A week

Why don’t I increase the boredom of my blog by telling you about my week, my work.

I arrive on location between 9 and 9.30.  My first class starts at 9.30, and the first block stops at noon.  Being the generous person I am, these adult classes often go in overtime.  These are my mother classes, since I realized pretty soon that if the mother is engaged in learning English, their children often learn faster.

Then, I get a “break” until 14:30.  Not really a break, since this is the time I need to do all my admin and prepping classes, managing my employees, and looking/checking all the other details that cannot be missed.  Since every class is unique, I prep different lessons for each class.  Luckily, after five years, I have become quite adept at doing so, but a novice might not be so fortunate.

At 14:30 my first classes start, all the way till 21:30.  Yes, the math geniuses among you discovered that is already a 12 hour workday.  I wish I could say I went home after that.  Often I still have plenty of stuff to take care of that could take up at least another hour.  First one in, last one out.

This is not abnormal when you run your own business.  All responsibility lies on your shoulder. “Why don’t you hire more people to do the work?”, I hear you say.  Do you think it is that easy to find/trust people who could do those things? I have said before that the moment you hire people, the chance is great that the quality of their work is seldom at your level, and it takes a lot of energy and supervising to get people to work at the same level.  Which often makes me feel that the time and money spend was not a good idea; doing it myself would have been easier.  You also might not have the revenue/margin at certain times to support additional people working for you.  HR takes up a huge chunk of admin time, just finding people can drain you.

Now this is the soup and potatoes of the workweek. I can tell you that every week brings new surprises.  For instance, I get a lot of mothers asking to prepare there kids for specific events (speech contests, tests, exams, …) which require additional time to plan, organize and implement.  Then there are people walking in, and every person that walks through my door needs to get my full attention.    Then there are the scheduling issues, the transport issues, the parents who all of a sudden need reassurance that their kids are doing well.  Let’s not forget all the admin that needs to be taken care of when new teachers are being employed (which can easily take up 20 hours of your time).  Let’s not forget the Summer and Winter camps that take additional organizational issues with them, not in the least getting all the materials in order, and getting people to sign up.  Advertising! Let’s not forget that one.  Outsourcing this is not necessarily better for your business, when you outsource you often get plain vanilla approaches that look just like everybody else’s advertising.  So you need to design and find content and get it distributed.

This week though I got a nice little extra surprise.  I got a call at 04:00 telling my that someone entered my school without turning the alarm off.  Luckily, I seldom have any cash lying around, the burglar gained entrance without destroying my property, and my security service was on the scene within 10 minutes of the alarm going off.  Now, I have to look at additional security (mo’money) to evade such an event.   Too bad I had to go to the police, and file the burglary, which took another nice chunk out of the little available time I have.

If you ever do decide you have the physical and mental stamina to deal with this, all the while carrying a smile on your face, then maybe running a school is right for you.


What do teachers have to complain about anyway!!