Your magic wand to more students without overwhelmJan 17, 2022
Whenever I ask my tribe, "What would you wish for if you had a magic wand?",
"More students!" is the most common answer.
The truth is, you DO have that magic wand. And it's YOUR EXISTING STUDENTS. A satisfied and happy student will rave about you to everyone they know.
Now... do you know what your students think? How often do you ask? Do you ever ask them to give you public feedback?
Numerous (mostly free) tools can help you find out what they think without any tech overwhelm.
I love the fun rating options at TypeForm, so at my kids' academy, I could use a different icon with each question: stars, hearts, cats, lightbulbs, trophies, etc.
What questions to ask, though?
Well, less is more...
So I'd say you should be ok with 3 questions max, especially if it's the first time you do this. I ALWAYS ask the
"Would you recommend our classes to your friends?" question on a 1-10 scale, and then add a
"What do you like most about learning with us?" and
"What could we do better?" with an open text field for the answers.
If your students are more used to being asked, you can, of course, add more specific questions about communication, quality of lessons, professionalism of teachers, your presence as a director/leader, whatever you want to know. Still, those 3 initial questions totally do the job, especially if you are new to this.
Once you're ready, send it out to everyone in your tribe, setting a deadline, and don't be afraid to send reminders.
When we had almost only Dream Students at my former academy, we would get answer rates like 86%, which is amazing; it shows that people genuinely care, but even with Dream Students, it takes some reminders, so don't be shy.
Send it per email, publish it on the platform your students use to connect with their teachers outside of classes - write up a post addressed to your whole community: Edmodo, ClassDojo, LearnCube. And if it fits their class time, ask your teachers to remind students when they see them in class.
And now, the most crucial step. TAKE VISIBLE ACTION based on the answers:
Make sure you address valid concerns; if it's something serious, pick up the phone and talk to the student (parent) to get all the information you need. Don't be embarrassed; being open and willing to improve will increase people's trust in your business even more, even when there are problems. Remember, people don't like you because you're perfect, but because you're ready to grow.
Yet, if there's a request that goes beyond your boundaries or simply doesn't fit what you're there to do, make sure you explain that firmly but politely to the person (unless the survey is anonymous), so they understand that's not what they will get from you.
I always get back to people in a follow-up message, sharing the answer rates, thanking them for their collaboration, highlighting how important their feedback is in helping us serve them at our best and address the issues.
This way, even people who didn't answer will see that most others did (so they are more likely to do so next time), and everyone will be on the same page on what we will do and what we won't.
This is part I; part II is coming next week with asking for Public Feedback.
Thank you for coming along, as always!
PLUS, whenever you're ready…here are a few ways I can help you live the life you dreamed of when you started your teaching business: grow your school faster, increase personal time and get more out of life.
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