Top 6 Qkids Newbie Questions and Their Answers

Top 6 Qkids Newbie Questions and Their Answers 

My name is Rebecca Frostad, and I am a 36-year-old married mother of one precocious 2-year-old. I just immigrated to Canada, where my husband is from, and we have settled in the expansive prairies. I have been teaching with Qkids for a year and a half, and it has been an exciting and growing experience. Hopefully, you find my blog posts entertaining, uplifting, and useful!

I still remember how I felt going into the interview for Qkids. I hadn't had a job in months (my B&M job position was conveniently eliminated almost the day my daughter was born-- but that's another story), and after finding Qkids on a job search website, I was REALLY hopeful that it would work out. 

I submitted my application, and not long later was set up with an interview. Because the interview is all about knowing how to work things in the app, I downloaded it and went crazy trying to absorb as much as I could about how it works. I felt as confident as I could going into the interview, though not as confident as I hoped. Spoiler alert: it went well and I got the job (and have been renewed to keep it... or else it would just be weird writing this blog post).

After a few contracts, you feel like an old sage... lol

All of that to say that we have ALL-- from the longest-serving Qkids teaching veteran to the first contract crowd-- been there. We've all had to learn new buttons, functions, games, and just how to do this nutty job that we call our own. Realistically, even the veterans have to learn something new from time to time, and sometimes reaching out to the community can help.

In that spirit, I've compiled this list of the Top 6 Qkids Newbie Questions and Their Answers based on what I've seen on our official Facebook group page.

1. What Is a “Standby” Class, and What Do I Need to Know?

A standby class is when you are scheduled to be available to substitute for another teacher if (for whatever reason) they are not there. When you are scheduled for standby, you are expected to be logged into the platform for the three minutes before class time until three minutes after (ie: if the standby is for the 6:30am EST class, you are logged in from 6:27am to 6:33am, unless the standby “converts”). 

If it doesn't convert, you get paid for the standby (as of this date, US$4). If the standby converts to a regular class, the teacher scheduled to teach isn't there, so you will be teaching the class instead. There is a warning *ding!*, and then you will have only moments to prepare, so it's good to be read up on all of the different games-- particularly in the level ranges you tend to teach. I remember being anxious about standbys for a long time because I thought you had to have everything practiced and prepared, but ultimately as long as you know your games fairly well, you should be fine. 

The curriculum is generally easy to catch onto within a very short time, so don't worry about having to prepare for every possible class. Just read the class outline quickly and enter the class as soon as possible and engage the students with the lesson as it unfolds.

2. How Long Do I Have to Stay in a Vacant Class?

If you have that rare “unicorn” of a vacant class-- one that either has no students scheduled or has had none show up for the lesson-- you have to stick around in the classroom for ten minutes. This allows time for late students to get in and occasionally allows CCT to add last-minute students. 

It's relatively commonplace to have students come in late; last-minute additions are uncommon but do happen from time to time. If, however, you DO have an empty class, wait the ten minutes and-- this is important, just in case-- take a screenshot showing the classroom, the time and date, and the time on the classroom clock. It takes only a moment, and can really help if something glitched in the system and it says you didn't stay long enough.

3. Oh No! I Overslept (or Some Other Reason) and Missed a Class! Do I Lose My Bonus?

The bonus being referred to here (if you're not already aware) is the attendance bonus. There is a performance bonus that is tied to the ratings for your performance during the week, but that is completely outside of the attendance bonus. The attendance bonus is based on-- you guessed it-- attendance, and has some requirements: 

First, you need to be scheduled for and attend at least 15 classes or standbys in the week. Then comes the somewhat confusing bit: requesting off vs. no-shows. If you request off 5+ hours in advance, as long as you have the 15 classes, you'll get it. If you give LESS than 5 hours notice, you can have up to three and still get the attendance bonus (if you teach or are present for at least 15 classes or standbys). 

If you are a no-show for even ONE class, you will not be eligible for the attendance bonus and lose it for the whole week. This came up particularly during the height of COVID scheduling, when some teachers were taking on 70 classes per week (*faints*) and overslept one or more at the very end of the week from exhaustion. All of this being said, if you can contact CCT as soon as you can about the absence, they appreciate the communication and might work with you.

I Got an Orange Tag! Do I Lose My Performance Bonus?

The short answer is not necessarily. The bonus is tied to your ratings instead of your tags. As you probably know, green tags are the family's way of saying that you did something particularly well, while orange tags are constructive feedback (ie: you could do better in this area). You can have a class that got all green tags, but one student (or their parent) gave it three stars or less, and you don't get the bonus for the class (it's happened to me before). On the other hand, you could get an orange tag and still get rated with four or five stars. I've not experienced it before, but technically speaking, the possibility exists.

So, is it possible to still get the performance bonus with an orange tag? Yes. Is it likely? Mmmm... in my experience and from what I've read from others, no.

How Do I Do the Evaluations? What Do the Letters and Stars Mean?

This is something that even veteran teachers need to be reminded of from time to time (this author included!). Evaluations break down like this: we award a letter grade, a star rating, note the learner's attention, and make note of several unique instances (ie: late/incomplete, off-task, etc.). 

The general guidance is to err on the side of encouraging. Remember, most of these students have English classes at school, and this is more of a fun way for them to build their skills, rather than a strict course.

So let's start with the letters: 

  • A indicates that the student gave excellent effort and appeared to understand the concepts from the class
  • B indicates that the student gave mediocre effort, and understood at least some portion of the class
  • C indicates that the student didn't participate, and didn't appear to understand any of the information given

The star ratings are for effort:

  • Did the student participate well? 3 stars
  • If they participated poorly, 2 stars
  • If they didn't participate at all, 1 star

Next is student attention. The options are Hard Working, Focused, Average, and Tired. While three of the four are already generally positive, Tired sounds like the student is about to fall asleep in class and is therefore negative inherently. Usually, I mark Hard Working or Focused unless the student is distracted or something like that. I choose Average if the student is a bit more distracted, but I save Tired for a student that is literally falling asleep or is enormously distracted.

So there you have it! I hope you found these funny and helpful, and if you aren't already a member, check out the Qkids Newbie group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1149399415214921) and the Qkids Official: Newbie Support Mentorship Fun group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/236645707423889) on Facebook. If you're not even quite a newbie (you are interested in applying for a teaching position with Qkids, but haven't already), be sure to click on my referral link here → https://teacher.qkids.com/ref?code=EVGLLO ← and comment below if you have any questions!


Love,

Qkids Family


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