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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The Real VIP in VIPKid Feedback: A Feedback Panda Overview

This is a post about a third party software. No, it’s not an ad. No, they didn’t ask me to write it. No, I’m not getting anything for it. In fact, no one at that company knows I am writing this. I hope they don’t get mad that I used their logo. 🙂 Someone on Facebook asked, “What’s the one thing you wish you had known as a new teacher?” and this was my answer.  I’m writing this blog because I’m so in love with Feedback Panda, and I didn’t REALLY understand what they offered when I was a new teacher.  So, disclaimers aside, read on…

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If I’m honest, I have to admit that I’m a little bit stubborn. I have always been self-sufficient, and I want to do things for myself. I don’t like to ask for help.

Also, if you’ve been reading my VIPKid blog, you’ll know that I take pride in my class feedback. I think of it as a teacher’s virtual backpack notes. While I appreciate the need for simple language, I want my students’ parents to have a detailed summary of our class with real, meaningful feedback about their child.

So – put these two things together, and you’ll see why starting out, I wanted to do feedback my way. I thought I had it under control.

And I did … sort of. Before each class, I typed up a detailed summary of the class that I could then customize after the class. I included any relevant notes from my last class, and I included details from parent ratings and any upcoming classes we had booked. It was awesome. And it was time consuming. The more students I taught, the more difficult it was to dig back through my word files and find what I was looking for, and I found myself with a wish list of things that would make my life easier.

I wish I could…

  • Easily (and quickly) see what I had written about this student in my last few classes without having to flip back and forth between different word documents.
  • Find that last template that I had typed up for the “Fun with my Friends” lesson. Did I teach it last week with Bau Bau or two weeks ago with Leo?
  • See all the rewards that I had used with a student all in one place.
  • Re-use basic material from my feedback without trying to remember to change all the “she’s” to “he’s” and then back again.
  • Have a centralized place to keep notes about what my students like and don’t like. Cat-lover? Hates find-a-star? Little brother?

The more I thought about it, I wondered if there was something out there that already did this. As a new teacher, I’d heard about Feedback Panda before, but I thought it was just a service that provided summaries of each lesson that you could copy and paste in your feedback. I wasn’t interested. Sure, it was only a small fee each month, but why pay for something that I could manage myself?

As I started thinking more and more about my wish list, I decided to get a free trial and see if it checked any of the boxes.  I was astounded when it checked all of them. It literally does every single thing listed above. And what I didn’t realize before is that while you DO have access to a template library, you can also build and save your OWN templates, which is exactly what I had been trying to do manually.

You can build a student profile for each student and include nicknames, general feedback and more. If you use the Chrome web browser extension and start creating feedback from within the teacher portal, it automatically pulls in the student’s unique ID, lesson, and more.

Here’s an example of one of my regular students. Every time I look at it, I wish I had my notes and feedback entered for the 8 times I taught her BEFORE I found Feedback Panda!

Screenshot Rosie Feedback panda

Once you’ve created your general templates, customizing them for the specific class is SO EASY. It pulls in the template that you choose, and then you simply add your notes.  Here’s an excerpt from a level 4 assessment that I taught this morning:

My Template:

Grammar: [name] completed all of the sentences correctly and used the missing words appropriately. She had a clear mastery of the words how/where/when/who/what/why.

My Completed Feedback:

Grammar: Vivian completed all of the sentences correctly and used the missing words appropriately. She had a clear mastery of the words how/where/when/who/what/why. At the end of the lesson, I asked Vivian to create her own sentences using these words, and she did this easily. We then used the words where/who/what to have a more detailed conversation and extend upon her project. When asked WHERE she would go to visit the mountains, she said she would choose tall mountains, and that there were none near her home. When asked WHO she would go with, she said her family (her parents and three year old brother.) When asked WHAT she would do there, she said she would take a picnic.

When you start creating feedback for a student, this is what the console looks like:

FB Emma feedback

You can see that it has the student’s basic information on the left, and below that, you can see the previous reward systems I used with her, the current lesson/template, and prior feedback and notes. You customize your feedback on the right, and then can add signatures, or smart sentences that you use regularly. You can even save your teacher-to-teacher notes. When you expand your prior feedback, you’ll be able to see if the parent left you feedback so you can thank them for it in your next class.

The software can do much, much more than that. I know that it supports multiple teaching platforms, and I’m sure there are many features I haven’t yet discovered.  But as I said at the beginning, this is not a paid ad for Feedback Panda. It’s merely a testimonial to why I signed up for a subscription after just three days of my free trial had passed. I knew immediately that I needed this in my life, and I wanted to share how I am personally using it!

For me, what sealed the deal wasn’t the saved time (which is great.) It was having so much information at my fingertips. I am a data girl. I want to know as much information about my students and classes as possible because I think that will make me a better teacher. If Feedback Panda can make that happen, it’s clear that they are the real VIP!

I hope you found this helpful.  If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments. I’m not an expert, but I’ll do my best to help based on my own experience!

Happy teaching!

PS- Here is a walkthrough I did that shows how I use Feedback Panda in action…

Feedback Panda in Action

Enjoy!

Sample VIPKid Class Feedback – Struggling Student

“class feedback + parent feedback = collaboration in the classroom!”

As I explained in my recent blog post VIPKid Class Feedback – “Virtual Backpack Notes”, I consider class feedback a critical component of my teaching.

I previously provided Sample VIPKid Class Feedback – New Student, High Performing to show how I use my standard template to give feedback to a strong student, but I wanted to provide an example of a student who did well, but struggled more.

This class also resulted in a 5-apple feedback with a specific request back from the parent. They said, “Thank you for your comments on {Student Name.} The teacher said that {Student Name} was confused by the teacher’s questions, and that’s because he cannot understand. {Student}’s problem now is that he often can’t understand full sentences. I hope the teacher will practice the dialogue with him in class next time.” This is a great example of how class feedback + parent feedback = collaboration in the classroom!

If you have questions about this feedback, or VIPKid in general, let me know in the comments! If you are looking for more personalized answers, I’d love to help. My referral link is a great way to find a mentor, and we both benefit!

Sample Feedback

**Overall Feedback**

It was great to teach {Student} again today! Today we learned about people in a family, and we practiced the word “mom.” He did a great job identifying pictures of moms and using the word in a complete sentence “She is my mom.  She is his mom. She is her mom.” He is very involved with the slides and follows directions so well! We learned the word “talk” and used it in a sentence “My mom talks on the phone. He talks with his friends.” He was a little confused with one of the activities that asked “Who do you talk with?” and the options were a man, a woman, a lamp, and a violin. When I broke it down, he understood that you can’t talk with a lamp or a violin. I think the choices might have just confused him. We used the word “her” and used it in a sentence “This is her phone.” He did great on the exercise that incorporated the word “her” with previous vocabulary (dog, headphones, teacher, and mom.) GREAT JOB! He did well blending sounds in our phonics lesson (l+eg= leg, b+eg=beg, k+eg=keg, w+eg=weg) and even did great at the rhyming exercise that sometimes confuses students! We learned about “this” and “that.” We also reviewed two items from my last class with him: “What must I follow in class? I must follow the rules in class.” and “How do you behave in class? I behave well in class.” He did a great job in class (and definitely behaved well!) He is a five-star student!

**Homework**

Within the limits of a computer screen, it’s difficult to explain that “this” is something close while “that” is something further away. He seemed to understand, but if you could practice at home, that will help reinforce it. Put two of the same objects (for example, apples) in a room – one close and one far away. Practice identifying THIS apple (close) and THAT apple (far.) Then once he correctly identifies the correct word using two of the same object, practice with different objects. (This mouse, that tree.)

**Next Steps**

Thank you for the five-apple rating after our last class! I really appreciate it! My goal is to have positive (5-apple) feedback on every class I teach, so if you have time, I would appreciate your feedback on this class as well. I would love to teach {Student} again, and I have this same time available in two weeks. Of course, you can also follow my teacher profile to see other available times. Thank you so much for the opportunity to teach your son!

 

Sample VIPKid Class Feedback – New Student, High Performing

If you are looking for an easy cut-and-paste template to use for feedback, you won’t find it here! As you will see below, the feedback I leave for my students is extremely customized.

As you may have read in my previous post VIPKidClass Feedback – “Virtual Backpack Notes”, I think that feedback is one of the most important parts of the class experience.

In the below example, this was feedback from my very first lesson with this student. She was extremely smart and did great in class!

Following the class, I received a five-apple rating for this class, and another five-apple rating in a subsequent class with the parent commenting, “Feedback after class is very attentive; I hope to have a long-term class with Amelia to help {Student}’s rapid growth and upgrading!”

This class feedback follows the general flow of:

  • Overall Feedback
  • Homework
  • Next Steps

But it is personalized to this specific student and this specific class.

I hope you find this example helpful. If you have any questions, please add them in the comments below. If you are looking for a mentor, I’m ready to help! Here’s my referral link to get started!

Sample Feedback:

**Overall Feedback**

Wow! {Student} was a GREAT student today! I can’t believe that she is new to VIPKid because she did so well in the class. She is a good reader, and has a very strong foundation.

Today we learned about the face, and she did great at identifying the parts of the face (face, eyes, nose, mouth, ears.) We practiced answering the question, “What do you do with your eyes?” The answer we were practicing was “I see with my eyes.” She was able to repeat this, but she wanted to answer with the word “look” instead. This is still accurate, and it shows that she grasped the meaning, but keep practicing the word “see” for a more versatile vocabulary!

We practiced letter sounds for B, M, R, and S. She clearly knew the alphabet and already knew all four of the words on the slides (bat, mat, rabbit, and snake.)

There will be many phonics lessons with VIPKid. When we are practicing combining sounds, you can let {Student} know that she doesn’t have to say the letter. She can just say the sounds. For example, there might be an exercise that has “b-at. bat.” Because she’s so good at identifying her letters, she would say “b. b-at, bat.” This isn’t necessary since these types of exercises are all focused on the sounds the letters make, not the letters themselves.

She did great with the word “away,” and I was especially impressed with her ability to adapt the conversations in the practice activities. Many students get confused when using pronouns (“Her eyes.” “His eyes.”) and she already has a great head start on this! She also did very well responding in complete sentences!

**Homework**

I think “eyebrow” was a new vocabulary word for her, so continue to practice this with her. With the letters, she pronounced some of the sounds with an “uh” at the end (“buh” instead of “b” or “muh” instead of “mmmmm.”) This will be important as she begins reading more advanced words, so keep practicing with those sounds. (She can listen to them again starting on slide 10 in the playback.) She worked very hard until she repeated them all correctly!

**Next Steps**

{Student}’s enthusiasm and knowledge are sure to make her very successful with VIPKID! I would love to teach {Student} again, and if you would like to book another class with me, I have this same time available in two weeks. We will continue to work on phonics and pronunciation.

I would also appreciate it if you could leave feedback about the class! Getting positive feedback (5-apples) is very important to VIPKid teachers, and any comments you leave will help us continue to adjust to {Student}’s classroom and learning styles.

{Student} did a GREAT job today and I loved teaching her. Thank you!

close up of text
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

VIPKid Class Feedback – “Virtual Backpack Notes”

My goal with class feedback is to give the parents the tools they need to extend upon our 25-minute class and help their students with the content throughout the rest of their week.

When my kids were little, every day when they got home from school I would check their backpack for teacher notes. I knew that if they had homework, it would be written on the homework log. If they had behavior issues, they would be noted in their backpack. If there was something important that we needed to work on, it would be on a brightly colored sheet of paper. With VIPKid, we can’t send a note home in their backpack, so class feedback is the next best thing!

I think that feedback is perhaps one of the most important parts of the class. After all, I get 25 or 50 minutes per week with a student.  They spend around 2,000 minutes a week in school, between 3,000-4,000 minutes a week asleep, and the rest (a whopping 4,500+ minutes) with their parents!

My goal with class feedback is to give the parents the tools they need to extend upon our 25-minute class and help their students with the content throughout the rest of their week.

I break my feedback into three parts:

  • Overall Feedback (If I’m doing a unit assessment, I replace this with the headers in the UA.)
  • Homework
  • Next Steps

Overall Feedback

I always start with something positive here. {Student} did great in class today! or {Student} worked very hard in class, and I’m so proud of her progress! I then do a section-by-section review. Before class, I write a basic, customized template for each lesson using Feedback Panda. Usually, I do my feedback quickly before the playback is available to view; however, because I have my rough outline, I remember if there are specifics I need to call out. I always recap any key vocabulary  we learned, and I comment on pronunciation and if they were able to use the sentences correctly. I always call out instances where the student successfully demonstrated their knowledge or was able to extend upon the content. With trial classes, I will usually comment on key things they can expect to see with VIPKid classes. (For example – {Student} did a great job learning to circle and draw lines. You’ll find that many VIPKid classes use this as an activity to help reinforce the lessons we teach, so this skill will serve her well in future classes! I always also end on a positive note. Some people call this the “sandwich” method of feedback where you start and end with positives (the bread) and put the meat (improvement) in between.

Homework

If there are specific things that I think the student needs to practice or review again, I’ll call out the slide and they review it with their student again. Or if I feel the student didn’t understand/comprehend part of the lesson, I’ll also recommend a playback. Otherwise, if a student struggled with any particular concept or word or with a specific classroom behavior (not responding in complete sentences, for example), I’ll call that out here. The point of this section is not to criticize the student; it’s to give parents a way to continue the lesson beyond the classroom. Even when I have a superstar student that blows me away, I always look for something they can practice! Recently, I had a student who was very smart. I actually recommended an adjustment in her placement level. When we were learning about the days of the week, it was a Tuesday, so she struggled to answer questions about the picture, because she knew that today is Tuesday, and the day after Tuesday is Wednesday. So when Friday was circled, she didn’t want to say “Today is Friday,” because it’s not! 🙂 So for this particular student, my homework was to practice answering questions about pictures and answering questions about ‘real life’ to help her identify the difference. I always give them something to work on!

Next Steps

This section is where I talk less about the class and more about our teaching relationship. If a parent previously left parent feedback, I always thank them here, and I will respond to anything they specifically said in their comments or tags, so they know I take their feedback seriously. Likewise, if they are a repeat student, I thank them for booking another class with me. I always check to see if they have another class already booked with me. If so, I will end this section by saying, “I look forward to seeing {student} on Thursday!” If not, I let them know if I have the same time available next week or in two weeks. And I always ask them for a five-apple rating and comments.

Here are a couple of real examples of feedback that I’ve sent to parents. In both cases, they resulted in 5-apple ratings with comments.

If you have questions, please ask me in the comments! If you find this helpful and are looking for a mentor, my referral link is HERE!