The July 29th Smith’s School of English seminar took place as planned in the Tokyo area. This event was hosted by the owners of the Azamino School. Not only did they make their school area available for head office staff and other school owners to gather, but there was a literally a table full of buffet style foods available for attending members. In my own words it was an epic spread of “Thanksgiving proportions”. Not only was it delicious, but healthy as well sporting a mix of summer veggies and tasty pastas. From the team at head office and on behalf of all attending school owners to Smith’s Azamino: Thank you very much for providing a meeting place and a spectacular lunch!
These seminars are all about communication. Not only from head office to school owners, but from school owners directly to head office as well. School owners do of course contact head office directly on a day to day work related basis, but there’s something personal and gratifying about putting our heads together face to face and talking about what’s on our minds. The franchisees in attendance gave great feedback and had plenty of ideas which they have taken from their experience in the classroom; ideas that they want to share with the rest of the franchise system. Thanks to those attending franchisees in the Tokyo group who made themselves heard.
Student scheduling and level assessment was one of the major topics discussed. Recently the Smith’s students levels went under an internal review based on input from all franchised schools and adjusted these levels in a way that is most beneficial to all schools. Following up on that change at the seminar, attending members agreed that the new student level is essential, and they will continue using it along with the original ones to balance their schools and provide the most comfortable environment for their students possible. Along similar lines we discussed the use and advantages of new scheduling styles. Thanks to a recent update based on direct franchisee input we are proud to host more accepted scheduling styles than ever before.
We did a workshop on how to pace lessons and utilize the curriculum, both when presented as new material and when revisiting a lesson as review. School owners gave example of how they use the curriculum in their own classrooms. Head office staff talked about the latest training techniques and how coaches at the Kyobashi School use those techniques. As expected, we are a team with synergy so everyone was on the same page. Real life situations with real life students don’t always fit nicely into a section of the training manual. Meeting the needs of real students takes real problem solving skills. We had a good time comparing stories about what was done in this situation or that and whether or not it’s consistent with Smith’s core training, goals, and beliefs about the type of experience we want to create for your students.
I think it’s impossible to go through an entire seminar without discussing some aspects of marketing whether we are scheduled to discuss it or not. Fortunately we had enough time to toss around some ideas and get feedback. You’ll have to forgive me for not going into detail about it here 🙂
After that we were out of time and off to catch our train back to Osaka. I’m always glad to have an opportunity to meet with members of our team from Tokyo and they said they were happy to see us as well. Thanks again to all attending members for making it a worthwhile trip. See you at the next seminar!