How to Avoid Double-Booking with Multiple Companies
Whether you prefer digital or analog, keeping your own calendar will help you with managing your online teaching schedule.
Many of us online teachers work for more than one company. Why we do this varies from teacher to teacher, but oft-cited reasons include maximizing earnings, increasing job security, and keeping our interest fresh. The major drawback to teaching for more than one company is the risk of double-booking ourselves. What is the best way to keep our schedules straight and avoid these mishaps?
Does it feel like your stomach drops to the floor when you realize you’ve double booked yourself? Cut yourself some slack! It happens to the best of us.
I’m established with gogokid, VIPKid, and will soon start teaching with Teheso. Two of the companies operate during the same hours, so I keep them separated by days of the week. I teach for gogokid on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and then the rest of the week is given to the VIPKid.
This not only helps with preventing scheduling conflicts it also helps to keep my props and rewards in order. Each company has its own colors, mascots, and characters. If I taught for both companies on one day, I’d probably be in danger of using the wrong character props in my lessons!
Use a Calendar
If it isn’t feasible to designate specific days, try using a calendar. It doesn’t matter if it is on your phone or on your wall; as long as it keeps your appointments straight. The digital calendars will have nice features, such as alarms and color coding. Appointments can be deleted or set to repeat on a regular interval. Use a pencil with a paper calendar because you’ll have to erase the canceled appointments.
Everyone has a different way of managing their schedules.
Priority Booking Requests
Some companies allow their clientele to request time slots in advance. It’s a great customer service strategy, and an effective way to keep your regular students with you. However, accepting them too quickly can result in double-booking yourself. This is where a calendar might come in handy. Before accepting that priority request, check your calendar to see if that time is reserved already. If you don’t use a calendar, you should compare your teaching portals before hitting the OK button!
Companies Which Operate During Different Hours
I just signed on with Teheso, a very new player in the ESL world. This company has primarily Czech students, which means that I can schedule my classes in the late morning. Since the Chinese companies don’t operate during the late morning, I know that I will always have that time available, no matter what day it is. I can safely book myself for time slots after 10:00 a.m. EST without fear of double-booking myself. Hence, if you want to start working with more than one company, try one that doesn’t operate in the same country as your established teaching gig.
I dedicate two days out of the week to gogokid. The rest of the week goes to VIPKid.
Check, Double-Check, Triple-Check
Hopefully, as you’re reading this, you haven’t incurred any of those dreaded Teacher No-Shows from double-booking yourself. If you haven’t, you probably have a good system set up. If you have, then you’re aware that checking your availability with each company as often as you can is one of the best ways to avoid a TNS. Doing this is certainly a hassle, but it will ensure your peace of mind.