If you work for the company VIPKID, you already know about feedback. At the end of each lesson you teach, you must submit feedback regarding the lesson. This feedback is submitted directly to the student’s parents/guardians. You have twelve hours to submit feedback following a lesson, but it makes sense to do it immediately afterward. This not only saves you time, but also makes sure the most relevant details are fresh in your mind.
So how can you make sure you consistently submit meaningful, relevant, and quality feedback? Follow the “recipe” for successful VIPKID feedback below, which is comprised of seven ingredients.
1) Student Name and Positive Comment
This is simply a brief comment immediately following class. Regardless of how the class went, you can always say at least something positive to say. For example:
“xuan xuan did a fantastic job in today’s class!”
2) Statement of Praise
What did your student do that was great? I usually gear this statement away from content-related comments and keep it related to the child’s in-class behavior. For example,
“xuan xuan remained attentive, enthusiastic, and engaged throughout the entirety of the lesson.”
3) Summary of Course Content
This portion of your feedback should be THOROUGH. Instead of saying, “Today we worked on word families and greetings,” you should have several sentences relaying what it is you did. I prepare my feedback in advance, and doing this is both a huge time-saver and great way to make sure I cover my bases. Below is an example of a course content summary I might leave for a lesson:
“In today’s class, ‘Who Am I,’ we warmed up by singing the ‘Hello Song.’ After that, we practiced saying our name by using the sentence frame, ‘My name is…’ Then, we practiced saying our ages using the sentence frame ‘I am _____ years old.’ We read a skit between two characters aloud, where one asked the other his age, and the other responded that he was 7 years old. Then, we practiced saying our own ages. We sang a song called ‘How Old Are You’ and used xuan xuan’s age to sing the song. For the phonics portion of the lesson, we learned the letters E, F, G, and H. Then, we sang the ABCs. After that, we completed an activity where we matched big and small letters together. We practiced the following sight words: the, I, a. We also practiced reading the dialogue, ‘Where do you live?’ ‘I live in China.’ Then, we concluded the lesson by reviewing some of our previously learned sentence patterns, such as, ‘How are you?’ and we sang the ‘Goodbye Song.'”
After reading this, a parent will not be confused about what happened in the lesson.
4) Statement of Strengths
After summarizing the course, you should include a statement of strengths. What did your student do well, specifically in relation to the course content?
“xuan xuan did a fantastic job repeating the new sentence pattern, “I am ___ years old.” By the end of the lesson, he answered the question, “How old are you?” completely independently.”
5) Areas of Challenge (In the Form of a Plan)
Of course, not all lessons always go seamlessly, and there is *always* room for improvement. Phrase this part of your feedback as a plan for what you hope to continue practicing with your student. This not only will show that you recognize areas of challenge, but also will establish that you wish to see the student again. If the parents choose to book your class again, they will know you have a plan. For example,
“In upcoming lessons, I would like to continue to practice refining xuan xuan’s pronunciation of the word ‘live.’ I also hope to have him answer the question ‘Where do you live?’ independently, with less prompting.”
6) Thank You
Again, even if the lesson was an absolute disaster, always thank the parents for choosing to book a class with you. If you would like to see the student again, you can also include something like this:
“Thank you so much for signing up! I hope to see you again soon.”
7) Your Name
In a sea of VIPKID teachers, you want to make sure you stand out. A parent may remember your face and want to book your class next time, but may be unable to remember your name. Always include your name at the end of the feedback. Not only does it add a degree of professionalism to your feedback, it also makes it easier for you to be booked again, ultimately.
I used to always include a section that started with, “At home, you could assist _______ by practicing __________.” Some parents really like this because they are involved and want to assist their child with English development as much as possible. However, unless I know the student and the family very well, I generally omit this component now. I do this simply because not all students have parents that are very involved, and not all parents want to commit to additional time outside of the class. It’s important to know your audience if using this ingredient.
These seven ingredients make for high-quality and thorough written feedback. While these components will of course need to be tailored to fit the needs of your students (and sometimes a certain components may not be applicable), this general recipe should ensure that you are consistently providing quality feedback. To read more about how I use Microsoft OneNote to make my feedback process even more efficient, click here.