TTK HANDBOOK 2019-2020
At The Thinking Kid, we believe in stimulating and feeding each student’s natural curiosity and desire for knowledge. We encourage each of our students to develop a love for learning, while fostering their critical thinking skills and abilities to share thoughts and ideas. Ultimately we strive to help you as you guide your children into becoming persuasive, informed young adults, able to make informed decisions. We believe that these students will become intelligent adults with rich lives, who enjoy the opportunity to think and express themselves with freedom, unbound by conformity of thought.
The Thinking Kid is a resource for parents seeking further education for their children. In order to allow for an effective and efficient online experience, we must all agree to the following expectations.
What You Can Expect from The Thinking Kid:
1. Informed, passionate, and caring Club Captains. Each Club Captain has been carefully selected for their abilities to share their subject material in a highly engaging manner, as well as for their ability to bring the best out of others.
2. We believe that each student must play a role in the learning process. Your child will be interacting with their teacher and the other students on a regular basis.
3. Super Learning Packets: Exciting and relevant resources that supplement the material being taught which can become part of a shared family experience. These will include only the best books, movies, and activities, age appropriate, of the highest quality and moral value.
4. Homework: We assign no homework. However, if your student is in a literature based club, they will be expected to read (or have already read) the literature being discussed. If your child is in a writing club, they will want to write a piece to share with the other club members.
5. Transparency. With TTK, you can attend club meetings with your child. You may communicate with your student’s Captains at anytime.
6. A steady online platform for club experiences. We use Zoom as our online platform. Using Zoom, your child will be able to meet with their Club Captain and fellow students; they will be seen and heard, just as one would while video conferencing. Zoom offers the best video, audio, and wireless screen-sharing experience across Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, iOS, Android, Blackberry, Zoom Rooms, and H.323/SIP room systems.
7. Constant quality control. Parents will serve as Club Evaluators. All club meetings will be recorded and archived. Selected Club meetings will be sent via email to Club Evaluators on a weekly basis to have real time feedback. TTK will use this feedback to assist Club Captains in improving their teaching methods if deemed necessary. At the conclusion of a club, parents and students will be asked to submit an evaluation of the club. A representative number of these evaluations will be posted on the TTK website when the Club or Club Captain is featured again on TTK.
8. A secure online platform for your children. Zoom places security as the highest priority in the lifecycle operations of its public and hybrid cloud networks. Zoom strives to continually provide a robust set of security features to meet the requirements of businesses for safe and secure collaboration.
What We Expect of Parents:
Parents are expected to take full responsibility for their child’s education. TTK is a resource to enable the parent to provide the education they would like for their child. To help TTK effectively assist with the education of your child, we need you to ensure the following:
1. Each club is being used by an individual student.
2. The club is the appropriate level for your child.
3. Your child has their own computer, headset, microphone, and webcam (all in working condition). Devices are connected to consistent strong internet.
4. If more than one child is registered in the same club, they each have their own computer, headset, microphone and webcam.
5. Your child is prepared to type on the keyboard. They do not need to be fluent typists; their proficiency will grow as they attend more clubs.
6. All materials/books needed for a club are purchased before they are needed in the club. During club, the student should have all needed books with them.
7. The student is present for as many clubs as possible and logs on punctually. Please try to keep the student from being distracted during the club meeting, avoiding background music, loud noises or conversations, and other distracting background noise. This is particularly important when your child is speaking or presenting during the club.
8. Parents should be open to communication with Club Captains through email.
9. All tuition and payments are made.
What we expect of TTK Students:
1. To allow everybody to grow and learn, we must respect our fellow students and our Club Captain. We want everyone to feel welcome and accepted so they can develop to be the best they can be.
2. We must focus on the Captain when they are sharing. This means that we must be quiet and listen when the teacher is speaking. If you have a question, please use the “raise hand” option so your Club Captain can call on you to speak.
3. We must always use kind words when commenting during club meetings and when texting in the chat box. We do not use strong or hurtful language.
4. We should make every effort to come to classes rested and nourished. It is difficult to focus when we are tired and hungry.
5. We encourage others to keep trying, and when we can, help them along. We are all learning together.
6. We always try our best. Some days are better than others, but we always put forth our very best effort.
7. When we are away from class, we think about what we learned and work on our new skills. We must complete any outside work and take time to explore our Super Learning packet. This will help us absorb all the information that your Club Captain is sharing. Also, this will allow you to share more during the Club meetings.
Texting is a part of our world. And texting in the chat box during clubs is a large part of our online class experience, but we need to follow certain guidelines to keep our chatting from becoming a distraction. Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts:
Do use the chat box to answer a Captain’s question.
Do use the chat box when your Captain allows you to, by answering discussion questions or commenting on the class material.
Do stay on topic in the text box.
Do ask questions during class.
Do use private chat to ask for permission from the Captain to be excused from class.
Do encourage or compliment fellow students before or after their presentations.
DO NOT ever use inappropriate or abusive language in the text box. All our words are kind.
Do not go off topic.
Do not use excessive emoticons or text slang.
Do not “hog” the chat box. Take turns. Give everyone a chance to participate. Remember, not everyone needs to comment and not everything needs to be commented on. Think before you text. If in question, don’t text.
Do not text with other students during the class. All texting should be relevant to the class discussion.
Do not text during a student presentation.
Do not ask text if a question can be asked later through an email to your Club Captain. Excessive questions take time from teaching time (or game time!).
Cancellations and Refunds:
We do our best to keep the schedule that is posted, but sometimes class offerings and teachers are subject to change without notice. We will contact you by email if your child is affected. If the change causes you to want to withdraw your child from the club, you have ten days to do so, and any deposit or paid tuition will be refunded or TTK points provided, whichever you choose.
Club Refund Policy:
If you choose to withdraw your child from a club:
If the withdrawal happens two weeks in advance of the club start date, you may receive a full refund of cash or TTK points.
Once the club starts, no credits or refunds will be given.
Tuition and Points:
Tuition may be paid with money or TTK points. Read more about Tuition and Points.
If your club does not have the minimum number of students (3) to take place and you have already committed to pay for your child’s tuition with TTK points, you may opt to either pay the tuition in full or earn TTK points as a Club Evaluator and supplement with a tuition payment.
Your TTK account may reserve a maximum of 600 points after paying for your children’s present clubs. Any additional income will be paid to you as income.
As a club captain, you are being hired as an Independent Contractor. If you earn over $600 during a calendar year, we are required to mail you IRS Form 1099 in January of the following year. No deductions will be taken from your pay. If you choose to work for TTK points, these TTK points will not count towards your income.
If, for any reason, your club is suspended by TTK, all pay will be forfeited.
You will receive a link in your email directing you to the classroom.
Click the link and you will join the Zoom meeting.
A white screen should appear with the text: “You’re meeting should start in a few seconds…”
Enjoy the class!
How to have a great online class experience:
All these tips are important! If your child is not having a great connection to their class, please review this list and make every effort to follow each of these tips.
Your child’s headset should be directly plugged into their computer via USB.
Your child’s computer should be wired directly into the router. It is possible to work with a wifi or cellular signal, but if this is not providing a consistent connection, you may have to opt for a stronger wifi service or plug directly into your router.
2019-2020 Academic Calendar:
Our clubs take place year round. Club Captains choose the dates of their clubs. However, we do observe the following breaks in an effort to give everyone a bit of uninterrupted family time:
Spring Break: 25 March- 5 April
Summer Break: TBA
Thanksgiving Break: 19-23 November
Christmas Break: 17 December – 4 January
Last, but not least:
In case there is a change:
The Thinking Kid may make some changes to this handbook throughout the year, and we will notate those changes here.