Time management in your planning and admin time will help you run an efficient studio. It’s beneficial for you and your customers and also helps you have a better work-life balance more generally.
Effective management of lesson time, on the other hand, is essential.
You must keep a tight control of the ship in order to maximise the time you have with your students and run a professional studio.
Lateness should be the extreme exception in your studio – not the rule.
Being punctual about when you start your lessons shows your families that you respect their busy schedules. It’s also a signal that you take your job seriously and are an organised professional.
Little signals like this may not seem to matter, but they all contribute to parents’ and students’ knowing that they have to take you seriously too. This is not a hobby for you, even if it’s part-time. Being even 1 minute late, consistently, will send a message to families that the rules don’t matter and that you don’t always mean what you say.
Consider setting alarms and reminders on your phone if you’re someone who struggles with this. It really does matter.
If you have back-to-back lessons, you’ll need to finish on time in order to start the next lesson on time. That goes without saying.
But I believe that you should get in the habit of finishing on time regardless of what comes next in your schedule. This is another one of those unconscious messages we send to people. 🙂
Whether you have another student next or a tennis match or you just plan to stare into space – do not go over time. Not if the student is late. Not if you’re in the zone and want to finish something with them. Not ever.
(If YOU are late starting that’s another story. But you’re not going to be late, remember?)
Being a great teacher means making deliberate choices about how you use your lesson time with your students.
This does not mean you can’t follow your student’s interest. It doesn’t mean sticking rigidly and dispassionately to lesson plans.
What it does mean is that you need to choose to follow that whim or that interest. You only have a short amount of time with your students each week and you must spend it intentionally.
Note: I highly recommend wearing a watch or positioning a clock in clear view in your studio. Looking at your phone every few minutes is distracting for the student, even if they know it’s only for the time and you’re not checking messages.
Reflect on how punctual you are in general and ask 3 people who know you well if they think you struggle in this area. If you do find this challenging, make a plan to improve by using reminders/alarms or wearing a watch if you don’t currently. Make some notes about punctuality in your Music Journey Journal and then ask a question about this lesson in the community.