The Tale of Bad Reviews

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Avatar for rayselp
3 years ago

Since I started online English teaching, I had a couple of favorites from my students and from those random students who would visit my profile. The company said they are helping newly qualified teachers by boosting their booking slots to gain regular students within a time frame. It's only temporary though, so, it is the teacher's job to become more bookable.

One of the ways to gain attention from potential students is to get "favorited" by many students and to have a higher satisfaction rate which means more good evaluations and no bad evaluations and complaints.

When I started last May 10, I got one bad evaluation from a student who seems to be disinterested. Anyway, these are what the student said to me in the bad evaluation:

  • Facial expressions not engaging

  • Not energetic enough

  • Lack of effective interaction

  • No/ not effective error-correction

  • Noisy background

Well, thankfully, there's an appeal button where teachers can accept or refuse the complaints filed to him/her. I refused all these things because when I had my demo, the evaluator said I really have engaging energy, and I am always wearing my sweetest smile. In my almost 10 years of classroom teaching, never did I get any complaints on how uninterested I am during class because my ultimate goal when I'm having a class is for my students to understand the lesson, and have FUN. It was just discouraging for me to have these types of bad evaluations when in the 25 minutes that I am in the online class, I did my very best to be an excellent teacher. I build rapport with my students not only by just asking their names but also making little conversations about them, as much as possible. I see to it that I am present, not only in terms of attendance, but I am present in the moment - listening to them, conversing with them, building a relationship with them. The appeal that I made by the way is still processing.

Anyway, I am writing this out of frustration because, in my second week, I got another bad evaluation from a student last night. Actually, I was already expecting to get bad feedback, not because I did bad (of course not!), but because this student was a Mission student. A mission student means that he/she has many dislikes, and is prone to make bad evaluations to his/her teachers. So, if a new teacher gets a student with a mission, he/she must do everything to turn the tables. Unfortunately, I was not able to turn the tables last night. I have to be honest, I almost lost my temper and patience, but I still keep going and made the lessons as fun and interesting as possible. These are what the student ticked in the bad evaluation form:

  • Facial expressions not engaging (Really?)

  • Not energetic enough (Oh noes.)

  • Not patient enough (Maybe.)

  • Lack of effective interaction (WOW!!?)

  • Finished all the slides too fast (Okay, maybe a bit, but no, really.)

  • Teacher spoke too fast (I know about grade language, I gauge my student's level of English.)

  • Word of choice too difficult (She understood me during the class.)

  • Other people/objects present in the background (My background is a wall. The company said we can temporarily make a student-friendly background. Is it not student friendly?)

One of the problems I've encountered last night is when the student wrote on the screen "No." Okay, I kept my cool. It was fine, I can just shake it off. Another red flag was when the student sent me a message in the chatbox, she said "I don't like you." In response, I told her "Teacher likes you, Student." We continued. Another red flag was when I was teaching her a part of our lesson which is to make sentences starting with the phrase "I/He/She/They musn't....". She refused saying mustn't, instead she used "can't". I tried several times to tell her to use "mustn't" instead of "can't" because the context of the lesson is about rules, and rules must be obeyed.

Still, she refused.

So, we continued. I am not sure if my frustration was shown through my facial expression, but I still keep my cool. I know it is difficult to have a student who thinks that they know a lot of things already, and they treat teachers like (pardon me for a lack of better term) slaves. They treat teachers as a nobody, someone who is being paid for their service only. But being a teacher isn't just a job, it's a commitment, it's a vocation, it's making action on your passion.

Because of that bad evaluation, my satisfaction rate from 100% decreased to 75%, for just ONE bad evaluation, my chances of getting more students would likely decline. I just hoped that they would consider my appeal and agree to refuse what the student commented about me.

Btw, she said in her comment that I look like a nuiko (I don't know what this means), she doesn't like me, she will never make another appointment with me again. My intuition was correct when she said she only booked me because her favorite teacher was too tired.

As I've mentioned, I am doing everything that I can to be present at the moment. I've also already invested in printing and buying some materials needed for my classes which are way too far from what I've received as a salary in my first week of teaching. But well, I guess, you can't really please everybody - even if you're friendly, accommodating, and good at what you do. I am not saying that I'm already an expert in teaching, especially in teaching younger kids, but I really try my best to make an effort.

So, if you're a teacher like me who easily gets frustrated by having bad evaluations, I just want to encourage you that you are doing a great job. Yesterday, I had 5 classes, out of the 5, only 1 made a bad evaluation. So, carry on, tomorrow, it will pass. We will all become better and better each day.

Hang in there, Teach!

$ 7.54
$ 7.54 from @TheRandomRewarder
Avatar for rayselp
3 years ago