FeedbackPanda SuperStar Teacher Kristin M

This week’s FeedbackPanda SuperStar Teacher is Kristin M!

Kristin is a veteran VIPKID teacher and was one of the first teacher’s to win a trip to Beijing! A citizen of the world, this American-Luxembourgish traveller divides her time between Minnesota and Ireland.

With 82 templates shared, her templates have been imported over 3500 times! So we thought we would like get to know more about Kristin, what her process is like and learn her tips on writing feedback.

Here is what this SuperStar Teacher had to share…

VIPKID TEACHER

How Long have you been teaching with VIPKID? I have been with VIPKID since January 2016. I am on my fourth contract.

Tricks for staying alert: I always start classes with a cup of coffee. If it’s cold outside I will drink tea after my coffee is gone. I also keep a bottle of water nearby. In between classes, I like to snack on bananas and Larabar minis. In the evenings, I love to have a fizzy cold drink so I like to drink LaCroix sparkling water. Sometimes I will make a smoothie before class and drink it from a coffee cup. 😉

What do you do in between classes? I grab snacks, make a fresh cup of tea, or run to the bathroom. I set up rewards and props for my next lesson. I use FeedbackPanda to determine if I taught the student before and to get a quick glance at what we are covering in the lesson for preparing props and rewards.

Favorite Lesson to teach: I like teaching L4 lessons and above the most. My favorite lessons are the lessons about traveling. I like to show the student my passports, old boarding passes I have saved, foreign currency, and my visa for China. I like to talk with the students about places they have visited and want to visit. Some students have shown me their passports, and one student even had a visa for the U.S. in her passport! I used to have a globe that worked great for these lessons but it melted when I set it against a lamp so I need to get a new one.

How do you use FeedbackPanda? I take very brief notes during lessons so I tend to wait and do my feedback all at once after I am finished with all my classes for the day. I also use Feedback Panda to determine if I have taught a student before if I am not quite sure. I enter the classroom about a minute or two early, click the Feedback Panda icon to open Feedback Panda with the student’s ID and name prepopulated. This way I can quickly determine if I have taught the student before or if it is a new student. I will also do this to help me prepare my secondary rewards and props. I can quickly see the prepopulated feedback for this lesson which usually includes the vocabulary, sight words, letters, or whatever the lesson is focused on. This is quicker and easier than flipping through the slides one by one just to find the sight words or what letter sounds the lesson is focused on. Then I will create a secondary rewards incorporating the sight words or phonics words for example. I can do all this within 1–2 minutes before class thanks to Feedback Panda.

Describe your Feedback Structure: I begin my feedback by telling the parents that their child had a great lesson. I like to include something personal the student told me, like ‘Today Eric told me he wants to be an astronaut when he grows up!’ or ‘Aaron told me he loves eating fish eyes!’ I then write a sentence about the theme or objective of the lesson. I talk about what the student did very well at and what the student needs to practice. I list the vocabulary words and sight words that we practiced in the lesson and how the student did reading those words. In my notes, I always keep track of the words the student struggles pronouncing so most of my feedback will also have a customized list of words to practice. I always end my feedback by telling the parents that I really enjoyed having their child in my class and hope to see him/her again soon.

Good Feedback Must Contain… It is my belief that good feedback must not contain a lot of incidental language and slang. Many parents translate our feedback into Chinese so I like to keep my feedback concise using simple verbiage. For example, ‘Baobao is a smart boy and a good student’ is something I would write. ‘Baobao is so bright and keeps me on my toes’ is NOT something I would write as the translation would not convey my meaning.

What do you like to see when checking the Teacher to Teacher Feedback? I like to see simple, concise verbiage. I like the feedback to briefly mention what we practiced in the lesson. I also like to see the objectives, vocabulary words, sight words, sentence patterns, etc. listed in the feedback and a note about if the student did well or needs practice. I do not like excessive punctuation or double spaces between sentences. These are two things I always fix in my own feedback when I use another teacher’s template.

Notes to the teachers who import your templates? Customize it and make it your own! There usually is a list of words the student needs to practice pronouncing that should be customized for every lesson.