Why sharing your students' contact details with your teachers is a NO NO NOOOOOO...May 22, 2021
When you evolve from being a solo teacher to a school manager, there are countless things you need to take care of. You become responsible for the income of your team too, not just your own.
You need to start documenting your processes better, so that everyone can follow the same guidelines and everyone working under your brand represents the same values, working for the same objective.
And when you think you have covered everything already, (hopefully) you realise you can’t just pass around e-mail addresses and phone numbers to whichever team member of yours without control.
Let me clarify, I’m not talking about owning a platform or a company that connects students that are looking for teachers, and then takes commission but leaves all negotiation, payments, and the teaching itself completely to the teacher as a freelancer.
>>> I’m talking about the situation where you as a school owner sign a contract with a student who pays you, and then a teacher delivers the classes (in person, or online).
So what are the risks of passing on student data to teachers?
On the other hand, there are copycats... If you’ve been longer in this game, or if you have done any of my courses, it’s not what you have to be most concerned about in general, as your products are unique, your brand has authority and you're difficult to copy. Anyone who wants to copy you would need like 1-3 years as a minimum to build it all up, and by the time they get where you are now, you will already be miles ahead.
If you worked well your brand’s authority, you also know that though your students loooove your teachers, they are not only with your school because of the teachers only, but because of the overall amazing support and fantastic care they get from your brand. So even if one of your teachers went solo, only a small number of students would follow them.
But if your product is not that unique yet, a team member that has access to full details and has direct contact with your students, can so much more easily go solo and take a good chunk of your students with them.
Also, in the early days of their teaching business many school owners want to handle all the communication themselves, out of fear of their team members saying something they shouldn’t say, or not doing things the way they would.
Yet this is not only super overwhelming for the school owner, but it also puts their teachers into an inferior position: They do not feel trusted, they do not feel they are representing a brand, they feel they are easily replaceable, which can have a negative effect on employee turnover at the school.
So how can you delegate everything a teacher should be responsible for, but avoid them having direct access to your client database?
- Document your processes
o How to do Lesson Planning, where to document?
o How and where to do Lesson Follow-up?
o How and where to do Evaluations, give Feedback?
o How to do Exam Simulations and give Feedback?
Whatever experience your new teacher comes with, there should be an onboarding training, where they get to know the brand, your objectives, your way of working, your rules, and clarify what’s their responsibility and what is not.
#3 DATA PROTECTION CLAUSE / NON-SOLICITATION AGREEMENT
This can be added as an annex to your teachers’ contract, an agreement that they won’t solicit any clients, or use any confidential information related to their job. (This means even if they do have the contact details, they shouldn’t use their old employer’s contacts to help build up their new school for example.)
Consult your legal advisor to see how you can include such a clause in your contracts.
#4 COMMUNICATION CHANNELS
Designate ONE main channel to administrative matters, and another one to learning/student development related matters
- Administrative Requests
- Learning-Related Communication
#5 COMMUNICATION PLATFORM
Learning-Related communication is the only area where your teachers need to be directly involved.
They don’t have to know if a student wants to change hours or wants to ask about a special price for a sibling. That should all be routed into your Administrative Requests channel.
So for Learning Related matters, look for a platform that allows your clients and your team to communicate without having to share e-mail addresses and phone numbers.
- If you have at least 100 students and a team of 5, and you have an online school, I recommend you check out LearnCube.
- Yet having such capability is not a privilege of “big” schools only. You can also find various free solutions, such as ClassDojo and Edmodo. They will enable you to connect your team and your students without sharing e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Plus with these platforms the control is fully in your hands.
If one day, for whatever reason you need to cut your teacher’s direct access to their students, it will take a single click.
Do let me know if this was helpful to you!
If you want to know how exactly to apply these solutions, or if you need additional support with any school management related question, join us on Tuesdays at our School Owner Club Calls.
School Owner Club Calls are LIVE calls held every Tuesday 12:00PM CET, where you get hands-on support and answers to your most burning questions and an opportunity to connect with fellow school owners from around the world.
See you soon,
have a fantastic week!
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