With the first weeks back to teaching, it’s time to settle into the fabulous-ness (perhaps not an official word, but one that describes how much I love my job) of lessons with my students! As a teacher, a big part of keeping clients & students happy is setting realistic expectations for each person. As a travel teacher, that list looks a little different because we need to set up realistic schedule expectations as well.
Scheduling … with red lights & bad road conditions
I’ve perfected my routes over the years by following a few rules.
- Pick the route that has the least traffic lights.
- Pick a route that has the least playground zones possible.
- Budget an extra 5 minutes between lessons than I need.
Why these rules?
Because traffic lights can change my travel time by up 10 minutes depending on how many red lights I get on the route. And, for whatever reason it never seems to fail that when I need to get somewhere they aren’t synchronized.
Playground zones just add to my travel time over all since I need to drive so much slower. And after having kids of my own, I appreciate when drivers actually respect those signs. Especially after one of my twins panicked at the park because he didn’t see me right away … and began running full tilt across the field towards the road. I learnt a few things as I ran after him.
- Kids don’t hear their mommies over their crying while running.
- There were thistles in the field … which I realized as I limped/carried my child back to where I had kicked off my sandals in my haste to get to him.
- Always tell the boys where I am … even if I’ve moved a different bench.
- How much I appreciated the drivers that noticed what was happening & slowed down even further … even though my little one didn’t get close enough to the road to be in danger.
And lastly, once the snow & black ice arrives everyone needs to drive just a little slower so we all arrive to our destinations safely. As much as I would love to get home at my ‘normal’ time, the truth is I would rather arrive safely & get home a bit later rather than rush to keep to a preordained schedule.
Setting realistic expectations
Clients tend to be really understanding with travel teachers. They appreciate that it’s someone else doing the driving for their child’s lesson. You’re making their family life just that little bit easier.
But, it’s easy for clients to forget that at times. I don’t get mad about it because I know how it easy to get used to the new normal. It’s human nature & what contributes to our adaptability as a species.
So, I remind my clients of expectations in lesson, in newsletters, &, when warranted, via email/text/phone.
If you have students come to you, this is just as important. What do you want clients to do if the roads are unsafe to travel? Or, the travel time increased that day because the snow ploughs just hadn’t had a chance to clear the roads? Remind your clients of their options beforehand to avoid
If you would like to have my travel teacher’s checklist I use in my studio so clients know what to expect in the upcoming months, click below.