After the language course ends, students and teachers go their separate ways, but there is more both parties can offer one another. The weeks devoted to a single class helps relationships develop between instructors and their students that can continue. These connections can be maintained by a number of methods, resulting in a mutually helpful partnership of sorts.
Offer Further Educational Experiences
As an instructor, you have the opportunity to play an active role in furthering a student’s education. Refer students to other course you off, including advanced classes that will help them succeed in their personal educational goals.
An online class is convenient and easier to fit in a busy schedule than an in-person class or seminar. By offering this form of instruction, students can continue to learn with you.
Many teachers offer educational help beyond the classroom in the form of tutoring or private one-on-one instruction. This can be particularly helpful for students who have established a positive rapport with you and need assistance outside of regular course instruction.
Follow-Up with Students
Students who have completed their education or have no further need for educational services can still be utilized by teachers for improving their own teaching. Soliciting feedback and information from students gives instructors a better understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as making students feel their opinions are valued.
Feedback is generally obtained by teachers in the form of a questionnaire. Usually the questions range from general “yes” or “no” inquests to space for more detailed opinions. Feedback can be asked for at the end of a course or mailed out following the conclusion of a course.
An evaluation can be solicited from former students by mailing or e-mailing a request for students to write a brief evaluation of the class as a whole without the leading questions and limited space of a feedback questionnaire. An evaluation can be more helpful to instructors for quality control purposes, as it is more detailed.
As an independent school, testimonials from real students garner interest and confidence in the school. Asking students to supply testimonials for your courses help keep attendance up and maintains a positive connection with students. Testimonials can be requested easily using social networking.
Stay Connected with Former Students
Connections with former students don’t have to be purely professional. Displaying an interest in a student’s personal accomplishments and lives demonstrates a more vested concern for your pupils. This can reinforce positive feelings toward your teaching and the experiences the students had while attending your course.
Employ the Use of Social Media
Social media has become an excellent vehicle to keep in touch with former students without making your presence seem intrusive. Establishing a connection with former students via social networking sites allows you to touch base with them periodically and for them to do likewise with you.
Send Out Newsletters
Including former students in periodic newsletters about your school and courses offered lets them know that you are still available to them for any future educational needs. Include a bit of personal information as well to keep the thread of personal connection alive.
Form Online Groups
Online groups formed through Facebook or Google+ are fun ways to keep you connected to your students, as well as providing a forum for students to keep in touch with each other. A group can keep communication open and allow members to keep the group updated on their personal and educational progress.
Create Special Offers
Offer discounts to former students who wish to reenroll at your school. A discount of 5-10% can attract students that don’t wish to pay full price, but are interested in continuing with your program. Advertise these discounts in newsletters, through social networking sites, and include this information with end-of-course feedback forms.
Many avenues can be utilized to establish and maintain a connection with former students. Keeping in touch with students allows you to retain students and encourage students to recommend your course through word or mouth or media sharing. These connections often prove to be mutually beneficial to the students and the teacher.