VIPKid Week 2 and the Early Months

Remember that everyone’s VIPKid journey is different. No two teachers will ever have the exact same schedule or experience, and that’s ok!

You’ve made it through the gauntlet we know as the VIPKid hiring process. You got the elusive “first booking.” Maybe you had several bookings! And then … what?

This post is designed to help fill in the blanks for what comes next.

Open your schedule.

Students and their parents have the opportunity to book you again right after class. Make sure you have the next two weeks open to fully take advantage of this! I usually include my availability in the future when I send my feedback.

For example, “In our next lesson, I would like to keep working with Bao Bao on “this” and “that.” I have a fun game that I think he will enjoy that will help reinforce this. If you would like to book our next class, I have this same time available next week! Thank you! Teacher Amelia U

Check for feedback.

If you haven’t gotten any, don’t sweat it! (Everyone is different. Check here to see How does your VIPKid apple rating measure up?) If you did get feedback, I encourage you to respond to it. (You can do this through the PC App or the web portal, but not by phone.) I’m sure it’s positive, 5-apple feedback and so a simple thank you is sufficient. A few options I’ve used are:

  • Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback. Receiving positive feedback is very important to VIPKid teachers, and I really appreciate it!
  • Thank you for the 5-apple feedback! Bao Bao did a great job in class, and I can’t wait to see him again!
  • Thank you for leaving me 5-apples! I appreciate your feedback and I hope to see Bao Bao soon. If you would like to schedule another class, I am available next Friday!

If for some reason it isn’t 5-apple feedback, resist the urge to be confrontational in a response. You can see how to dispute bad feedback here.

Send e-cards to students you want to rebook!

The feedback is your way of communicating with parents. E-cards are your way to communicate with the students. With that in mind, stay away from scheduling conversation and keep it high level and positive.

  • I had fun in our class last week Bao Bao! Are you doing your homework? I hope to see you in class soon! – Teacher Amelia U
  • I hope you enjoyed our class last week! Next time I have a fun Ultraman game that we can play while you learn English. See you soon! – Teacher Amelia U

Always use your teacher show name.

You may have noticed in both my feedback and e-cards I used my show name (that name with the initial after it.) This is just in case the parents have lost me in the sea of teachers and don’t know how to find me TO rebook. When little Bao Bao shows them the adorable e-card that I sent them, it will remind them and they can find me to rebook!

Watch your replay.

Did you know you can go back into the PC App and watch your class replay? It won’t be available immediately, but it is usually there a few hours after class. Watch the replay with an open mind, and ask yourself:

  • What did I do well?
  • What should I do differently?
  • Did it look like I was having fun?
  • Did it look like my student was having fun?
  • How much time was I talking? (Remember, our goal is to have the student talk 50-80% of the time, depending on their level!)
  • Were there times that I cut off my student before they could fully answer?
  • How was my timing?
  • Did I use a good mixture of props to help enhance the learning?

I like referring to the Teacher Applicant Performance Indicator during the playback. Even though it’s intended to help during the hiring process, I find it’s a useful self-evaluation tool as well.

Then based on your own self-evaluation…

Take workshops.

I know by this point you are probably tired of hearing me say that. BUT, even if you took workshops prior to teaching classes (good for you!) you did not have any real experience to build on. If you found yourself struggling in a particular area as you watched your playback, you can go to a workshop with that class in mind and perhaps learn tools and techniques to adjust. It will also show VIPKid that you are taking your own self-improvement seriously and that you want to be the very best teacher possible.

If you aren’t sure where to go to find workshops then check out the VIPKid Library and Certification Center. You’ll be amazed!

Contact the learning partner (if appropriate.)

Last but not least, if you have any meaningful feedback on the students, it can also help to send feedback to the learning partner. You can do this at the time of the class through the class feedback (in the very bottom section.) But you can also do this via a ticket in the support center. I’ve seen some teachers asking on social media, “What do I say to the learning partner?” If you have to ask that question, it’s a good sign that you should not be sending in a ticket. It is a waste of your time and theirs to send feedback with nothing meaningful to say. But if you do have something (positive or negative) that you feel is important, then this is a good way to start building relationships with the LP’s. You probably won’t hear back, but if they pass along your feedback to the parents, you could get a repeat booking. Or the LP could book you for other students.

No matter what, remember that everyone’s VIPKid journey is different. No two teachers will ever have the exact same schedule or experience, and that’s ok! Remember to have fun and focus on your students, and everything else will fall into place.

If you have questions or suggestions of your own, please let me know in the feedback!

Happy teaching!

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How to Get Bad VIPKid Feedback Invalidated

Never fear – there are some simple steps you can take to invalidate bad VIPKid parent feedback.

Feedback from VIPKid parents to teachers is an important part of our journey at VIPKid. Of course, we all want happy students and happy parents.  Beyond that, it can also affect our ability to earn raises.  Because of that, it’s especially disheartening to get low apple ratings from parents.

Never fear – there are some simple steps you can take to invalidate bad feedback.

  1. Go to your feedback page in the Teacher Portal.
  2. Click on “Request a Review
  3. Explain in detail why you felt the feedback was unfair or inaccurate.

The status of your request will be marked as “to-do” during the 3-5 day review process and then changed to “done” once VIPKid has finished reviewing your request.

Here are a few important tips to remember:

The feedback has to be 3-apple or below.

VIPKid considers four apples “good” so it’s very rare that they will invalidate a four-apple rating. Yes, I know that they bring down our average, and yes, there have been some exceptions to this. But the informal rule is that 3-apples and below may be submitted for review.

Give examples.

You need to provide concrete examples that show the parent’s feedback is not accurate. For example, if they add a tag or write that you failed to use TPR, watch the video playback and provide specific timestamps that show exactly when and how you used TPR.

Be specific and clear.

When submitting a ticket, be as specific as possible and use simple language.

For example:

Do not say “Please invalidate this feedback because the parents were completely wrong. There were ample opportunities for TPR and I used it when reviewing phonics rhymes and onsets and when teaching present continuous verb conjugation.”

Instead, keep it simple.

Please review the following 3-apple feedback.

  • Class date:
  • Class time (in Beijing time):
  • Link to classroom:

Parent complaint: Lack of TPR

Examples of TPR:

  • Timestamp 3:25: Instructional TPR for “circle”
  • Timestamp 10:15: TPR for blending s-op — sop
  • Timestamp 12:45: TPR for “swimming”

Don’t sweat it.

I know this is easier said than done, but if, by chance, the feedback does not get invalidated, please don’t panic. VIPKid uses an average, and so a few bad apples will not, in fact, spoil the cart. Take the feedback, learn from it, and move on to the next 5-apple rating.  Many, many teachers have had negative feedback at one point in time or another, and they’ve lived to see another day, teach another class, and make another parent happy, and you will too!

If you have any questions, I would be happy to try to help. Please let me know in the comments!

 

An Apple a Day

Ok new teachers. Let me begin by saying that I am far from an expert on feedback. In my first month of teaching, I only got seven ratings. The good news? They were all 5-apples! As I’m about to sign my third contract, I will have surpassed the elusive 200, but certainly, more parents don’t leave feedback than do. (I’ve taught 628 classes and received 196 5-apple ratings, so that would be 31% overall.)

I wanted to spend a few minutes talking about a few things I’ve learned about apple feedback.

Where can I see my parent feedback?

You can see individual ratings under “parent feedback.” However, you won’t see it in your status until after you get 100 ratings. Although I like instant gratification, this is a good thing. By looking at your 100 most recent ratings, one or two “bad apples” won’t affect your overall score. You can also see “Offline Parent Feedback” but that will only reflect information if a parent calls VIPKid headquarters about you.

What’s Important to Parents?

Parents have the chance to choose positive feedback categories.  In the phone app, if you tap on “new feedback,” a second screen opens when you can see specific tags. So what’s important to parents?

  • Encouragement
  • TPR
  • Timely and Accurate error correction
  • Class environment
  • Props

In short, it’s not one individual thing, but it’s the package!

abigail feedback

How can I get more parent feedback?

This may sound silly, but to get feedback, you should ask for it! I’ve worked in customer support for years, and we regularly send out customer satisfaction surveys. What I’ve learned is that people rarely fill it out unless they are extremely happy (or extremely unhappy.) If you want someone to fill out the survey, ask them to!  A couple of important points:

  • I always end my feedback to the parents asking THEM for their feedback. By ending with that (as well as options to re-book with me) it gives them their next step.
  • I explain that positive feedback is 5-apple feedback. If you don’t explain that, they might think 4-apple feedback is good, and 5-apples should be reserved for absolutely earth-shattering!
  • I keep it short. If the parent has never left me feedback before, I simply say “Receiving positive (5-apple) feedback is very important to VIPKid teachers, so please take a minute to share your feedback. I will use any comments you provide so we can continue to help (student) in his/her learning!”

Of course, in order to get five apples, you have to earn it. To help make sure parents will be happy with your teaching, always keep the following things in mind.

  • Be on time! Parents are investing time and money into their child, so it’s important that you respect that and be on time.
  • Teach the full 25-minutes. There are full guidelines provided by VIPKid here.
  • Avoid eating or drinking soda on screen. Of course, keep water handy if you need it. We all know how kiddos at home get distracted by things you have (and they don’t), and kids on screen react the same way.
  • Use TPR, props, and realia to engage with the students.
  • Have fun! If you have fun, the kids will too.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and FIVE APPLES a day makes a VIPKID teacher very happy! Keep up the good work, and please let me know how I can help you in your journey. If you’re just getting started, feel free to use my referral link to sign up! Happy teaching!