5 Steps to Jumpstarting your 2021 Spring Lesson Load
Freelancer // Public School Lesson Instructor
New Year, New Opportunities! Let's grab you a cup of coffee, latte, or lemonade and start getting geared up for this 2021 spring season of teaching! Take a look at these five steps to either find some motivation, information, or reminders on what to get done before teaching your first round of lessons this semester.
1. Mentally Prepare
Again, grab your beverage of choice, pick out a nice work environment, and maybe some tunes to jam to. This will only take an hour or two, but if you put in the work now, you won't have to do it later. Here's what you're going to needed:
Bell schedules/class details for ALL the school's you teach at
Find Parent/Student contact information
Think about your Lesson Pricing/Policy
Think about your COVID-19 Contingency Plan
2. Get Organized
Find an organization system that works for you and your studio needs. If this is just part-time teaching with only a handful of students each week, then you may not need to do all of this. If your lesson load is 20+ clients each week, then I'd try your best to get most of these points ironed out.
Draft up a lesson info handout for parents/students
Draft reminder emails that will be blasted out (Our Omnis Studio Management System can also do that for you)
Create/freshen up your lesson contract
Make sure to include something about online lessons, what platform you use, etc
Have a COVID safety plan (this will help parents/students feel safe and secure)
Have a contingency plan (a just in case plan… what if we have to shut down schools or move back to virtual for some reason)
3. Prepare your Roster
Here's where things start to become more concrete. Start putting your game plan into action. Reach out to parents and start getting your schedule in place. This may take a week or so to completely fill, so stay patient and keep sending follow up emails throughout the week to prompt parents.
Reach out to current students/parents (if returning from last year or previous semesters)
Ask band directors if you can have a list of parent contact info for all students who aren't enrolled (without current lesson teachers)
Blast out emails and messages. Grab their attention! Be sure to include lesson pricing/policy, COVID contingency plan, and basic information about you and your studio
4. Build your Schedule
Here's my favorite part about freelance teaching: Being your own boss and creating your own schedule. While you're at the mercy of bell schedules and rehearsal times, you still get to have a say in what days and where you want to teach throughout the week.
Create a spreadsheet calendar. This will give you an overview of your weekly schedule of when you can and cannot teach.
Plug current students in first, then add newer students, try keeping lessons back to back to avoid any free space
Schedule your lessons into an online calendar like Google Calendar, iCalendar, or you use our very own Omnis Studio Management System.
Set reminders for yourself! (When to send payment reminders and when to teach)
5. Follow up and Finalize
Pat yourself on the back, you've made it to the final step. Now is the time to solidify your schedule, get to know your students, and begin teaching!
Use the first week of school to meet with students in their band classes, maybe ask to sit in a couple of days to help out or work with students individually (this could be a good opportunity for quick trial lessons, to show that ‘hey, lessons do actually make me better’
Follow up with any unanswered emails
Finalize your schedule before the end of the first week
Send lesson information out to parents (day/time of lesson and contract)
Just a few more tips before you split...
Email to band director(s):
Usually the head or the assistant director will manage lesson teachers, so try to direct your questions to the right person
Class Bell Schedule: Remember… this could be lucrative or just a contingency plan (COVID-19)
Parent/Student contact of each section within each class or band: Beginner class, middle school (7/8th), high school (9-12)
COVID Plan for lesson teachers from District (if not sent): Might not be available until first week of school, remember this is a lucrative process, be patient but ask questions
Things to do at the 1st of every month
Draft up payment reminders
7 days before
On the day of due date
7 days after
On the 1st and 15th
Consider scheduling at least one or two of these reminders. I actually draft them up at the start of each month or even semester then schedule send them through Gmail. Get this done now so you don't have to worry about not getting paid!
Drafted Email Example:
Friendly reminder that October lesson payments should be submitted by Friday, November 15. If you have already submitted your payment, then please disregard this message.