VIPKid Teacher Tags

Teacher tags are meant to help parents find teachers who will meet their expectations.

When a new teacher completes the hiring and mock class certification process, VIPKid adds up to five teacher tags to our profile. These tags are all positive, and they are meant to help parents find teachers who are a good fit for their child. In addition, you can select some tags of your own, making the total tags available six! When a parent leaves you five-apple feedback, they will see your self-selected tags and be given the option to endorse one or more of them.

How do I know what my teacher tags are?

In the teacher portal, click on “My Info” and then “tags.” You will see your tags in each of three categories: Teaching Skills, Strengths, and Personality.

What tags are available?

VIPKid has posted the list of potential teacher tags in the Support Center. Check it out here! In the meantime, you can also review the below list of possible teacher tags assembled by Ed Nace (and reprinted with permission.) VIPKid recently updated their teacher tags, so some of these may no longer be available, but this gives some good insight – especially into those related to personality.

Ed’s list includes two types of tags. One is related to your academic expertise in the classroom, and the other is related to your personality. He lists an English translation of the tag, the actual Chinese characters/words, and then a basic explanation of the words since translations are not always true to the intention of the word. In case you aren’t familiar with Ed Nace (and why this list is awesome!) Ed and his family lived in China for eight years, and he is a veteran ESL teacher. He’s written some amazing books that help de-mystify Chinese culture, parent feedback, and teaching techniques. He’s saved me many times with his books. You can learn more at https://ednace.com/.

List and translations courtesy of Ed Nace. Learn more at ednace.com.

How many tags do I get?

Each teacher may have up to six tags assigned. If you have fewer than that, I do suggest adding more. Having a full set of tags will give the parents a more comprehensive view of your personality.

Should I change my teacher tags?

If you already have the maximum number, my answer is “probably not.” (This is my own personal opinion.) “But Amelia, you said in your Booking Boosters post that changing my tags could help me get bookings!” Yes, that is true; however, I suggest using it as a last resort if you have exhausted all other ideas and still aren’t getting bookings.

The reason I personally have chosen not to change my tags is that we may not have the same interpretation of our style as a Chinese parent would. For example, I think I am very detail-oriented. But compared to people in China, is that still true?

Years ago, I was very active in Toastmasters International. I participated in my local, area, and regional clubs and activities. I consistently got high scores in vocal variety, emotion, and intonation. I (and my Toastmasters peers) considered this one of my strong suits! However, I had the opportunity to speak in several Toastmasters meetings in the Philippines and in India. While they were very welcoming and provided positive feedback overall, vocal variety was my weakest area! Their perspectives and mine were simply not aligned because we were evaluating based on a different set of cultural norms.

Teacher tags are meant to help parents find teachers who will meet their expectations. If we accidentally mis-categorize ourselves since we are describing ourselves through an American lens, we are setting the parents up for potential disappointment. And disappointment could possibly lead to less than five apples. Because of that, I have chosen to leave my tags as applied by VIPKid and the parents. My only change was to add a tag in the area of “strengths” where I didn’t have any. That were visible. I chose to add the two that were already endorsed by parents. That way, when parents view my tags, they’ll see that other parents agree, and hopefully their expectations will be aligned.

I hope you found this helpful! Have you asked about your teacher tags? Were you surprised by them? Let me know in the comments!

How to Request a VIPKid Finish Type Change

We all love our students and want them to have a great experience, so it’s always disappointing when things don’t work the way we planned.

This is the blog post that I never wanted to write.  The fact that I am writing it tells you that I have had some type of problem in one of my VIPKid classes. The fact that you’re reading it tells me you might have had a similar problem, so I hope this helps!

What is a finish type?

As I explain in the VIPKid Dictionary, each class is marked with a disposition by VIPKid upon completion.  For a teacher to be paid, the finish type must be one of the following:

  • AS_SCHEDULED
  • STUDENT_NO_SHOW
  • STUDENT_IT_PROBLEM
  • SYSTEM_PROBLEM

If you have a problem in class, a cancellation, or an IT issue that is deemed to be the teacher’s responsibility, you won’t get paid. The outcomes of negative finish code are different, depending on the circumstances, but suffice to say that some are worse for teachers than others.

Why would I want to change one?

This morning in class, I had an issue with my app during class. It completely froze and temporarily rendered my laptop immobile. Thankfully, I had my handy backup iPad handy, so I simply switched to the iPad and finished my class. Unfortunately, while the app on my laptop was locked, it still showed that I was in the original classroom, thus preventing me from entering the new classroom. I immediately began using my phone to troubleshoot with a VIPKid fireman, but by the time I successfully entered the second student’s classroom, another fireman had marked the class as TEACHER_NO_SHOW. (This is bad.) 😦 So, I want to change it to a SYSTEM_PROBLEM (ideally) or at least a TEACHER_IT.

How do I request a finish type change?

  1. Within your PC app or Teacher Portal, click on “Class” then “Classrooms.”
  2. Click on “All Classes.” This will display a screen like you see below.
  3. Click on the large orange button that says “Cancellations & No Shows & Change Finish Type.”
  4. Small check boxes will appear next to each of your classes. Place a check mark in the box for the class that you would like to change.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click the “Request to Change Finish Type” button.

 

finish code steps

finish code steps 2

At that point, it will ask you to fill out a brief form. It will ask:

  • What finish code do you want to change the class to?
  • What is the reason for changing the finish type?
  • Notes (More on this later)
  • Photocopies of supporting documentation (More on this later)

Once you have filled in the form as completely as possible, click the orange “submit” button at the bottom of the form.

finish code steps 3

How do I have the best chance to get my finish type changed?

  1. Leave good notes. This is the section where you explain what happened. As you might imagine, not all notes are created equally, so:
    • Use simple, concise language. This is a ticket, not a blog post. 🙂
    • Avoid incidental language. Just like this can confuse a student, this could confuse a help desk agent as well.
    • Stick to the facts. You will probably be upset, but try not to let that confuse the facts of what happened.
  2. Upload good quality screenshots with timestamps. When you begin having system issues, it’s a good idea to immediately start taking screenshots. Likewise, take screenshots of any conversations you have with firemen. I usually keep any screenshots until after all payouts for the month have been made; then I delete them. For the example above, I attached eight screenshots. I had six screenshots of my conversation with the fireman on my phone and two in the classroom that was marked as a TEACHER_NO_SHOW attempting to communicate with that fireman. I would have felt better if I had a screenshot of the app frozen in the original classroom, but in my haste to switch to the iPad, I failed to get a screenshot.
  3. Be thorough and patient. You do have three attempts to change a finish code on a class, so if you are unsuccessful the first time, check your notes and your screenshots, determine if you can word your request differently, and re-submit.

We all love our students and want them to have a great experience, so it’s always disappointing when things don’t work the way we planned. But one incident will not ruin your career with VIPKid or your reputation with parents, so try not to be too upset. Learn from the issue and work on what you can do next time to prevent the same issue again.

I hope you never have to use this particular blog post, but if you do, I’m always here for a friendly ear. Let me know how yours turned out in the comments!