Flexibility is a Lifesaver: Managing Teacher Shortages with a Flexible Calendar

(Illustration produced by AI.)   Whether you run a single-teacher language school or employ multiple teachers, does your calendar structure allow you to handle a scenario like what we recently had?   October – Teacher 1:    Unfortunately, we had to let go of a teacher during their training period. Teacher 2:    Another teacher, whose family … Read more

Turning Friction into Connection: A Strategy for Language Schools

Consider the frictionless experience of ordering an item from Amazon. Now, imagine a high-end hotel like the Ritz Carlton offering a similar experience – a stay with no human interaction. While efficient, it would lack the memorable quality we associate with luxury.   This comparison brings to light an interesting business dichotomy: frictionless vs. immersive … Read more

Teaching Our Students to Fish (Teacher Training)

When doing teacher training, I’m often asked about activities that can be done in the classroom.  Of course, having a list of good activities can be very helpful, but even more important than the activities themselves is how those activities are done.   One big problem in activities is the focus on content.  Too often … Read more

Raising Prices

Today’s post is a little longer than normal, but pricing is a timely topic I see arise on Facebook groups and other school owner forums.  We have decided to raise prices this coming April and started announcing it to our students this week.  I thought I’d write about our experience and how we plan to … Read more

Languishing

A couple of times a month I write a message to all my teachers and staff, and I thought I’d post my most recent one to other school owners as well.  (It will go out to my staff at the beginning of next week, so they don’t receive work messages on a weekend.)  I think … Read more

MY Principle 1: We Start with Questions

(This is the third post in this series on Purpose and Principles.  You can find the first post here.)   When initially holding small-group discussions among our staff at MY English School, a couple of groups commented in their notes that they saw this as a principle applying to the classroom, not management.  Yes, Finding … Read more

MY’s Purpose – We Grow Success

(This is the second post in this series on Purpose and Principles.  You can find the first post here.)   About a year ago I read the book The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz.  It was first published in 1959, so the language is very male centered and parts of it feel … Read more

Purpose and Principles

I’ve always been a big proponent of focusing on a strong school culture.  After reading a blog post by Simon Moran about two years ago and other articles and resources on the value of a strong culture based on shared values, such as this one from Harvard Business Review (HBR), we decided it was time … Read more

Measuring Teacher Effectiveness with KRAs

What are the qualities of an effective teacher?  How do both they and we know what success looks like, both in the classroom and at the school in general?  We’ve developed Key Result Areas (KRAs) to help answer these questions.  As it states in the introduction to our Teacher KRAs:   “The purposes of these … Read more

Consulting an Attorney

  Coming from America, my impression of attorneys is that they are expensive.  I never thought about consulting one in regards to our school because of the imagined costs.  This meant spending lots of time asking questions of other owners, trying to find answers online, and essentially bumbling around trying to find advice and answers. … Read more

How Much to Automate?

  We are developing our own software for operating and automating our schools, after not finding anything on the market that really fit our needs.  One question that has come up, however, is how much we should automate.   I believe the most important factor that will set successful schools apart in the near future … Read more

People Become Trustworthy because You Trust Them

Tim Ferriss recently interviewed Jim Colins on his podcast, with one of the themes being trust.  Please listen from the 1:08:00 time stamp here (https://overcast.fm/+Kebtp5slg/1:08:00) until the 1:16:30 point, about 8-1/2 minutes.   Colins’s stance is that we should start from trust.  Yes, we will get burned sometimes, but the benefits of starting from trust … Read more

What Are Budgets for?

I have to admit that I am a school owner first and foremost because I was unhappy with the restrictions on teaching I encountered in my other teaching situations.  I wanted to teach the way that I felt was most effective and create a school with that same emphasis on education.   Even now, I … Read more

Taking Care of Staff

One of my staff members recently sent me a link to this podcast (length 4:45) with the message that it “reminded me of you and your ownership of MY.”  The podcast is mainly about the story of a construction contractor who gets more from his workers because he treats them well.  I don’t always succeed … Read more

The Biggest Bluff

  What are your thought processes for making decisions? How do you view risk and probabilities of success? Are you able to separate a good or bad outcome from solid or weak decision making? If you are successful, is it a result of luck or skill? What is within your control and what isn’t? How … Read more
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