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For the first in our series of VIPKid classroom tours, Teacher Nash showed us around her at-home classroom and answered some of our questions about teaching, her favorite classroom items, and why teaching with VIPKid works for her. Creating the perfect classroom to teach online can be a challenge. Luckily, VIPKid has a community full of teachers willing to share their space and what works for them.
Let’s take a look around!
Q: What makes your classroom special?
A: My classroom is definitely the space I spend most of my time in and I wanted to create a space that brought me joy and happiness. I have my favorite colors in my classroom and it is an organized space that has all the essentials that I need to teach but also that allows me to be the best teacher that I can be for all my wonderful students.
For VIPKid teachers, the classroom is a balance of form and function, and Teacher Nash balances that amazingly! Classroom accessories and decorations should serve a purpose and help enrich your lessons, but it’s important to create a space that you just like spending time in. If you enjoy being in your classroom, so will your students!
Q: What are your top 5 classroom items?
A: My top five classroom items are my whiteboard, my glitter stars, my Expo markers, my Dino, and my 3D animals.
No surprises here, Teacher Nash has some fantastic choices for her top classroom items. Items like a whiteboard and markers are teacher essentials that every online teacher should have. It’s hard to imagine teaching online without them!
Fun props like glitter stars, 3D animals, and everyone’s favorite dinosaur Dino are awesome for keeping students engaged and limiting distractions during online lessons.
Read VIPKid’s list of the top ten items for online classrooms for more inspiration!
Q: What’s the most popular item in your classroom among your students? Which is your favorite?
A: I love using props! The most popular item in my classroom is my hedgehog eraser, but my favorite prop is definitely my glitter stars!
When you teach English online, props are a must! Using props and getting students moving around with TPR are two of the best methods to keep students engaged during online lessons, and to help them retain vocabulary and other materials. Plus, props and movement make lessons more fun! It’s a win-win for online English teachers.
Props like Teacher Nash’s glitter stars are also great for reward systems to keep students motivated. Learn more about using reward systems in the online classroom here.
Q: What kind of camera and lighting do you use?
A: I use the webcam that is already built into my iMac desktop computer. For classroom lighting, I love using my box lights.
To teach English online, VIPKid has a few technical requirements that need to be met. But beyond those basic requirements, we recommend that every VIPKid teacher’s classroom has these:
- HD webcam: the better the camera, the more clearly students can see you! Cameras with at least 2 megapixels of resolution are considered high-quality.
- Headset with a microphone: limit distractions with a noise-cancelling headset. You’ll want students to hear you clearly, especially when you’re teaching new vocabulary!
- Fun classroom background: colorful backgrounds will engage students in your lesson. Plus, it’ll help your classroom look more professional, and parents will love it!
- Well-lit classroom: bright and happy spaces make bright and happy learners! We recommend a ring light to eliminate shadows and keep your classroom well-lit.
Read up on all of VIPKid’s technical requirements for more information.
Q: Tell us about your classroom background and why you chose it.
A: My background is a shower curtain I purchased on Amazon. It is a wood background with leaves and lights on the top. I chose this background because it exemplifies my personality. I have a very neutral and vintage vibe in my personal life and I wanted to bring that into my classroom.
Shower curtains are the perfect size for online classroom backgrounds, and they won’t break the bank. We love that Teacher Nash chose to use this background to amplify her personality. It’s the perfect mix of fun and laid back!
Q: What advice do you have in regards to building out a classroom for a new teacher who’s just starting out?
A: If you are a new teacher my biggest suggestion would be to create a classroom space that represents you and brings you joy. Make it functional for you and your needs as a teacher but also have fun with it. One of my biggest suggestions for your classroom would be to add metal sheets to the background. This will make your background completely magnetic and it comes in super handy when giving out secondary rewards.
If you’re a new teacher or still in the VIPKid hiring process, it can be difficult to know how to set up your classroom. There’s no one-size-fits-all system but Teacher Nash says it perfectly: make it functional for you and your needs, but have fun with it! Your virtual classroom can make a considerable first impression on your online students before you even start teaching, so take some time to make it your own.
Q: What is your favorite part about teaching English online?
A: My favorite part of teaching online is the flexibility to choose what hours I work and being able to spend time with my family and friends after teaching. Plus, being able to work pajama pants while I do it. I mean who doesn’t love being in pajama pants every day!?
Teaching English online with VIPKid is one of the best ways to make money online, and flexibility is a big reason why. All of our VIPKid teachers are able to choose their own hours and work on their time, from wherever they are in the world. (And yes, wearing pajama pants is also a big plus.)
We want to hear from you! What’s unique about your VIPKid classroom? Reach out to us on Instagram and give us a tour!