Monday, May 8, 2017

My VIPKID Classroom Set up

Setting up a virtual classroom was so much fun! Here is what you will need....

1. An educational background. 

I personally chose the map because I saw lots of other teachers using it. It turns out, the map is so useful! I refer to it during almost every lesson. It also is helpful for me to engage in natural conversation with my student beyond what is presented in the lesson. I have seen other teachers use number or letter charts. I have also seen the most adorable "classroom starter kits" at teacher stores. I bet those would look amazing as a background. When I was finishing my second Mock class during the interviewing process, I had none of this set up. I had a plain wall behind me. I wasn't going to commit to setting up the class if I didn't get hired.... The mentor teacher did say that the background being plain was OK, but VIPKID prefers something educational.

If you are a traveling teacher or you do not have a dedicated work space, here are my suggestions.

1. Use a piece of fabric or shower curtain. Both are portable and easy to hang.
2. Grab a tri fold poster board and decorate it. It will stand up easily and even better, it will fold away easily.
3. Use ManyCam. This is not a program I personally use, but many VIPKID teachers use it. ManyCam is a software program that allows you to add a background and graphics onto live videos. If you have a plain wall, you can jazz up the space virtually. 

2. Good lighting. 

See that big light? It is wonderful! I found it at Lowe's. I  also bought LED daylight light bulbs. It makes for a clear, white light. Good lighting is so important! The students have to be able to see you, see what you do, see your lips move, and see your props that support the lesson. If you invest in anything, invest in good lighting

3. A good work space. 

You need a quiet and clutter free space to call your classroom. We are short on space so I am stuck in our living room. In this photo, you can see I have things on the sides of my classroom. When I am teaching, you cannot see them. Off to the side, I have plastic drawers to store my item. They are within my reach so I can get to them if needed in a lesson.
It is not hard to teach from a space that is not dedicated to teaching. Keep in mind too, some teachers are traveling the world! They change backgrounds and places all the time. How you teach is way more important. 

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