Episode #50 - The 3 Elements of Transformation in the Lives of Your Students: Part 4 of the Transformation Formula - Teacher Zone

Episode #50 – The 3 Elements of Transformation in the Lives of Your Students: Part 4 of the Transformation Formula

Once a student becomes a paying customer, and begins their journey through your learning program…that’s when the excitement begins.

By this point you have had numerous conversations, answered all of their questions, and helped them overcome their hesitations.

But now they are ready to be transformed. And it’s your job to make good on your promise to make that happen.

That’s what this podcast episode is all about.

The three elements of transformation in the lives of your students.

What are the three 3 elements?

  1. Learning & assignments
  2. Community engagement & tracking progress
  3. Establishing reward systems.

When you focus on these three elements, you’ll see the transformation happen, and your students will be fired up about their progress!

Watch it Here

Or Scan the Show Notes Below

0:00:05.6 Tyler Maroff: Welcome to the next episode of The Teacher Zone with Chris and Tyler. I’m Tyler Maroff, and today, Chris and I, are gonna go over part four in the transformation quadrants. And Chris, what’s part four on? 

0:00:21.4 Chris: Well, part four is transform. So the transformation quadrant culminates in this item. So for those of you that have been seeing the webinar, if you haven’t, go to our website, teacherzone.com, you can watch the transformation formula webinar that we have and do. That really is a comprehensive guide to everything… For anybody that teaches, you know, whether you’re doing private or groups, Tyler and I, we basically talked to some of the biggest lesson business owners globally over the last five, six years, and we created this formula off of all of our learning from all y’all. And so basically what it is, is the four steps are: Attract, convert, deliver, and transform.

0:01:09.3 Chris: And so the other podcast in this series, this is part four of four, they went through the other three, so today, we’re all about transform. And, you know, Tyler, for a second here as we get into this, why don’t you talk for a second about transform. I’m so proud of what you and I do, and what all of you listening do, because we’re changing lives.

0:01:32.5 TM: Right. So transform is absolutely directly related to our why, which you guys have heard us talk about before. Sometimes during the attract, convert and deliver operations, we forget about that for a while, and that’s why we’re here. A lot of you are still in the wilderness, and you don’t have to be anymore, I don’t care if your business is 50 years old or 50 days old, okay? That’s why we’re doing this. So our why and our transformation for the teacher zone, even, is a big deal. Like we’re trying to transform our community, but at the same time at our local brick and mortar lesson academy, transformation has been a big part of our why too, because we wanna give what we got.

0:02:24.8 TM: Some time in our past, Chris and I had a musical experience, ’cause ours is a music performance academy, that changed our lives forever. Whether it was listening to a tape or CD, whether it was a first jam, like I had with the Cardoso Brothers when I was 12, blew my mind and I knew I would never, ever stop. I didn’t know what it meant, I just knew I was not gonna stop. Well, fast forward, Chris, now we have 14 other people that had the same experiences working with us, for us, at this same performance academy, that all had similar instances happen and want to make that impact as well.

0:03:04.1 TM: So that to me is the transform. Now we get into the detail, obviously, and that I brought up the team, right? I just mentioned the people that make the world go around at Los Rios Rock School, our performance academy, that team is what we’re talking about on this series. So the attract, the transformation, whole quadrant, is based on how do these teams work and how can they work and can you and us apply them? So that’s what we’re doing.

0:03:36.0 Chris: As a reminder, for those of you listening, if you’re in leadership, then essentially leadership, especially if you’re the director or owner of the operation, your role is basically three things, it’s: Where are we headed? So that’s the vision, right? Do we have the right people in the boat? So that’s the people, right? And then your job is to make sure you don’t run out of money. So don’t run out of money, make sure you have a map and make sure you got the right talent. And with that, you can create an extraordinary… Maybe most of you already have, but we wanna continue to create an extraordinary impression and transformation in our students.

0:04:19.0 TM: Chris, lets face it, we made an extraordinary, one of the best performance academies in the country, and we feel like we’re just getting, after 12 years, to chapter two. We believe it’s not anywhere where it actually can be, it’s close, but we don’t… It’s not there.

0:04:37.2 Chris: Most of you listening, you’re in the lesson or class business, because you’re really, really good at something, or you’re really smart at something. So if you have a language school, you’re really good at languages, if you have a martial arts or dance or music, you’re really good at that, right? And so, you basically took that talent and then typically that’s how most entrepreneurs start, you’re like better than a lot of folks, and you have some ambition, you decide that you wanna make an impact and start to do your thing.

0:05:11.0 TM: Right. And then you also, you’ve figured out a little twist to what the status quo is, and you’re like, “I don’t like the status quo,” that’s what happen… That’s what I did.

0:05:18.0 Chris: Right, you fixed a problem.

0:05:21.4 TM: I think all of that… And entrepreneurs can be very passionate. I was so passionate and younger that I was like… And I’m friends with a lot of these people now, by the way, but I was like, “This Studio X School A, whatever, they suck, if that’s all they’re bringing to the table.” Now, that’s not very compassionate of me, but it was a fire nonetheless, and I said, “Okay, how can I solve it differently?” And that’s that entrepreneur journey.

0:05:51.8 Chris: That’s what a business does, a business solves a challenge, right? And so you have to solve a challenge that people actually want solved, and typically you only know what people want solved if you’re talented or been around it enough. The whole reason Tyler and I… We were friends for a very long time, but we were attracted to one another also because we had similar background, similar talents, similar things, we tend to attract those that think and are a lot like us.

0:06:21.7 TM: And that was even way before you even had that moustache, which is so attractive. [laughter]

0:06:28.1 Chris: Well, I’m follically challenged… It’s the best I can do, but you know.


0:06:31.1 TM: It’s great. It’s great. Especially when you’re drinking espresso, it’s amazing. Even from 2200 miles away. So anyway, sorry, I digress. I don’t wanna throw a Chris off his track. Where were you going with that? 

0:06:42.8 Chris: Well, where I’m headed with it is this is that, you said we’re just getting started. And for a lot of you that have been around a long time, you’re always kind of just getting started, and if you’re talented in anything, which almost all of you listening are, you know how that works. The more talented… Like, I started playing drums at five years old, I was in my first band at 12 years old… I thought I was really, really good at like 15. Now, many, many years later, I actually consider myself a beginner. Because the better you get, the more you know what you don’t know. The more you start to see the big picture of things. So, this transformation process, what I’m trying to get at, is never done… This is something that it’s like, it’s the whole fun of the game.

0:07:32.4 TM: And today we’re gonna break down on how that transformation philosophy trickles into different facets of a business. So, the teams that run a couple of… We’re gonna go over three different topics today to cover the transformation part of the quadrant, but what Chris just described from his five-year-old self to his 15-year-old, I’ve arrived Jedi drummer self, then enlightened later like, wow, there’s always more. That is also the same philosophy you can sprinkle into your students, families, parents, staff, leaders, directors, operations, any body, your neighbors that are near your facility… Like this is what people are missing sometimes, because they’re wrapped up in the stress and the burdens of not having systems.

0:08:27.6 Chris: Well, it’s… You’re right, the lack of systems, and it’s also telling… I’m sorry to cut you off, but it’s a lottery mindset. A lot of us are taught for some reason that if we hit this certain finish line, we’ll be done. That’s why I thought I was a really good player when I was my teenager, because I thought, “Oh, I hit the milestone, I’m done.” And then you realize, “Oh, there’s no finish line.” Well, that suddenly makes it infinite, so where you and I are at our school right now compared to some operations, we’re having some great success. Compared to our own ambitions, we’re literally in kindergarten, just getting started, because we know that we can make a bigger impact and a bigger difference.

0:09:06.7 Chris: So hopefully you’re excited about making a difference, let’s talk about transformations. So Tyler, the first thing we talk about is with the three elements, we’ll just say that and then let’s get into each one… Learning in assignments, community engagement and progress tracking and reward system. Those are the three ways to transform in the class and less on business, learning and assignments, community engagement, progress tracking and reward system. Let’s first start with learning, learning and assignments, it’s a big part of transforming the students that you have in your classes and lessons each week. So, let’s talk about the team for learning and assignments Tyler, go ahead.

0:09:41.8 TM: Well, really, depending on your school and what type of lesson business you have, if you don’t have something with some continuity, which all of this is linked together, that leads to, can we measure what’s happening? Are there reasons and goals to want to get further and not quit? Like all this… You’re gonna notice this could be one topic, but we split it into three. So, right now assignments, like weekly assignments, is there a consistent flow of information case by case? We understand all students are different, we don’t at Los Rios Rock School and Teacher Zone in general, we don’t truly believe that linear academia is the only way to go.

0:10:29.3 Chris: Right.

0:10:30.9 TM: Everything’s changing… There’s full high schools that are dedicated to project-based learning now, compared to the Bolshevik style linear stuff we’ve all been used to… So, therefore, if the weekly assignments, what they need to be is consistent…

0:10:46.0 Chris: Right. And to get… That’s such a great point, because this idea that everybody should learn the same thing, we all know that, that is not the most… Especially in the private lesson and class business. We understand that you know what, you can take someone that’s excelling and keep pushing them so much farther, right? Everybody’s at a different level, if you will, especially with private…

0:11:07.0 TM: There’s another way to look at it too. Brazilian jiu-jitsu, when you show up to jiu-jitsu, you’re over a four-day period in a week, no matter what level you’re at, you’re learning a sequence of different moves and you might suck at two of them, like it’s just not making sense, but you submit a guy with the third and the fourth one, like it’s your thing. So, even in that atmosphere, it’s really accustomed to each person and the professors at those studios, and if you’re listening, “Hello.” They watch, but everybody, then you go back and you refine the weaknesses. There’s always a way to do it. So, the bottom line is this, your assignments, your weekly assignments, something should be dispensed consistently so that the people involved that are learning know what to expect, build a habit, and your school has a reputation of being productive.

0:12:05.5 Chris: And so, since we’re talking about leadership and leadership’s about having teams, you build people and people build your business. What are the teams involved with learning and assignments? We’ve got…

0:12:14.3 TM: Well, at our school… Yeah, well, we used to have a director of curriculum, he moved to Switzerland. And we had big plans for him, and after five years, he moved with his wife, who is Swiss… Dr. Haycraft… And so, we have a little space to fill, and an oversee position for curriculum enrichment and follow-through. But right now, Chris, we currently have 126 lessons in Teacher Zone, for the mandatory minimums, for auditioning and moving into different parts of the program that all the teachers use in unison.

0:13:00.6 Chris: But the team members, just to keep on the team topic, basically, you should have your administrators, directors, leadership team on the same page, which Tyler was just talking about with the 126, those are our levels, our audition requirements, our ability to be able to gauge where you’re at.

0:13:16.8 TM: And assignments, they become assignments as well.

0:13:19.9 Chris: We’re gonna get into that. But what I wanted to reiterate here is that, under your learning and assignments, it’s imperative that your staff, which is your… Obviously, your teachers, have great direction from leadership, so they know what’s expected of them. Which means… ‘Cause I know we know, we see you guys every day and there’s just like… Some teachers are really good about it, some teachers are lazy, some teachers just don’t… And so it’s very important that you have a standard with your lesson class program, where you tell your teachers what is your mandatory minimum that you’re gonna require for learning and assignments each week, and then with that…

0:13:57.9 TM: And does your operations have a way to monitor those standards as well? Because do we have checks and balances? We already have employee agreements that state, “Hey, this is what’s expected of you, this is how consistent we like to be at Los Rios.” But is it all in unison together and is it being monitored, is it happening? So those are really key too.

0:14:20.2 Chris: Yeah, because having KPI’s, Key Performance Indicators, having things that you’re measuring, it helps you grow as we know, you can’t grow what you don’t measure, but a lot of us, we give a lot of orders, we talk about transformational versus transactional leadership, we tend to give a lot of orders and then not have systems in place to follow up. So, getting ways to measure and so… Lastly, on the learning and assignments, one of the things that we also do, with regard to measurement, is the quarterly… Is the review, where we’ve got students getting reviewed all the time.

0:14:58.1 Chris: We also do, what Tyler said, where you can have evergreen courses and assignments that teachers can just keep assigning from your curriculum, but bottom line with this is, make sure your team, you even have the parents involved. So the team in this one is your leadership team, which would be directors and the like, teachers are the most important aspect of the learning assignments, ’cause they’re the ones day-to-day adhering to the expectations of your program. And then lastly, parents, if you’ve got under-age students, you need help to make sure those assignments and things are actually getting viewed and looked at, so make sure you have a way to engage the families.

0:15:36.7 Chris: One of the ways we do that is we teach, upon the first lesson, we actually teach the students how to use the apps, how to view the assignments, that kind of things, and we make sure that the family’s also… We have videos and things, we send the families, letting them know how to do that. So it’s really important to do so. Tyler…

0:15:56.1 TM: Yup, and it’s easy. Anyway, you can reduce friction on those assignments, quarterly goal updates, and using some sort of evergreen multimedia, something that there’s continuity to, if you have a way to get that to everybody, and there’s less friction, the more you do it and the better you get at it, everyone, the parents and families are transforming, not only the teachers and the students. So that team framework is very important, and you’re right, Chris, that does lead us to more engagement and the community aspects, why don’t you touch on that? 

0:16:29.8 Chris: So if you start with learning and assignments, in the transform, we did three parts that we did: Learning assignments, then we did community engagement, and then we did the progress tracking and reward system. Bottom line is that this piece, the community and engagement aspect, is big in transformation, you guys, it has been proven. And in the webinar, we talk about that… What is it? Change or Die book? It’s actually been proven over and over again that humans do not change without peer pressure, they just don’t. Humans need peer pressure. So it’s important that you create a community in your lesson program for several reasons: One, we tend to stay longer when we feel like we belong, so by creating a community, you’re actually increasing your retention dramatically. We also give more referrals to places we feel like we belong, right? 

0:17:25.7 TM: Right.

0:17:27.0 Chris: And then lastly, we actually learn more and change their behavior more when we feel like we’re doing it for people that think how we think, or at least believe… They say, “If you wanna change your habits or change your behaviors or learn a new skill, the first thing you should do is go hang out with people that already do that.”

0:17:46.7 TM: ‘Cause you are who you hang out with, as many of our grandparents told us, and that is absolutely true. So the way we break this down, our team, for the community and engagement part of this little talk of this part of the quadrant. So we’ve got our directors that are working with group projects and overseeing multiple students as a whole in groups, but then we also have our admins, or administrators and operations team that makes sure all the parents on the financial side and the expectations in the event side that are coming up, are all in the know, and so there’s a very important…

0:18:28.1 Chris: And that would include communications, right? 

0:18:29.7 TM: Our communications director, he has to sit back, Chris and I can’t do this, he has to be able to sit back and look at what would he want to know is coming if he was a parent that cared a lot about that kid growing up, and guess what, Spencer has no kids. He is a kid, he’s 24 still, but he still needs to learn empathetically, how to think like them, and as the standard creators, us, the founders, without Chris and I doing it for him. So that communications person, whether it’s group events coming up.

0:19:02.0 TM: Whether it’s, “Oh, ask your ambassadors if your kid isn’t feeling connected,” we’ll get to that in a second, have them connect with the person with the ambassador badge, they will help them. Someone on this engagement team has to oversee the whole thermometer and know how to sprinkle the systems down.

0:19:19.0 Chris: And we kind of… Tyler and I, when we talked about the engagement part with the community engagement, we realize that pretty much your entire operation is involved in this aspect. Because this is the part… When you’re trying to build a community, it takes a tribe and it takes everybody to be on the same page. Again, I’m gonna reiterate, our job as leaders is to simply impart the vision over and over and over. If you notice the Steve Jobs and the Elon Musks of the world, that’s really all they do is impart the vision right? 

0:19:51.4 TM: My job, Chris and my job is to not make sure our parents remember, there is a big get-together or giant meeting or something that’s exciting. Even though it’s really cool, and we used to do that, that’s not… It’s not scalable. In order for us to make this vision come true, we can’t do that.

0:20:12.2 Chris: Right. We simply provide the vision and then help the team. Every person has a certain aspect. So our communications director is important part of this, but a big part of community engagement is your teachers. So it’s important that you train your staff, including us. Tyler and I were just talking about, “We need to do better.” Even though our performance program is kind of like… What Tyler alluded to is that if you go back 12 years ago, when Tyler first started out of his house, and then he and I started dreaming about what it could be, and then you take where we’re at today, we kind of feel like we just got started. So now the fun really… Now that we have a nice program that has a lot of the attributes we wanted and we’ve re-invested back in the business a lot, what’s neat for a lot of us out there and a lot of you listening, isn’t it kinda cool where a lot of us are at that place right now where it’s like, “Okay, now we’ve got this great base that we can just continue to grow from.” And so a big part of that is getting your teachers to all be on the same page about creating that tribe. And one of the ways we do that is through social.

0:21:18.2 Chris: We don’t use social media ’cause that’s too dangerous with kids, but like in Teacher Zone only we actually have a social chat. So we actually let our teachers… Tyler actually loves creating sub-groups and different chats for like a guitar shredder group or different things…

0:21:36.7 TM: Or a teacher’s roster. My big thing is that if 20 students all think that this teacher is one of the most amazing people they’ve ever met, and those 20 students don’t know who each other are, that’s sacrilege. So therefore, one of the ways we do things is we have a roster chat for each teacher, and once a week or whatever, they… The first chat says, “Hey guys, this is a place where all of my students are, not the other 160. This is where my students are where we can talk music, share links, have fun, have fun talking, whether the teacher’s talking or not.” And only [0:22:15.5] ____.

0:22:18.3 Chris: And that’s the thing that you actually turn me on, Tyler. Years and years ago, watching you with your first students, you really turn me onto this fact that sometimes just sitting around watching a video together is just as good as learning that skill that you’re there to teach them. Because that bonding, that connection, that feeling of being connected is actually where learning happens.

0:22:47.3 TM: Well, that’s the power of also a one-hour lesson, which is a side note here. But a one-hour lesson technically, as part of all this, is times any engagement you’ve ever done with a 30-minute lesson times by two.

0:23:02.1 Chris: Well ’cause you’re able to actually become friends and not just have it be just rote, “Here, let’s work on these scales,” or whatever you’re working on, [0:23:06.8] ____ the skills.

0:23:07.9 TM: Right, and do research like, “Hey, have you seen this? What have you been listening to?” and connect. And then it causes new projects to form. Like music is very iterative. If you’re in a music lesson business, you know this. The wind can blow with Spotify today, I think it’s something, I looked it up, I think 60,000 or more songs are put into Spotify a day.

0:23:32.3 Chris: Yeah.

0:23:33.0 TM: So therefore… I talk about being… Chris loves the word iterative, ’cause things are constantly moving, growing, changing, so is their taste and what they wanna do with their picture they have in their mind with music or whatever they’re learning. And the teacher, if he can get a hold of that as that leader on that team, he can harness that inspiration and turn it into something that didn’t even exist the day before.

0:23:58.4 Chris: So having constant conversations about all that, I mean it’s the same thing whether you’re teaching athletics or the arts, it doesn’t matter what you’re teaching, or language or… Because whatever it is you’re teaching, there’s so much that you could chat about. There’s so much you can actually connect. So social chat, group events, and then we need to move on. The group events are things we’ve done everything from movie nights to parent’s night out. Even we’ve had… It’s important to get your families involved. We’ve had a lot of families host all of us at their home, that’s fun too. And then lastly, ambassadors. Let’s just talk one minute on that and then move on or two minutes. The ambassador idea that Tyler and I have is we’re really trying to start to implement the fact that our team members and our students need to be ambassadors for the whole program.

0:24:47.5 TM: To each other.

0:24:48.8 Chris: To each other.

0:24:48.9 TM: So there’s two aspects we were looking at, right, Chris? Number one is, yes, we need no kids left behind, nobody falling through the cracks. That’s how Chris and I can sleep at night when we know that we have 180 and we’re shooting for 220 to 230, one-hour students a week that are happy. Okay, so they need ambassadors. There’s introverts, extroverts, jazz, hands, shy kids that will never think that… They’ll tell us they’ll never sing in front of anyone, and then we always prove them wrong. But how do we make them all feel welcome one on one, and in the social environments that are big part of our school, the jam clubs, the concert programs, the audiences and all of that, so that they’re equally considered an important part of the program, even though they’re brand new? Well, that’s messaging. We have to get the messaging back to the teenagers, remind them, “Do you remember when it was new?” “Oh, yeah.” If they don’t know, they don’t know to help. So the messaging to the troops of kids, veterans versus new kids, that’s an ambassador part right? And Chris had a great idea.

0:25:58.9 TM: Then number two is staff ambassadors. We have new staff, we have five new staff members. Are they in sync with our standards besides talking to Chris and I and their intake and training and whatever? Cool. Now we set them in the wild, are they connected as good as they should be with the other team members? We have a staff meeting every month. Is that good enough? We’re finding, no, we need ambassadors there as well.

0:26:27.9 Chris: So just because we can have… We need to do a whole topic just on ambassadors.

0:26:31.8 TM: Yep.

0:26:31.8 Chris: I’m gonna say two things to end the ambassador thing. Thank you, Ty. Number one, the definition of ambassador is a person who acts as a representative or promoter of a specific activity. Stop being the only ambassador in your lesson or class program. That’s the bottomline.

0:26:46.6 TM: Preach.

0:26:46.6 Chris: A lot of you are the only ambassador of the program. You need to recruit your staff and your students to help, and your families. Everyone’s an ambassador. Do you know that we’ve been paying staff members to handle the front door at our shows, and it dawned on us that the parents wanna help and do you know how much better it is to have parents upfront helping? They’re our ambassadors too.

0:27:14.2 TM: Our shows are four and a half to five hours long, and the parents love doing 45-minute shifts. They love it. They get to meet and they get to meet other parents on the way in. And with such a big program with big events, you can shoot right by ambassador principles. You can… It just flies right by like you’re in a helicopter. No, they’re over there, they seem happy ’cause the music’s good. And there’s a lot that we can do better in-between, and that’s what we’re working on, right, Chris? 

0:27:46.2 Chris: Totally. So ambassadorships are a big part of it. So learning assignments, community engagement. Lastly, let’s talk about the team for tracking and reward system. So again, we’re gonna go with the same team, Tyler, basically, the entire staff on all these transform ideas. I guess transform really is like, it’s a whole program, like your entire school needs to be involved in transform, is basically what we’re saying. And then the other aspects, you’ll have it, you’ll have a marketing team, you’ll have other team members that are focused. When it comes to transform, it’s all hands-on-deck. And so with that said, do you have a way to track progress? So if you’re martial arts, think belt system, but is there a more subtle way to do that? Do you have a points…

0:28:35.0 TM: Attendance as well. Attendance and consistency and retention is absolutely based on if a person has a habit building, and if they’re listening to the instructions, the prescribed success rate or success strategy of succeeding at said dojo, said music school or whatever. All you need is some sort of metric that you can look at and go, “Woah, our prescribed is, they need to show up.” And with dojos, sometimes you can go three nights a week, and if guys are coming once a week but it’s every week, that’s actually not bad. It’s consistent. Three times a week, all the time, you don’t get better, and you get better, and they’re hooked, retention, friends and everything. But if you see someone coming once a week every two weeks and then every three weeks, and then they’re gonna be not a customer again soon and they’re not connected. And that’s okay. Maybe it’s not the right time, but you should find out.

0:29:34.6 Chris: So one of the reasons we think attendance is important for progress tracking is a lot of you don’t do it, surprisingly. And attendance is an important part of making sure that you’re transforming, and also making sure that you’re healthy. Because if people aren’t showing up, I’m sorry, but there’s something wrong, something going on. Because if you’re really creating an environment that people are excited to be a part of, they’re gonna show up. And if you’re creating the ground rules… So attendance is a big one. We’ve actually found that for students that attend 70% of the time or less, that it’s actually a red flag that they’re probably gonna leave you. So we highly recommend that you track that. We also highly recommend that you track no shows. For someone that says they were gonna be there and then doesn’t show up, it just shows that you care, number one, but it also creates respect. It’s very disrespectful that someone would think they could just not show up.

0:30:38.3 Chris: And some people, again, if somebody doesn’t know they have a problem, then they don’t know that they need to work on it. So somewhere along the line, someone snuck into the school where we have standards are set and we’re like, “What in the heck? Did they just not get anything of what they were toured about and the contract they signed?”

0:30:57.2 TM: So we have to… Yeah, we have to call and remind them. Yeah, so therefore the attendance part, like Chris said, it can be disrespectful because the teachers giving 120%, but it also makes the front and attract and convert sales side look like, who did we qualify for this? And the poor teacher that got that student… So if you’re not tracking attendance, and if you don’t have a way to look at the ratios in your attendance tracking… So maybe you do have a spreadsheet of who was where, that sounds, A, daunting to me, but we use Teacher Zone obviously because there’s retention reports built in. So not only do the teachers take attendance real-time and all sorts of things are attached to that. But Chris and our operations team and I can, with a flick of a wrist and a filter, look at a whole teacher’s roster and see who’s under 70% or not, look at a single student, and it’s all right there. There’s a lot of data to measure what’s going on.

0:32:00.0 Chris: You can only grow what you measure. And so we’ve measured that if students are attending like half their lessons, what we’ve found is a funny thing, it’s usually ’cause they have a flaky teacher. So if your teacher’s flaking, they’re teaching their students to flake. So…

0:32:14.8 TM: Absolutely. We’ve already proven it. So if you don’t believe us, we probably can… We can pull the report from that period of time, and there was two teachers, they were friends, they were in the same band, and we pulled them and it was less than 45 or less percent attendance rate, if you count the students [0:32:33.7] ____ and teacher [0:32:34.9] ____.

[overlapping conversation]

0:32:35.4 Chris: Yeah, the students matched perfectly. It was crazy.

0:32:38.3 TM: Yeah, so the students match those too. Birds of a feather, you guys. We had a tool to help with our transformation. When you have a couple of people on a team that are causing that to happen, they don’t fit the founder standards of transformation. We make the founders, you make the standards. The teams can help with vision, but the standards are in place already.

0:33:06.5 Chris: Right, you have to hold your team accountable. You’re letting your students down if you don’t.

0:33:10.0 TM: But, hey Chris, tell them the good news. Tell them the good news. What happened when we posted that in base camp and showed everyone at once in a friendly positive way of what happens? And hey, this is where we’re at, let’s make sure we’re here.

0:33:26.4 Chris: Change. And then the students started attending more too. So that… The great news is is that you can change it by tracking it. So the other things we have to get… Lastly, because we’re going long, and so I just don’t want us to go too long today, points and badges…

0:33:42.9 TM: Hey, it’s part four, man. It’s the end. It’s gonna be okay. It’s the end. They got 20, 20, 20, now they’re getting 40, man.

0:33:49.2 Chris: I know I’m like, “Come on Tyler, yeah let’s do this.” ‘Cause Tyler and I love these topics, we could sit here for like… You know, I listened to Jocko podcast yesterday that was four hours long almost? I was like, “Oh my gosh, he got us beat.” [laughter]

0:34:04.7 TM: By the way, Chris Bates must have really good systems in place to listen to a four-hour podcast.

0:34:10.5 Chris: Yes, I was actually doing other things at the time, but you’re right. Still, points and badges is one of the most important and neat ways that we actually just created. So in the last year, in our system, we created a whole way to gamify you’re learning, so you can actually create all sorts of really cool point systems and badges. We just had our first contest too, didn’t we Ty? 

0:34:33.1 TM: Stop for a second. We have to give Chris credit where it’s due. So, because Chris is such a metrics hound and a stats monger, I made those sound negative, but they’re good things I promise, usually. He, with Teacher Zone’s designed from day one, with our practice timer which was very rudimentary, but it let the kids see and the teachers see if they were above or below what was required that week. That was the basics plus the attendance, plus the payroll reports, payment reports, everything, everything in Teacher Zone as we coded it was constantly putting metric pools together whether we were using them in reports or not.

0:35:14.4 TM: So now, fast-forward to we finally get to create something from all of the data that Chris was hounding and collecting and creating as we went, that led to points and badges. System automated points, that teachers don’t even have to do anything but take attendance, the kids are practicing at home and they get badges and points based on how you set it up, but also manual badges, special stuff. Whether the school itself creates the ultimate, ultimate badge where the kid just did, whatever you want, and you can even design the badge, and teachers can assign those right in the attendance screen and add more points and bring the leader boards that are viewed by all and adjust them. All because Chris was collecting metrics the whole time we’ve been coding. So good job, buddy.

0:36:07.7 Chris: Well, thank you. But the big part about it for all of us is, how can we make learning more fun? And when we get rewards, when we measure ourself against someone else, it lets us know where we stand, it’s human nature, it’s actually… You guys, if you’re not giving your students the gift of having fun with letting them know where they stand, it’s not static, so we’re not suggesting that you create some hierarchy in your program where the students feel like they’re stuck, ’cause that’s not learning. Learning is feeling like, “Oh wow, this month I’m doing really good.”

0:36:46.0 Chris: So you can… What’s really fun about the badges and points is that, they’re a constant dynamic growing process that you can run snippets in time. So you can run reports just on last month, you can have your students get excited about the fact that they got, let’s say you have an ambassador badge, we’re talking about ambassadorship, how exciting… And then when other students see what badges their friends have, they go, “Oh wow, how do I get that one? I want that ambassador badge.” So it’s just a way to increase engagement, reward students for great behavior, make it more fun. And then we have all sorts of systems stuff built in with that metrics, like Tyler was talking about, to be able to just take behaviors like watching multimedia actually can… A certain amount of points are gathered and you can dictate how many, and then a certain amount of badges are given based on how many points before you…

0:37:37.6 TM: Or, let’s dumb it down even further. Let’s say you’ve got a new user of your multimedia system, your app, or whatever, that’s engaging the kids at home the other six days a week and they’re new to it. They get points for logging in.

0:37:54.6 Chris: Yeah, just something dumb like that. Because you’re rewarding behavior, you’re saying, “Hey, just the fact that you logged in at all tells me that you’re attempting to make an effort in your learning experience.”

0:38:02.6 TM: So, Chris was about to say, we gave away a guitar, another guitar, and a recording Scarlett interface for recording with a microphone, as the three prizes for the September 20th to November 1st, first ever contest probably on planet Earth, because we coded it, released it, and then Los Rios did a contest with the new feature, and it was awesome. So we had about a 20% with… And we only announced it three days prior. So 20% of our students were active, and that’s good for a three-day blast and start now, but everybody saw on social media who won what, did some fun videos with Space Odyssey 2001 and Michael getting his recording software handed to him. So now everybody knows the thing that were on the walls and posted on social media is real, so I’m guessing it’s gonna… The engagement is gonna be double at least for next semester’s contest. And then pretty soon, guys, you just never stop, you never ever stop, it will become part of your culture and every… It’s just a given. Of course, I’m gonna try.

0:39:16.2 Chris: So, you know what they did? When Tyler said 20%, what he means is the kid… There was about… It might have even been a little higher on that, but there’s about one out of four or something that was super excited. They were really trying to win this thing. And so it wasn’t like everybody was trying to win, that’s what he means. But what was really interesting too, is that some of the teachers took more pride in it than others. And so then that starts to infect everyone, too. So, it… Basically, you lay a brick and soon you have a wall with our… We’ve done other contests in the past, but we never had this visual representation. We never had this point system. We never had an easy way like this to be able to prove it. And so, this is the first time it was like, boom, here you go. Everybody daily can check up on where they’re at. And we had mom and dads reaching out and saying all sorts of cool stuff, and we had kids…

0:40:04.8 TM: Oh my God, the funniest one was, “Hey, is my daughter allowed to use the practice timer,” which gives you points, in Saturday rehearsals? Because other kids are doing it. And I’m like, well, is rehearsal practice? I think it’s a great idea. You know what I mean? It was just really funny to see…

0:40:24.5 Chris: People trying to game it.

0:40:26.6 TM: The masses, the parts of the masses, the people that you can’t tune in with all their minds at once ’cause you have so many customers, all of a sudden it came alive as an entity, little bits of it, and it’s only gonna grow the more we do it. And so I can’t wait to announce the next one. Now, advancement, that has a little advancement. So goals, graduating to higher levels, all of that, you could see how the leader board can come into play and help that and enhance that as well. But at Los Rios, we have program directors that are watching who is involved with one of our three levels of audition-based concert program. Well, those projects produce more practicing at home, because they don’t wanna be the kid that shows it…

0:41:14.8 Chris: It’s basically quality control, right? It’s like you’re controlling the quality of… You’re getting everybody. So basically, by measuring it, students wanna level up, because they know they’re being seen. And so, we actually have someone on staff that’s job is to sort of measure QC and auditions, and make sure that students are leveling up. So how are you doing that in your business? Are you measuring to make sure that students are leveling up? Do you have a quality control person that’s making sure that people are actually getting better? And then how are you rewarding them for getting better? Do you have a rewards system? Do you have a reward for doing that? 

0:42:00.9 TM: Or are your teachers… Which… Your intake, your bottom boots on the ground person, is that teacher trained and is… To be an ambassador to let a brand new student that might not be good enough yet for something? Are they reluctant and they just don’t talk about it to that student for four months? Because that’s bad. Now, the student who’s struggling to get better at something doesn’t even know it exists. So there’s another aspect to it, too. That measurement is… Those liaison, those ambassadors should be sprinkling hope and light on what is on the horizon if you never give up. And so those achievements and advancement points that you create in your school, if you don’t have any, make the first one besides doing well in their lessons. Make the first one, and then make a second one. And then pretty soon at Los Rios, we had basically a 101/102. Now we have 101/102 Advanced. But in the very beginning, it was a very mishmash of intermediate to barely advanced players and now, we have 12-year-olds that are advanced because of the QC Chris was talking about.

0:43:12.2 Chris: And to be fair, Tyler, a lot of you in the learning business have curriculum you purchased and you have curriculum you bought, you have ways of advancing your learning. It’s just, how are you measuring it? Is everybody on the same page? So what we’re suggesting here is that to have true transformation, you have to have it systemized. And so that’s the bottomline. And your team has to be on the same page. So, there it is, transform. We got learning assignments, community engagement, and progress tracking, and reward system.

0:43:42.9 TM: And you guys got double for your money on this episodes. We did three quickies and then a nice long coup de grâce for the last part of the quadrant. And Chris, thank you so much for developing this and helping… You and I developing this, and getting it to people. And I’m telling you guys, if you can get this either podcast or our webinar to others you care about that are struggling, get it to them, or have the… Maybe you learned enough from just talking to us. Go have the talk with them. Spread the wealth. This will help others, not just you. But again, thank you all for tuning in. And Chris, thank you. The Transformation Quadrant is on teacherzone.com, along with our e-book. And this whole podcast is sponsored by teacherzone.com, so if you don’t know who we are, go there, you’ll get a quick look at what we’re doing besides talking with you guys, which is what we love to do most. So Chris, until next episode. Nice job, buddy.

0:44:44.3 Chris: Thank you, Tyler. Sayonara. [chuckle]

0:44:45.3 TM: Bye everybody.

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