The Ultimate Back-to-School Checklist for Class Providers
September 7, 2023
7 min read
The summer days are drawing to a close, and the excitement of a new school year is just around the corner. As the back-to-school season approaches, we understand that the excitement and challenges of preparing for a new academic year can be overwhelming. But worry not! We're here to help you seamlessly navigate this process with our comprehensive back-to-school checklist tailored specifically for class providers. Whether you're an educational institution, training center, or individual educator, these steps will ensure a successful start and a smooth transition into the upcoming school year.
1. Prep Your Physical and Virtual Spaces
As students gear up to return to learning mode after their long summer sojourn, putting together an appropriate physical space to create a conducive learning environment, whether in-person or online, is crucial for student engagement and success.
If you have transitioned from COVID induced online classes to in-person classes, it's important to ensure that your classrooms, learning spaces and other common areas are clean, organized, and equipped with the necessary learning materials and equipment. If you continue to conduct online lessons, it would be wise to test and optimize your online learning platforms for a seamless virtual learning experience.
Moreover, an organized learning environment can boost productivity and focus for both you as well as your students. After all, having the right tools is key to staying organized and engaged in learning.
Space Setup: Arrange your teaching and learning space with the necessary supplies (stationery, game equipment etc.), and ensure good lighting and minimal distractions.
Organizational Tools: Invest in organizational tools such as folders, binders, and file organizers to keep your papers, assignments, notes and other documents in order. Note down exam dates, project deadlines, and other significant events to avoid last-minute hassles and rushes. Alternatively, you could explore digital note-taking and journaling apps that can help you keep your materials, documents as well as your thoughts and ideas organized and easily accessible. Using your digital calendar to mark important events is a safe way to ensure you never miss a class or assignment.
Digital Framework: Configure your digital set-up to ease the managerial process at the backend. An efficient class management system allows you to schedule classes and publish your schedule online to facilitate online bookings by customers. Moreover, a structured student database management system can aid in keeping a digital track of student records and organizing and analyzing student data (attendance, exam results, assignments) effortlessly.
Pro Tip - Add personal touches to your teaching and learning space by decorating it with creative pieces, student work, inspirational quotes or artwork that motivates and inspires you and your learners. Feel free to add pictures of your favorite people (friends, family, pets) and favorite memories to remind you of the good things in life!
2. Review Goals and Schedules
If we wish to see where our future is headed, all we need to do is have a look at our past and that will tell us all the answers. - Anthony T. Hincks
As an educator and class provider, each year provides us with new ideas and insights into our profession and performance. Before the new academic year kicks off, take some time to thoroughly review any and all data you may have collated over the past year and update your class offerings and method of operation to meet the evolving needs of your students and the industry.
Incorporate Feedback: Take into account feedback from previous students and parents to identify areas for improvement and refinement in your courses.
Curriculum Evaluation: Assess the relevance and effectiveness of your current curriculum and learning modules and update syllabi, course materials, videos, and assignments accordingly. Consider incorporating new subjects or updating existing ones to keep pace with industry trends.
Introduce New Programs: Consider introducing new workshops, seminars, or courses that align with emerging skills and technologies.
Life as a class provider can be quite demanding and tiring. Taking a moment to reflect on the past year and plan for the upcoming one can make a big difference in your academic journey. The same applies to nurturing your personal life.
Set Goals: Define your professional and personal goals for the year. Having clear objectives can motivate you throughout the year and enable you to motivate your learners.
Create a Schedule: Plan your working hours and additional activities to strike a balance between learning and relaxation to avoid burnout.
Pro Tip - Think of ways to evolve your feedback system throughout the year to enable the collection of more precise and relevant information. You could employ a variety of tools ranging from simple Google forms and email surveys to social media polls and website analytics. Better quality data will simplify the process of self-evaluation and in turn, the implementation of suitable changes.
3. Marketing and Communication Strategies
Today’s digital age is making the world smaller, and communication quicker. Communication is key, and for a class provider, effective communication is vital for attracting and retaining students.
Update Marketing Materials: Refresh your brochures, flyers, and online content to reflect your updated class offerings and any other improvements you have made.
Pro Tip - A creative way to market your business would be to rebrand stationery and class equipment with your brand logo. You could provide your students with a ‘back-to-school’ kit (if you are a tutoring institute, the kit could consist of a notebook, a pencil case, and other indispensable stationery branded with your logo) at the beginning of the academic year. Within view, within mind.
Social Media Presence: Maintain a constant and interesting social media presence. In an age where content is king and mobile phones are almost chained to hands, the best way to get your word out is to engage with your audience on social media platforms - Instagram lives, online polls, contests and giveaways - to generate interest and excitement about what you have to offer.
Clear Communication Channels: Set up clear communication channels for inquiries, registrations, and updates. Ensure your contact information is readily available and up to date. Class providers are also making the most of QR codes to enable customers to access class schedules, registration and trial forms, and trial bookings online.
4. Staff Training and Development
People are better assets than machines. They self-maintain, adapt and grow. Companies in the top quartile of the “investment in training per employee” have profit margins higher by 24%. Investing in people is simply more profitable, and hence, it's a great idea to equip your instructors and staff with the tools and knowledge they need to deliver an exceptional learning experience.
Professional Development: Provide opportunities for your instructors to enhance their teaching skills and stay updated with the latest pedagogical techniques.
Technology Training: Ensure your staff is proficient in using any digital tools or platforms that will be utilized for teaching and communication; the future is sure to usher in and harbor newer education technology trends. Most technology providers - Apple, Windows and more - always offer back-to-school discounts and offers on their products.
5. Registration and Enrollment Process
Streamlining the registration and enrollment process is important to create a seamless signing up experience for both students and parents.
Online Registration: Offer an online registration option to simplify the registration and enrollment process and reduce paperwork. Reducing paperwork saves you a lot of administrative hassle, and well, it also saves trees! Classcard gives you the option to customize student registration forms, so you have all the right information to nurture student relationships.
Clear Instructions: Provide clear instructions on how to register, make payments, and access course materials. Provide the option of reaching out to an efficient chat assistant or a helpline number in case of any doubts or difficulties.
6. Financial Planning
Planning the finances for your business is equally essential, if not more so, as planning engaging classes. Prepare for financial aspects meticulously and judiciously to ensure smooth operations throughout the year.
Tuition and Fees: Review and adjust tuition and fees as needed. Communicate any changes to parents and students well in advance. Do not hesitate to charge your worth.
Payment Plans: You may choose to offer custom payment plans to clients, by allowing installment payments over time or other flexible payment options, based on their requirements and convenience. Classcard eases your job by sending out timely reminders for invoice payments and generating unique payment links with each invoice. What’s more, it also lets you customize and add installment plans suited to your and your clients’ needs. A unique feature on our class management system allows you to offer your clientele a subscription model for payments and services.
Financial Aid: If applicable, offer financial aid options or scholarships and clearly communicate the application process and deadlines.
7. Health and Safety Measures
In the current landscape, prioritizing the health and safety of your students and staff becomes paramount.
Health Protocols: Develop and communicate careful health protocols that align with local guidelines and regulations, keeping in mind the nature of the activity and the well-being of everyone involved.
Hybrid Learning Options: Consider offering hybrid learning options that allow students to attend classes both in-person and virtually. This would also enable students to avoid missing out on lessons that they cannot be physically present for.
While you focus on the welfare of your stakeholders, don't forget to look after yourself. A healthy body and mind are crucial for success and ensuring that you are ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead.
Sleep Schedule: Adjust your sleep schedule to ensure you're getting enough rest, which is essential for concentration and memory, and your overall physical, emotional and mental well-being.
Balanced Meals: Plan and consume nutritious meals and snacks that fuel your brain and body throughout the day.
Exercise Routine: Incorporate regular physical activity into your routine to boost your energy and reduce stress.
8. Community Engagement
Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much. - Helen Keller
Humans are inherently social creatures and being a part of a community gives us the opportunity to connect with people and be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Fostering a sense of community and engagement among your students can make them feel safe, secure and connected and in turn, provide positive experiences.
Orientation Sessions: Organize orientation sessions to introduce students and parents to each other, the class environment, expectations, and resources. Kick off the year with fun and interesting icebreaker activities during the initial days to allow learners to get to know their teachers as well as their peers better. Building a strong support system can greatly enhance learning experience.
Class Groups: Create class groups or online forums to enable learners and parents to connect with classmates for informal chats, discussions and study groups.
Extracurricular Activities: Plan extracurricular activities, workshops, or clubs that encourage students to connect with peers who share similar interests, sometimes even outside of class hours.
Pro Tip - Organize open days of coffee mornings for the members of your community. This gives them a chance to visit your institute and see all that you have to offer. Giving out branded goodies at these events is an excellent way to market your business and attract new customers. You could also organize events or competitions in your neighborhood to bring residents together for a fun weekend celebration. For example, if you are a tennis academy, you could organize an annual tennis championship at your class premises.
As class providers, your role in shaping the educational journey of students is invaluable. With this ultimate back-to-school checklist, you're well-equipped to start the upcoming academic year on the right foot.
At Classcard, we're committed to supporting your efforts in providing top-notch education and fostering a positive learning environment. We've compiled a list of the most important things to consider when starting off the new academic year - as well as some useful questions you can ask yourself to help you ease the process of making the shift. Download your checklist here.