Keeping on Schedule

Weekly Teaching Tip – April 30, 2012

As teachers it is easy to guilt ourselves because we want to give everything we can to our students–even when they don’t always show up on time. When a student comes in 3, 5 or 10 minutes late, they need to know that they will not receive their full lesson time–even if the traffic was horrible! It really is not fair to the other students who arrive on time to have to wait for their lesson.

Chuck Gilmore gave me a good tip on how to handle this conversation. When a student comes in late, let them make their excuse, then say, “Wow, I really wish I didn’t have another student scheduled after you today, but I do have to end at the end of your scheduled time because someone is coming at ____ o’clock.” This way you have acknowledged that they are late and they know that they can expect to be cut short because they were late. This helps keep you on schedule and helps students know what to expect when they come for lessons.

Many of us teachers think we are being nice by going a little late with the student who came late. Well, actually, we are not being nice, we are irritating those who come on time. I had a student who pointed this out to me, and although it was an uncomfortable situation, I am glad she said something because it made me realize just how important it is to make sure to end lessons promptly at the scheduled time.

Of course, each teacher is free to run their studio as they choose, but this was a valuable lesson for me to learn. It is also helpful to keep watching the clock and give yourself at least 3 minutes to get their CD or Flash Drive finalized and send them out the door. This will keep students happy and will keep you happy too because you won’t be exhausted by the end of the day and 20 minutes behind schedule either.

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