and we’re all better because of it.
The power of many
Before we discuss some simple guidelines, I wanted to take a minute to chat about some of the thinking behind my membership and training websites.
The whole point of a community is that it is an opportunity to bring everyone together in a connected way so that we can all share from the collective knowledge (and have a lot of fun along the way).
Up until this point, all the discussions on my blog were article-specific, fairly one-way, spread over multiple media (twitter, Facebook, the blog, etc) and there wasn’t a whole lot of it. I was also regularly answering email questions which no one ever knew about except me and the person I was helping.
It was a time-consuming and insulated way of sharing that just wasn’t sustainable. I wasn’t able to serve you, my community, nearly as effectively, nor as sustainably, as I wanted.
In this online community, things are a little different.
Every member is encouraged to share and give as much as they can, in knowledge, downloads, worksheets, resources, videos, etc. Everyone is here in order to improve the standards of piano teaching around the world. No one knows everything and there is no right way, just lots of great options and ideas.
In the same way that I remind people in my audiences when I’m presenting, what they choose to take away from the session is completely up to them. I’m giving ideas, I’m not telling you how to teach.
The other reason that I put this community together was because I’m not a specialist in every area! Sure, I’ve got some ideas that work in some key areas, but there are plenty of talented teachers our there doing AMAZING things in their studios in other areas but with little opportunity to share these ideas.
This is the place where we all get to learn from each other.
Some forum/discussion guidelines
Given that you’ll hopefully be sharing your own ideas in the forums, you need to be aware that any worksheets, downloads, teaching plans, etc. that you upload and share can be freely used and edited by members and also used for promotion and marketing of my membership sites.
By posting your content on the forum or in discussions, you consent to its dissemination amongst all members and its use as a form of marketing to non-members.
Rest assured that I will never sell anything that has been shared in discussion forums, I will never give anything away to non-members that is part of a forum topic and/or created and shared by a member and any bundling or creating of training packages from resources provided by members will be for members only.
Members are encouraged to share their opinions on any topic of interest, ensuring that conversation is reasonable and measured at all times. We don’t always have to agree with each other, but we do have to be civil. Don’t say anything to someone here that you wouldn’t say to them at a conference or over a drink.
Please treat others with respect and courtesy. “Don’t be a jerk” is a pretty common rule in online communities…including this one!
No Venting!! Please don’t leave forum posts that are just a complaint or vent about something or someone (unless it’s a legitimate complaint about a member of the forum – see below). We want all the information on the forums to 100% helpful to other teachers; rants and vents about students and parents don’t fall into this category.
Members are free to upload just about any material to the forums.Please ensure this is appropriate and suitable for an audience of all ages and suitable for people to view in their studio in front of parents and children.
Please also ensure that file attachments are kept to a minimum size. Most forums will not allow uploads greater than 1MB. If you have a file bigger than this, please resize it (if it’s a picture), save it with compressed settings (if a PDF) or just cut it into smaller chunks.
That way you won’t break my server…people on mobile devices will love you.
If you have a complaint
Whilst I hope no one needs it, if you do have any issues with another member that you feel is unreasonable, uncomfortable and/or you can’t resolve yourself, please contact me directly stating what’s happened and giving me a link to the discussions in the forum. You can do this by copying the URL (the web page link) at the top of your browser. It will say something like timtopham.com/discussions/teaching…
Knowing the kinds of people who follow my blog, I trust this won’t be an issue in the Inner Circle.
Have fun and enjoy!
Sorry if any of that seemed a little heavy, but I think it’s only reasonable that we have a base upon which to build the best community possible.
I’m so looking forward to getting stuck into some great teaching ideas with you and the other members!
If you’ve got any thoughts or questions, please leave them below.