Gogokid Trial Class No Shows



I’m sitting in the Gogokid classroom.  Notice “student is entering” is written on the student camera.  This is potentially a no-show.  Also note at the bottom, I write a hello note in the chat box to prove I was in the classroom.  

You are ready!  You woke up at an insanely early hour.  You got dressed, maybe even put on makeup.  You set up your computer and props.  You even had a moment to get some coffee.  You’re in the Gogokid Teacher Portal, ready for your class!  If you have a trial class, this is a class that a student has booked to try out Gogokid’s program.  They have not paid for a package yet, and they’re unsure if they want to commit.  You have the power to convince them!

However, I have to be the bearer of bad news.  Oftentimes, trial class students do not show up.  They haven’t paid for anything yet, so they lose nothing.  But you still have to be prepared.  Let me walk you through your Gogokid trial class no show experience, so you are ready for whatever may come.

First, enter the classroom from the teacher portal before your scheduled start time.  Just click “Enter Classroom.”   I try to enter at least 10 minutes before my first class, to make sure everything is functioning properly.  As soon as I enter, I close my camera until the class start time.

As you sit there, you’ll see the student camera area.  If it says the the student’s name, that means they have arrived and are waiting for you.  This will be an actual trial class, not a “student no show.”  If it says “student is entering” (shown above) that means they have not entered the classroom yet.  This potentially will be a no-show, but you won’t know yet.

At this point, as I wait for the scheduled start time, I usually write something in the chat box, or on the screen with the drawing tool.  I usually just write “Hello!”  This proves that I was there in the classroom.

When it gets to the scheduled class time, the start button will appear and flash obnoxiously!  Press it as quickly as possible.

When you press it, your camera will open.  At that point, you may or may not have a student in the classroom.  If you do have a student, go for it and start teaching!  If no student is there, sit back and wait.

Now, I’ll finish this blog with quick questions/answer format for easy reading!  I know you may be sitting in a no-show, frantically trying to find out what to do.  If that is you, please comment below!  I’d love to hear your experiences!

  • How long do I wait?
    • You wait 15 minutes.  If a student shows up at any point between 00:00 and 15:00, you will teach him or her until 25:00.  If they do not show up at all, and the clock hits 15:00, it is a no-show and you do not have to teach.
  • Do I cover camera?
    • This is up to you.  I usually just leave the camera open.  Some people hate to sit there, looking at themselves.  You can put a post-it note over the camera if you wish. Just don’t “close the camera” with the button on the classroom.  You need to be available, ready to go if the student shows up.  Also, you cannot leave your classroom space.  I would recommend not even leaving your chair (or your standing space if you stand to teach).  It is very common for a student to show up, and if you’re not ready to jump right in, you’ll be marked as a “Teacher No Show.”
  • What if they show up at 14:30?
    • This is possible, but not probable.  If they show up at 14:30, or even 14:59, you have to teach the class.  You will teach until 25:00, so you will only have 10 minutes to complete the whole class.  Hurry though, but don’t rush too much.  You still want to give your student a great first class experience.
  • Do I need to write anything in the chat box?
    • No, but it doesn’t hurt.  I always write something like “Hello” before the class begins, then if the student shows up late, I write in the chat box, “Student arrived at 4:30 (for example), so we will have class for 20:30 minutes.”  This give a clear picture for anyone who would re-watch the class.
  • What if the IT help cancels the class and writes something in the chat box?
    • Occasionally, the student’s parents will tell Gogokid that they will not be showing up.  In this case, the IT help will come into your classroom and write to you in the chat box something like, “Thank you teacher, your class has been canceled by the parent.  You are free to leave.” You can be done waiting and leave the classroom. I always take a screen shot of that message, just in case I need to prove why I left early.
  • Can I do something else while I wait?
    • Yes!  Do whatever you’d like!  You can use your phone, read, drink your coffee, daydream.  I sometimes use my computer, but I never block my window that is open, showing the classroom.  If the student pops in, I don’t want to be online shopping or something in another window and not see it.  Also, as I mentioned above, don’t leave your teaching area until 15:00.
  • Do I just leave at 15:00?
    • Yes.  You close your classroom browser window.  Take a screen shot before you leave.
  • How much will I get paid?
    • For a Trial No Show, you’ll get paid 60% of your base rate.  If the student shows up late, even if it is at 14:59, and you teach the rest of the time, you’ll get full pay.
  • Do I write feedback?
    • Not for a no-show.  No need to write anything.  There won’t be a screen for feedback because you’ll close the classroom before 25:00.

Remember, don’t be discouraged if you have a no-show.  I know it can be a let down when you get geared up for a class, and then disappointed when there is no student to teach.  Bounce back and enjoy the break.  You’ll probably have quite a few trials and no-shows in your first few months of teaching with Gogokid.  When you begin to build your base of regular students, no shows will become a rarer experience.

What other questions do you have about no-shows or Gogokid?  Any funny or interesting Gogokid trial class experiences?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

-Teacher Laura from Minnesota, USA


Hello! My name is Laura and I teach online for VIPKID and Gogokid, teaching English to Chinese students!


I write here to connect with other teachers and applicants. I’d love to hear from you.  Here are some useful links.

GOGOKID referral code: X73CTGPA

VIPKID referral link: https://t.vipkid.com.cn/activity/popu…

VIPKID referral code: 05IOD5

Email: laura.risdall@gmail.com Instagram: minnesotateachermom

VIPKID/Parenting Blog: http://www.laurarisdall.wordpress.com

Feedback Panda Referral: https://www.feedbackpanda.com/?_teacher_ref=1k0QBN

Lingobus Referral: https://www.lingobus.com/?referralCode=PAR49P


#gogokid #onlineesl #vipkid #onlineeslteacher #vipkid #teacherlife



My Classroom Supplies:


Lingobus: How to schedule and cancel Chinese classes.

Hello again!  My daughters have been taking Lingobus classes for a few months now, and I have become quite adept at scheduling classes for both of them.  I like to have their classes back to back, specifically 9:00 am and 9:30 am if possible.  This way, we don’t forget and they can plan on it being a “Lingobus day.”

So scheduling these classes takes a bit of careful planning.  To schedule two classes with separate teachers, follow the directions in this YouTube video!

Also included in this video are detailed directions with screen captured video to show how to cancel classes too.  Don’t feel bad if something comes up and you need to reschedule or cancel a class.  Teachers understand, and they will understand.  As far as their cancellation policy goes, check your current policy as it can change.  But currently, for us, we can cancel anytime up to 24 hours before without penalty.  If we schedule within 24 hours, the class is lost and may not be refunded.  This is because the teacher has already had a chance to view and prepare the class.

Once this summer, I accidentally double-booked my girls for classes at the same time as swimming lessons.  I realized it almost as soon as I had pressed “confirm.”  Oh no!  But it was very easy to cancel and reschedule.  There was no penalty because it was nearly a week in advance.

If you are new to Lingobus, take a look at this video so you understand the cancellation process before you ever need to use it.  I hope it is helpful to you!

-Laura from Minnesota


Hello! My name is Laura and I am a mom of 2 Lingobus students, ages 5 and 9.  If you’re interested in trying a free demo class, follow this link to get started https://www.lingobus.com/?referralCod… Email: laura.risdall@gmail.com Instagram: vipkidteachermom Thanks for watching!

Lingobus: Keep it up in the summer!


It is summer in Minnesota!  The weather is sunny, beautiful (finally!) and we just want to be outside every minute possible!  Who has time for online classes?!

Actually, we do!  My girls have actually increased the number of Lingobus Chinese classes we’ve been doing and have really enjoyed doing classes this summer!  Here is why I think summer is a great time to start or continue Lingobus classes.

1. Consistency is key!

As with anything, you need to be consistent to really increase your learning.  Any classroom teacher knows that “summer slide” is real.  You cannot take 3 months off from learning Chinese, and expect to jump right back into it.  So I would recommend keeping a consistent schedule… or at least as consistent as possible!  You can take classes anywhere that you have strong wifi, so don’t be afraid to take classes on vacation, in a hotel, at Grandma’s house, or even while traveling!

2. Break up the routine!

I love a good routine, but I also love variety! This summer we’ve broken our routine of evening classes, always taken in the office, always on the laptop.  We’ve tried the laptop and the ipad.  We’ve tried inside and outside.  We’ve tried morning classes and evening classes. We’ve done a class sitting on the deck, in our beds, at the kitchen counter, in the playroom. It’s been really fun and kept us “on our toes!”  See our video above to see some of the fun places we’ve done lessons!

3. Involve the whole family!

Generally, we have more “family time” in the summer because everyone is home from school and jobs are more flexible.  We have really adopted the idea of learning Chinese as being a “family project.”  It’s more fun that way!  We watch the practice videos over breakfast.  We count in Chinese in the car.  Even the baby tries to repeat after us!  Grandma and Grandpa regularly ask to hear what the girls are learning.  It has been a great activity for the whole family!

I hope you’re enjoying Lingobus this summer!  As always, if you have questions about these online Chinese classes, I’d love to chat!  It has been a great thing for our family and I’d love to share our experiences!




Hello! My name is Laura and I am a mom of 2 Lingobus students, ages 5 and 9. If you’re interested in trying a free demo class, follow this link to get started!

Email: laura.risdall@gmail.com

Instagram: vipkidteachermom


Is being a pastor’s wife like… a job?

I was recently asked this question by a friend who is not a church attender. She was wondering what my role is as the pastor’s wife. In her experience, watching the church from afar, pastor’s wives didn’t work and were part of the church staff.  She assumed that pastors and their wives were hired as a couple, a “two for one” employment.

At first, I laughed it off and said something like, “Is ‘electrician’s wife’ or ‘banker’s wife’ a job?”  But we know the answer is more complicated than that.

I have been married to a pastor for 12 years and met hundreds of pastor’s wives. The answer is complicated because there is no mold for being a pastor’s wife. There’s no job description. Each woman defines her own role. There is a big variation.

Some women are “called by God.” This is a phrase used to explain a deep sense of purpose or focus. We believe that God calls women and men. Some women are pastors, whether or not their husbands are in the ministry. Some women marry pastors and “take on” the calling of their husbands. These women often are on staff at the church, sometimes are even paid separately than their husbands. Sometimes they preach. Sometimes they have credentials. Sometimes they are “co-pastors.”

On the other end of the spectrum, there are pastor’s wives that are uninvolved in the ministry of their husbands. Perhaps they have their own calling to something else. Perhaps their focus is their family and kids. Perhaps they work an unrelated job. They may not have any responsibility at the church. They may volunteer as a typical church go-er.

Whatever the case, it should not be assumed that if a woman is married to a pastor, they are a “package deal.” I would advise women who are considering marrying a man called into ministry to have open and honest conversations about what their relationship and ministry roles would look like. If you are a part of a church congregation that is getting a new ministry family, please do not assume that the new pastor’s wife will fill the same role as the previous one.

To the pastor’s wives who read this, I want to encourage you! You do not have to fit a mold. You do not have to have a prescribed set of skills. You do not have to be a perfect Christian. You just have to be YOU. And you have to be honest about your role and your expectations with both your husband and your church community.

All the best!


VIPKID and online teaching: hobby, side hustle, or full time job?

I have been an online teacher for a year and a half now, and it started for me on a whim, as a hobby.  I loved the new challenge, the variety of students and lessons, and the new format.  As I got more students, and a reliable schedule full of regular kids, I realized that this was becoming a solid side hustle for me.  I was still teaching full time, and just adding a few more classes in the mornings.  Then, I made the brave jump and decided to make this my sole income source.  I opened up my schedule and it filled.  I was never full time (my max was about 5 hours per day, not 7 or 8), but it was matching my full-time income at the daycare that I had worked at previously.

Along with the jump to focusing solely on VIPKID, came a mindset shift for me.  I became much more invested in the company, and the lifestyle of a VIPKID teacher. I began following YouTubers and Instagrammers, and started my own channel and profile.  I helped more teachers get hired.  I watched workshops and got every certification that I could possibly get.  I added Gogokid to diversify.  I was fully immersed in this online teacher life.

Now, I’m 1.5 years into this, and it is the first week of summer here in Minnesota.  My kids are home from school, our schedule is changing. I’ve decided to back off of my teaching schedule and slow my involvement in the online community.  I need to focus on my family more for the summer.  And that is the beauty of this job: it can be whatever you need it to be.  Thanks to my husband’s seasonal income, I can make my job more of a side hustle hobby rather than a solid source of family income.

So my plan for the summer is to get up early and teach, but less hours, before my kids wake up.  Then, when they get up, I’ll close my laptop, and choose to disengage from the online community for a few months.  I’ll be less active on social media, I’ll do less workshops, I’ll refer less teachers.  However, it will be there when I am ready to return in the fall.  There is no shortage of students in China needing a teacher!

I’m so grateful for this job that can be “what I need it to be” in this season. I’m so grateful for flexibility.  And I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be with my kids, at home, focusing on them in their childhood years.  I know I’ll never get this time back.

Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear in the comments where you land on the continuum of online teachers.  Is it a hobby or a full time job or somewhere in between for YOU?



Hello! My name is Laura and I teach online for VIPKID and Gogokid, teaching English to Chinese students!


I make videos here to connect with other teachers and applicants.

GOGOKID referral code: X73CTGPA

VIPKID referral link

VIPKID referral code: 05IOD5

Email: laura.risdall@gmail.com Instagram: vipkidteachermom

VIPKID/Parenting Blog: http://www.laurarisdall.wordpress.com

Feedback Panda Referral: https://www.feedbackpanda.com/?_teacher_ref=1k0QBN

Lingobus Referral: https://www.lingobus.com/?referralCode=PAR49P

How the parent can help your Lingobus student BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER your class!

We are about two months into our weekly Lingobus Chinese classes!  We are really enjoying the process, and I’m impressed at how quickly my kids are gaining confidence with this new language.
Parents play an important role in this process.  I have been taking notes about how parents can help their students before, during, and after the classes. Hopefully this can help some families get the most out of their Lingobus experience!  Here are my tips:
Before the class:
1. Schedule wisely.
You know your family’s schedule and when a class would best fit into your days.  We chose different times for both of my girls, depending on when they are best ready to learn.  Consider your other activities and also your child’s bedtime.  We scheduled one of our classes too late last week, and Kayla was yawning the whole time.  Put some thought into it and write it on whatever calendar you use to stay organized.  Do your best to never miss a class!
2. Get your technology and gear organized.
You really don’t need much to be successful at this process, just a computer or ipad.  We use my laptop.  We do have headphones, but the girls don’t use them every time.  It’s good to show the kids how to use the mouse and how to write on the screen because many kids aren’t used to using a mouse since so much technology is touch-screen now.
3. Watch the preparatory materials (video/flashcards/online library).
Your level of preparation really makes a difference in how successful the class goes.  Our best classes have been when we took the time to watch the video, read some books, and do the flashcards beforehand.  Our worst classes were the ones where the girls felt unprepared.  It doesn’t take much time at all!  Even 10 minutes helps a lot.
Screen Shot 2019-05-09 at 6.26.04 PM.png
Click on the purple “preview” tab and you’ll find the preparatory materials.
1. Assist with entering the classroom.
Sometimes students need help getting into the classroom.  This is also a good time to check the lighting and the angle of the camera.  Also, make sure your child can write on the screen.
2. Support during any technology issues.
We have yet to have a single technology problem during our classes.  But if something happens, your child can become worried or anxious.  So stay nearby in case they need help.
3. Don’t speak for your child.
This was hard for me because I found myself wanting to encourage my daughter, but was often just giving her the answers.  Do your best to stay involved, but don’t speak with them.  Let the teacher guide them.  You want them to be taught by a native speaker, so don’t get in the way.  You can always sit next to them and learn too!
1. Leave a comment for the teacher.
This is really important to build the teacher/parent relationship.  Tell your teacher what the child enjoyed and what was difficult.  Ask any questions that you don’t understand.  It’s a great way to work together for the success of the child.
2. Read the teacher’s comments.
The teacher will also write feedback for your student.  They will be available on the portal, and they also send it in an email.  Listen to what the teacher wrote, and if they suggested practice, take time to work on those words.
3. Do the follow up practice on the website.
There are so many ways to practice between classes.  You can review your words, read books from the online library, and do flashcards.  We try to get on the website at least a couple times during the week, to keep the words and phrases fresh in our memories.
If you’re considering starting Chinese, or any new language classes, with your kids, please leave me a comment!  I’d love to answer any questions!  It really has become a special part of our week, where we connect around learning this new skill.  Our whole family, even Dad, is interested!  Friends and family have begun asking the kids what they’re learning when we get together.  They are gaining confidence.  It is really fun to watch!  I recommend giving it a try- the first trial class is free!

Our First Lingobus Classes! {Online Chinese Lessons!}


My girls have just started taking Chinese lessons with Lingobus an online program where my kids meet a native Chinese speaker in an “online classroom,” like Skype.  It has been such a fun experience for us!

We were exposed to this program through my job as an online English teacher.  It’s basically the same job that I have, only now my kids are the students and we are learning Chinese.  We heard that there was a no-commitment free trial class that they could take.  We signed up, scheduled our trial class, and really enjoyed the experience.  The teacher totally put my daughter at ease, even though they had a complete language barrier.  Kayla, my daughter, speaks no Chinese, and the teacher spoke no English.  It’s amazing that despite the language barrier, communication flowed!  The teacher used actions, examples, facial expressions, and body language to convey the words and phrases.  It was amazing to watch.

So we signed up!  We decided that it was worth it for our family.  It amounts to about the same as a sports fee in our town, and we wanted our kids to be well-rounded and try sports, music, and language.  Here are some questions I’ve gotten recently about it.  I also answered these in the video above, if you prefer watching to reading.

Why did we choose to do language lessons?

We want our kids to learn a 2nd language. We all have heard of the benefits of being bilingual, but most of us don’t even tip toe into language learning until middle school.  By then, it’s overwhelming and stressful.  I wanted my kids to be comfortable with other languages.  I also watched some powerful Ted Talks about the subject.  I’ll link them below.  There is a lot of research that shows that kids who learn a second language benefit in many ways, positively affecting all of their studies and academics.

Why Chinese?

1. Friends who speak Chinese.

We live in a small town, where there is not much diversity of culture or language.  However, we happen to have several Chinese friends who are here either by adoption or immigration.  It provides a perfect chance to practice with a native speaker, building bonds of friendship.

2. Chinese club here in our city.

Despite our lack of diversity, we have a thriving Chinese club here in our small town.  They meet in the middle and high school, and take an annual trip to China!  I think it would be a fun benefit if my daughter is already exposed to the language, in case she’d ever want to join the club or annual trip.

3. I am learning Chinese, and it’s a family project.

My kids are stuck with a mom who is fascinated by languages.  I have always loved traveling, different cultures, and languages.  In recent years, I’ve become an English teacher to Chinese students, so I have a greater interest in this language.  With both of my girls and myself learning together, we can all benefit each other and learn from each other.  It’s becoming a normal part of our day to practice our new words and phrases with each other.

How did we choose Lingobus?

1. Great teachers, who are highly qualified.

It was important to me that the company have a good reputation.  It’s already a bit foreign, the whole concept of meeting in an online classroom with a teacher across the world, so I wanted to make sure it was reputable and trustworthy.  Lingobus has a high expectation of their teachers, and hundreds of good reviews from parents.  You can read some of their reviews on Facebook here. 

2. Easy to use website.

The website is easy to use and has great features to enhance learning.  Scheduling is simple.  You see a calendar with available times and schedule your class.  Then you can import the appointment directly into your google calendar.  It’s also easy to review a teacher, find materials, and cancel a class if necessary.

3. Included learning materials and resources.

This is not just a Chinese lesson.  There are pre-class materials, and review materials, assessments, and projects.  There are online flashcards, pre-class vocabulary videos, books to read in Chinese, homework assignments every few lessons, downloadable study guides and practice pages, and YouTube videos with extra content.  I’m impressed.  We love doing the pre-class videos especially because it gives my daughters the confidence they need before going into the lesson.  They really set the kids up for success.  It’s hard to fail!  And we’re realizing that the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.  You can do JUST the classes and still learn a lot, but if you do some of the extras, it’ll be even more beneficial.

Our plan and schedule

We will take one class per week, usually on Mondays.  I schedule conveniently around my baby’s nap schedule so I can help my preschooler during the day.  Then my 9 year old does the class right before bed, after the little ones go to bed. We are finding a good rhythm for our family.  It’s important to think through those details, and make it a routine in your week, so that it does not add stress to the schedule.  I love that we don’t have to drive anywhere or have a teacher come to our house.  It is so convenient to meet online.

So wish us luck and we will keep you updated!  “Zai jian” and “sie sie” (Good bye and thank you) for reading!

If you’re ready to try a free demo lesson and start your Chinese learning journey, you can follow this link to get started!

-Laura from Minnesota, USA

Road Trips with Young Kids: You can DO IT!

Traveling with kids is the BEST. And, at the same time, traveling with kids is the WORST.  Every parent understands.  The meaning of vacation shifts as you become a parent. It doesn’t evoke feelings of calm, restful, carefree days.  The word I like to use is trip instead of vacation.  You are traveling to a new place with your kids, but it probably won’t be calm or relaxing. But you will make memories.  It WILL be worth it!

Here are my tried-and-true tips to help you actually enjoy your trip.  Maybe it will even feel a BIT like a vacation!

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This was our biggest road trip: Minnesota to Colorado with two little kids!

1. Pack one big bag, not small ones.

Walking into a hotel or camp with one big suitcase (preferably on wheels!) is so much easier than hauling six separate bags.  The fear is that it will get all mixed up with everyone’s things, dirty and clean, in one bag.  One way to avoid that is to bring a separate laundry bag (even just a big garbage bag), so that there will never be dirty laundry mixed in with clean clothes.

*One caveat: If your kids are old enough to carry their own bag, I would change this tip.  Let each kid who can carry their own bag have their own backpack of their things.  Then pack the rest of the family in one big suitcase.  I would start this at age four or five, depending on their endurance.  This teaches them responsibility, and saves you from carrying EVERYTHING!

2. Ziplocks and plastic bags

This is a MUST.  Bring ziplocks and plastic grocery bags for all the things that will be wet, leak, or be dirty.  Bring extras.  Throw the wet swimsuits in these bags to avoid getting all the other clean things wet.  Throw the leaking shampoo in one.  Throw the sand toys in one!  When a kid pukes, throw the nasty towel in there. You will need them, trust me!  This brings me to the next tip…

3. Plan for sickness.

Even if your kids are healthy, and good travelers, plan for the worst!  This, unfortunately, we learned the hard way.  Nothing is worse than a kid vomiting in the car, except for when a kids pukes in a car and you’re unprepared.  I always throw a small empty bucket, a rag or towel, and some extra clothes for each kid in the backseat.  A little prep work here can save you HOURS on the road.

4. Don’t stress if you forget! Buy it!

Yes, I know that finances are tight for everyone.  You don’t want to be running to Walmart on vacation if you don’t have to.  But there are very few things that are truly irreplaceable.  For me, the only truly irreplaceable things are my glasses and contacts and my baby’s one specific kind of formula that she likes from Costco.  Pretty much anything else that’s forgotten (toothbrushes, underwear, deodorant, charger, etc.) can be replaced if needed.  So don’t stress about it.  Focus on the irreplaceable things and relax.


Moms and Dads, what would you add to my list?


#roadtrip #family memories #vacation #travel #travelwithkids

VIPKID Teacher: Learning from Lingobus!

Hello!  My name is Laura and I am a VIPKID teacher, since November 2017. I teach English to Chinese students!  I am eight months into this fun, crazy job.



I have an 8 year old daughter, Kayla, who thinks it is crazy that I teach kids on the other side of the world.  But, if she’s honest, I think she would say that it’s a pretty cool “mom job.”

We heard about Lingobus, the company that does the opposite of VIPKID, meaning that Chinese teachers teach American students the Mandarin language.  We heard that VIPKID teachers get a discount and everyone gets a free demo class.  So we went for it!

We signed up for a free demo, watched the preview video, and got all ready.  We actually watched a couple really informative YouTube videos about basic Chinese greetings to get her a little more confident.  They were helpful and fun!

She actually set up in my VIPKID classroom for her demo class.  She thought that was fun, since she has been watching me teach for months now.  The roles were reversed!

Ready to go!  She was excited to wear my headphones!

We got started and I have to say, I was fascinated!  I have been doing the same job, different language, for so long now that you forget how cool it is that you can communicate with someone on the other side of the world, in real time.

First impressions were:

-Wow! This teacher is good.  I’m watching a veteran teacher.

-Wow! Chinese is a hard language.  Seriously.

-Wow! Kayla is LOVING this.

-Wow! I better take notes.

Teacher Steve from Lingo bus!

Until that moment, I hadn’t really thought about myself learning from this experience, I just wanted to expose Kayla to some new experiences.  But right away, I realized that I needed to make the most of this opportunity.  I started taking notes.

Here are my observations and lessons learned.


One of the first things she said about her teacher, Teacher Steve, was, “He’s so funny!”  Humor is one of those qualities that really does transcend the language barrier.  He definitely kept a big smile on his face, but you could tell that he was actually a funny guy.  He was quick on his feet and made her laugh out loud.  At one point, he was asking her to say “hello” to all the characters on the screen, and even the dog.  When she said hello “ni-hao!” to the dog, he looked at her like she did something wrong, as if he was going to correct her.  She gave him a confused look.  He cracked a smile and joked in Chinese “Dogs don’t say hello, they say “RUFF!” It was funny and made Kayla relax.

My take away as a VIPKID teacher: Don’t be afraid of being a little silly and try to get them to laugh!


I instantly noticed was how simple Teacher Steve kept his words. He used almost zero incidental language, right from the start.  Incidental language is “filler words” in English, words that have not yet been taught to the student.  This is one of my goals for my own teaching.  I noticed his wait time.  He paused for what you would think would feel like an awkward amount of time.  But it was perfect for Kayla, who was processing and translating in her head.

My take away as a VIPKID teacher:  Pretend that you only are “allowed” to speak words that you have taught the child.  No extras.  So simple.


The lesson did not cover that many concepts.  It was pretty basic, as I expected.  But the few concepts that it did cover, it repeated over and over.  Kayla could confidently say hello and goodbye by the end, as well as sing a song about family.  He went slowly, calmly, thoroughly.  The slow repetition made all the difference.

My take away as a VIPKID teacher: Don’t worry about finishing all the slides in trial classes.  Focus on making the child feel confident in speaking a few English words.




Kayla finished the lesson and instantly wanted to sign up for me (which we haven’t yet!). She felt successful and wanted to learn more!  She walked around the house singing the Chinese song to anyone who would listen.  The teacher was so encouraging when she spoke clearly that she knew she did well.  He was exuberant with his praise.  He did a simple star reward with magnets, and used them often.  He did high-fives a lot.  He said Kayla’s name a lot.

My take away as a VIPKID teacher:  Use your reward more specifically.  This is one change I’ve made since watching him. I still give out the stars regularly (usually at 5 minutes intervals), but now I give my reward to the child more strategically, whenever they do something especially great.  I use it more carefully, and it has been more powerful, I think.


He was a master at TPR (total physical response) in teaching.  He moved a ton.  He acted out words.  Every new word had an action attached to it.  The song had a new action for each line.  He waited until Kayla repeated the actions.  He used depth perception, coming close and far from the camera.  Each sound he taught had a hand gesture.  It was all very purposeful and thought out.

My take away as a VIPKID teacher:  This is one area I think I can grow in.  I do the typical TPR  that many teachers do, like cup my hand by my ear when I want the child to speak or count the words on my fingers.  But there is so much more to do.  I do more “acting out” to help the students remember.  I want to make up more actions to songs.  I’m definitely inspired!


Those are my take aways from watching a Lingobus lesson!  Here are a few other thoughts:

-Use voices for the different characters, even if it seems silly!

-Get a computer mouse, even if you don’t use it, to show the kids when to draw on the screen.

-Move on to the next screen if they’re not getting it within a minute.  Don’t belabor it.

-Whisper the answer, like telling a secret, if they’re not getting it.

-Use a name card with your name every time you talk about yourself.

-Have their name already written out on something (whiteboard, paper, etc) to show that you’re ready for them!


Parents, give it a try!  Great experience for my daughter!

VIPKID teachers, recruit a kid and give it a try!  You’ll learn a lot from watching the process in reverse!

Have fun!