If you’re a teacher with x amount of time slots and the same x amount of students, you know how terribly difficult it can be to figure out your teaching schedule, especially in the “Fall” (which for most of us, is still, in fact, the summer) because every family has NEW activities and practices to manage. My perspective changed quite a bit once I had a little tyke of my own. Today I’ll be sharing some ideas and products that help me schedule-are you ready for it-over 100 lessons each week!
First, you’ll need an awesome calendar, but you’re going to need one you can change multiple times as you figure out how to get the proverbial 52 cards in the deck back in the box. I love this Post-it calendar
and I start by writing in all the available times I have open and filling those with the times I KNOW are going to work on the included post-it notes. Then as the schedule starts to come together i remove the post-it’s and write theTIME, NAME, and PLATFORM the student learns with after their name (my secret code is Z for Zoom, nothing for in person, FT for facetime and X for Flex which is sometimes in person sometimes online.) Finally, when the schedule changes I use these white small labels
to cover up the wrong information and replace with the correct information. One year I took it too far and printed the time on name for each learner on an entire sheet and stuck the stickers to my calendar but it was WAY too time consuming and hard to get the stickers on in the correct place. I love how the stickers really do cover up the previous flawed time, but i still could remove them if i needed to. I hang this master calendar where I can quickly refer to it while teaching and then once it’s made I use the post-it squares to writet out the weekly tasks I need to complete (currently my list includes: update book covers, schedule FB posts, work on content, record for the app, make and upload content for books/social media/blog) then i place these post it’s when I have a longer break.
These flair pens are my absolute favorite-and I even have some scented ones which I didn’t realize I was buying but smell so fun and make me remember 3rd grade!
THEN I update my online calendar (I use My Music Staff which is safely the best $14.95 I spend per month synced to my apple calendar ical)
AND FINALLY(and I think this is one of my big keys to success)
I write EVERY SINGLE LESSON EVERY SINGLE WEEK in my Erin Condren Planner which has the same vertical layout as my weekly calendar.
You can click here for a coupon code
By writing in every lesson, every single week I’m giving a moment to think about that student and what wants and needs they have. I make a quick note of any items to prepare or print and if I need to reschedule the lesson I am going to do that in advance. I usually set up my weekly calendar
A few more tips:
1.At the new student meeting, quickly jot down general availability (for example “this learner is of the Jewish faith, no Friday night or Saturday lesson times, Sundays okay and Wednesday has bowling and gets out of school at 4:10 P.M.”) in your notes. Using My Music Staff helps me keep all of this information organized and at my fingertips (on the internet with their mobile optimized website so i can access it from my phone ANYWHERE) and just makes me LOOK GOOD when I have a good “memory.” Shh, it’s our little secret.
2.Don’t be afraid to ask learners to swap lesson times, but not just for a week, make these swaps permanent because no one likes a confusing and fluctuating schedule.
3. Be consistent with your schedule. Don’t cancel lessons-have a policy that if you’re sick (unless you’re really too ill to do it) you will ZOOM or give lessons on another online platform. If you’re not comfy giving online lessons, figure out what will make it better. Online theory games like SPROUTBEAT
will make your online teaching much more pleasurable and having a
and space saving piano keyboard
on your desk in-between you and your computer/laptop are necessities as well as a
I hope these tips help you schedule your students, and hang in there-this too shall pass!