Now that you’ve had some time to become established with VIPKID by opening your booking slots and allowing yourself time to attend workshops, certify in more levels and prepare more props and rewards, how do you organize and set up your VIPKID classroom for back to back classes you will be teaching soon?
Fear not! Teacher Lauren BEJ here to save the day!
Not that you should be afraid…I have you covered in case ;).
I have spent much time and effort deliberating, trying different practices and going about this back to back class thing like a bull in a China shop.
Just charging through and hoping for the best, but obviously flopping at my worst.
That’s why I’m creating this post today.
I’ve been there, done that and I want to save you some steps as well as time because let’s be real…those are some serious commodities we cannot afford to waste these days ya’ll!
To be fierce and fearless in how I approach back to back classes, I had to first come up with a flow.
How was I going to know what is expected of me for each and every slide in each and every lesson of each and every unit in each and every level I was certified in?
Lesson notes. Lesson notes, lesson notes, lesson notes.
At first I scribbled notes down in a spiral journal because I didn’t expect to get bookings so quick, so this system had not been perfected yet.
That didn’t pan out well.
I couldn’t find the lessons quickly enough (I had planned to file them in order by unit and then lesson) and my notes were like a security blanket that had holes. Cute…but worthless in use.
When I would refer to them, I couldn’t find my place easily and I was fumbling through lessons.
Now, I type my notes.
I use google drive to type my notes.
You can catch a glimpse of what these look like in my youtube videos here.
Each set of notes has a number along the left hand side with the slide number so I can easily find where I am when I get lost in a lesson and it tells me a general idea of what is expected of me, the student and what topic we are covering on that slide or what vocabulary etc.
I also highlight each word that I feel needs to be supported with a visual to help the student or if I know I have a prop for that item, I use this highlighting in pink method to tell myself, “Hey you! Grab that prop!”
The yellow highlights are where I remind myself to give the student a star/reward. I used to forget to do that all the time in the beginning. Oops!
No more oops now!
I rarely follow this to a T because sometimes I can tell the student is struggling and needs a reward to give them some umph earlier on that when I noted on the lesson notes and sometimes I forget to refer to my lesson notes.
I’m just that good now.
Really though, this is awesome because anywhere I am at any given moment, I have access to these notes!
My phone has the google drive app and I can pull up my notes everywhere I go. I don’t have to pack them when I travel (I can pull them up on my phone) and if I need another copy, I don’t have to retype them.
Along the lines of that retype thing…
Thanks to having these printed out on cardstock, I can now put them inside the pockets I purchased from Amazon (pockets can be found here) and use the pockets to write notes about the student and how the lesson went all over it.
I use a visa vise marker to do this during class. I usually mark the things the student did well on with a check mark or cross it out or leave it blank. The things the student needed to work on more I either jot down a note or I circle that word that needs more work.
Usually I’ll add the student’s name at the top and I will make a note of what I see in the room around them, what they showed most interest in, what reward I used with them, anything they mentioned they prefer or like, etc.
Then, if I have back to back classes, I don’t have to remember anything when it’s time to complete feedback in so much time following the class I just taught.
I can take a pic of these notes, take them to work with me (yes…I have another job that is awesome, flexible and allows me to take my babygirl with me part time to work while paying for her and my insurance benefits…pretty awesome) and finish feedback while I wait on an assignment to come my way or while little girl naps on me.
Otherwise, I complete feedback as soon as class is over, but those back to back classes are hard enough to get to on time.
I’ve resorted to completing feedback after one long stretch of teaching while some of it is fresh on my brain.
The best part is that not only do I not have to remember anything, I can use this to take notes on the students I teach.
The notes I take are kept in this little flip book I created out of an old small notebook I had from college days.
Oh , those were the days!
Inside are these index cards that I write the student’s names, the date that is listed as their birthday (not always correct-but I like to know this) and what notes other teachers or myself have created for them that will help me be the best teacher to them.
These notes might be like, “shy, loves ice cream, princesses, used this reward last time, needs to work on pronunciation and complete sentences.”
Then, the next time they pop up and VIPKID says I’ve taught them before, I can make sure I change things up reward wise while appealing to their interests and focus on what needs to be accomplished to help them succeed!
Back to the pockets.
Those pockets are awesome!
Here they are!
When I’m finished with feedback and I’ve finished my notes in my VIPKIDs notebook, I go back to clean off my pocket and file it away in order by unit and within the unit the lesson.
That way it is right where I need it when I go to set up for classes again.
In case you didn’t already notice, I’ll share my other time saving secret with you…
I keep my 2d props already in the pocket so the next time I teach, I already have what I need with me. I also add any 3d magnetic letters and numbers I need for my Level 2s and phonics classes.
Talk about how to organized and setup so you can be lazy…heck yeah!
Another way I organize my day is by having these clear plastic drawers handy next to my desk.
These house my 3d props for food, travel and transportation. I plan to add more drawers in the future for more different types of props I’ve been using lately, but for now this is what I have.
The nice thing about them is they are small, not huge which was disappointing at first. I soon realized they are perfect for my obsession with teaching these kiddos overseas because they keep me from going overboard buying cute stuff I see everywhere which also saves me money in the long run.
I can only fit so much in them at a time so I tell myself anything that cannot fit in there doesn’t belong in my classroom no matter how tempting.
Unless it’s super adorable.
With all of that near me, I can setup in 49 seconds or less for each class!
Want to hear it again and see visuals?
You can do all that here on my youtube channel!
If you have any questions about VIPKID please mention them in the comments below or email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make sure you follow me on Instagram for more up to date ideas and tips for VIPKID classes!
Apply here at this referral link when you’re ready to start your VIPKID journey! I cannot wait to help you succeed!
Teacher Lauren BEJ