Just to get out of my comfort zone (because I’m a very shy, quiet person that needed to get out of my bubble), I decided to get a summer job at a retail store: Brighton Collectables. I love everything about it that I’m still working there four years later during my summer breaks and any other time I can give my manager. =)

And, yes, by working at Brighton, I learned about classroom management!

#1 Learn

We are given information about the leather used, how leather is processed, how the ornamentation and jewelry is created, our designers, the inspirations, and lots of other things. Our excitement about the product shows to our customers.

As a teacher, we need to know our stuff. Kids see through our lack of preparation when we don’t know the subject. When we are prepared and excited about our subjects, the kids are engaged and learn. The kids know we don’t know everything, but when we are prepared and don’t know something, they respect that. When we are not ready, we don’t know a lot more that we should and the kids lose respect for us.

#2 Client books

I have customers that return because of me…we each have those customers. We were given a client book to help us keep track of those customers. It has things like when I contacted them to tell them about a new product that I think they would like or a promotion we are having. It also has some personal information that helps me remember them because I made that personal connection with them.

My lesson plan book was where I used to write down when I would contact parents, tid bits about the kids, etc., but all the kids were jumbled up as I had just kept a list. I now create a page for each student and kept it in a 3 ring binder. Each time I had contact with a parent or wanted to remember something about that student, I write it on that page. I am more organized and able to remember things easier.

#3 Non-Negotiables

There are things that we have to do for each individual customer that we like to call our non-negotiables. This creates our amazing customer service. It shows we care and we want the best for them.

I created a list of non-negotiables in my classroom. What am I going to do each day to make the kids feel special in my classroom? Things as simple as greeting them at the door, changing the date on the board, calling or writing an encouraging note to a student/parent/faculty/staff that was helpful or just amazing that day.

There are other things as well, but those are my top three things I learned from working retail that I was able to transfer into my classroom. I love the changes! =)