Students can request any lesson time 24 hours in advance.
A teacher must accept or decline/modify the request within 48 hours (or the lesson start time, whichever comes sooner). Otherwise, the request will expire.
If the student cancels the lesson request before the teacher has a chance to accept, this will NOT count as an expired lesson request.
italki does NOT expect teachers to accept all lesson requests, but only to respond to all lesson requests quickly so that students know if they will have a lesson or not.
Teachers receive notifications on italki and emails of new lesson requests, so italki expects that teachers will be attentive and respond promptly by:
- Accepting the lesson request
- Declining the lesson request (please also send a message to the student to explain)
- Modifying the details (the student must accept or decline the modification)
If you do not respond in any of these ways, then the lesson request will expire.
If the student is new, it is always good to follow up with a personalized message so that they feel confident about their upcoming lesson.
More details: Teachers: I got a new lesson request! What do I do now?
If a lesson request expires:
Expired lesson requests can be found among the canceled lessons on your lessons page.
Expired lesson requests are a missed teaching opportunity from a potential student. Responding to students promptly is a great way to create positive connections with a student even before the first lesson.
On italki, students expect teachers to reply promptly to their requests or messages, and it is confusing to them if a lesson request expires with no response from the teacher.
Therefore, italki has the following policy regarding expired lesson requests.
If an italki teacher is not responding to lesson requests, there may be some problem with the teacher's account. So as a courtesy to the teacher and to students making requests, italki will temporarily "hide" the teacher's profile in order to reduce the inconvenience until the teacher indicates that they are ready to manage lesson requests.
italki will use the following policy (instant tutoring requests are not included):
Expired lesson request: Teacher did not respond to a new lesson request within 48 hours or before the lesson start time (whichever comes sooner)
Expired lesson report: Within one day (according to UTC time), the teacher allowed at least one lesson request to expire. A teacher starts off with 0 expired lesson reports.
- In 1 day (UTC time), a teacher allowed 1 new lesson requests to expired (1 report )
- In 1 day (UTC time), a teacher allowed five new lesson requests to expired (1 report)
- In 1 day (UTC time), a teacher allowed 1 new lesson request to expire, and then the next day (UTC time), the teacher allowed 5 new lesson requests to expire (2 reports)
For each report, italki will send a message to the teacher. If the reports continue or if the teacher does not respond, then the teacher's profile will be disabled until we can verify that the teacher is able to respond to requests (see expired lesson notices below)
What if there is a mistake or emergency?
Teachers who believe they received a report or warning in error or disagree with the report should contact italki support at email@example.com to explain the situation, explain that they will be able respond to future lesson requests, and request for the report to be removed.
Example: If a teacher has received a 2nd report but gives an acceptable reason why they were unable to respond to the lesson request(s), then italki staff can restore the teacher's profile and remove the 2nd report from the teacher's record.
After 30 days of no expired lesson requests (100% response rate), a teacher's "reports" will be cleared back to 0.
A teacher has received a 3rd report, but then carefully responds to all new lesson requests with a 100% response rate for 30 days. This teacher's reports are cleared back to 0, and any future expired lesson reports will begin again with the 1st report (a reminder).
Expired Lesson Notices
1st report: Reminder
- italki sends a reminder email and message notice to the teacher.
- If there is something preventing the teacher from responding to expired lesson requests, it is important for us to know about it and see what we can do to help.
2nd report: First Warning
- italki sends a first warning email and message notice to the teacher.
- Teacher profile will be hidden from "Find a Teacher List". Teacher profile availability status is set to "Not Looking for New Students" (current students and upcoming lessons are not affected).
- To appeal the report: The teacher can write to italki support and explain what happened in order to ask for this report to be removed.
- Otherwise, the teacher can indicate that they are ready to manage lesson requests again by clicking the link in the email. This will change their status back to "Looking for New Students"
3rd report: Second Warning
- italki sends a second warning email and message notice to the teacher.
- Teacher profile will be hidden from "Find a Teacher List". Teacher profile availability is set to "Not looking for new students" and will remain this way for 7 days (current students and upcoming lessons are not affected).
- To appeal the report: The teacher can write to italki support with an acceptable reason to request that the report be removed.
- The teacher can change their own status again after 7 days goes by.
4th report: Final Warning
- italki sends a final warning email and message notice to the teacher.
- Teacher profile will be hidden from "Find a Teacher List"
- No students will be able to request lessons from the teacher profile
- Teacher needs to contact italki support with an acceptable reason for the expired lesson requests in order to restore their profile.
How can I avoid getting an expired lesson request report?
Respond to all your lesson requests!
To make sure you are noticing lesson requests, you can log into italki or use the italki app to check for new requests.
You should also make sure that your availability is updated. You can manage and update your availability with your:
If you know you will be "away" and not able to accept new lessons, you can also:
Some teachers feel bad about declining requests, but it is better for the student to know than to never receive your reply. You can use the "lesson messages" to explain the reason for the declined request to the student so they understand and are not discouraged.
We have these policies in hopes of making it easier for students and teachers to know what to expect on italki. Let us know if you have any concerns about this. It’s important for us to understand how we can prevent lessons from expiring, improve communication, and provide a good experience for italki students and teachers.