I’m doing something extra exciting! I’ve been collaborating with a fellow teacher that also has her own blog. Faith has been really nice and I can tell that she’s an amazing piano teacher. She has her own blog at pianoteacherlady.wordpress.com. Please go check it out and follow her blog! This is a part of our collaboration: part 1 and part 2 series 🙂
The life of anyone in a profession is elusive. We wonder what peoples’ schedules are and it becomes even more mysterious when we are trying to enter into the same profession. I feel like my schedule is very hectic. I have two days off in the week and I work the other five days. My days consist of preparing for lessons, getting ready, and running tons of errands. Even though this may seem like not a lot of work, I find myself struggling to manage it. Before I started using a planner, I only had 7 piano students. Now, I have 34 and the challenge to become organized is harder now than ever.
I started making my own calendar. I copied the style that other piano teachers had because I found it to be very useful. They would schedule out every hour of their day so they can see which students will be taught at which time. In the beginning of my teaching years, I didn’t know how to plan. Thanks to the help of my mentor, I found that this calendar was very useful. It elevated my planning and I could make it entirely my own. At this point, my studio was still growing and I was still trying to find a more effective way to organize my schedule.
I ended up finding a planner that fit my needs. I haven’t spent a lot of time decorating yet, but it works for now. The reason why I say that it “works for now” is because I haven’t spent much time with it. I’m still trying to see if I like it. It wasn’t expensive, and that’s one of the things that I adore about it. However, I have yet to make it my own. And this is what the blog post is all about: I’m going to show you the inside of my planner and explain how a piano teacher organizes a hectic schedule. It’s not easy, but this planner is quickly becoming my new favorite planner. I carry it in my purse everywhere with me and I refer to it at least 8 times a day. Without it, I would be lost.
This the outside of my planner and I covered most of it because it’ll show lots of personal information. The outside cover protects the planner. I got this planner at Walgreens and I ultimately wanted it to be inexpensive. There was no way that I can justify spending that much money on a planner unless I was going to love it.
These are some of the pens and pencils that I use to write in my planner. As you can see, I only use the most basic materials to write in my planner. There’s no need to spend tons of money on decorating a planner. On the very left, there’s a christmas light pencil that one of my students gave me in December 🙂
I also wanted to show you guys the kind of paperclips that I use. These are a must if you are using a planner. There are so many extra papers and pages that I need to bookmark. Without paperclips, I would have a very difficult time utilizing my planner.
Inside the planner, you can find a page where you can store the name, address, and phone number of a contact. I obviously used a fake name for the purpose of this blog, but I would list the contact information of all my students’ parents. This comes in very handy when your phone loses the information, it’s always best to have a backup.
This is another plus to the planner: it includes a calendar layout. I use this to see if students are going to cancel for that week or I use it to write personal events/appointments. The pretty floral layout is a bonus too 🙂
Okay, so this is how I start organizing my schedule. I begin writing the time on the left side column. As you can see, the planner doesn’t make this layout for you. You have to customize this to what works best for you. I then make seven columns for each day of the week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…etc). I try to make them all even, but I’m not a perfectionist. As long as the columns are semi-even, I’m happy. I also implemented a notes area on the bottom for any extra information I have to write for that particular day. This layout works for me and make sure to edit it so it can fit your needs also!
I then like to color code the days. Wednesdays and Thursdays are my days off so I like to color them a different color. Everything else is colored yellow.
This is a close-up of how I organize the individual lessons in my planner. From 12 pm-12:30 pm, Suzy will be having her lesson. After Suzy, Alvin will have a 1 hour lesson from 1 pm-2 pm. If there’s a star next to their name, it means that they are coming to my house. Each half hour of the day is scheduled. I have plenty of time for breaks in between if necessary.
This is also another thing that I do when I’m scheduling. If I have to purchase something for that student, I will write it near their name box. After each lesson, I’ll usually write a note about what we did and what I need to prepare next time. Any homework and assignments are also written in. This is how I stay organized. With 34 students, this is the best way to do it for me.
Go and follow Faith’s blog at pianoteacherlady.wordpress.com. She has written a post about what she carries in her bag and the resources that she uses.
As always, please like and follow 🙂
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