One thing that really stands out about VIPKid is the fairness of the hiring process. Everyone experiences an evaluation that isn’t based on prejudice of what degree a person has or how many years of teaching experience: it’s all about how you present yourself during that first interview with a live person. During that time of pretending to teach an over-sized 8-year-old, your years of experience and fancy certifications just don’t make a difference when it comes to how you preform in the online classroom.
That being said, the same goes for students! Some children flourish in the physical classroom, but struggle online. It’s new, it’s different, it’s LITERALLY foreign. It’s important to remember that we aren’t expected to “go easy” on a child, but how are we really supposed to evaluate their skills? There are many feedback philosophies of varying extremes that I see floating around:
The first extreme: “I never leave “excellent” because I don’t want it to come across that they don’t have more to learn. This way, they keep coming back to my class to learn more and mom and dad know I’m a good strict teacher.”
The second extreme: “I always leave “excellent” so mom and dad don’t leave me a bad review. I don’t think these scores really matter.”
Do you fall somewhere around these two extremes? If you “grade honestly”, what does that look like? All teachers do things differently. That is the perk to having tons of teachers for students to choose from: there’s bound to be a good match! While I can’t give you the answer to the right way or wrong way to do feedback, I can only give you references to chart VIPKid provides and offer incite to how I handle leaving feedback.
Current VIPKid teachers can message me on Facebook for the link to the Learning Objectives and class expectations. I won’t be sharing those charts publicly because they include course info competitors would want, but I will share with you the my explanation of the menu options when filling out the feedback form.
NOTE: The screenshots are from a level 2 class. They are adjusted accordingly for each level.
The first thing to note when filling out the form for Level 2 through 6 is that you can hover over the little question mark to see what is meant each heading. So for “Speaking and Listening” we see the objective is that the student “Repeats and uses sentence frames flexibly with prompts.” For Level 2 Unit 6 and beyond students should be able to repeat the main sentences conversationally. So if the lesson is about weather and I circle a picture of a rainy day and ask, “How is the weather?” the student should be able to say, “It is rainy.” If they can, excellent! If not, I continue to assess. Did they answer with one word and the word was “rainy”? Great!…but did they end up saying the sentence by the end of class because they finally figured out that Teacher Lorri doesn’t allow one-word answers? Excellent!
I reserve “Struggling” only for cases where the student seems to have zero understanding of the content. If they prove they sort of understand but can’t repeat, not bad. Example: if I ask a question and they circle the answer but can’t say it. A “good” or “great” may be a case where they answered with an incomplete sentence because they aren’t able to say the sentence, not just because they don’t want to. I see many people say they grade poorly in instances where the student behaved poorly. NONE of these options have anything to do with behavior–only our perception of academic performance. We will get to forms that have behavior later.
This one is very closely related to the speaking and listening portion. Chances are, if they could flexibly use the core sentence structures, then they also understand the Social Studies and Science. However, something that is common in learning a new language is comprehension during written portions/photo matching and struggle in verbal extension. So going back to my previous example of “weather”. Perhaps the student did great with answering when the text was on the screen. Time to evaluate on the slides without text to make sure they can actually understood the definitions and not just the “call and repeat” portion.
CVC words are “consonant vowel consonant”. This, of course, changes as their progress and begin to learn other phonics skills, but ultimately this is not asking “did the student read perfectly”, it’s asking, “were they able to achieve reading the targets.” So, you may still be guiding during the reading portions, but if they jumped in and rocked the phonics portions, they get excellent.
You are not grading whether the student can do the math accurately. Now, for the most part the students will see the problems and complete it. Nope! Not what we are here for. They are learning to do the math in ENGLISH. It’s doesn’t matter is they got the problem correct as long as you can gauge that they understood the instructions and the math-related vocabulary. Yes, guide them to get the right answer, but there are instances where the student is very young and hasn’t learned a particular math skill in school and it can be extremely difficult for them. For example, I recently had a 5 year old level 6. He read and spoke brilliantly, and in perfect English told me, “I just haven’t done this in school.” No worries kid! You gave it a shot, discussed the problem in English, understand the vocab. You get excellent!
Level 7 is probably my favorite. The layout of the classes and re-introduction of interactive features is the experience I hope to get in every class in the future. The feedback I write for these courses is much more thorough. I NEVER use a template for higher level students because that runs too much risk that they will notice it sounds like a “cookie-cutter” feedback and not like me.
The feedback form is basically the same as the others Major Course 2-6 classes, but when you hover over the icon the requirements are much more strict.
Each of the Supps. as I call them, has there own designated criteria to grade upon. I, personally, look out for any special interests or struggles and recommend them accordingly because I have all the Supps I would suggest. For example, if Major Course isn’t given a student enough time improve phonics, they could take Phonics course. While there is reading and such in Phonics, this is not where we are grading them on sentence structure. You know what I mean?
I put this category at the bottom because it the the last major course I received and the one I have to wait the longest for screenshots intended for this post. I forgot last time! I only teach a level 1 class about once per week. That aside, this feedback form includes an area for behavior. You also may not finish all the slides, and that is okay at this level. Level one parents are notorious for not understanding WHY you didn’t finish and leave bad feedback because of it. This is why it is important to mention WHY in your feedback before mom re-watches class and thinks she got ripped off. You also select whether you finished or not as part of the form. Much more helpful, I think. I wish we had the behavior options at all levels.
I intend to go back and tweak this a bit after obtaining more screenshots. But, if you have any questions about leaving feedback for students please ask!
If you are not a VIPKid teacher currently but made it to the bottom of this post, I’d love to help you join me in the best job ever. Please begin your application on this link and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can help you each step of the way!