Preparing for Class with FeedbackPanda
Everyone gets ready for class in a different way. Some teachers spend 2-3 hours the day before finding the perfect props, going over the lesson, and crafting just the right reward; other teachers roll out of bed five minutes before class starts and just go for it. The great thing about VIPKID is there is no right or wrong way. You are an independent contractor and can decide what works best for you.
As I have taught more, I have streamlined the amount of time it takes for me to prepare for my classes. I used to spend about one to two hours the day before getting ready for my classes. Now I spend about thirty minutes. Part of what has helped me cut down on my prep time is using Feedback Panda. I like to “pre-write” my feedback before class (I know that sounds weird, right?) and then I tweak it after class.
I feel really lucky right now because my peak hours start at 11:00 AM due to where I am living. Normally, my peak hours start at 4:00 AM, so I like to do my preparation the day before in order to maximize the amount of sleep I get at night. I have it down to a science: I can be up and ready to go in three to five minutes. I normally wake up about ten minutes before my classes start. Right now, since I am living in North Africa, I can do my prepping in the hour before my classes start..
When getting ready for my classes, the first thing I do is pull up my classroom and write down in my notebook all my classes that I have for the day. I like to include the student name, time, and lesson. I used to include the date as well, but I found that I really didn’t need it.
Next, I open up each classroom and load the lesson. Most of the time, but not always, it will be there when I go back into the class to teach. This is a great time saving trick, especially if your previous class runs a little bit long. I also click on the Feedback Panda icon at the bottom right hand corner of the page and get my templates ready to go in Feedback Panda. If it’s a new student, I will set up the student in my Feedback Panda.
I have been teaching for long enough that most of the time, I have already written the template for the class. If I haven’t written a template for this particular class, I spend about ten to fifteen minutes writing one. I start by looking through other teacher’s templates in the Feedback Panda Cloud. This gives me some ideas about what I want to include. I try to look for one that has some of the same types of things I like to include to start off with. Then, I spend about ten minutes revising and editing it to what I like to have a template be like.
I also write down what props I use for that lesson in the “course description” part of the template. Then, the next time I use it, I can see what props I used in the past. Again, I am all about saving time and streamlining the process. Lastly, I write down in the “Teacher’s Notes” what reward I will use for that student. This helps me remember what I used in the past, so I am not repeating my rewards too often. I don’t use a new reward for each class, but I don’t like to repeat the same reward too often. I tend to have five or six rewards that I will cycle throughout the month. After about a month, I start to get bored, so I will make some new ones.
Altogether, it takes me between fifteen to thirty minutes to prepare for my classes depending on how many templates I have to write from scratch or how many classes I am teaching. I normally teach six classes every morning. This process allows me to roll out of bed, run a brush through my hair, slap on some bright red lipstick, and be ready to go in the shortest amount of time possible.
Happy Teaching! – Teacher Caryn EU