Email feels like the bane of my teaching life some days. It seems to pile up so quickly, yet take so much time to answer thoughtfully. I am always looking for ways to streamline communication with my studio families. I've found that automating the process helps tremendously! I currently use two different tricks to keep my inbox under control.
I often have a list of things that I need to remind my studio parents- lesson time changes, book orders, festival deadlines, etc. Boomerang lets me write an email at any point and then schedule to send it at a later time. It also will send you a reminder to follow up if the other party doesn't email you back within a set time. I used mine during Christmas to send out spaced out recital reminders- it took me 15 minutes to write two emails, and scheduled them to send every two weeks. Done! SO much better than having to remember to write it on the actual date. I also use it to send monthly "Tuition Due" reminders. The free version allows you to send 10 emails a month, but the paid version ($4.99) is unlimited. If you don't use Gmail, they also support Outlook.
I check my email often on my phone, but found I would often lose important messages in the clutter. The Mailbox app lets me archive, delete, or put off messages until later with a very quick swipe. You can also schedule emails to return to your inbox automatically at a later date, so you can focus on what's important now. Mailbox has quickly become my most productive app!My inbox, which previously had a couple hundred emails, now is at Inbox Zero! I love it. Mailbox is available for both OS and Android.
What are your favorite email tips?
My junior year of college, I attended the yearly MTNA pedagogy conference. They had a session geared for new teachers that presented different teaching careers. One of the presenters began by telling horror stories about travel teaching. She stressed over and over again, "DON"T travel teach! It's a nightmare." After I graduated and was starting to build my own studio, I struggled with what to do- I didn't have the space to open up a studio in my apartment, but I was wary of traveling. I took a chance on travel teaching, and five years later, and I'm so glad I did! From my experience, here are some of the pros and cons of travel teaching...
Over the last five years, I've grown to love travel teaching. Although it has it's own set of challenges, it also can be a great way to find a niche in a competitive environment or make the best of restrictive living circumstances.
What has been your experience with travel teaching?