Found in: Studio Management
So, I thought I was pretty organized until lately. I find myself all over the place. So, my question… How do you keep organized?
I did have everyone’s things in a file folder…but now it’s not working. Any other ideas, or what you have done/still do.
Sue C. AU
At the present time I do the following with regard to one section of organizing and it works for my smaller studio.
I put everything relating to each person into a plastic pocket. In the pocket is: Playlist, record sheet, enrolment form, anything I want to give them next lesson. Then visible from the front is the lesson plan for their next lesson with date, name, and lesson number. This I write out on the evening after their lesson so I know what to do next lesson. This is the sheet the student sheets looking at the plastic pocket as it leans against (in front of) a SM poster on a stand. It could also be used for them to copy from into their notes book.
I put a blank sticker on the outside with their name, DOB and parent’s name.
This way whatever information I need is all in the one place, their plastic pocket.
Carrie L. Michigan
I’ve finally found a routine that seems to work to stay organized. I still have been tweaking it lately, but this is what I do.
I have a binder and in it I have the sheets that someone made up with Level 1, Level 2 check offs.
I have the students in the binder by time/day that they attend.
When I teach I make notes in the binder as to what they did in the lesson. I also keep a piece of paper or a sticky note on the piano so that I can make notes of things that occur to me during the lesson… things I need to do during the week or things pertaining to the student or if I students asks me something that needs to be addressed.
Each weekend (I don’t teach Friday-Sunday) I look through the binder and make a sticky note of all the things I need to prep for during the week.
I update each week on the sheet and with a sticky note if I need more of a reminder.
During the weekend I do my main prep, then each day I look through the binder to make sure I don’t have to do anything that day.
I also have file folders for everything (their enrollment forms etc) in a file cabinet.
I use a file type thing that has Inbox (thing I have to do), Outbox (thing that are done and need to be given out) and a File place.
Each night I put things in those appropriate places.
Kaye L. AU
I have a method, which has worked for me for the last couple of years with up to 40 students.
I have a file with dividers for each lesson of the week. In their section of the file I keep the enrolment form for each student in that group and a playlist which I date at the top and tick off for each student what they play for me on that day. I also have a sheet of lined paper where I record in three or four lines the main things we do in that lesson. One sheet has enough room for eight lessons, and I bill for eight lessons each school term. At the top of each sheet I write where the group is up to for the beginning of that term, what they have paid for, and what materials I have billed them for that term. I find I can fill in most of the details during the lesson, and then at the end of term I make a new sheet for each group and work out what materials I need to order. I can easily see what I have covered with that group for the previous lessons and whether I have missed something.
Joy V. Texas
I have never been one to use anything like a Day Planner as it’s too much to work through, so I’ve always worked in my personal and business life using a calendar, an address book, and notes. When my “life” got to big to handle and my thumb began giving me problems to carry it, I switched to a Palm and used the same thing.
I find that this method works for me on Simply Music as well. So what I have done is develop a blank sheet of paper that says “The Joy of Music Lesson Plan.” At the top is a place for the date and time of the lesson. At the bottom is “Attended:” I write in for each lesson bullets of what I need to cover and at the end of the class I write in who was present and who was absent. I keep these pages in my Foundations Notebook at the front. In front of that I have a payment sheet that I log in each time someone pays. If I need to collect money, I make it a bullet on my lesson plan. If something happens where they don’t pay, or I don’t get to something I was wanted to cover, I “X” it on the lesson plan and carry it over to the next plan. The only downside that I see to this way of doing it for me is that I am using a whole sheet of paper for each lesson each week. But it helps me stay organized and focused on what I need to do and it minimizes paperwork in the long run. Paying education fees is done simply by going through each page and counting the students — no extra attendance sheet that I forget to fill out.
I also maintain the curriculum overview for each student and check it off every few weeks to keep it current. But everything is all in one notebook and I just complete one class, then as the next class is coming in, I flip the page.
Kathy V. Iowa
The way I keep track of what I do with my students is rather primitive. But it works with me. I, too, keep my student records in a binder according to day and time they come. But I use a notebook to keep track of my lesson plans. On the weekend I plan the weeks lessons. I write the students name and what I need to hear from the previous lesson, then what I hope to accomplish at this lesson. Then during the lesson I circle the items that still need work and any new things we covered. Sometimes I end up going a totally different direction, so I just jot down what we did. Later I enter this info in my binder. Sometimes I don’t have time to enter it in the binder for two or three weeks, but I am able to know exactly what I did each week by my notes. I hope this makes sense. I only have 11 students, so it is easily doable for now.
Ethel S. Arizona
It’s great that there are so many good ideas out there.
I have my paperwork broken down as follows:
1. I have a folder (3-ring binder) with dividers in which I keep all studio/business
forms, info. from the SM corporate office, info. from other teachers, etc.
2. A folder (3-ring binder) for Foundation Program info.
3. A 3-ring binder for Special Programs
and most importantly
4. A 3-ring binder with dividers for all my student info.
The students are divided up according to day/time that they come to class. I keep a copy of their enrollment form, a signed copy of the studio policies, evaluation forms, and a checklist to let me know what songs they have learned. Each student also a pocket folder in the 3-ring binder that I put any materials in that I need to hand out to them at the next lesson. I have a notebook that I keep in the front of this folder where I write down my lesson plans for each week. On the bottom of the lesson plan, I make notes as to what we actually covered, if anyone was absent, and if anyone paid that week.
5. I keep track of all payments and Ed fees through a receipt book and an Excel spreadsheet.
I only have a few students right now, so this works well. Each folder is a different color, so I know at a glance where I can find the info. I need.
I need to work on the studying. I definitely need more organizing for my own learning pace.