Krista Kate Goodwin
Krista Kate Goodwin graduated with a degree in business. After spending a lot of time working in unfulfilling jobs, she started teaching in a brick-and-mortar institution. Now, she works with VIPKid, which suits her family and lifestyle much better. This new opportunity came just in time–she is expecting a child very soon! Along with her thoughts on teaching ESL, Teacher Krista dispenses advice on how to handle the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. Thank you, Krista, for your valuable counsel! We look forward to seeing pictures of your baby boy!
Krista Kate Goodwin
Las Vegas, NV
VIPKid Referral Link:
What companies do you teach for?
Do you have an outside job – related or unrelated to teaching?
Currently, I do not. Last June, I made the transition from brick and mortar teaching to 100% online teaching. It was an adjustment but it has been a wonderful choice for our family and I really enjoy it. I am currently 6 months pregnant, so I will be adding the title of “mom” very soon. I really believe that online teaching and “mom life” will be the perfect combination.
How long have you been teaching?
I started teaching online about a year and a half ago.
Have you always taught? Or did you start out in another field entirely?
I began my adult life with basically no direction. I had gotten a Bachelor’s degree in Business because I didn’t know what else to do and I just followed a similar path to my parents. Ultimately, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I tried several different career paths — insurance & finance, nursing, Las Vegas hospitality, etc. Eventually, I decided to apply to an ARL program here in Las Vegas — ARL stands for “alternate route to licensure.” It allows people with bachelor’s degrees in non-educational fields to transition to teaching in the classroom. I taught for 2 years in the brick and mortar classroom before deciding that “full-time” online teaching would be a better fit for my husband and me.
Tricks for staying alert:
I would typically say coffee but since getting pregnant, I have cut out caffeine totally. Some days, it’s a struggle, but I just try to constantly remind myself how much I prefer this job to my B&M experience. Oh, and the best tip I can give for staying alert is — GET GOOD SLEEP!! Make it a priority. I truly believe that a lot of health issues can be resolved by getting good sleep and keeping a positive mind…oh and laughing a lot!
What is your schedule like?
For the past 5 months, I have taught 1:00 a.m.-6: 00 a.m. 6 days a week. (well, it was 2-7am before the time change.) I take Sundays off. At the beginning when I first went “full-time” I did overnights on weekends and worked more hours but I got burnt out quickly. Also, pregnancy and overnights are not a good mix. This schedule is a great balance between working a lot and not over-doing it. I am extremely blessed to have a very supportive husband with a solid career of his own. Unfortunately, in order to truly do online teaching “full-time” (as your only job)… I believe 1 of 2 things will be true — either A) you are working overnights like crazy and eventually will get burnt out and your health will suffer …or B) You have a partner with a good income that you can “supplement” and hence, you don’t have to kill yourself working. Does that make sense? ☺
Favorite lesson (or level) to teach:
This is a hard question! I like level 3 because their English ability is really gaining traction but there is still a lot of support with sentence frames, etc. On the other hand, though, I really love Level 6!! I love the fact that the students are basically fluent. I also love the content — it’s so interesting! Level 6 has chemistry, animal structural and behavioral adaptations, and other high-level topics! I taught 1st grade for 2 years but my supervisors would always say “I think you would do really well with the older kids.” — I have found that to be true when it comes to VIPKid.
Krista and her husband, Keith.
Krista with her mom, Doris, and sister, Jenna.
What do you do between classes?
I am really bad at ending right at 25 minutes. I almost always go to 27-28, sometimes even 29. For a long time, however, I was using feedback panda and doing ALL of my feedback in that short window of time between classes. It was great!! Just recently though, I decided to stop doing that and leave it until the end. I still get it done really fast because of feedback panda. This way, I am not in such a rush and I can take a moment to breathe, take a drink, listen to some Christmas music, and grab a great reward for my next class! I find that if I leave it until the end, I am a better teacher throughout my lessons.
How do you use FeedbackPanda (what is your process)?
I keep it simple! I use other teachers templates and then I usually add a sentence or 2 / make a few adjustments to make it more custom. I can do 1 student feedback in about 1 minute’s time using feedback panda! It’s great and totally worth the $10/month. It is life-changing for an online teacher, IMO! ☺
Good feedback must contain…
Compliments to the student and/or encouragement, overview of the lesson content, what the student can practice at home, thank you, and a sentence that you hope to see the student again soon! Oh, and ask for those apples 😉
What do you like to see when checking the Teacher-to-Teacher Feedback (notes on students from teachers in the VIPKid/Gogokid portal)?
I like to just get a general feel of the student’s level. I want to know if they are advanced (so I know I will have to extend) or if they struggle, or if they work/read slowly, etc. This helps me manage my timing of the lesson and also impacts the way that I interact with the student.
Krista’s festive classroom!
A selfie with the VIPKid founder and CEO, Cindy Mi!
Has FeedbackPanda helped you manage your job and personal life? Any specifics? (e.g. before and after)
Before Feedback Panda, I would take about 60-90 minutes every day to do feedback and it felt like such a burden. With feedback panda, it takes me maybe 15-20 minutes total, if that. It has definitely cut out a lot of “work time” and makes doing feedback not feel so tedious.
What are your interests?
Feel free to elaborate! I am a bit boring!!! My hobbies include – taking care of and playing with my 2 dogs (I love animals, especially dogs!), going on walks, watching cheesy talk shows and reality shows, traveling when I get the chance, cooking/cleaning (I never thought I would say that and admit it openly, but I am learning how to accept that MY job is our family’s supplement and my husband’s job is our main source of income – therefore I take pride in being a good “wife” – it makes me feel as though I am pulling my weight.) I used to be really against gender roles, but I think roles are important! It doesn’t matter who does what, it could be the man doing the cooking and cleaning, it makes no difference as long as it works for you and your relationship! I also LOVE to go hiking, snorkeling, sightseeing, etc. (usually while traveling).
You’ve been teaching during your pregnancy. Could you give other teachers advice on how to manage teaching online while pregnant?
I am just entering my 3rd trimester so my tips will be limited to 1st and 2nd trimester only and how I’m feeling as I teach right now.
1st trimester – my tip would be to take it easy and cut back on your class load if you’re dealing with terrible morning sickness. I did not realize this until it was too late. I spent many, many days (even months) teaching while sick. It was brutal!!! If this happens to you, have water and a trash can nearby, take it 1 class at a time, 1 moment at a time even. Work hard to stay on track and end class at 25 minutes because if you’re truly feeling that ill — the sooner you can have a break (or make it to the trash can) the better! Also, those 4-5 minutes of “break” in between classes will be like gold!! Also, don’t be afraid to tell your regulars’ parents that you’re expecting and to apologize if the class was less than ideal. I have found that my parents are so sweet, understanding, and sympathetic. They wish me well and tell me to take care of my health and baby, and then, of course, congratulate me. 🙂
2nd trimester/start of 3rd trimester — my tip would be: if you have a way to transition from sitting to standing easily, take advantage of it. I notice that after about 5-6 classes I start to get very fidgety and uncomfortable. Being able to switch between classes would really help. If you sit, make sure you have a comfortable chair and use pillows for your back if needed.
As far as my 3rd trimester goes, I am lucky because it will be Chinese New Year time when I am feeling REALLY pregnant – so it will be a great time to cut back as I prepare to give birth. One last tip — if your sickness or discomfort is that bad, take those cancellations, that’s what they are there for. Get a doctor’s note if needed. VIPKid did grant me soft cancellations once due to pregnancy complications after I sent in a doctor’s note.
Any other comments you wish to communicate…😊
Thank you for FeedbackPanda!