Lili Flores

Teacher Lili was a brick-and-mortar bilingual education teacher before making the switch to VIPKid. Her own life experience as an English Language Learner (Spanish is her first language) has given her a unique perspective as an EFL teacher. With the new shift in education towards online learning platforms, she has been able to have the best of all worlds — taking care of her family and herself while contributing to their financial resources. As well as teaching, Teacher Lili crafts school props and materials for her husband’s classroom, and sells them via Teachers Pay Teachers. Here, she talks about her newfound career in online teaching, as well as what truly brings her joy — her husband and daughter!

Name:
Lili Flores

Location: 
Texas

Instagram Handle: 
@vipkidteacherlili and @barefootandbilingual

Other websites:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Barefoot-And-Bilingual
http://t.vipkid.com.cn?refersourceid=e01&refereeId=15210099

What companies do you teach for?
VIPKid!

Do you have an outside job – related or unrelated to teaching?
I am a stay at home mom! My husband and I have one daughter. She is two and a half and she is our world! I also make resources for my husband’s PreK classroom and sell some of them on Teachers Pay Teachers. Our store is called Barefoot and Bilingual. (shameless plug LOL) I make Bilingual (Spanish/English) and themed resources that can be used in Pre-K or kindergarten classrooms! Spanish was my first language, so Bilingual Ed and ESL are my passion! I love that I can stay home and still help kiddos in various ways. I get to teach English to kiddos through VIPKid and Spanish to kiddos that use my resources!

How long have you been teaching?
I taught in a bilingual kindergarten classroom from 2011 to 2015 and 2nd grade bilingual from ‘15-’16. My daughter was born March 2016 and I have been blessed to stay home with her since then! In March 2018, I found out about VIPKid! I was hired on May 4th.

Have you always taught? Or did you start out in another field entirely?
I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in Kindergarten! After graduation I was blessed with a job the following fall semester. So teaching is my life’s work! Bilingual Ed is my passion. I am an English Language Learner so I have always been drawn to language acquisition. Since working with VIPKid, I have met some amazing students from across the world. I can’t believe I get to meet and work with these kiddos! How incredible is the age we live in?!

Tricks for staying alert:
CAFFEINE! Haha, I drink either coffee, energy aminos or green tea plus lots of water before and during classes. I try to wake up 30 minutes to an hour before so that I am as awake as possible. When my eyes look very sleepy. I smile ridiculously big so that you can’t see how tired my eyes are!

What is your schedule like?
Now that the school year has started back up and my husband has gone back to work, I teach 4:00 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Saturday/Sunday. I will usually take one day off per week, either Tuesday or Sunday depending on our family’s plans for the week!

Favorite lesson (or level) to teach:
I am only certified for Levels 2 and 3 right now. I love them both but I have really enjoyed the Level 3 units on animals! I have had so much fun with my students learning about different animals and how they move!

(Image 1) Teacher Lili looks bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 4 a.m.!
(Image 2) Her classroom has all the essentials.
(Image 3) She sings with her students!

What do you do in between classes?
In between classes, I will usually load up my FeedbackPanda templates and make quick notes about that student! I also check my VIPKid Teacher App and Instagram (duh).

How do you use FeedbackPanda (what is your process)?
Using FeedbackPanda is ridiculously easy. I open up my VIPKid Teacher’s Portal in Google Chrome and go to “My Classrooms”. From there, I click the cute little panda extension. I open one tab for each class I have that day. Either before my classes start or when I have a break, I will load a template for each  lesson and edit it to have my personal signature and notes. Once classes are done, I will go back, copy that template into the feedback and add any personal notes about our class that day. (i.e. what my student can work on, things that made us laugh during class, or something that my student shared with me that I found interesting!) After that, I go back into the FeedbackPanda website, click save and close! And DONE!

Describe your feedback style/structure:
I like opening up with a personal greeting to my student. I will usually write their name in all caps with a lot of exclamation points (e.g. LILI!!!!) At that point, I like to state something that occurred in class. For example, “Wow! Coco showed me her doll today and was able to tell me her name! Great job Coco!” I have adopted the famous Teacher Caryn’s style! I love her templates. She writes details about what was covered in class that day. I will also add a little section about what the student can work on or something they did great on that day. I thank the parents/student for their feedback and then sign off saying, “Have a great day!”

Good feedback must contain
something the student did well on or something they can work on. I like including what was covered in the lesson so that the parents are aware and they can extend/practice at home if possible. I think making a personal connection with the student is also very important! Drawing from an experience we shared in class is important!

What do you like to see when checking the Teacher-to-Teacher Feedback (notes on students from teachers in the VIPKID portal)?
I like to see personal notes about the student in the Teacher-to-Teacher Feedback, anything that would help class go smoothly! I also like to see something that the student needs extra practice on so I can look out for that during our lesson.

Teacher Lili and her family love the San Francisco 49ers!

How has an online teaching job benefited you and your family?
Online teaching has made staying home a much more feasible option. I stayed home for two years just on my husband’s salary and we have been doing well this entire time, thank goodness! Before VIPKid, we had been considering me going back into the classroom. This would mean our little monkey would be in daycare Monday – Friday from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. (which is another BIG COST!) But in March, one of my husband’s coworkers mentioned VIPKid as an option for me to do from home. It seemed too good to be true. Could I possibly make a good amount of money… teaching… from home… and still be able to stay home with our daughter??? The answer is yes. To say that this job is a blessing is an understatement. I am able to hang out with my kiddo before she goes off to school in a few years! I am able to stay home and cook and clean for our family! (We try to not go out to eat! So meal prepping is a huge part of our lives!) I am able to keep up a good gym routine which is non-negotiable for me! It is my favorite form of self-care! (Right behind, sleep, food and water!) I am able to help my husband make resources for his classroom! The benefits have been amazing.

Are there any drawbacks? If so, how do you deal with them?
The biggest drawback I have experienced so far is the sleep schedule. I wake up at about 3:30 every weekday morning. Ideally, I would need to fall asleep close to 7:30 p.m. in order to get my full eight hours. This does NOT happen! The way I have dealt with it in the past few weeks is to schedule a day off a week to sleep in and take naps with my toddler during the week whenever I feel like I need to recuperate.

Has FeedbackPanda helped you manage your job and personal life? Any specifics? (e.g. before and after)
YES. Feedback Panda has given me the gift of time. I would take anywhere between 15-20 minutes per class to write feedback, which translates to about 1.5 hours for 5 classes. It was just taking too much time. There are ways to build your own feedback bank but I am just not organized enough to keep up with that LOL. Feedback Panda is SO EASY and it makes me feel like I am organized! I am now able to do feedback for 5-7 classes in about 15-20 minutes! I will usually be finished with feedback before my kiddo wakes up! If I don’t finish right away, I will complete it as I cook breakfast! EASY PEASY! The subscription cost is not even an issue. The way we look at it is I only have to work one class a month to pay for it. The extra time I am given is well worth it!