Today I want to discuss with you some of my teaching strategies, based on the criteria used for Qkids teacher evaluations. Note: These are my approaches and are not the only ways that a teacher can fulfill lesson expectations. CLICK HERE if interested in starting the path to $20 per hour from the comforts of your own home. If wondering about the hours Qkids offers, CLICK HERE to find out.
Sound Control and Quality
The first Qkids teacher evaluations criterion has to do with sound control. Volume features can be adjusted on the student’s individual screen by hovering the cursor over the student. Parents and students will pay close attention as to whether or not they are able to hear clearly. At the beginning of class, during the greetings, I say hello to all of my students and ask them simple questions. This is a great way to get to know the students personally, but at the same time, I’m indirectly checking to make sure that I can hear them properly and if they can hear me properly. Checking this at the very beginning of class ensures that the lesson will run smoothly. I also check for echoes and any other issues that may hinder the learning process. If I hear echoes, I will lower the student’s volume in hopes that it will go away and will not confuse the other students in class. As the lesson progresses, I will continue to ask students questions individually to make sure that the sound is still at a good quality. Sound is the first step to a successful lesson.
Button and Feature Options
The next guideline for Qkids teacher evaluations is about the teacher’s proficiency with button navigation. The Qkids platform is robust and has many features to enhance the lesson.
One thing that students love is the use of diamonds during the lesson as motivation. I always make a point to give all of my students equal amounts of diamonds, so that no one feels left out. Before I give diamonds, I let the students know that that is what is coming their way. Students always seem so appreciative to receive diamonds.
Another tool that I use often is the highlighter. Simply right click and hold the button down and highlight or circle anything that you feel is important for the students to pay attention to. When you right click and hold the button down you should see a blue line that can bring attention to any part of the lesson that you wish.
In addition to the highlighter, there is the spotlight. The spotlight darkens the entire screen and allows the teacher to left click with the mouse and put a spotlight on something in particular. For example, if I want the kids to pay attention to an apple among many many other fruits and vegetables, I can use my spotlight to focus on the apple. This is another great option to complement the highlighter feature.
Another feature is the marker. You can click on it and left click your mouse to circle an object or to spell a certain word that may be part of the lesson. This feature requires that the teacher clicks to activate the marker, and when finished, the teacher clicks the X to exit the marker. Only then can other features on the platform be used. This is one thing that I wish could be fixed. I would like to use other features while using the marker, but that is not possible at this time.
One of my favorite features of the platform is the text board. Let’s say that a student is having difficulty putting words together to make a sentence. A teacher can use the text board to type the words and create sentences to aid the student to better understand which words to click on his/her end.
Another form of motivation are the many stickers that a teacher can give the student throughout the lesson and at the end of the lesson to finish up. Stickers at the beginning of the lesson are also a great icebreaker to bring humor and style to the lesson. A new teacher should familiarize himself/herself with the various stickers that students may request. Sometimes students may be difficult to understand, so it is important to have familiarity with all of the sticker options.
Productive Learning Setting
Next is a productive learning setting. There are many ways to achieve a productive learning setting. In my case, I make sure that I am familiar with the lessons before. I think about what creative ways I can present the words and sentences, so that it will be fun to the students. Oftentimes I will make sure that I have plenty of props to model in order to ensure student understanding. I also have an approach of student speak/teacher listen. By this, I mean that I allow the students to look at the words or sentences and attempt to say the words or sentences first. I then listen to the student and give the student praise or feedback as needed. If I offer feedback, I use plenty of gestures by pointing to my mouth when I say the word to prompt speaking, and then I hold my hand up to my ear for the student to repeat what I have said. In my experience, parents like this much more than when I speak first and the student repeats after me. This small tweak has increased the rigor for English language learners. Parents also like all of the speaking opportunities that it gives their children. I also find it important during the lesson to stop and compliment the student on how well he or she is doing. This comforts the student and reassures the student that I am pleased. It gives the student the confidence he/she needs to finish strong. These are my main strategies for a productive learning setting. As you can see, I use best practice strategies recommended to me by my mentor and from my own teaching experiences at my brick-and-mortar school.
I also find it important during the lesson to stop and compliment the student on how well he or she is doing. This comforts the student and reassures the student that I am pleased. It gives the student the confidence he/she needs to finish strong. These are my main strategies for a productive learning setting. As you can see, I use best practice strategies recommended to me by my mentor and from my own teaching experiences at my brick-and-mortar school.
Parents, students, and Qkids staff also look for whether or not the teacher is approachable during the Qkids teacher evaluations. A smile and kindness go a long way to ensuring a successful lesson and student participation. If a student does not feel that the teacher is approachable, he or she will not give his or her full effort. I feel this is one of my biggest strengths because I value students and families and feel that they are both a blessing. I’m thankful for new relationships with them.
Feedback and Emphasis
Feedback and emphasis are also valued by students and parents. I always allow the student to attempt the word or sentence first and then I listen and provide feedback as needed. When the student reads a sentence, I listen to every word that the student says from the sentence. If the student leaves out a word or mispronounces a word, I kindly repeat or emphasize that part of the sentence and prompt the student to repeat after me. Parents really appreciate when teachers take the time to do this because they feel that it is a bang for their buck. Parents are paying for their child to be taught proper English and sometimes that requires feedback an emphasis when needed. Sometimes a student’s accent is heavy and it requires some corrections. This oftentimes comes in the form of repeating the sentence and emphasizing the words the student missed.
Another part of the evaluation instrument is simply fairness. I always try to give students equal amounts of diamonds. Students have equal amounts of speaking opportunities. I call students by their first names or the names they have designated. If I give one student praise, I give all students praise. Equality is a major part of success in the online ESL classroom.
In addition to the previously mentioned Qkids teacher evaluations criteria, next comes professionalism. This takes many forms. For example, the teacher must always be professional with students and parents and how they redirect them and communicate with them. The teacher must be tactful in the messages and reports they write about the student, so that the message is understandable and applicable for the student and families to improve. There must be also a clear communication with class coordination to ensure that everyone’s needs are being met and that all issues, big or small, are documented and reported. If it crosses your mind and is a question, it is always wise to consult with your superiors to make sure they know, in case a complaint arises or the family may have questions. I try to be mindful that all families are not proficient in English, so I write as clearly and concisely as possible for them to understand. Sometimes if I have concerns that a family might not understand what I am communicating with them, I will contact class of coordination for further assistance.
Student Emotional Support
Next in the Qkids teacher evaluations is student emotional support. Some days students are very emotional and need that extra push. This can come in the form of diamonds, stickers, or simply words of encouragement that everything will be okay and that the student is doing a great job. Along with fairness, I feel that student emotional support is one of my strengths, as I can always seem to make students smile, even when they are having a bad day.
The next thing that students and parents look for is student participation. Are all students participating the way they should? If I have four students in a class, sometimes I will mute all but one student and give that student an opportunity to say the words and sentences. Then, I will go on to the remainder of the students to give them equal opportunities to participate. I feel this is important when you have groups because some shy students will try to blend in and not participate as much. Even during group games I like to focus on individual students to make sure that everyone is participating.
Teacher Language Use
Teacher language use is also valued by parents and students. I try my best to use simple sentences that are clear to English language learners. Speaking at a slow pace helps students to more easily follow the lesson content. I use hand gestures, pointing to my mouth, and holding my hand to my ear to prompt students.
Interaction and Communication Style
Last but not least, students and parents value a teacher’s interaction and communication style. Every teacher will be different in how he/she approaches the lesson. That is the beauty of teaching and education is that every teacher has his or her own style. My personal style is offering ample encouragement, plenty of props, and equal opportunity for speaking among all students. If a teacher does these things, it ensures a fun a successful lesson for all students. As you look through the lessons, you will discover your own way of interacting and communicating with students that fits your personality. Use video examples to get an idea, but do not think that is the only way to teach. Develop your own teaching style, based on your own personality. If you try to teach like someone you see in all the videos, it will be mentally draining and will come off as fake and not sincere to who you really are as a person and teacher.
In conclusion, these are all things that students and parents and those who evaluate look for when reviewing our lessons through Qkids. Granted this is a lot of information, most of it is common sense and best practices that anyone can apply. If you think this is something you might be interested in, feel free to click here to apply. CLICK HERE to apply for Qkids today!