This week’s SuperStar Teacher is Lisa ME. Lisa is a Shakespeare fanatic with the goal of seeing each one of the Bard’s works on stage. She has just 22 to go and she’ll be checking off King Lear and Measure for Measure in the next few months! Next year, She will also be celebrating 30 years of marriage with her husband with whom she has four wonderful kids ages 15–22. Lisa was a first adopter of FeedbackPanda and we are thrilled to get her insight on teaching and feedback.
Tricks for staying alert: Black COFFEE in my Contigo cup that stays hot for hours. Also, I ensure that I get 6 hours of sleep. I cannot function reliably on less.
Favorite Lesson to teach: Level 4 Unit 3 Lesson 8 because the student teaches his or her Chinese name to the teacher. I also love the lessons about China and about America in every level.
What do you do in between classes?My constant struggle is going overtime! If I have a couple minutes between classes, I may do jumping jacks or push-ups or get a drink of water or coffee. I also keep my area cleaned up by putting away props I am finished with.
How do you use FeedbackPanda?I write my feedback the day before my classes. I go into the classroom and click the Feedback Panda icon. I teach mostly regular students, so usually I’ve previously taught the student. If I’ve also previously taught the lesson, then that’s easy! I just change the date to the next day and glance at the feedback to see if I need to personalize it ahead for this particular student. I make some teacher notes about the reward I plan to use in that lesson.
I’ve also started adding photos of my students, so if I haven’t yet added that student’s photo, I go to our last class, find a smiley place in the lesson and take a screenshot.
If I have not previously taught the lesson, I will find a template that I like in the feedback cloud. There are a couple teachers whose names I look for because their feedback style is a lot like mine. I will download that template into my lesson and modify it for myself. Some teachers I use often are SMELLY and AMANDA ME , but there are many others I have used as well . I usually edit the templates AFTER importing them into my course rather than before.
If I have not taught the student before, I create the new student, add the birthdate, and go from there.
Then after I’ve taught all my lessons the next day, I modify each feedback slightly to reflect that day’s performance or any conversations the student and I have had, and add a couple sentences of teacher feedback. Then I copy and paste and BAM, it’s done! It just takes a minute or so for each one. Easy peasy!
I also use Feedback Panda to keep track of details about the student: location, family members, favorites, memorable lessons, etc…
Describe your Feedback Style/Structure:I always begin my feedback with a greeting and end with a salutation. My greeting usually says something about how pleased I am to see [name] today. I always sign my show name (Lisa ME) so that parents can find me later. I assume Chinese parents share their feedback occasionally so I may get more students by signing my show name. I usually personalize either or both the greeting and the salutation comments by including something specific to that student.
I review the lesson in sections, giving information about how the student performed in that section, usually by using adverbs to describe the content. This makes it easy to change my template of ‘BAOBAO read the story’ to ‘BAOBAO fluently read the story’ or ‘BAOBAO needed help to read the story’. Sometimes this section is lengthy and sometimes it is succinct.
Something else I always is include are things the child can work on, such as specific words to practice pronouncing, something they didn’t understand, or a concept they need more explanation about that the parent can reinforce at home. I don’t want parents to think there is no extra work needed at home because some students don’t take multiple classes a week.
Additionally, I write a general comment or two at the end of the feedback to address how the class went overall or how the student’s attitude was. I also add in anything interesting or specific the student told me in class. I know parents can watch the playback, but a few of my students’ parents have mentioned they are too busy to always watch the recordings. I think my feedback is specific enough so parents don’t have to watch the playback to see how their child did.
I also always ask for feedback and I have several standard requests I interchange.
Occasionally I will personalize my feedback with an English literature quote or interesting English phrase, rather like making my feedback a newsletter of sorts for the parent. I’ve wanted to do this more regularly than I have done. I don’t add these things to my Feedback Panda templates, but add them into the student feedback when I personalize it. Here is an example of that:
Here is an American idiom (saying) for you: HIT THE BOOKS. This means to begin to study hard. Example: I hit the books as soon as I knew the date of the exam.
Good Feedback Must Contain…Helpful comments for the parents that actually MEAN something. I avoid say ing “did a good job”. This translates “well-done” anyway. For example: She did a good job reading = She did a good reading. OR She reads very well.
I always try to find a meaningful way to describe the student’s performance, preferably something specific. I try not to say GREAT or GOOD, but instead to use descriptive words, especially strong verbs and adverbs. Here are some:
showed excellent effort (determination, skill, etc…)
demonstrated knowledge of
easily answered, capably discussed, fluently read, correctly spelled, etc…
Another thought: Translation is interesting. Now and then I’ll translate some feedback to Chinese and back to English with an online translator. My goal is to see how different phrases could change meaning. Here is an example: He is a lot of fun to teach = He teaches people interesting things.
What do you like to see when checking the Teacher to Teacher Feedback? I like teachers to leave feedback about student attitude and anything specific that can be worked on in my session, such as pronouncing Long I. I do not like the parent feedback to be copied and pasted. If the student tells me something interesting, I try to leave that in the teacher to teacher feedback. Also, please date your feedback so I know how long it’s been since the student last took a class.
What do you like to see in templates in the Feedback Cloud? I like to see a short review of the lesson with about a sentence for each main section. I do not use a slide-by-slide recap. I also look for solid descriptive words like I mention above. I like feedback that is longer rather than shorter and that is interesting to read. If I were the parent, I would want to read something with some pizzazz!
Notes or comments to the teachers who import your templates? I hope you find my templates easy to use and helpful. Thank you for using my templates!
Would you like to apply to VIPKID?
You can use Lisa ME’s referral link to get started! https://t.vipkidteachers.com/?refereeId=3478953&refersourceid=a01