Write Great Feedback to Increase your Bookings

Tips to Write Good Feedback

I have compiled some pointers on writing great feedback for your online English class below.

Good feedback is crucial to building a successful online teaching career because it solidifies your student base. If you write good feedback for students after class, your online bookings will increase.

With advancements in AI chatbots, I encourage you to use ChatGPT to write your feedback.

Convert Trials to Regulars

When you first start, most companies will give you trial students. If the trial student likes the free trial lesson, then they will sign up by paying for a package of classes with you. Then, they become a paying student. In a way, you are selling them the classes. So, you need to treat each trial student as a potential lead and really try to make them want to book with you again. We call this converting a trial student. You convert them from a trial to a regular student.

Remember, bookings are the foundation of your career when you are an online teacher. This isn’t a 9-5 job that has a regular salary. You either get booked by students and have classes on your schedule and money in the bank, or you don’t. So, you really need to make sure students book your classes.

How to Convert Trials when Teaching English Online

The best way to increase your bookings is to convert trial students to regular students. You need to go above and beyond with every single trial student. This means more than just delivering a fantastic class. It also means that, if possible, you should consider messaging the student before class to tell them you are excited to meet them. Then, after class, you should give feedback to them.

Different kinds of companies require different kinds of feedback. You will have very different feedback for a third grader than you would for a middle-aged businessman.

Feedback Templates for Teaching English Online

Here are some examples of feedback templates that I like to use with kids.

How to Write Feedback for Trial Students 

Best Examples of Feedback For a Trial student.

How to convert a trial student to a regular student, here are some tips. 

I like to follow a specific structure:

-“Student” was excellent. Always start with a few sentences that say specifically what the student did well. Repeat the student’s name often. Parents like to read their kid’s name. Write it as often as possible. Also, in Chinese, it is a compliment to call someone a “serious student”. (Likewise, if a parent calls you a “serious teacher”, know they mean this as flattery!). So, consider starting your feedback by writing “Bao Bao was an excellent student today. Bao Bao was a serious and successful student.  

Explain what they did and learned during the lesson

Tell them specifically what and *HOW* they should study at home.

Don’t write: “Continue to review the vocabulary from class.”

Do write: “I suggest writing each of these words in your notebook three times for more practice: white, science, help”.

Good writing is always specific and this holds true for writing class feedback, too. Make sure to write specifically. For example, don’t say “practice X word”. Instead, great feedback should look like this: “write X word in your notebook 3 times. This will help you memorize the spelling and new words”.

Sometimes, I direct the parents to songs or books that reinforce the lesson. For example, “Read Green Eggs and Ham. It will help Bao Bao practice the -am ending sound.” Just make sure you don’t direct them to FB or Youtube or something banned in China.

Thank them for choosing you as their teacher today.

Say thank you for choosing you as a teacher. Remember, they could have chosen from thousands of teachers on the platform, but they chose you. Be sure to be appreciative.

Tell them what you will teach them next time.

Say what skill YOU will help their student with: “I will focus on improving Suzie’s pronunciation/reading/free talk.” If you don’t know, always revert to “conversation skills” or “speaking” because that is what most parents want from online classes with a native speaker. Remember, they can learn the rest at school from their Chinese teacher, but speaking and listening are skills best learned from a native speaker. 

Tell them you want to be their regular teacher.

Bee direct! If you want them as a regular student, tell them! Say: “I hope to become Susie’s regular teacher”. 

-Say you look forward to seeing them next class

Ask them for feedback

At the end of the feedback, ask them a specific question. This makes it likely they will leave feedback. This is especially crucial for companies that rate you based on good feedback from parents. Ask them what their kid’s favorite book/tv character/ toy is. Tell them you will try to make a reward with this for next class. Don’t worry, the reward can just be pulling up a picture of this on your phone for next class and saying “Do you like?!” Just get a personal connection going.

Here is an example of feedback for online English classes:

Justin was an excellent student today. He was a very confident speaker. He recalled his vocabulary very well. Justin was a very serious and focused student and I enjoyed his enthusiasm! Today was Justin’s first lesson in the new unit, [The Five Senses]. This lesson focused on the sense [hearing]. Justin successfully used the words [ears, sound, noise, loud, quiet, unpleasant] and the verb [to hear]. I explained that “unpleasant” has an affix: “un-“. It means “not pleasant”. Pleasant means “nice”. We also reviewed some other words that start with “un”. For more practice at home, Justin can write down as many words as he knows that begin with “un-“ such as “unkind” or “unusual” or “unhappy”. Justin did well identifying different types of sounds. We played a fun game of guessing sounds! Justin was great at conversation and showed me his warm and cold lamp. I showed him my lamp too! Justin successfully talked to me about his mother’s dogs that bark. We watched a video of a dog barking and howling and he spelled “wolf” for me. Wonderful! Justin did an excellent job sorting words with [long/short “a”, long/short “e”]. The sight words were [ran, brown]. Justin learned the demonstrative pronouns [this, that] and was able to use them correctly. Justin can write his new word “whisper” in his notebook three times for practice. It has a silent “h” in it. I look forward to teaching Justin again soon! Thank you for choosing me as his teacher today. I hope to become his regular teacher. See you soon, Justin! -Thank you, Teacher Ingrid

Phrases to use in Feedback for ESL classes:

“Bao Bao was successful at _____”

“Bao Bao did a great job using ________”

“Bao Bao improved _______”

“Bao Bao demonstrated they understand ______”

“I am proud of how well Bao Bao did ________”

How to Write Good Palfish Feedback

On assessments, Palfish expects you to write very thorough feedback. The best way to do this is to go to “homework” and cut and paste the review of the lesson. Then, make each category its own subsection. Add emojis like stars or medals to make your feedback pop and also to organize it. This will help flesh out your feedback and make it content-heavy. See below:

Example of Class Feedback

Teresa, you were an excellent student today! 😃 It was lovely meeting you. I enjoyed chatting with you and getting to know you. You received an A-plus on the test today. 💯 I enjoyed describing funny images of weddings with you today. I liked the penguin wedding. 🐧👰They were so happy! Have you ever been to a wedding?! You did a great job with these tasks:

🥇Pronunciation: Excellent use of phobic sounds, Teresa. You identified the phonic sounds very well. You could hear and identify the: 

ir, ur, sounds 

🥇Great use of phrases: you did very well using all of these phrases to complete the dialogue today: 

help clean, go to a wedding, eat out, play outside, go to the dentist, watch a movie, shop for food, go on vacation, once, twice, three times

🥇Culture and Social Studies: you did a great job describing companies and their ad campaigns. We discussed advertisements and slogans and jingles. Do you have a favorite jingle? We even talked about Freddy the orange fish, which is the Palfish logo. He’s very cute  

 🥇Ordinal terms: great use of first second and third. You did a good job describing actions in sequence by using words like first, next, and then. 

🥇 Culture: It was very fun to discuss superstitions with you. You read the reading passage about Chinese superstitions very well. We talked about lucky and unlucky numbers. 

What to Improve

For more practice, I suggest researching “Groundhog day”.

Groundhog Day is a popular American tradition observed in the United States and Canada on February 2. It derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerging from its burrow on this day sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den and winter will persist for six more weeks; but if it does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring will arrive early.

You can also watch the movie “Groundhog day”. It is a very popular movie. It is about a day that just reoccurs forever. 

I look forward to teaching you again soon! I hope to be your regular teacher. Send me messages any time. 

-Thank you, Teacher👩‍🏫 Ingrid

How to tell students what to improve on Palfish

Note that for the “ways to improve” section, if the student did an excellent job and there are no real improvements, I sometimes offer a film related to the lesson or an educational extension activity that I think they will enjoy.

Happy Grading.

Learn More

Ingrid Maria Pimsner, MA, BA, TEFL
Ingrid Maria Pimsner, MA, BA, TEFL

Ingrid Maria Pimsner has been teaching for over a decade in various universities, nonprofits, and private academies. She has taught English as a Second Language for Lutheran Children & Family Service, Nationalities Service Center, Lernstudio Barbarossa Berlin-Tegel, and more. In addition to her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certification, she holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a MA from Maryland Institute College of Art.