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:
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?
- Within your PC app or Teacher Portal, click on “Class” then “Classrooms.”
- Click on “All Classes.” This will display a screen like you see below.
- Click on the large orange button that says “Cancellations & No Shows & Change Finish Type.”
- 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.
- Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click the “Request to Change Finish Type” button.
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.
How do I have the best chance to get my finish type changed?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!