If you’re a VIPKID teacher, you’ve been there. You’ve just finished one class. It was about 27 minutes long, and now you have less than three minutes to submit some stellar feedback about the lesson. Technically, you have 12 hours to add this feedback, but entering it afterwards is time-consuming. Often, details of the lesson become forgotten.
So the question remains: How can you submit thorough, meaningful feedback about the lesson you just taught in a span of under five minutes?
Keep reading to hear how I do this! If you are interested in hearing the seven ingredients I always include to write high-quality VIPKID feedback, click here.
I have two handy tools that have helped me establish an effective and efficient feedback system.
Tool Number One: Your standard, everyday notebook.
Yes, this handy dandy little purple notebook stays in front of me throughout all VIPKID lessons. It’s where I jot down student names, class information, and anything I think I might forget that I want to immediately input into the feedback. Is it perfectly neat? No. Does it allow me to scribble down information as I need it during a rather chaotic classroom experience (anybody else have those)? Yes.
Tool Number Two (*the key*): Microsoft OneNote
This digital resource is free if you have Microsoft Office, and you can have more than one online journal. The journal has dividers, and it’s really a notetaker’s paradise. For a glimpse of what it looks like, check out my screenshot below.
Setting Up Your Microsoft OneNote VIPKID Notebook
Follow along to set up your own VIPKID notebook.
1) Create a VIPKID notebook.
If you reference the journal photo above, you will notice that on the upper left-hand side, there is a title that says “VIPKID Feedback.” This is an entire journal. I have other journals for non-VIPKID related things, but it is effective to have one just dedicated to VIPKID. To add a new journal, click the small arrow next to where it says “VIPKID Feedback.” Then, a pull-down menu will appear. Click on the plus sign, and add a new journal.
2) Create two tabs for each type of class you teach.
To the right of my journal title, you can see my section tabs. With VIPKID, we can be certified to teach different types of classes. The trick is to add TWO tabs for each type of class (I will explain this later), one labeled for “males” and one labeled for “females” (Quick side-note: I am not a fan of binary gender language, but this is for the ease of sticking with the gender identifications for each child selected by parents who have signed up for the company). To add a new tab, click on the plus button (you can see this on the top, right-hand corner of the picture) and add your tab. If you are certified to teach two types of classes, you should have four tabs; three types of classes, six tabs, and so on.
3) Create a “General Feedback Form”.
Once you add a new tab, it will immediately bring you to a page entitled “Untitled Page.” This is where you must create a “General Feedback Form.” In your feedback, you should include, at minimum, a statement of praise, a summary of the course content, a statement of the child’s strengths, what you would like to continue to work on with the child, a thank you statement, and your name. Because this is the template, you can use lines to indicate where you would put most of your information. I have attached my general feedback form below, as an example. Notice that the title says “General Feedback.” The great thing about this template is that it applies to ALL VIPKID classes you teach.
Note: You will need to make TWO templates, one for your male students, and one for your female students. In my example below, I have displayed an example for my female students, and you can tell because I use the pronoun “she.” You will also need to make a template that is identical where you use the pronoun “he.” Then, once you are done, highlight the male template by right-clicking on the page on the right side of your screen and clicking “copy.” Then, go to each of your MALE tabs and click Control + V to paste the feedback form into EVERY male tab that you have. Then, do the same thing with your female template. This will save you LOTS of time later.
***Even More Important Note: Make sure that you write the pronoun WE for your summary of the course content. “In today’s class, we….” This will be extremely important later.
4) Create a tab entitled “Tomorrow”.
This is the last tab that you will need. It will be a tab with pages that you continually exchange depending on your line-up of courses for the upcoming day.
Prepare for A Day of Classes in Your Notebook
To best walk you through what I would do to prepare for a day of classes, I will show you how I set up my notebook for an upcoming day (Tuesday, September 11, 2018). If I go into my Classroom Tabs, you can see that my upcoming classes for Tuesday look like this.
My first class will is at 4:00 a.m. with William (don’t worry, I’m currently living in Denmark, so that is 10:00 a.m. CEST).
I can see that my first class with William is MC-L2-U9-LC1-1, entitled “My Neighborhood.” This is an INTERACTIVE course, so I will be using my INTERACTIVE Microsoft OneNote tabs. I followed the steps below to prepare my feedback for this course.
1) Enter the class title under both tabs.
The first thing I did was go to my “Interactive (F)” tab because my course with William is an interactive course. In this case, I selected the female tab, but it doesn’t matter, because I updated the male tab directly after. I clicked on the button that says “Add a new page.” It initially looked like this.
Then, I wrote the title of the course at the top of the page: MC-L2-U9-LC1-1. I copy and pasted the paragraph from the page on the right-hand side that that says “General Feedback” directly onto this page. (The General Feedback form is what you first set up when following the steps for setting up your notebook). My set-up at this point looked like this. Notice that it no longer says “Untitled Page” in the right-hand margin because it became the name of the course.
After that, I clicked over to the Interactive (M) tab and followed the same steps. I added a new page, entitled it the name of the course I am going to teach, and copy and pasted the general feedback I had already written. You can see that depicted below.
At this point, the only difference between the two pages under the two tabs are the pronouns that are utilized. It is a good idea to set up both versions so that you don’t have to worry about changing pronouns later on.
2) Prepare feedback for one class under one tab.
Again, while this is initially time-consuming, it will not only prepare you for what you are going to be teaching, but will ultimately be a large time-saver. This is the step where I choose just one of the tabs to write in at first, “Interactive (M)”or “Interactive (F).” If you glance back up to the “Classrooms” Tab picture in the VIPKID teacher’s portal that I attached above showing my schedule, I can see that next to William’s information, there is an orange link that says “Materials.” If I click on the “Materials” link, the content that I will be teaching him pops up. You can see this below.
The next step that I took was going through the different slides and briefly writing up in my feedback what it was we are going to do within the lesson. Notice that I wrote in the past tense because by the time the parents receive the feedback, this will have already happened. Again, notice how I used the pronoun “we” to update the description. I did this because it makes it so much easier to transfer this feedback template to my “Interactive (F)” tab later. The last thing to notice is that the only thing I updated was the space in between the sentence that said, “In today’s class, ‘_______,’ we…..” Everything else was left alone.
2) Transfer this feedback to the other tab.
As you can see, I updated the feedback under the “Interactive (M”) tab. The next step was updating the feedback under the “Interactive (F)” tab. That way, if a male or female student books this class with me in the future, I will have both templates ready to go. In order to do this, I highlighted what I had written starting from “In today’s class..” until the end of my description of the course content. The highlighted text looked like this. I right-clicked and COPIED that text.
Then, I clicked on the “Interactive (F)” tab. I highlighted the sentence in my template that said, “In today’s class, ‘______,’ we _______.”
Then, I simply right-clicked and PASTED the copied text from my “Interactive (M)” tab onto this highlighted phrase. The resulting text looks like this. Again, the only difference between this feedback in the “Interactive (F)” tab and the “Interactive (M)” tab is my initial and final use of “he” and “she.” The reason I could copy and paste the core of my feedback was because I used the pronoun “we.”
At the very end of this, I was left with two distinct feedback templates that I can copy and paste at the end of my lesson where all I have to do is fill in the blanks left over from my general feedback form. In William’s case, tomorrow, I will simply copy and paste the template from my “Interactive (M)” tab. But wait! It gets even easier to be more prepared.
3) Copy and paste the correct template under your “Tomorrow” Tab.
As I mentioned above, I have a tab in my journal that says “Tomorrow.” This way, all the classes I am teaching for a particular day are in order, which saves me even more time. So, in the case of my class with William, I went to the right-hand margin under my Interactive (M) tab, and I right-clicked and copied the class page, “MC-L2-U9-LC1-1.” You can see this page highlighted in the right-hand margin below.
I then pasted it into my “Tomorrow” tab, and I inputted William’s name, specifically, so that I know he is my first class that I am teaching.
4) Complete this process for the rest of the day’s classes.
Now, I know that this tutorial may have been extensive and lengthy. The thought of doing this for ALL of your classes in a day may seem overwhelming. However, it has never taken me more than 45 minutes to do my preparation for 10 or more classes. The more that you use this system, the more it will ultimately pay off.
So Why Use This System in the First Place?
Time will ultimately be saved.
You will be able to bounce from class to class, inserting feedback in just about a minute or less. This means that you can take more time in your lessons if need be. You can also take a quick breather when having many classes back-to-back. Additionally, once you have written the feedback outline for a particular lesson, it is quite likely that you will come across that lesson again. The next time you do, the feedback will already be ready, and you won’t have to spend any time recreating it. The more lessons you teach, the more likely this is to happen. It is the BEST feeling.
You will be giving detailed, meaningful feedback—guaranteed.
By going through the lessons in advance and providing a summary of the content, your feedback already provides parents with the basic outline of the work you did with your student during the lesson. Additionally, because the outline is there, you will always remember to highlight the student’s strengths as well as your goals for upcoming lessons.
Preparation for your classes can occur whilst planning feedback.
As you are typing up the synopsis of the course content for your feedback, you will simultaneously be familiarizing yourself with the upcoming lesson. Are there any props that will be useful? What is it that you will need to focus upon? All of these questions will be answered as you prepare the feedback.
You are more likely to receive 5-apple ratings.
Parents love detailed, thorough feedback. By being so meticulous about the course content in advance, you will be able to provide even more detail regarding student performance during class. This will make for happier families! 🙂
I cannot recommend this system enough for updating and adding feedback to your VIPKID classes, particularly if you teach these classes regularly. If you try this system out, let me know how it works for you!