The Most Helpful Tips For Teaching Barre While Working Full-Time

Tasha Nathan

Are you thinking about getting your barre instructor certification but you’re not sure how you'd teach barre classes while also working a fulltime job? Or you’re not sure how you’d even get your certification while working a fulltime job?

Well, the good news is:
1. Our barre instructor certification program is 100% online
2. Many of our instructors have full-time jobs in addition to teaching barre classes with us - and they’re filled with tons of helpful information about how to juggle it all!

Today Tasha Nathan, Development Coordinator at Sarcoma Foundation of America and instructor at our Harvard Square studio tells us what she’s learned about teaching barre while working full-time over the past 8 years.

We all wish we had more hours in the day, especially when working a full time job and chasing after our passion projects or side hustles. Sometimes, it just feels impossible to make it all work. But we’re here to tell you that it can work… at least, when it comes to teaching barre and yoga! Many of us work full time and teach on the side. Here’s how we make it work!

11 Helpful Tips For Teaching Barre While Working Full Time

1. Teach at a time you prefer to work out

First, think about the time slots you know work for you. Think about when you usually work out yourself. Do you usually get up first thing in the morning and hit your mat? Or are you a post work decompression exerciser? This is a good indicator of which time slots you’ll have the most energy to teach.

Some of our instructors are early birds and thrive on an early morning. Some prefer to sleep in or have their mornings and then get moving after the workday is done. Whenever you have the most energy during your workday is usually the time when you’ll have the most energy to bring to your classes.

I’m an early bird - always have been. I have the most energy first thing in the morning, before I work a full day. Thus, I prefer to teach before I get my work day started. On occasion I’ll sub in the evenings, but after a long day at work that requires a lot more of my energy for me to be able to do it consistently.

Thus, I opt to teach the morning classes and am able to keep my classes and energy consistent. Some instructors prefer to sleep in or have their mornings free and then get moving after the workday is done. Whenever you have the most energy during your day is usually the time when you’ll have the most energy to bring to your classes.

2. Consider your work schedule

Do you work a 9-5 in an office? Are you a teacher, working 7-3? Have a unique schedule you create? Do you work remote or hybrid? Your full time schedule will impact your availability.

If you are working 9-5, you might be limited to morning or evening classes. However, if you are remote or hybrid, there may be some days you can work from the studio, home, or a nearby coffee shop and teach a lunch time class, or commute more easily to teach a 4:30pm class.

My 9-5 is fully remote (a luxury!), but this allows me to teach more frequently and still maintain my full time responsibilities. I can sub lunch classes, and I often work from the studio so I can take meetings right before or after my classes. Earlier in my career, I worked 9-5:30pm in an office 30 minutes away, so I either taught the first class or last class of the day to account for commute time.

Are you a teacher? Usually this means early mornings won’t work, but you can take the late afternoon classes! Studios often need help with mid-day classes, as many instructors do have 9-5s, so if you have flexibility within your day or full time work schedule, try to maximize that!

3. Try to find a studio near your job

Another great way to maximize your available teaching hours is to teach near your office! In the role before my current remote role, my office was 5 minutes from the studio, which made it really easy to teach before or after work! This will cut commute time and generally keep your schedule all in one place. This might also allow you to pop over and teach during your lunch break or commute a little earlier or later (avoid rush hour!) to teach before or after work. Win / win!

4. Adopt weekend time slots

This is likely when you will have the most free time outside of work to teach. With that said, you must consider if you want to make sure you have 2 consecutive days off, or if you are willing to dedicate one of those days to teaching a class or two (remember, you aren’t teaching a full 8 hour day on the weekend… so you’ll still have plenty of time off!).

If you are comfortable taking a weekend, you’ll never have to worry about your full time job interfering! If you definitely do not want to teach during your weekend….

teach barre while working a 9-to-5

5. Be transparent with your studio manager about when you absolutely are not able to teach

Communication is key! It can help to provide a schedule color coded with the days/hours you are definitely available (green), sometimes available(yellow), and absolutely not available to teach(red). This helps your manager quickly identify if you’re able to cover classes unexpectedly and helps you avoid any miscommunication about your availability.

It's important that they know your boundaries around when you can and can’t teach as this will help everyone minimize stress and maximize doing what they love!

6. Be clear with your full time job when you have hard stops

Just as you would communicate with your studio manager, it's helpful to communicate with your full time job when you teach. Even if it’s outside your full time work hours, sometimes meetings run long or start early and it can interfere with your teaching schedule.

Let them know which days/times you teach and if you are needed for your full time job during those hours, advanced notice when possible is appreciated so you can find a sub! I have mentioned upfront in job interviews that I teach barre and yoga outside of working hours which brings a lot of joy and balance into my life and let them know I’d like to maintain this with any role I accept.

It has always been well received, and I think appreciated that I care about all of my responsibilities, commitments, and have interests that bring work/life balance into my day. Plus, bonus points for open communication!

7. Try to request subs as early as you can

If you know you have work travel coming up, put the sub request in as soon as you know. Of course, unexpected meetings or obligations at your full time job will come up and you’ll need a last minute sub. Be sure to communicate this as soon as you know so you can get your class covered. And remember to pick up subs when you can, too! If you can help your team out, they’ll more than likely be willing to help you out in your time of need, too.

8. Plan ahead about how you want to handle holidays

If you are tight on when you are available to sub, long weekends or holidays are a great time to jump in! Of course, you need to balance your vacation time too (especially working two jobs!) but if you are enjoying a staycation and looking to make some extra cash while being a team player… holidays are a great time to jump in!

You also get to know the clients coming to a class time you might usually not be able to teach, and it's a fun way to get to know the studio community!

9. Make your playlists and prepare your classes at the start of each week

You know the whole “Sunday reset” concept - you clean, do laundry, meal prep, etc? Think about doing this for your upcoming classes, too. Make your playlists, plan your sequences.

It seems like a no brainer, but making time for this before your work week can help you go in prepared and not running around frazzled, and guarantees a prepared class each time you teach. Playlisting and sequencing is also a nice lunch break activity if you don’t have time at the start of your week!

10. Keep a set of workout clothes in your workspace

Nothing worse than getting to work and realizing you left your athleisure clothes at home. Keep a spare in your desk, in your car, your locker….wherever you work if you commute. You’ll always be prepared!

11. Have a practice that takes you out of your work space and on to your mat

We begin our classes telling our clients to step onto their mat space and out of their workspace when they come to class, right? We want them to feel grounded - letting go of the stress of the day, or starting the day fresh before jumping into it. It's important you do the same!

Have a practice that takes you out of your workspace and onto your mat space, so you can show up fully present to your clients. Take some deep breaths, listen to a song that makes you excited for class, have a snack or water, dance around or jump for a few seconds to release any stored emotions and stress in the body. I listen to my class playlist while I commute and it makes me so excited to move with our studio community and puts me right in the headspace to teach.

Have some sort of ritual that helps you feel grounded, excited, and reminds you why you work full time and teach…. Because you love both!

Ready to get started as a barre instructor? Learn more about how you can make full time income working part time hours here!