Everyone on Cambly manages their schedule differently, although you should know a few things about the reservation system to set yourself up for success on the platform, so your favourite students keep calling you back, time after time.
Reservations are great for predictability and help plan my days without panicking about having enough time for breaks and general life things.
To give you some context, I’ve been tutoring online for two years in seven different homes and four different countries, all while working multiple jobs.
So you can say I’ve had a lot going on, and know how to manage my schedule sustainably, without burning myself out.
I wanted to share what I’ve learned about setting Cambly reservations up for success, so you can start implementing some of these practices and reap the benefits, too.
Here Are 6 Tips to Set Your Cambly Reservations Up For Success
Let’s get into it! 🙌🏼
Tip #1. Schedule Enough Time For Breaks
Scheduling enough time for breaks may seem like a no-brainer, but I used to make the same mistake all the time.
I would update my schedule weeks in advance with 8 hour days and only one hour long break when I felt energized and hopeful, but when the day came, I would think, “Why the heck did I do this to myself!?”
I quickly realized that full days with only one hour of break time was unsustainable, unhealthy, and just downright unrealistic.
So, I decided to commit to a schedule that I could stick to and feel good about it.
Now, I schedule ample break time and only do two hours worth of reservations before having at least a thirty-minute or one hour break.
This schedule works best for me and allows me lots of time to grab a bite to eat, relax, and bring my puppy out for a quick walk.
Pro tip: The same rule goes for Priority Hours! I know it may be tempting to claim all of the Priority Hours available to you, but those 5-minute breaks are really for a quick breather, stretch, or bathroom break.
For reference, watch the YouTube video to see what I look like running around my house trying to get EVERYTHING done in the 5-minute break.
What have you tried to accomplish during a 5-minute break? Let us know in the comments below!
Tip #2. Prepare For Your Lessons
I’m not joking when I say that preparing for my lessons every day changed my life.
Once I started preparing for each lesson, I found that I generally felt less stressed, was more confident teaching my class, and walked away from my computer feeling a great sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
Your daily preparation doesn’t have to take long. I usually reserve 10-15 minutes each morning for lesson prep and find that’s lots of time to review lessons, find some fun topics to discuss, and throw some fun games in my spare tab just in case a child calls me.
I’m a huge advocate for preparing for your Cambly lessons.
Tip #3. Post Your Weekly Schedule in Advance
Many students like to book their reservations well in advance, so they know what to expect with their schedule from one month to the next.
I usually post my weekly schedule at the beginning of every month, ensuring that I schedule the days off that I need while accommodating my students’ holidays or schedule needs.
I do this quickly by saving my weekly schedule template under the reservations tab and clicking “paste” to copy my same schedule from week to week.
Posting my schedule in advance allows my schedule to fill up from month to month with new students, and my regulars know what to expect.
Pro tip: Make sure to set the minimum advance notice time for each reservation request by 6, 12, or 24 hours on Cambly. I usually opt for 6 hours of minimum advance notice to optimize for scheduled reservations. Although I adjust this time to 12 hours just before bed every night so I don’t wake up to any surprise reservations!
Tip #4. Send Your Schedule to Your Students
Every time you update your schedule, send it to your regulars or students you connected with and would love to see again.
Students will appreciate you reaching out and will be more likely to book reservations with you in the future.
I usually send a nice little message to them about what I enjoyed from our last conversation and that I look forward to seeing them again soon, along with the schedule.
Pro tip: You can easily send your schedule to students in the Cambly chat feature. There is a designated button that says, “Share Schedule.”
Tip #5. Get in The Habit of Holding Spots For Regulars
Holding a spot in your schedule for your regular students is great for them and your peace of mind.
Holding spots creates continuity and predictability in your schedule and works in your favour long-term for a sustainable schedule that makes you feel good.
Since I began holding spots for my regular students, I started to look forward to specific days of the week to chat with particular students.
For example, I always look forward to Wednesday’s because my Japanese student enjoys chatting about cryptocurrency, space, and other obscure topics.
Plus, it helps keep your daily preparation time low by knowing what to expect from week to week.
Tip #6. Cancel Your Reservations With Plenty of Notice
We’re not English tutoring robots, and sometimes life just gets in the way; I get it! 🤖
But, it’s crucial to cancel your reservations with plenty of notice besides the obvious reasons of being respectful to your students’ time and maintaining your good reputation.
Did you know that the Cambly system rewards reservation reliability and will show tutors who show up on time and rarely cancel classes last-minute at the top of the Priority Hour feed?
So, it pays off to give your students at least 12-24 hours notice when cancelling a reservation.
When you begin implementing these 6 tips to optimize your Cambly reservations, I promise you’ll feel better, teach better, and overall perform better as an English tutor.