Margaret Brumbaugh

Margaret Brumbaugh is affectionately known as the “Mango Ambassador”! Many of her colleagues have rushed out to the market to buy a fresh mango as a prop for the Gogokid fruit lessons. She single-handedly created an enthusiasm for this tropical fruit with the sweet, golden flesh. Along with her terrific sense of humor and useful realia, Teacher Margaret has a stockpile of methods she uses in her lessons. Many come from her prior education and experience in speech-language pathology, providing therapy to people who suffered brain trauma. Teacher Margaret’s background exemplifies the fascinating diversity among the VIPKid and Gogokid teachers, and FeedbackPanda is pleased to bring her unique story to you.

Margaret Brumbaugh

Litchfield Park, Arizona

Instagram Handle:

Other websites:
VIPKID Referral MARGA0095

Gogokid Referral NHPP9TPS


Facebook Group ESL Props and Rewards:

What companies do you teach for?
VIPKid and Gogokid

Do you have an outside job – related or unrelated to teaching?
I am staying home with my daughter until she is in school full-time.

How long have you been teaching?
About 9 years total, online 6 months.

Have you always taught? Or did you start out in another field entirely?
My undergraduate degree is in psychology.  I started off as a Behavior Specialist for EDP (emotionally disabled, privately placed/self-contained) students and working in a juvenile prison for girls.  My graduate degree is in Speech-Language Pathology. So I then worked doing Cognitive Communication Therapy with adults that have brain injuries from accidents, strokes, military injuries etc.  It involved a lot of memory tasks and ways to improve their quality of life relating to memory and communication. I started working in the schools as an SLP and then taught a 1st grade developmental class with students on IEPs (Individualized Education Program) and in intervention.  

Tricks for staying alert:
Going to bed early instead of naps. A cold face mask and upbeat music right before class.  Doing some kind of exercise every day. Green tea and chlorella supplements. Oh and dark chocolate!

What is your schedule like?
I teach about 24 classes a week.  Early mornings before my 3-year-old wakes up. Monday – Saturday 4:30 a.m. – 6: 30 a.m. for my time zone.

Favorite lesson (or level) to teach:
My Instagram friends know this one, the Gogokid Fruit Trial.  I’m obsessed! The VIPKID Animal lessons are fun. Also, right now I am loving any kind of lesson with water because it gives me an excuse to the “The Swim Dance”.  You can google it, it’s basically AWESOME swimming moves!

Margaret, her husband Kyle, and her daughter Liesl.

What do you do between classes?
Clean up props/rewards and get everything ready for the next class, sometimes start feedback if I haven’t gone over 25 mins.

How do you use FeedbackPanda (what is your process)?
When I wake up to teach, I turn on my computer and open CamTwist, the Teacher’s Portal, and Feedback Panda.  After I teach all of the classes, or during a student no-show, I open a template and modify it based on the individual student.  I then add my smart sentences and signature. Lastly, I make note of the reward used and add any teacher’s notes such as new things I learned about the student or something I promised to show the student next class.  

Describe your feedback style/structure:
A couple of personal positive intro sentences. What the lesson covered mentioning at least one thing the student did very well and one thing the student needed help with.  Compliment the student or express my fondness for them. Thank them for being in my class and express my hope to see them again.

Good feedback must contain
something I did outside of the lesson like a challenge or something we discussed during free talk.  For example “I challenged [name] to further discuss sea turtles, what they eat, and how they have babies. She/He did an excellent job!” or “I was happy to hear [name] enjoys swimming with her family!”

What do you like to see when checking the Teacher-to-Teacher Feedback (notes on students from teachers in the VIPKid/Gogokid portal)?
Students name and gender if different than what is listed.  Pacing tips based on the students’ skills. What they need extra support in so I can prepare additional props to help support them.  Also any personal interests (My Little Pony, StarWars etc.)

Margaret and her magnifying glass–one of her many cool props!

Has FeedbackPanda helped you manage your job and personal life? Any specifics? (e.g. before and after)
My window of teaching availability is limited to when my daughter is sleeping.  I started off teaching 15-18 classes a week. I didn’t think I needed Feedback Panda because I only teach a small number of classes.  I did the 30-day free trial and noticed it was saving me enough time that I could teach more classes. Thanks to the time Feedback Panda saves me, I can now teach about 24 classes a week.  I recently started using the “Smart Sentence” feature and I LOVE it! The smart sentences save a lot of time! I also love that FeedbackPanda displays previous feedback I wrote because it helps me make sure I am not being repetitive with my feedback.  Gogokid does not display how many times you have taught a student. I would be lost without FeedbackPanda tracking the students I have already taught.

What are your interests?
Yoga, running, and playing out doors with my daughter and husband.  Also, knitting which is probably the worst hobby to have living in a desert.  I knit on long car drives and if I have down time to watch tv because I have a hard time sitting still.

You’ve shared stories about your daughter learning Spanish and Mandarin. How important is this to you, and why?
Learning a foreign language is extremely important to me. I believe language is a catalyst and will benefit my daughter in all areas of academics.  Thanks to technology, the world today is more connected than ever before. Learning languages can give her more career opportunities. I also love the idea that she will have a greater potential to form friendships with those that speak other languages. I could go on and on about the topic! [Her daughter learns Spanish and Mandarin through PandaTree. Click here for more information.]

Do you speak another language? If you do not, do you wish you had that same encouragement you are giving your daughter?
I do not fluently speak another language.  I can read and write Spanish and Italian. I can understand a lot and speak a little, but am not comfortable conversing.  I am learning Mandarin along with my daughter. It is difficult for me and my daughter often corrects my pronunciation. I wish I had the opportunity to take one-on-one lessons with a native speaker as a child!  I am so grateful we are able to give this opportunity to our students and children with technology!