Our V.I.Panda this week is Teacher Jennifer J., who hails from Arkansas. Seen above is a portrait one of her VIPKid students drew for her. Jennifer is very proud of this portrait. We, of course, all know that earnest feeling a portrait from our students evokes in us. Jennifer just celebrated her two-year anniversary with VIPKid, and is very proud of the fact that many of her students have been with her from the beginning. She has created such profound emotional bonds with her students, that one of them calls her daughter “Big American Sister”. Jennifer reminds us that we are not simply online teachers; we are just as important to our students as they are to us.
What companies do you teach for?
Do you have an outside job – related or unrelated to teaching?
Not currently. In my life before kids, I was a public school teacher. Now I am homeschooling my kids and teaching for VIPKID.
How long have you been teaching?
2 years! I am celebrating my 2 year anniversary with VIPKID this weekend.
Have you always taught? Or did you start out in another field entirely?
No, although I did an interesting gig scheduling mystery shoppers before finding VIPKID.
Tricks for staying alert:
I get up early enough to take a shower (really wakes me up) and eat a small breakfast. I also keep an insulated cup of ice water beside me when I’m teaching. Ice water really wakes me up. I also try to stay really active in class to keep my energy up.
What is your schedule like?
I average around 7 classes per day, six days per week. I usually teach from 6:30 p.m. BJT until 10:00 p.m. BJT. I don’t change my schedule when the time changes, so I’ll start getting up an hour earlier when Daylight Saving Time ends next weekend. When I started teaching with VIPKID, I taught about 4 classes on Friday and Saturday nights. That didn’t allow me to get the rest I needed before my morning classes, so I stopped teaching evenings. Now my kids don’t want me to start evenings again because they enjoy having Friday and Saturday evenings together.
Favorite lesson (or level) to teach:
Honestly, I love them all for different reasons. I have regular students in Levels 1 through 6. Some of my students have been with me for two years now. I did their trials during my first week!
What do you do between classes?
I take a sip of water, go to the bathroom, check text messages, etc. Nothing very exciting.
How do you use FeedbackPanda (what is your process)?
If I’m running short on time, I don’t do any prep on Feedback Panda. I just create the class when I’m doing feedback and go from there. I try to set up each class the day before and enter things I can go ahead and enter – thank you for recent 5-apple reviews, looking forward to our next class on *day*, etc. That makes it faster for me to do feedback the next day.
Describe your feedback style/structure:
I include personal notes about the reward we used, the student’s performance in class (positive study traits, etc), and specifics on what the student did well and needs to work on. I use the 3-2-1 feedback that went around in the VIPKid groups a long time ago. I basically list the categories that are on the unit assessment (math, grammar, reading, and writing, speaking and listening) and assign a 3 (mastered), 2 (suggest review), or 1 (difficult) to each category. Then I can quickly write notes for each section. I don’t recap the whole lesson. Parents can see that in the replay or by looking at their student’s VIPKID book. I just hit the highlights for the parents – both good and bad.
What do you like to see when checking the Teacher-to-Teacher Feedback (notes on students from teachers in the VIPKid portal)?
I check those notes and appreciate whatever the teachers leave, but I find it more useful for seeing what project option the upper-level students chose for the Lesson 12 Assessment.
Has FeedbackPanda helped you manage your job and personal life? Any specifics? (e.g. before and after)
I love Feedback Panda because I can easily find previous feedback for each student, see birthdays, see notes I’ve made about each student, and keep track or rewards and how many times I’ve seen the student. The big thing for me is that it’s all in one place. I haven’t started using Smart Sentences yet, but I’m going to start working on entering those. I find myself typing the same things over and over again, so I need to just go ahead and set those up.
What are your interests?
I crochet and read. I enjoy watching movies with my children, and occasionally we will binge-watch a series on Netflix together.