Reply To: Teaching outside of your specialty area
As a soon to be first year teacher this upcoming fall I share a lot of your feelings, especially about teaching string orchestra (I am a percussionist and pianist with a heavy background in band). While I have played in several orchestras, I know that my string pedagogy is not anywhere close to my skills when on the podium in front of a wind ensemble. However, I do not feel that taking a position involving strings would be doing students a disservice, as I trust my ability to make transfers and emphasize musicianship in whatever context I am teaching.
For prepping string pedagogy specifically I have found that my collegiate peers are a fantastic resource. I just have to ask if they are willing, and I have gotten several mini masterclasses in exchange for coffee.
One of my favorite professors once told us about how he always planned on being a band teacher, but wound up with an orchestra at his first job. He said that the first summer getting ready for the gig was relatively stressful, but that he was able to rely on his friends and other teachers in the district to help him prepare. This will definitely be my contingency plan if my first gig involves strings (although starting early probably isn’t a bad idea).