A Day in the Life of an Assistant Director

July 02, 2018

Alright so bear with me people. This month’s blog all about me (Mel)! Just kidding, kind of. To give you a glimpse of what life is like as an Assistant Director, spend a day with me! There are many of us and we all wear different hats, literally and figuratively. Currently, there are about 15 Assistant Directors (ADs). At most, there are 3 of us per center working under our fearless Center Directors (CDs). We will cover them later because right now this blog is about us!

I wake up at the extremely early hour of 10 a.m. (of course, this varies per center location and schedule). I work at our learning center in Fort Worth, in the Alliance Town Center, which is about a 40-minute drive.

I know what you’re thinking; how does this 23-year-old girl get up, get ready and get in the car to drive to work in the brief time she has provided herself? Well the answer is, very quickly with as little maintenance as possible, but I digress…I wake up, throw some clothes on, and grab my morning coffee like any normal, working, semi-adult 20-something does.

Every center director has their own people and project management style.  My center director Lydia is extremely organized, which means each day we know exactly what our goals are and how we will achieve them on any given day. For those of us that need a specific plan in order to be productive, and on task, this management style is heaven-sent.

11:00 a.m.

Arrive in center, greet my fellow teammates and see how everyone’s morning is going so far. Following that I’ll unpack my purse, which is usually full of at least 5 snacks, a red bull and maybe a water. I take a seat and I begin looking over emails to catch up from the days I was on my weekend. As an Assistant Director, it’s essential that I stay updated on all our members’ educational situations (triumphs and struggles), and that I get to know any new members.

11:15ish a.m.

Usually by this time, if it’s a Tuesday, our squad will begin our weekly meeting. This is where we touch base on center metrics (retention, sign ups, trial booking, conversion, etc.), discuss anything that came up during the days we weren’t altogether, and plan the upcoming week. This meeting can take an hour or 2 because at my center we have nearly 200 kids to discuss…plus, if you know me, you’ll know I can talk! Luckily, being a confident communicator is a real asset at Explore Horizons! Weekly meetings are a great way for me to gain knowledge and insight from my CD, and to share anything I’ve been working on independently (for example, this blog!) to support our center’s growth.

1:00 p.m.

At this point of the day we usually divide and conquer for the upcoming day. Someone is prepping Parent Meetings (meetings to update parents on their child’s progress in the center), someone is doing confirmation calls for the appointments we have, and given the time of year, someone is prepping the summer workshops to run with the kids. Workshops are the best way to get kids interacting and excited about perfecting a specific skill!

Listed above is pretty much a baseline day, but often our days are switched up with a workshop for the team (Lydia training us on a specific skill), a sales circuit (everyone doing sales calls together – gets competitive juices flowing and adrenaline pumping), or a conference call with the company. If it’s during the school year, we will often be out in local schools or HOA’s, holding problem solving or writing workshops with children in our community (one of my favorite things)!

2:00ish p.m.

Let’s face it, at this point I. Am. Hangry. It’s time to eat! Being the irresponsible and ill-prepared semi-adult that I am, I usually buy my lunch somewhere around our lovely Alliance Town Center. If you’re responsible like my coworkers, you might pack a sack lunch.

Now I know what you’re probably thinking, 2pm is a late hour to eat lunch…but let’s also consider that I don’t wake up until 9:45ish and I walk in the door for work at 11:00 a.m. and keep at it until 8:00pm. This is a great time for us to take a break and spend some time together as a team. Obviously, work is so much more fun when you’re able to build friendships (and swap snacks) with your teammates!

2:45ish p.m.

I’m sure these super vague and random times are killing you at this point, but whose day goes as planned to the minute? No one’s.

Currently we are all settling back into the center to begin Showtime…

3:00 p.m.

Now here’s a precise time for you, and one that we welcome each day…IT IS SHOWTIME. Showtime means exactly what it sounds like. Our doors have been opened, the tutors have arrived, and the kiddos and parents are beginning to bustle through the doors because they can’t wait to see us, (especially me). Just jokes, but the doors are open now so we are all about the customers.

From this time until about 7:00 p.m. all the managers, including myself, have a specific job role to perform. This changes day to day to ensure everyone gets a piece of all the Explore Horizons action. One of us is assigned the task of holding Parent Meetings, another manager is holding free assessments (an hour trial for new families to decide if they love us and want to join our Explore family), and someone else is compering (fancy French word for running the front desk and the entire center during showtime). We are a 4-man team, so our last manager is usually filling whatever gap needs filling; sales calls, tutoring a zone of 6 kids, helping run front desk, playing Headbands in Recharge Zone, etc.

7:00 p.m.

Now, the center has wound down and a specialist course is beginning. Our specialist course selection includes: Advanced Writing and Study Skills, Enhanced Writing and Enhanced Math. These are specially designed classes which promote collaboration, presentation, and group work! They’re so fun!!!

As an Assistant Director, I’m in charge of supporting our Tutor Kelsey in running the course (implementing behavior management or tutoring the subject of the day). She does a great job managing the actual instruction of the class, so I usually spend this hour rotating between kiddos and providing individualize support. I love this opportunity to work more closely with the same kids each Tuesday night!

Within this hour, the remaining managers are beginning to tie a bow on the day.

7:45ish p.m.

The specialist course is wrapping up and everyone starts picking up the day and prepping for tomorrow. This time of the day is called…you guessed it, END OF DAY. We work as a team to complete our daily planning and reporting sheet (this sheet lists everything we did for the day to the hour including some metrics involving trials, progress meetings, debt, trials booked etc.).

8:00 p.m.

We are officially closed for business and the kids have either been picked up by their parents or they are in the process of leaving. Kelsey and I are delivering meaningful and personalized feedback to each of our Enhanced Writers, and getting them excited for next week’s topic. Remaining Tutors are picking up the center and checking that everything has been done for the day (we obviously couldn’t do any of this without our amazing tutors). We’re also probably discussing the funniest kid moments of the day; there’s never a shortage of those!

Once End of Day is complete, we scan the daily reporting sheet and send it off to our head office in Addison, to share our victories for the day with the rest of the company. This provides some accountability and personal pride in the way we plan our day, because we have big responsibility and want to ensure we are making our leaders proud.

Okay, there you have it people, a day in the life of me. Man, I’m exhausted, time to get dinner and go to bed. Its been real, thanks for following along!

Lots of Love,

Mel

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