Eeeek! Starting my 6th month at Qkids and am a little nervous about renewal. This last month has been full of unexpected events and I had to cancel multiple classes each week. I messaged both CCT and coach regarding the situation, just so they knew what was going on.
Anyhoo, looking back at the last 5 months I’ve noticed that I have changed how I do things, from the time I get up, to preparing for classes, requesting off, mentoring, etc… It’s been interesting.
When I first started, I would prep the night before by reviewing the lessons, writing notes, looking things up online, thinking about what props to use (if I had them available), and practicing! I know…sounds like over kill, right?? That’s just how nervous and anxious I was…I didn’t want to mess up or look unprepared. Now … I still do these things, but don’t spend as much time preparing as I did in the past. I went from maybe 30 minutes down to 5 minutes. I open the lesson up, skim through the slides, and then exit. I still look up things online here and there, but not nearly as much as before. I understand that classes may change last minute, but that’s okay. It’s sort of a routine for me. Also, I like to download the lesson the night before so that it’ll load quicker before class.
I used to enter class around 6 minutes or so, but now I enter at 3.5 to 4 minutes. I remember reading that teachers had to enter class at least 5 minutes before class to receive the attendance bonus (which you get if you teach 15+ classes in a week), but I found that to be untrue. As long as you are IN the class before the 3 minute mark, you should be good! 🙂 Remember teachers…”3 minutes” is your magic number. Always enter the classroom at least 3 minutes before and exit (for any tech issues) 3 minutes AFTER class start time in order prevent being marked “no show or absent.” This also applies to standby classes.
Attendance bonus eligibility- I have always known that teachers have to teach at least 15 classes to receive the attendance bonus, but I always thought that if you had 4 late notice absence notifications and 0 no shows, teachers would still be eligible, BUT that is also false. The wording for the attendance bonus policy was a little confusing to me, and I found out that you have a max of THREE late notice absences and 0 no shows to be eligible. The policy states that teachers will be ineligible if they have 4 or more late notice absences. When I read that at first, I thought it meant “teachers have up to 4.” So…again…3 is your magic number.
I used to wake up an hour before class start time (and my first class started at 5AM) because I was always afraid that my computer or app would need to update or there may be tech issues, especially with the camera and headset or something. Most times things worked out well, but there were times where my headset wouldn’t work, video wouldn’t work, I was unable to connect to the platform, etc…I always felt like I was running out of time, when in reality I had like 30 minutes to resolve issues…LOL. I now wake up 25 minutes before class time. Here are some of the things I do so that I am able to sleep in a little bit and be ready to go at class time:
- Log into the platform the night before to check for any updates
- Download each class so that when I click to enter the next morning, there is no “waiting to download” time
- Test my mic, video and network once my computer and the Qkids platform is up and running
- If I notice my headset isn’t working, I make sure that the proper devices are selected OR unplug the headset, and/or restart my computer. It usually works after one of those.
- I do wear lipstick because my lips are so pale…haha and I keep it near the computer. I also keep a hair clip/tie near the computer as well. 🙂
Introductions- I used to struggle with the “intro” time before class with the kiddos, but now I ask them the same questions and I find that 3-4 minutes work great. I teach mostly upper levels, but I think the following questions, (that can be worded differently), may work for students in all levels??:
Upper/Lower Level: What is your name? IF you notice students struggling with this question, you can rephrase it to: Is your name ___________? (wait for student’s response)….”Hi __________! It’s nice to meet you!”
All levels: “How old are you?” If you notice students struggling, you can ask… “Are you ____ years old?” Or something like that…
Upper Level: “How are you today?” Upper/Lower Level: Are you happy? Sad? Etc…
Upper Level: “What did you do today?” Upper/Lower Level: “Did you play/go to school/do homework /____ today?”
I usually transition by saying: “It’s nice to meet you _______; let’s say “hello” to our other friend today” and then go over mostly the same questions with them.
These are just samples of what I do, and they might be helpful for you?
I also use props during introductions sometimes. If there is extra time before class, I usually have my go-to toys, and say “There is someone else who would like to say hello” and then I present each toy one by one. I usually show enough until class begins. OR I ask what stickers they would like in the beginning so during wrap up, I have an idea of what the kiddos want so there is less time waiting at the end. 🙂
I am better at pacing and/or using the full 28 minutes of lesson time. I used to either go over time or finish too early. I try to extend on most of the slides by asking “who, what, where, when, how” questions, encouraging students to use words/concepts in sentences, if there is a question that students have to answer, I ask students to provide an alternative response/answer in addition to their first response. If I finish too early, I play word games related to the lesson. (word scramble, pictionary, hangman, tic tac toe, make lists of stuff, etc…)
I know this is getting long, so I will stop here for now. If there is anything you are interested in, please let me know, and I will definitely get back to you.
I do have a Facebook page with Qkids stuff…it is called “Qkids- Video samples and more.” I have video demos of games and info about Qkids. Would love for you to join.
Thanks for reading and Happy Teaching!