How to set up and manage timetables ?
When am I teaching who ? Lesson plan anyone ?
Sooner or later, this will become a BIG problem, even if you only have 3 students. Imagine when you have 15 to 20 students each week.
If you end up working for a school, or a private language school, you really don't have this problem because you just turn up at a certain time and go home after you have finished and the school just manage the students and when you teach them for you.
It's a different story when either teaching English via Skype, or and also teaching private students who either come to you, or you travel to them.
It gets complicated because students are people, who change their plans, get ill, stuck in a traffic jam, or just simply don't feel like doing the next lesson and you will find out more about this last part in the Student payment management section, but for now let's just concentrate on how a teacher can set out his timetable, or better still... what to use.
Pen and paper ? Sure but it's double the work and is not immediate.
a calendar ? You are getting near, but not quite there yet.
Student timetable management tools
We use iPads and the calendar which is installed per default, but if you don't have an iPad, then any calendar which you can find on your computer or even download a shareware calendar app from the internet for free will do, because all you need are the following functions.
To manage student timetables you need a weekly overview at least.
Most calendars have that and also a monthly overview but you will rarely use the latter.
The next function your student timetable calendar must have is the 'repeat' setting, by which you set a certain student on a once weekly basis, or two-times weekly basis and then this is repeated for all the following weeks automatically.
Another very useful function is where you can drag one lesson to another slot in your week, as in a case when a students asks to move his lesson from a Monday to the Wednesday.
But what do you do if he decides to move ALL his lessons from the Monday to the Wednesday ? [ do our course to find out ]
The last function which you should have are alarms, which basically can be set to give off a warning beep or alarm 1 hour or whatever prior to the start of a lesson.
Example of a student management calendar use
Say you have 7 student each week.
Four of them have lessons twice a week, one has three lessons per week, and the remaining 2 have just one lesson per week.
So you have them inserted on the days and hours that you are teaching them and you check your calendar each morning to see when you are teaching who and even have an alarm set to go off 30 minutes before the first lesson starts, and so everything is cool and managed.
But what happens if one of your Monday students let's you know that they are skipping the next lesson and instead of Monday they want to do it on the Wednesday.
Easy, you check out the calendar, find a slot on Wednesday for that student, and then just move his Monday slot to the Wednesday slot if available.
What do you do if there is no available slot on the Wednesday ? Do our course to find out.
Basically, managing student timetables is a juggling act where you try to come forward to their needs, but also take into account your own and those of other students.
Anyone who has ever done this, like managed people on a schedule who quite often tend to make changes to that schedule, will know what we are talking about.
For the rest of you .... live and learn, or take our course where we explain in detail the best way to manage students and their lessons easily.
We almost forgot ....... when a student pays you, say the next 10 lessons in advance, don't forget to make a note of this payment in your student management calendar, and the best place to insert this in tour calendar is ...... do our course to find out.
If you don't do this, sooner or later keeping track of who paid when for how many lessons will become your worst nightmare!
Student payments management ...er what a mess
Yep. It can, is and believe us WILL be a mess more often that you will believe.
What to do if a student misses 3 lessons and has already paid ?
What about a student who pays monthly, and misses two weeks into the next month and now wants to pay again. Do you refund him ? Or take his past payments for the missed lessons as good and let him still have those paid and missed lessons in the next month ?
How do you make sure that you are not losing money on missed lessons but at the same time giving the student a better deal than all language schools concerning their payment structure ?
At private language schools, if a student misses a lesson, he loses the money paid. Our system works much better for the student but also for the teacher.
Read this!!!! Students payment management