Elayna Gallea wears many hats with VIPKid. She is a teacher first, but she’s also a Mock Class Mentor to applicants and a Community Ambassador on VIPKid’s official social media forum. When she’s not helping out prospective or established teachers, she’s taking care of her family in Ontario. She also has her own blog, where she dispenses advice for online teaching, including handling cold-weather electricity outages. Before becoming Teacher Elayna, she was working in a highly stressful customer relations corporate job. Thankfully, for the health and well-being of herself and her family, she took a leap of faith to work with VIPKid in 2016. She takes her past experiences and applies them to her role as one of the moderators for VIPKid’s official Facebook group, addressing teachers’ concerns with kindness and class. Thank you, Elayna, for the wonderful service you provide to VIPKid’s teachers!
Attribution Name (FeedbackPanda cloud), if applicable:
Orillia, Ontario, Canada
VIPKID – click here
The Schoolhouse Mommy – click here
What companies do you teach for?
VIPKid- my one and only
Do you have an outside job – related or unrelated to teaching?
I’m a full time stay at home mom, VIPKid teacher and Mock Class Mentor.
How long have you been teaching?
I’ve been teaching online for nearly two years. I had seen VIPKid around on social media for a month or two but finally took the leap and applied over Christmas 2016. I was convinced I would not get it but my husband convinced me to try. He is my superstar and biggest fan.
Have you always taught? Or did you start out in another field entirely?
I have a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, but due to my location far out in the country and my commitment to my family I never used my degree until VIPKid.
Tricks for staying alert:
Cold water! I gave up my early morning coffee a year and a half ago and it’s great! I drink water from the moment I start working until about 8 a.m. (my break while I get the kids to school) and then have 2-3 cups of coffee during the day.
What is your schedule like?
I usually work 5 a.m. -.7:30 a.m. or 5:30 a.m. -7:30 a.m. and then again at 8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. I do mock classes during the daytime.
Favorite lesson (or level) to teach:
I LOVE high level 3s and low level 4s. They are my sweet spot. They know enough to speak well and converse but are still so early in the learning process.
Elayna with her children, Britanny and Jack.
What do you do between classes?
Gosh. What don’t I do? I drink water, run to the bathroom, finish my feedback, surf facebook, text my group of teacher friends and let my “perma-smile” relax for a moment.
How do you use FeedbackPanda (what is your process)?
As I’m starting my day I pull up the PC Teacher’s App and then a Google Chrome browser on the side. I don’t like teaching from Chrome since it usually causes problems for me, but I love the Feedback Panda extension! I keep a classroom tab open on Chrome and click the panda to generate my feedback. I have taught over 2000 classes and done over 1400 of those on FeedbackPanda so there aren’t many classes that I go to teach that don’t already have a template. However, if I find I”m missing one I’ll go “shopping” for a new one in the cloud. Obviously, I have my favourites (I’m talking about you, Teacher Caryn EU!) but if there aren’t many templates I’m not averse to making my own. Once I’ve got the feedback pulled up I keep it open during class. I have a few smart sentences that I’ll plug if I need them (usually about pronunciation issues or other things to focus on) and I drop my signature on the bottom of the template. As soon as I turn off my camera I’m putting in my feedback so I can move on to my next class.
Good feedback must contain…
a personal touch! This is so important. I want my parents to know I care about my students and I’m not just putting in feedback because I am contractually obligated to do so. I care about the outcome of my students and I want them to get as much from VIPKid as they possibly can.
What do you like to see when checking the Teacher-to-Teacher Feedback (notes on students from teachers in the VIPKid/Gogokid portal)?
I don’t like to see the parent feedback- I honestly don’t care about that. I want to know the nitty-gritty. Short and sweet. This is the feedback I like to get from other teachers and the type I leave as well. For example, Baobao is easily distracted. Use lots of props to keep them engaged. Baobao knows a lot. Be careful and extend! Or Baobao is struggling. Watch your time.
Has FeedbackPanda helped you manage your job and personal life? Any specifics? (e.g. before and after)
My goodness. It’s amazing. I was using a template that I had pre-made for my classes before using FeedbackPanda, but I feel like I provide more detailed feedback using FeedbackPanda without the extra work. I also personalize each template to my students as need be. If they tell me something special I add it in at the beginning. For example, if Baobao tells me they are going on a trip soon I wish them safe travels, etc. I love this personalization and can do it quickly because of FeedbackPanda.
What are your interests?
I love to knit and crochet. I’m Canadian and the winters are cold so there are a lot of people who love my hobbies too. I also love to read and can devour a book in a day or two. I really enjoy listening to podcasts while walking my dogs. I’ll squeeze in extra learning whenever I can.
Notes or comments to the teachers who import your templates (if applicable)?
Thanks! That is pretty cool. I love to see that I am helping other teachers since I feel I have gotten so much from FeedbackPanda.