A little while ago, I did a series on our Instagram covering a few tips for leaving parent feedback after teaching VIPKID classes. So as to make them useful for you all, I combined them all here (and added a couple!). Now you can save them for later! If you follow along on Instagram and have already read the ones I previously posted, you can scroll down and skip to Tip #6.
The beauty of teaching for VIPKID is that I got to leave the mountains of essays and grading behind. I haven’t touched my colored grading pens in over a year! The VIPKID version of grading is feedback.
After each class, you have 12 hours to submit feedback to the parents of your student. If you submit it within that 12-hour window, you get your 1$ bonus for that class! Basically, it’s a blank text box for comments with 5 areas you can rate 1-5 stars on. The purpose of feedback is really to just keep communication between teacher and parents open; some parents really value it, others never look at it. This is where you should mention any particular issues that really need to be addressed (like if the student was distracted the whole time and was off the screen a lot. Or if they did something super sweet like bring you a flower. Both true life examples)
TIP #1: Don’t take it too seriously.
I recommend keeping things positive and generally just rehashing the main goals of that lesson.
- Start with a positive statement (Ex. [name] did great work today in her first lesson!)
- Touch on the main goals of the lesson (Ex. We practiced letters /w/ & /x/, plus counting with numbers 1-6.)
- Mention something they can practice. ([name] can practice answering the question /Does she go to school?/ (/Yes she does. No, she does not./))
- Thank them for a great lesson. Depending on whether they are a regular, mention how much you appreciate 5 apple feedback and how much you hope to see the student again!
TIP #2: Ask for feedback.
It’s my opinion that you want to encourage parents to leave 5-apple reviews every time you teach. You can’t just assume they’ll leave the feedback if they liked your teaching; you need to let them know that those reviews matter to you. Not only do they give you a chance to potentially improve as a teacher, but the better & more numerous your positive reviews, the more likely you are to have consistent bookings.
There’s some debate on the importance of parent feedback. If you’re new to teaching, or just unaware, parents can review each of the classes their child takes with you using a 1-5 apple system. There is also a box for comments. It’s where they can communicate to you specifically, but other parents and VIPKID can of course see it.
I don’t make it complicated. Just a sentence or 2 at the end of my feedback on the lesson letting them know I value their feedback.
- Remind them that you gave their child 5 stars. (Ex. [name] earned 5 stars in class today!)
- Let them know you look at parent feedback (Ex. Your feedback is appreciated.)
- If the student was new to you, ask parents what their child enjoys (Ex. I always look to improve; does your child have a favorite color, show, book, character, or something else? I would like to use their favorites in our lessons.)
- Leave on a positive, unrelated note. (Ex. Thanks for a great lesson!)
Some parents will never leave you feedback, and others will leave it every time. If they give specific language on how you can improve lessons with their child, do it! If they tell you something their child loves, do your best to incorporate it into future lessons! That’s the ultimate point of parent feedback, after all.
TIP #3: Use a Google Doc to save your feedback.
When a lesson clocks in around 25 minutes, and you’ve got another one waiting to start in 5 minutes, finishing feedback in a minute or 2 is a skill worth honing. Some prefer to leave all their feedback until the end, but personally, I like to be done with all the others when I teach my last class.
My trick is to keep a google doc filled with all my past lesson feedbacks! I can copy and paste from there, then tweak. Let’s be real, a loootttt of our feedback for the same lessons are the same. Kids tend to struggle with similar issues. It’s a lot faster to tweak a sentence here or there than to type it all out every time! And it keeps me from skimping on the help I communicate to parents just to keep my time spent on feedback down.
TIP #4: Sign your feedback with your VIPKID Teacher name.
Signing your feedback with your Teacher Name in the VIPKID system can be more important than you think. Don’t just your first name. For example, I sign all my feedback “Teacher Rebecca DDW (Becca)”. That way, when parents go back and look, they can easily see which teacher wrote which feedback and you’re much more likely to get a quick 5 apple rating! I introduce myself as “Teacher Becca” to my students since it’s easier to say than Rebecca, so I include it in parentheses just to be clear to parents & students which teacher it was.
TIP #5: Don’t use quotes, use slashes.
Set off all the words you want to stay in English with “/“. For example, I might type, “Bella practiced using /snow/ in complete sentences today!” Then, that word won’t be translated when the parents read the feedback and your meaning is more clear. I learned this from a VIPKID workshop on feedback! Such a useful little fact.
TIP #6: Screenshot everything.
Okay this rule really applies to all things VIPKID, but I recently learned this lesson on feedback myself. After you submit your feedback, take a screenshot of it. More than once, I was docked my extra 1$/class bonus for not having feedback submitted on time. Only, I KNEW I had done it. But when I went back, it was all typed in the box and ‘saved’, not ‘submitted’. Since I’ve got not proof that I really did submit it and something in the system must’ve messed up, I just had to swallow it. But now, I screenshot every time I finish my classes (I just go to the classes menu & take a pic of all the classes with submitted feedback in one shot). And, on the off chance something in my brain glitched and I didn’t submit it (after 2 years of a perfect record), this will double check they’re all submitted.
TIP #7: Keep your sentences simple.
This is something that will get better with practice, but try and keep your sentences from being lengthy or complex. This is a hard one for me, but I try to make it happen. Yes, it will feel like you’re being a little rude. But trust me, the translation takes all the nuance out of your words anyways. Your meaning will be clearer, and parents who don’t speak English will have better communication with you. I find it easier to write it how I would speak, and then go back and chunk it into short, simple sentences.
Written by Becca
Do you have any feedback tips? Got other questions about teaching for VIPKID? I’ve got more insights into teaching for VIPKID on our Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest as well; check them out! Or, comment below/email us. I’d love to chat!
If you’re new to this VIPKID teaching thing, check out my posts here and here for more info on how to become a VIPKID teacher. If you use my referral code (REBEC0308), the company will add you to my Teacher’s Portal so I can see where you are in the hiring process. I give detailed advice through one-on-one coaching, tailored specifically to which step you are in to all I mentor. And this is totally FREE to you! What do you have to lose, right?