Well, it finally happened. I had to cancel my three classes one morning earlier this week. Without going into too many details, when I got up to teach my classes, I found that my son was very ill and we had to take him to the emergency room. (He’s ok now.) At the time, there was no question of not going. I knew that I had to cancel my classes. Fortunately, I had read up on the process before so I knew how to do it. Sometimes, in the midst of an emergency, it can be stressful enough that you don’t remember how to do things like this, so I thought I’d put together a quick help guide.
What is VIPKid’s cancellation policy?
If you are a current teacher, be sure to review the Cancellation and No-Show procedure online in the support center. Things may change, and my blog is NOT the definitive source. At the time I’m writing this, teachers may miss up to six appointments (appointment = up to 3 classes in the same day in Beijing) within a 6-month contract before our contracts are reviewed and we are at risk for contract termination. Depending on the situation, there may or may not be financial penalties incurred or an impact to your ability to earn a raise. Factors that can influence this are the reason for the absence and proper documentation as required by the policy.
How do you cancel a class?
I chose to cancel my class from the phone app. I went to the class (just like I was going to look at the student or the materials.) Then I clicked the three dots in the upper right hand corner and it gave me the option to cancel the class. It allowed me to choose a reason and also offer up an alternative timeslot that would be reserved for only that student (if they want to book it.) You can also do it from the PC app or the web portal by going to the “bookings” page and clicking on the class you need to cancel.
How do you apply for a soft or medium cancellation?
Soft or medium cancellations have less negative consequences for teachers. They do not count against your six for contract purposes, and they may or may not result in a financial penalty. You may request this change within 30 days of an occurrence. Again, VIPKid has a full support page dedicated to this process, so I encourage you to review this page before beginning. To request a change, log into the teacher portal via the PC app or a web browser. Choose the “All Classes” tab and then click on the orange button that says “Cancellations & No Shows & Change Finish Type.”
Place a check mark next to the classes you wish to request be changed, and then click on “Soft/Medium Cancellation.” You will then be prompted to input the reason and attach supporting documentation.
How can I make sure my request results in a successful soft or medium cancellation?
There are no guarantees. However, I do have a few tips to help increase your success chances.
- Most importantly, read the VIPKid support pages on the topic in the support center before submitting your request. They tell you step by step what to do, what is required, and what to expect.
- Wait until your emergency has passed to submit your request. You only have two opportunities to request that a cancellation be changed to soft/medium. If you are in a state of distress, you are more likely to make mistakes or omit important information. Remember, you have up to 30 days to submit your request. That said…
- Don’t wait until the very last minute. Once your emergency has passed, go ahead and submit the request. It does take some time to process (although mine was resolved within 2 days.) But it’s always better to allow a little extra time if possible.
- Keep your sentences short and simple. Avoid unnecessary details. Keep the request related to the verbiage in the policies. Be sure to list the class date, time, and student for clarity.
Examples of “Soft Cancellation” Request
Effective October 2019, here’s what the policy said about “serious illness.” Serious illnesses or diseases are sudden, health-related events that render a teacher incapable of teaching a class.
Note: Since the spectrum of illnesses, and the severity of cases, varies widely, only instances that require hospital visits are considered. If your child needs medical attention, please ensure that the documentation provided includes a shared last name (or supporting evidence).
Please note: All other illnesses (common flu, headaches, and stomach bugs) are not categorized as an applicable scenario for Soft Missed Appointments. However, they may apply to Medium Appointments. Please send in a ticket to ask our agents. For Soft Missed Appointments, dentist visits, or notes from the school/office explaining that you are ill are not included in this definition of serious illness.
I need to request that my class with Suzie have the finish type changed. My daughter woke up with a headache and nausea and we thought it might be a stomach flu. When the symptoms continued, we took her to the urgent care center. They suggested that it might be the flu, so we took her to the hospital and they wrote a note excusing her from school for the week. Please don’t let this count against my contract. I need this job and cannot afford to be penalized.
Things to improve
- There are many details in here that are not required. It is not necessary to share the diagnoses or every step that you took in trying to reach that diagnosis.
- There are several things listed that are not eligible for soft cancellations, even though a hospital visit is. Only list the most relevant facts.
- The request doesn’t list the specific finish type or the class details.
I need to request that the following class be changed to a soft cancellation:
Class Date: 10/12/19
Class Time: 8:00 pm BJT
Reason: My daughter, Amy Barker, was seriously ill and I had to take her to the hospital. We were at the hospital from 6:00 pm BJT until 11:00 pm BJT, forcing me to miss my class. I have attached the note from the hospital and her release papers that include a timestamp. Thank you!
I hope you don’t ever need to use this information, but if you do, I hope that it’s helpful. Once again, please always refer to the VIPKid support center for current processes and procedures. If you have questions, feel free to let me know in the comments, and I will do my best to help you find the answers!