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Tutor Scheduling: How To Manage Parents, Cancellations, & Resources

Running a tutoring business is a lot of work.

Administrative hours add up quickly, and it can be tough to manage – whether or not you have plans to grow.

Strive to spend less time on admin and more on higher-value activities! 

In this post, you will find some best practices for managing tutoring schedules!

Why Does Tutor Management Software & Scheduling Matter?

Schedules will change.

Parents will have emergencies. Tutors will be busy. Students will have bad days or fall sick. 

Whether it is last-minute cancellations or month to month adjustments, you have to be able to accommodate and adapt.

What Is Your Approach To  Scheduling?

To establish your baseline, start by asking yourself:

  • How are your tutors notified of scheduling changes? How many points of contact are there?
  • What happens when there is a last-minute cancellation?
  • Are your tutors communicating directly with parents about these changes, or does your administrative team reach out? 
  • How (or) do your tutors log adjustments to their schedules? Who facilitates the process? 
  • Do you keep an accurate record of these changes for invoicing?

Download our eBook: A Guide to Values-Based Outcomes & Operational Efficiency

How to Manage Tutor Scheduling & Cancellations 

Try to mitigate the amount of time everyone spends going back and forth (i.e. SMS messages, tutor scheduling software, and email).  

Best practices:

  1. Set Cancellation & Scheduling Expectations After First Successful Tutoring Session.
  2. Help Your Tutors Own The Parent Relationship.
  3. Handle Fires, Not Sparks.

Set Cancellation & Scheduling Policy Expectations After First Successful Tutoring Session 

Onboarding parents and new students is a big part of successfully growing (or maintaining) your customer base.

From intake forms, discovery calls, and activity planning with your tutors, there is a lot to plan leading up to a first lesson. 

A Glance At Onboarding

Discovery Call

Your discovery call should always focus on the student and their needs. Your goal is to achieve initial parent buy-in and gather as much information as possible. 

You want to make your discovery call about the customer – save the ‘Our Policies’ for later.

First Tutoring Session

You may or may not charge for your first session. 

The tutor you hand-selected and the student hit it off? Mission accomplished!

Parent Follow Up

A quick parent follow-up after the first lesson goes a long way. 

A motivated and satisfied parent is the best partner to have on a student’s learning journey.

Once parents have seen your team’s work in action, you can intimately review what your partnership will look like moving forward – follow up on any resources you sent over.

Iterate On Your Process

You may already have a good idea of what does and does not work for your business (i.e. 24 cancellations vs before a tutor leaves their house). 

Set guidelines and make exceptions when needed (compassion goes a long way).

Help Your Tutors Own The Parent Relationship

The lines between tutor, parent, student, teacher, and you can become blurred.

Help tutors and parents feel comfortable enough to sort out week to week scheduling and learning activities between themselves. 

Tutors Need:

  • To be systematically involved in the parent and student onboarding process. 
  • To be trained on relevant tutor management software (if applicable).
  • To be provided training resources for parent/student management.
  • To have a process for addressing serious student or parental issues.
  • To feel supported by your administration team. 

Knowledge sharing and resource planning between your admin team and your tutors will translate into a smoother customer experience. 

It will help your tutoring business build trust with parents and students.

Check-In: Only Put Out Fires.

You need to choose where your attention and energy are going. 

Emails, texts, excel sheets, and phone calls can become a poorly scattered set of bread crumbs you are trying to make sense of when managing schedules.

What you are doing now might work when you have 5, 15, or 20 customers, but it becomes tiresome to maintain and limits your ability to grow.

You will want to be the default point of contact for any ongoing or severe issues. 

However, if you and your administrative team spend less time acting as a go-between, including updating schedules and the subsequent invoicing required, you can spend more time engaging in meaningful and impactful aspects of your business.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but creating a more formalized workflow process and using the right tools will go a long way.

Scheduling Is Not Everything, But Get It Right

Dealing with scheduling and cancellations is part of the business.

Setting expectations, empowering tutors to manage parent relationships, and having a way to check-in without micro-managing will go a long way towards making your life easier.

Check Out Some Tools For Scheduling Tutoring Sessions

See: How To Grow Your Tutoring Business or Ebook