With summer vacation season upon us, I thought I’d share the checklist I follow to prepare for time away from my studio. Usually, students are understanding of occasional weeks of for vacations (everyone needs a break!), but forgetting to communicate the travel in advance can lead to frustration. To keep a happy studio, it is important that students know of upcoming studio closures and any schedule changes that come from it well in advance. Here’s my checklist:

1 Month Before:

  • Decide how to handle the missed lessons (Cancel? Offer an alternative group lesson? Hire a substitute teacher to fill in?)
  • If applicable, make arrangements with substitute teacher
  • Send email to notify studio families of the upcoming studio closure

1 Week Before

  • Remind students at their lessons that they will not have lessons the following week
  • Send an email to studio families to remind them of the arrangements
  • Take care of all outstanding emails/phone calls
  • Set up email and voicemail “Out of Office” messages (Tip: Set the messages to run from the day you leave to the day after you return to give yourself some extra time to catch up.)
  • Schedule a couple of hours a day or two after return to deal with the communications that come in while away

During Vacation

  • Turn off unnecessary phone notifications
  • Enjoy the time off!!!

Week After

  • Catch up on communications, starting with voicemails and texts, then tackling emails

Be patient with yourself after returning from time away. I have found that for every day I’m gone, it takes a day after I get back to feel caught up. So if I’m gone for 7 days, I expect it will take about a week to feel like I’m completely back on track.

What else do you do to ensure your studio doesn’t fall apart while you’re away?

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