Kaplan Instructing

canarykb
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Kaplan Instructing

Postby canarykb » Mon May 06, 2013 10:42 am

Hey all,

I'm about to start my first class instructing for Kaplan. I'm seeing a lot of negative reviews on here from people who have taken Kaplan courses in the past. Obviously, I have been trained and am being paid to teach the Kaplan Method, but if anyone has any advice on what I can do (or shouldn't do) as an instructor to be the most helpful I would really appreciate it. They've already paid for the course, and I do care that my students get the best experience/score bump possible. I self-studied with the Manhattan series, so I don't have any personal experience with this type of course.

Thanks!

itachiuchiha
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Re: Kaplan Instructing

Postby itachiuchiha » Mon May 06, 2013 10:48 am

best thing that you could do is to incorporate manhattan techniques if kaplan would allow you to do so

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tuffyjohnson
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Re: Kaplan Instructing

Postby tuffyjohnson » Mon May 06, 2013 10:51 am

First off, thank you for caring. Secondly, I am sure you will do fine. Best thing you can probably do is to make sure your students know that just attending class is not enough. To do well they will have to do what you did--study and drill baby drill.

canarykb
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Re: Kaplan Instructing

Postby canarykb » Mon May 06, 2013 10:53 am

itachiuchiha wrote:best thing that you could do is to incorporate manhattan techniques if kaplan would allow you to do so


That's the thing. They make it VERY clear that student's are paying for the Kaplan Method and not the Canarykb Method. Which is fair, but also difficult when I know that some of their methods aren't ones that would personally work for me.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Kaplan Instructing

Postby Pneumonia » Mon May 06, 2013 11:35 am

It makes sense that they'd want you to keep it proprietary, but that doesn't mean you can't passively suggest that your students look at other sources (including TLS?)

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NoodleyOne
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Re: Kaplan Instructing

Postby NoodleyOne » Mon May 06, 2013 11:51 am

canarykb wrote:Hey all,

I'm about to start my first class instructing for Kaplan. I'm seeing a lot of negative reviews on here from people who have taken Kaplan courses in the past. Obviously, I have been trained and am being paid to teach the Kaplan Method, but if anyone has any advice on what I can do (or shouldn't do) as an instructor to be the most helpful I would really appreciate it. They've already paid for the course, and I do care that my students get the best experience/score bump possible. I self-studied with the Manhattan series, so I don't have any personal experience with this type of course.

Thanks!

I got the job with Kaplan and passed it up because I just knew I couldn't do it. The Kaplan method is shit and Kaplan isn't really interested in getting their students good scores, but rather just raking in their dough. The best thing I think you can do is be available, be open, and maybe direct them to other sources if you feel like they're hitting a wall. Perhaps you could stress that the Kaplan method is one way of doing the test, and if the student doesn't feel that it is working for them, they could seek other methods. Name drop TLS or Manhattan or whatever if you can get away with it. And honestly, be a good instructor. That goes a long way into improving their learning experience.

canarykb
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Re: Kaplan Instructing

Postby canarykb » Mon May 06, 2013 11:57 am

Pneumonia wrote:It makes sense that they'd want you to keep it proprietary, but that doesn't mean you can't passively suggest that your students look at other sources (including TLS?)


Hmmm yeah that doesn't feel to ethical to me. I am being paid by Kaplan to teach & promote Kaplan products. And they do have a lot of good resources available to students - notably official preptests. I could see mentioning TLS as a forum where you could meet & discuss the LSAT with other students who are in the same position as them, though.

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Micdiddy
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Re: Kaplan Instructing

Postby Micdiddy » Mon May 06, 2013 1:33 pm

canarykb wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:It makes sense that they'd want you to keep it proprietary, but that doesn't mean you can't passively suggest that your students look at other sources (including TLS?)


Hmmm yeah that doesn't feel to ethical to me. I am being paid by Kaplan to teach & promote Kaplan products. And they do have a lot of good resources available to students - notably official preptests. I could see mentioning TLS as a forum where you could meet & discuss the LSAT with other students who are in the same position as them, though.


It would be very very weird if you told them about other companies thy could use. With that said, I think the first advice was best, be very persistent they self study and take 15+ diagnostics. Tell them "class is a supplement, not a substitute, to rigorous self study."
Besides that, teach what you're paid to teach and answer their question as best as possible. When they didn't get an answer , don't just tel hem the answer and why it's right, explain how you got it (the approach you used, the words you saw, the tricks the LSAT employed).
Teaching the LSAT is the best job I've ever had. Hope you like it too!

chillipepper
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Re: Kaplan Instructing

Postby chillipepper » Mon May 06, 2013 1:47 pm

I took the Kaplan course. The instructor was very good. He stayed with the basic Kaplan approach, but he also interjected some other methods (for the games and rc specifically). In addition he "assigned" way more hw then suggested by Kaplan and made it clear you should take 10+ full length tests to optimize your score. This made the Kaplan course worth the money I put into it and I am happy with the result!

*When I took the course, Kaplan offered all the PT test online available to print out. So you really have great flexibility in what homework you can assign to your students.

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Rahviveh
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Re: Kaplan Instructing

Postby Rahviveh » Mon May 06, 2013 1:50 pm

Micdiddy wrote:
canarykb wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:It makes sense that they'd want you to keep it proprietary, but that doesn't mean you can't passively suggest that your students look at other sources (including TLS?)


Hmmm yeah that doesn't feel to ethical to me. I am being paid by Kaplan to teach & promote Kaplan products. And they do have a lot of good resources available to students - notably official preptests. I could see mentioning TLS as a forum where you could meet & discuss the LSAT with other students who are in the same position as them, though.


It would be very very weird if you told them about other companies thy could use. With that said, I think the first advice was best, be very persistent they self study and take 15+ diagnostics. Tell them "class is a supplement, not a substitute, to rigorous self study."
Besides that, teach what you're paid to teach and answer their question as best as possible. When they didn't get an answer , don't just tel hem the answer and why it's right, explain how you got it (the approach you used, the words you saw, the tricks the LSAT employed).
Teaching the LSAT is the best job I've ever had. Hope you like it too!


I agree that it's weird to recommend other companies, and will make them lose confidence in you and the course. They already paid $1200+ to take your course and they don't want to hear that Kaplan isn't the best way to do things. It will end up being a waste of time if you suggest PS or Manhattan would be better. And honestly, most students will not be receptive to doing anything outside of the class and a portion of the homework. This has been my experience as an instructor (for one of BP/TM/PS).

Suggesting TLS might be ok, but I've found most people in real life look down on TLS and will probably judge you for recommending it.

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Micdiddy
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Re: Kaplan Instructing

Postby Micdiddy » Mon May 06, 2013 2:21 pm

ChampagnePapi wrote:
Micdiddy wrote:
canarykb wrote:
Hmmm yeah that doesn't feel to ethical to me. I am being paid by Kaplan to teach & promote Kaplan products. And they do have a lot of good resources available to students - notably official preptests. I could see mentioning TLS as a forum where you could meet & discuss the LSAT with other students who are in the same position as them, though.


It would be very very weird if you told them about other companies thy could use. With that said, I think the first advice was best, be very persistent they self study and take 15+ diagnostics. Tell them "class is a supplement, not a substitute, to rigorous self study."
Besides that, teach what you're paid to teach and answer their question as best as possible. When they didn't get an answer , don't just tel hem the answer and why it's right, explain how you got it (the approach you used, the words you saw, the tricks the LSAT employed).
Teaching the LSAT is the best job I've ever had. Hope you like it too!


I agree that it's weird to recommend other companies, and will make them lose confidence in you and the course. They already paid $1200+ to take your course and they don't want to hear that Kaplan isn't the best way to do things. It will end up being a waste of time if you suggest PS or Manhattan would be better. And honestly, most students will not be receptive to doing anything outside of the class and a portion of the homework. This has been my experience as an instructor (for one of BP/TM/PS).

Suggesting TLS might be ok, but I've found most people in real life look down on TLS and will probably judge you for recommending it.


Ain't that the truth. Doesn't mean you can't in good conscious suggest it. I don't get people paying so much money then doing very little to help themselves. Anyway, there's always a few dedicated, responsible students that make it worth it in my experience.

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Clearly
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Re: Kaplan Instructing

Postby Clearly » Mon May 06, 2013 2:26 pm

It's worth noting that a significant portion of Kaplan teachers deviate from the lesson plan when no Kaplan people are in the room. One of which I know did it so frequently and with such success that Kaplan actually brought him into product development lol. Also realize that any class is led by the instructor, and a quality instructor can make a Kaplan course a worthwhile investment for the majority of students. I jumped 12 points in a Kaplan course when I first started studying, because my instructor was a top-notch instructor, even though he was at a less then reputable company.

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Micdiddy
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Re: Kaplan Instructing

Postby Micdiddy » Mon May 06, 2013 2:44 pm

Clearlynotstefan wrote:It's worth noting that a significant portion of Kaplan teachers deviate from the lesson plan when no Kaplan people are in the room. One of which I know did it so frequently and with such success that Kaplan actually brought him into product development lol. Also realize that any class is led by the instructor, and a quality instructor can make a Kaplan course a worthwhile investment for the majority of students. I jumped 12 points in a Kaplan course when I first started studying, because my instructor was a top-notch instructor, even though he was at a less then reputable company.


Absolutely. The big secret about all these companies is really that everything is instructor dependent. The big ones generally just have a higher proportion of good instructors to bad.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Kaplan Instructing

Postby Pneumonia » Mon May 06, 2013 4:48 pm

canarykb wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:It makes sense that they'd want you to keep it proprietary, but that doesn't mean you can't passively suggest that your students look at other sources (including TLS?)


Hmmm yeah that doesn't feel to ethical to me. I am being paid by Kaplan to teach & promote Kaplan products. And they do have a lot of good resources available to students - notably official preptests. I could see mentioning TLS as a forum where you could meet & discuss the LSAT with other students who are in the same position as them, though.


yeah, but the students are the ones paying Kaplan though, and they aren't paying for the "Kaplan Method," (only indirectly) they are paying to get a better test score. The unethical thing to me seems to be withholding information you know would help them achieve the results they're paying to get. I mean of course you can't walk into class and be like "Kaplan sucks, buy the LGB," but I don't think it's unethical to direct them to further resources once they've gotten the most out of Kaplan.

Another point is that the majority of students will not get to the point where they've exhausted Kaplan; this situation would likely only arise with students who are self-study material.

KaplanLSATInstructor
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Re: Kaplan Instructing

Postby KaplanLSATInstructor » Tue May 07, 2013 1:23 pm

OP,

I've been with Kaplan over nine years now, and would certainly be able to help you out and talk with you. I'll provide a little info here and would be happy to talk more over PM.

As some have suggested, and you realize, you want to stick primarily to the general Kaplan Methods. As another poster noted, if you just start presenting your own method or pushing that of other companies, that will affect student's confidence with their decisions and, in turn, with you.

That being said, you've experienced taking the LSAT and studying for it, and you want to bring some of that experience with you. You have that flexibility. Share some ideas you've learned, as long as you are not outright contradicting the Kaplan methods or making disparaging comments toward the material.

And as others have said, you have to be insistent that students do a lot of work outside the class. Most people who struggle with our course do so because they're merely attending class and doing the minimal homework. Ultimately, that's not enough, and you need to encourage them to do more.

Regardless of what people say here, I have seen enough people succeed with our program to know that it's not all about money. The basic program is solid, and most of the methods and ideas are remarkably similar to those that are purportedly called "far superior." With the right teacher bringing the right combination of test knowledge and concern for the student, great results can follow from what we teach. In one of my recent classes, I had one student get a score 25 points higher than her diagnostic on Test Day, and another student get a 172 on her exam. Obviously, results like these are not unique to Kaplan, but they can happen if you dedicate yourself to the students and give them the confidence to succeed.

As I said, feel free to PM me if you have any specific concerns or questions about the course.

- Chris

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Rahviveh
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Re: Kaplan Instructing

Postby Rahviveh » Tue May 07, 2013 1:35 pm

KaplanLSATInstructor wrote:With the right teacher bringing the right combination of test knowledge and concern for the student


Absolutely. As stated earlier, instructor quality is the most important part of having a successful class.

Unfortunately, Kaplan's standards for hiring instructors are dogshit. There's a laughably pointless skype interview and a very lax training session. Compared to Blueprint or Testmasters training, its a walk in the park. You are far more likely to get a shitty instructor with Kaplan than you are with the other companies. That's just a fact and the nature of the hiring process in the industry.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Kaplan Instructing

Postby Dr. Dre » Thu May 09, 2013 7:32 pm

avoid Kaplan like the plague!

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Micdiddy
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Re: Kaplan Instructing

Postby Micdiddy » Thu May 09, 2013 7:37 pm

ChampagnePapi wrote:
KaplanLSATInstructor wrote:With the right teacher bringing the right combination of test knowledge and concern for the student


Absolutely. As stated earlier, instructor quality is the most important part of having a successful class.

Unfortunately, Kaplan's standards for hiring instructors are dogshit. There's a laughably pointless skype interview and a very lax training session. Compared to Blueprint or Testmasters training, its a walk in the park. You are far more likely to get a shitty instructor with Kaplan than you are with the other companies. That's just a fact and the nature of the hiring process in the industry.


Exactly this. If a student had the chance to vent their instructor, it really doesn't matter what company they choose. Since they don't, they should go with the ones that have a higher probability of greatness, I.e. not Kaplan.




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