Allow some breathing space
It has taken me a while - goodness knows why - but I am now learning the art of packing and unpacking the necessary items for my workshops and classes. Being prone to taking everything bar the kitchen sink this Monday I managed to stick to my check list of absolute necessities. Seems like a no-brainer, but on one occasion, even though I did nearly include the kitchen sink, I forgot a couple of useful items. Luckily they were not essential but even so. A lesson learnt so...
Tip 1: Make a check list not only of what your students need - which might even include sending an email to remind them what to bring of their own - but also what tools and equipment you need to run your workshop.
Tip 2: Stick to your list.
My second error was miscalculating the setting up time. The current lessons are relatively close to home which can make it tempting to fall into a false sense of security regarding time to get to the venue. This week I arrived way before the class was due to start and timed my set-up, including getting the refreshments ready - it took me 45 minutes. I felt so much more relaxed and ready for the morning ahead knowing that everything was in place for the students and I had managed to do it all with less boxes to lug around. This leads to...
Tip 3: Give yourself plenty of time - it is better to arrive far too early, allowing you time sit with a hot cuppa before your students arrive, than to be rushing, getting stressed and barely having 30 seconds left before they walk through the door.
The next one, for me at least, is a biggie.
Tip 4: Unless you are absolutely sure it will be carried out properly - i.e. in an orderly, systamatic manner - the do not let anyone help you pack away!
Seriously, it is so lovely that people want to help you afterwards, and it feels very ungrateful to say no to them, but after a full on morning or afternoon teaching, the last thing you need is to find it takes you another hour or so to sort it all out again when you get home.
I do hope this has been helpful to one or two of you. Part of me thinks I am stating the obvious and I probably am but it never hurts to be reminded. I am a bit useless at taking my own advice so writing it down helps me to remember too.