In the VIPKID & ESL world, many teachers debate about whether or not to ask for parent feedback. I always waffle back and forth on this: I want a high percentage of feedback from parents because it’s part of the raise requirements, but I also don’t want to get a poor rating.
In the past, when I have specifically asked for parent feedback, it has helped increase my percentage, but I also have had it backfire spectacularly on me by getting less than five apples. As a result of my past experiences, I don’t often ask for their feedback unless I feel like the lesson was particularly outstanding.
Personally, I am still struggling to find the perfect wording for when asking parents for feedback. I have used some different variations with different levels of success:
- Thank you for booking a class with me! If you enjoy our class, please leave me five apples! I look forward to hearing from you. Your feedback is always appreciated!
- I am always looking for ways to improve as a teacher. Please leave me teacher feedback with any suggestions on how to best teach your child. Thank you!
When I do ask my students’ parents for their feedback, I always try to include it right after I tell them that their child earned five stars during class. Psychologically, I feel like that might increase my chance of getting five apples: Your child got five stars; Teacher Caryn EU gets five apples.
Some teachers recommend asking the parent questions to answer in their feedback like, “What are your child’s hobbies?” or “Are there any specific things that the child would like for their reward?” When I have had a particularly challenging student, I sometimes ask the parents to let me know in their feedback how I might better engage their child in the class.
Additionally, some teachers increase their percentage by actually telling the parent that VIPKID rewards teachers with a high amount of feedback from students’ parents. I haven’t ever said that in my feedback, but I have definitely thought about it.
Ultimately, I think it comes down to consistently teaching high-quality classes and making connections with the students. I find that the parents who consistently leave feedback are the ones whose children I feel most connected to.
Recently, I jumped on the bandwagon and created a welcome slide using PowerPoint and Bitmoji. When using it in my classroom, I don’t upload it directly because I have heard mixed things about this. Teachers have sent in tickets asking if they can upload a welcome slide; some of the responses say that it’s okay and others say not to.
I always error on the side of caution by uploading it through Manycam and project it into my video feed. This way, I am not uploading anything directly in the lesson. I guess in the end, you have to decide what risks you are comfortable taking. Until VIPKID comes out with a specific update regarding uploading things directly in the classroom, teachers will get mixed messages.
In my welcome slide, I ask for kind feedback and apples. I have only been using it for about a week, so I am not really sure if it’s having any impact on my feedback rate. I am hopeful that it might increase my parent feedback percentage or at least cut down on the number of students screaming, “TEACHER!!! I CAN’T SEE YOU! TEACHER! TEACHER! ARE YOU THERE??? HI, TEACHER!!!” before class has actually even started. If you found this post helpful you can also check out Preparing Feedback for Upcoming Classes.