This week’s SuperStar Teacher is April KV. April is one of the first 100 teachers to subscribe to FeedbackPanda! She has shared 199 templates which have been imported by her fellow teachers 4050 times.
Tricks for staying alert: I can’t drink coffee, but I LOVE Coke. I don’t always have soda on hand though, so at the very least I always have a large glass of ice water on my desk. Sometimes I will also have some small snacks for between lessons, but I’m not usually awake enough to remember to grab them before my first class. When I feel myself getting tired, I will take a sip when the student is talking, or behind my whiteboard or reward so they don’t notice.
Favorite Lesson to teach: I teach mostly L2 and L3, and I’m not sure I have a favorite lesson, but I definitely have LEAST favorites! I hate the VIPKID Classroom lessons and dread seeing them on my schedule. 🙂
What do you do in between classes? I take a few seconds to finish up and submit my feedback, then I go to the bathroom if needed, or just relax for a few minutes.
How do you use FeedbackPanda? I used to go in and add all my students and make sure I had templates for everyone on Monday after the rush, but now I’ve gotten lazy lol. I tend to have so many students who trickle in throughout the week that it seemed pointless to do a bunch on Mondays when I’d still be doing it daily anyway for the stragglers. So now I just open FP when I open my first class. If it is a new student, I put their info in while I’m waiting to open my camera. If I don’t have a template already, I quickly import one I like and customize it for myself during this time as well. I have 2 monitors, so I have the classroom open on one screen and FP on the other. During class I make notes directly in FP so that when I close my camera it only takes a few seconds to finish the feedback and submit it.
Describe your Feedback Style/Structure: My feedback structure is pretty simple. I give an overview of the lesson (key words and phrases, all of which are located in the top of the classroom), then note what the student did well at, and what they need to practice more. I then thank the parents for booking me and let them know I hope to see their child again (unless I really don’t want to see them again, and then I take that sentence out! 😉 )
Good Feedback Must Contain… I think it is very important to make sure to praise the students for the things they excelled at, as well as giving them something to practice at home. I include the key words and phrases less for the parents to know what we did, and more for the students to have something extra to remind them of things to practice.
What do you like to see when checking the Teacher to Teacher Feedback? I love seeing English names (or pronunciation for Chinese names) especially when they are different from what is shown. I also appreciate knowing in advance when I’m going to need to really extend for a student, or slow things down. I don’t have a bunch of different rewards, so knowing a child likes a certain reward doesn’t help me, but if someone notes their personal interests or favorite colors, etc, that can give us something to discuss with extensions. I also like knowing when I’m getting a student others found difficult to work with. And if a student is at the wrong level, I feel much more confident putting that in the feedback when I’ve seen that several other teachers have noted that, and it isn’t simply that the student is having an off day.
Notes or comments to the teachers who import your templates? Make them your own! Play around with the wording so that it fits your personality. I am still evolving my templates, whenever I see a phrase in another template that I really like, I start adding it to my own templates.
Anything else you’d like to add? I love to crochet and make chainmaile jewelry, and I teach kids how to crochet online with OutSchool.com.