As Site Coordinator, you’re charged with making sure your Safe Sitter® program runs smoothly. You know the things you should be doing to make that happen, but are you aware of the things you shouldn’t? Here are three pitfalls you should avoid if you want your program to thrive.
- Only Having One Instructor
If you only have one Instructor, you’re essentially flying without a safety net. Sure, that one Instructor may be the most reliable person you know, but things happen. She may be sick or have a family emergency on class day. Then what? You’re forced to cancel and re-schedule—a move that only serves to disappoint your students and frustrate their parents. Don’t take that risk! We always recommended that Teaching Sites have at least two Instructors. Take steps to recruit another Instructor and have him or her complete online training. You can request a flyer to help in recruitment. That way, you’ll be ready for spring break classes and able to teach larger classes, if need be. (Remember: there’s a ratio of no more than 8 students per 1 Instructor.)
- Not Having a Regular Schedule of Classes
No one likes getting utility bills but at least you always know when they’re coming and you can prepare for them. This same logic applies to scheduling your classes (and we assume you like teaching Safe Sitter® a whole lot more than paying bills!). It goes without saying that if you create a calendar of classes, you’ll never be surprised when one is coming up, your Instructors can be prepared, and you can order supplies in ample time. Also, when you teach at the same time each year, parents in your community may come to anticipate those class dates, which can make filling classes easier.
- Failing to Recruit Students or Advertise
Sure, a calendar of regularly-scheduled classes is smart to have. However, it’s not a matter of “If you build it, they will come.” You still need to advertise. Post specifics about your classes (date and time) on your website, not just the fact that you offer Safe Sitter®. Make the registration process easy, and easy to find. If you don’t make information about classes visible on your website, you’ll have a hard time filling them. Free advertising is out there. Take advantage of it! Check out local online newspapers and post class advertisements. Many offer free ads for community events. Take advantage of the Program Marketing section of our website. We offer flyers that you can co-brand with your organization’s logo and customize with your class dates, times, and contact information. Or submit a Marketing Request Form and we’ll create a customized flyer for you!
The role of Site Coordinator comes with many responsibilities, and we appreciate your willingness to take them on. There’s no reason your program must falter because you don’t have enough Instructors or a calendar of scheduled classes and enough students to fill them. Contact us for help on recruiting and training Instructors, suggestions on the best days and times to teach, and tools to help you promote your classes.