One of the common questions I get asked about teaching English with VIPKID is, “what happens if there is a student no show?” Many new teachers are unsure of what to do if a student is absent. Below, I have included every detail about the student no show policy, which will tell you exactly what to do when this happens.
What To Do For A Student No Show
The VIPKID student no show policy differs depending on what kind of class you’re teaching. As VIPKID teachers, we can teach two kinds of classes: trial classes or major course classes.
During a trial class, you will be teaching a student who has yet to sign up with VIPKID as a paying customer. Each student in China is given three free classes with VIPKID to help them decide if they want to sign up. Teachers are still paid for teaching these classes; VIPKID foots the bill.
Major course classes are classes taught to students who are already paying customers. They take classes regularly with VIPKID.
Below, I explain the difference in VIPKID policy for a trial class student no show and a major course student no show.
VIPKID Major Course Student No Show
Perhaps today you are teaching a major course class. After entering the classroom, you find that the student has yet to join you. Several minutes go by and the student is still absent. What are you supposed to do now?
The VIPKID student no show policy for major course classes is as follows:
Since these are paying students, teachers must stay in class for the entire 25 minutes. Although you must stay in the classroom, this doesn’t mean that you can’t be doing other things.
When I have a student that is absent, I typically use this time to finish feedback for other classes, send emails, or just browse the internet (sometimes I even write blog posts about VIPKID!).
At the 25 minute mark, you are able to leave the classroom and enter your next class. Believe it or not, students show up for classes at the craziest times: at the 15-minute mark, 18-minute mark, and one time I even had a student show up at the 23-minute mark. Because students can show up at random times, you don’t want to leave class until it is completely finished (25 minutes).
What To Do If A Student Shows Up Late
If a student shows up late, do your best to cover as much of the material as possible. Once the 25-minute mark approaches, I say goodbye and leave a note for the learning partner in the feedback. If we weren’t able to finish all of the slides, I typically recommend that the student retakes the lesson, so they can be familiar with all of the lesson materials.
Since the student showed up late, it is not our duty to finish every single slide. Don’t worry if you can’t finish the lesson because of a tardy student.
VIPKID Trial Class No Show
A VIPKID trial class no show is quite different than a major course student no show. For a trial class no show, teachers are required to stay in the classroom until the 15-minute mark. Once the 15-minute mark arrives, you are able to leave the classroom.
Trial class no shows happen much more frequently than major course classes. Typically, if I enter a trial classroom and the student isn’t there one minute before the class starts, I assume it will be a no show. Trial class students are usually in class early and preparing their equipment with the VIPKID learning partner.
Pro-tip: be aware that VIPKID has the power to change this class up until the start time. This means that if VIPKID confirms that the trial student isn’t coming to class, they can switch the classroom to a trial student that will show up.
If your trial student has been changed, a message will appear on your screen like the picture shown above. Choose “Enter New Classroom” and begin teaching your new trial student.
Trial Class Rebooking Function
A new feature that VIPKID has recently rolled out is called the trial class rebooking function.
The VIPKID team is allowed to change your trial student up until the class start time. When the countdown clock reaches zero, they are no longer allowed to change students without the teacher’s permission.
The trial class rebooking function was designed to give VIPKID permission to change your students after the class has already begun. To explain this better, consider the example below:
You are scheduled to teach a trial student at 8:00am this morning. You enter the classroom and wait for the student to join you. At 8:05am, the student is still not there. A message will pop up on your screen telling you that you’ve been rebooked and to enter the new classroom. Switching to the new classroom, you find another trial student waiting to be taught. Start class as normal.
The benefits of opting-in to the trial class rebooking function is that you’re less likely to have a trial student no show, meaning you will be paid your regular VIPKID salary.
Find the trial class rebooking function in your VIPKID teacher portal. Click the “My Info” tab and look for the section “Contract & Agreement”. Choose “Trial Class Rebooking” and click the opt-in button.
Payment For Student No Shows
Now you’re probably wondering, “I got up at 4am to teach and my student is a no show. Will I still get paid for this?” The short answer is yes, you will get paid. But, just like the student no show procedure differs depending on the type of class, the payment for student no shows differs as well.
For a VIPKID major course student no show, you will receive full pay. Woohoo! You just got paid for doing nothing!
Unfortunately, this enthusiasm might not translate for trial class student no shows. When a VIPKID student no show occurs for a trial class, teachers are only paid half of their class pay rate. This happens because you only stay in the classroom for 15 minutes.
For example, I make a base rate of $8.50 per class. Cut this in half and I’m getting $4.25 for the 15 minutes that I sit there. Keep in mind, incentives are still fair game, even for student no shows. So if a trial student doesn’t show up, I make $6.25 for that class, which includes $1 extra for showing up and $1 extra for teaching 45+ classes per month.
If your trial class is booked as a short notice class, you’ll also receive the short notice bonus. This brings my trial student no show pay up to $8.25 per class. In my opinion, this isn’t bad for not doing anything.
VIPKID Student Cancellation
In VIPKID world, there is a big difference between a student no show and a student cancellation. It’s important to understand the difference and the necessary procedure for both.
A student cancellation happens when the parent cancels the class within 24 hours of the class start time. When this happens, teachers are not required to show up for that class.
Check out the picture above. Notice that on the far right side, all of my booking slots are green except for Henry. That’s because Henry’s parents canceled the class 16 hours before our class was supposed to begin. Since this is a major course student, I am still paid for this and I can use that half-hour to do whatever I’d like.
In order to know if one of your classes has been canceled, be sure to download the VIPKID app. VIPKID will send you push notifications telling you about class cancellations.
Pro-tip: beware that if a parent cancels a class before the 24 hr window, that class can be rebooked by other students; these are NOT canceled classes and if the slot is rebooked, you must show up to teach!
The pay cut for trial student no shows upsets many teachers. They feel that they should receive full pay for coming to class. Whether I agree with this or not, the good thing is that student no shows are pretty rare.
VIPKID does a great job of getting in contact with parents and reminding them about class time. There are occurrences where VIPKID can’t get ahold of the parents and this is when student no shows happen.
During the school year, I typically have one student no show for every 60 classes I teach. This number increases during Chinese holidays and summer break. Since the students are on a lax schedule during the summer and for holidays, they easily forget about VIPKID classes.
Interestingly enough, student no shows that occur during holidays are typically major course students rather than trial students. This means I oftentimes receive full pay for doing absolutely nothing! Woohoo!
Do I Leave Class Feedback For A No Show?
Nope, nope, nope! Leaving class feedback is unnecessary for a student no show. In fact, VIPKID won’t even give you the option to leave feedback after the class is marked “SNS” or student no show.
Pro-tip: if a student is very late to class, you will still need to leave feedback.
Do I Contact The Fireman For A Student No Show?
Contacting the fireman about a possible student no show is unnecessary. In fact, they will most likely ignore your query. Stay in class, turn off your audio, and just relax until the class is over.
Randomly, the fireman might contact you to tell you the student is not coming to class. If the fireman contacts you to tell you this, you will be able to leave the classroom.
The Wrap-Up: VIPKID Student No Show
Whether you’re a fan of student no shows or find it irritating when a student is absent, no shows happen to every VIPKID teacher. Understanding the no show policy will help you determine when you can leave class and what to do next.
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