I Need Help

For Teachers

Introduction and Orientation

T1. What is PFT?
T2. How do I use this website to teach ESL students?
T3. What free courses are there on this website?
T4. What should I tell students before making a teaching schedule with them?
T5. What do students do during their online preparation?
T6. Where do I find my teacher notes?
T7. What do the contents of the teacher notes entail?
T8. How do I access teacher notes for the entire course?
T9. How should I teach the live class?
T10. Can I use this website to run one-to-one live classes in open spaces like coffee shops?
T11. Can I use this website to run group classes in private physical spaces like classrooms?
T12. Can I use this website to run live classes in virtual spaces via an online platform?
T13. How do I know if my student has prepared for class?
T14. How do I add a student to my class list?
T15. How do students get on my class list?
T16. How do I find students to teach?
T17. What is the Take a Class page?
T18. What do I need to do to post to the Take a Class page?
T19. What does effective preparation involve?
T20. What is feedback?
T21. What are the categories of feedback on this website?
T22. How do I provide assessment feedback to my student?
T23. What materials do students use in the live class?
T24. Where do I find training session materials?
T25. What do I need to do to prepare for class?
T26. How long will it take me to prepare for class?
T27. What are the different teacher marks on this website?
T28. How do I reach the different teacher marks on this website?

Students
S1. What can I study on this website?
Prepare Feedback Train
What can I study on this website?
Homeroom
You start by preparing for the IELTS Speaking test with this website. There are a total of 5 online preparation modules to go with 5 live classes that you prepare for the test with. Start from the homeroom and follow the instructions from there.

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Students
S2. How do I start using this website to prepare for class?
Prepare Feedback Train
How do I start using this website to prepare for class?
Complete every lesson in the preparation module, Request Feedback and submit the Live Class checklist. Click the Start Here button and follow the instructions to learn how to begin preparing for your live training session.

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Students
S3. What lessons should I do before class?
Prepare Feedback Train
What lessons should I do before class?
Complete every lesson in the preparation module, Request Feedback and submit the Live Class Checklist. Abide by the A Mark 21 Sequential Schedule preparation tasks and you will be ready for your Live Class #1.

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Students
S4. How can I organize my preparation tasks?
Prepare Feedback Train
How can I organize my preparation tasks?
The A Mark 21 Sequential Schedule has been used by many students before you to complete the course. It consists of a breakdown of everything you need to do in 21 days to complete the course successfully. Click the preparation tasks link on Day 1 of the schedule to start.

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Students
S5. Why is it important for me to prepare for class?
Prepare Feedback Train
Why is it important for me to prepare for class?
Treat your live class as an opportunity to receive feedback from a knowledgeable expert. It is in your best interest then to prepare for that interaction. Begin on the Module #1 Start Page to start your preparation.

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Students
S6. What is feedback?
Prepare Feedback Train
What is feedback?
Feedback is the reaction from someone given with the intention of improvement or development. When you request feedback, you give permission to that person to express themselves to the best of their ability and with honesty. Listen more on the Request Feedback page.

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Students
S7. Why is feedback important?
Prepare Feedback Train
Why is feedback important?
Module #1 Request Feedback
Feedback from someone who understands where you are going and what it takes to get there is valuable. Use feedback on this course to move forward. Listen more for more information.

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Students
S8. Why is it important to request feedback?
Prepare Feedback Train
Why is it important to request feedback?
If you don't request feedback, how will the person who is trying to help you actually help you in the most efficient manner? Listen for more information.

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Students
S9. What should I do when I get feedback from my teacher?
Prepare Feedback Train
What should I do when I get feedback from my teacher?
It is up to you how you receive feedback because I don't make the rules. However, if you have prepared for a task and requested feedback, it is important for you to have a positive attitude when you recieve it.

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Students
S10. What do I study with my teacher in class?
Prepare Feedback Train
What do I study with my teacher in class?
Your class format follows the A Mark Live 30 model. Find information about this on the Module #1 Train page.

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Students
S11. How long is each live class?
Prepare Feedback Train
How long is each live class?
A Mark 30 Live Class
Preparation Feedback

5-10 min
Rep
Checkpoint
Training Session

15-20 min
Assessment
Assessment Feedback
5 min
Feedback
Students
The Preparation Feedback stage is the link between what you do before you come to class and what you do during your live class. At this stage you

-introduce yourself to your teacher and build a friendly relationship with him or her
-ask your teacher questions about any reps that you had trouble with (you find reps at the end of each online preparation lesson)
-practice with checkpoints that your teacher selects from your online preparation (you find checkpoints at the end of each online preparation lesson)

Before you go on to the next stage, you should take one minute to think and further organize your thoughts towards the training session.

In the Training Session, you practice the language that you studied prior to attending this live class. At this stage you

-use assessment tasks that you have selected during your online preparation (you find assessment tasks at the end of each lesson)
-develop language skills that you have thought about before coming to class
-receive feedback from your teacher with a positive attitude

The Assessment Feedback Stage is the last part of the live class. The live class will conclude after this stage. In this final part you

-receive a filled out copy of the PFT Assessment Sheet from your teacher
-discuss with your teacher any questions that you have about the training session
-ask you teacher how to better prepare for your next live class

For Teachers
The main purpose of the Preparation Feedback stage is to direct the focus of your student towards the training session which follows. At this stage you

-make sure your student is familiar with the format of this live class and what they will do at each stage
-answer questions about any reps that your student had trouble with
-focus on meaning, form and pronunciation of checkpoints that you feel would benefit your student most in the training session

Before you go on to the next stage, give your student one minute to think and organize their thoughts to further prepare for the training session.


During the Training Session, you help your student develop their skills and provide focused feedback to the tasks that you give them. At this stage you

-run through assessment tasks that your student has selected during their preparation (you plan this before the class)
-patiently observe and listen to your student and provide feedback based on the training session feedback comments (you can see these in your teacher notes)
-facilitate in a way that helps your student focus on improvement and development as opposed to receiving new input

It is important to make a clear transition from the previous stage to this Assessment Feedback section of the live class. How you do this is up to you. At this stage you

-provide your student with a filled out copy of the PFT Assessment Sheet including comments and suggestions for improvement
-briefly answer any questions your student has about their training session
-make your schedule for the next class and collect payment (if appropriate) for this class
-encourage the student to thank and support the proprietor if you study in a cafe or any other place of business

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Students
S12. What should I bring with me to class?
Prepare Feedback Train
What should I bring with me to class?
Module #1 PFT Assessment Sheet

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Teachers
T1. What is PFT?
Prepare Feedback Train
What is PFT?
PFT stands for Prepare Feedback Train in the context of this website. It is a learning system. It is conducive to both blended learning and to the more traditional classroom training schemes. This learning system solves one problem in the current state of blended learning by naturally integrating learner training into online pre-classroom work while providing consistency of message without uniformity in the delivery of live face-to-face training sessions. On this website, this is done by

This learning system is not new. The following situation may be recognizable.

Think about the way you learned how to teach formally. There are a million different ways a teacher trainer can help a trainee, but if you have the Cambridge English Language Teaching to Adults certificate (CELTA), you probably did something like this on the first day:

Morning: Introduction and Orientation Session (Find Someone Who playing to Eddie Rabit "I love a rainy night").
Lunch: Stress out about all of the administrative documents.
Early Afternoon: You receive teaching practice notes and instruction from the teacher trainer about what you will do during the first teaching practice (TP) session, which is in 2 hours!
Late Afternoon: You teach your class, which may range from 3 students to 25 students depending on if it's raining in Vancouver and if the assistant tutors have done their volunteer job of phoning all of the TP students a million times pleading with them to come to class after thinking about what the teacher trainers said to you an hour earlier.
Early Evening: You sit with your teacher trainer and receive assessment feedback both verbal and written (the blue piece of paper that you get and that belongs in the portfolio and not be taken out the center ever that says "To standard" at the top).

This is Prepare Feedback Train without a computer. The focus of the entire preparation session is directed towards the the TP. However, other skills are practiced but not emphasized on the first day because the criteria for Week 2 have not kicked in yet. Thus, a game of Tic Tac Toe as a feedback activity to a conversation activity may receive a Pass in Week 1 because the instructions are delivered clearly with graded language but not in Week 2 because the content did not lead to the clarification of the language.

Since Cambridge Teacher Trainers are among the best in the world, they use relevant knowledge and experience to sequence these criteria to become active in a step function manner over the 4 week course. This is completely up to the center, but it must be consistent within a certain standard. Otherwise the external assessor will pick a fight with one of the trainers and somebody will end up doing extra photocopy duty.

This course uses green flags as the objective assessment criteria to be delivered subjectively by the teacher to the student. The feedback comments are based on the IELTS Public Speaking Band Descriptors available on the official IELTS website. There are two types of feedback comments on this website. First, preparation feedback comments are selected by the teacher in response to student preparation. This provides scaffolding for the student and a starting point for any teacher who is familiar with the contents of the training session module. Second, assessment feedback comments are delivered immediately following the training session. These comments are both verbal and written. The teacher may choose how and when to deliver the former, but the latter must be written down on the PFT Assessment Sheet.

During their preparation, students use a number of resources to prepare for their live classes. They are exposed to language in a way that contains enough structure to produce a familiar and comfortable framework in their minds with a constant reminder of why they are doing these lessons, which is to prepare for class. This message is consolidated at the end of every lesson when the student is directed to consider the assessment comments and how the contents of the lesson will help them achieve the green flag comment as a goal for a particular task during the training session.

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Teachers
T2. How do I use this website to teach ESL students?
Prepare Feedback Train
How do I use this website to teach ESL students?
1. Find a student who wants to study with you. This website currently hosts IELTS Speaking modules.
2. Help this student register for free on the PFT website.
3. Give them an orientation to the website.
4. Read the teacher notes and prepare for class in whatever way you do.
5. Provide them with feedback to their preparation before they come to class.
6. Teach your live class. Use the A Mark 30 Live Class format.

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Students
T3. What free courses are there on this website?
Prepare Feedback Train
What free courses are there on this website?
Currently, there is an IELTS Speaking short course available for free to students and teachers. The A Mark IELTS Short Course consists of

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Teachers
T4. What should I tell students before making a teaching schedule with them?
Prepare Feedback Train
What should I tell students before making a teaching schedule with them?
If you pay me for my advice, I would say that you should write it down and go over it with your student. Here is what A Mark Training Co. tells students who study with them. Feel free to use the A Mark Student Teacher Agreement as a guide, but please note that this document does not represent legal advice. Use the information as suggestion for a starting point only.

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Teachers
T5. What do students do during their online preparation?
Prepare Feedback Train
What do students do during their online preparation?
The breakdown of a lesson is as follows:

Interview/Input Engagement Video: Students watch a video and answer a question.
Explanation Video: Students watch a video and read some examples accompanied by a brief explanation comment.

This continues 2 more times.

Rep: Students engage with a receptive activity consistent with the lesson theme/topic/language focus designed to draw attention to form, meaning and/or pronunciation.
Checkpoint: Students engage with a productive activity consistent with the lesson theme/topic/language focus. Teachers can look at this to form a starting platform for an activity in the live class.
Assessment: Students select an assessment task that they would like to practice with the intention of receiving feedback during the training session.


Students complete every lesson in the module, request feedback and fill out the live class checklist for the teacher to check before coming to class. This information is stored in the PFT website and is visible to teachers who have a PFStudent on their Class List.

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Students
T6. Where do I find my teacher notes?
Prepare Feedback Train
Where do I find my teacher notes?
The menu of lessons leading to the teacher notes for those lessons can always be accessed from the start page of the student preparation module. Alternatively, you can access the teacher notes for any lesson from the navigation bar inside the student lesson.

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Students
T7. What do the contents of the teacher notes entail?
Prepare Feedback Train
What do the contents of the teacher notes entail?
The teacher notes are meant as a hint for how you can better prepare for your live class. They contain all of the content in the student section of the lesson minus the videos, notes under the answer boxes to help make language patterns and features more noticeable and in some cases more salient to students, audio message at the end of the lesson and capability to submit and post answers to the feedback page.

I have arranged the extra comments in sequential order. These are not meant to be an exhaustive presentation of teaching methodology or language clarification techniques. They are intended rather to provide a running commentary on aspects of teaching and learning within the context of Prepare Feedback Train and the A Mark 30 Live Class model in order to help you better prepare for your classes on the A Mark IELTS Speaking Short Course.

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Students
T8. How do I access teacher notes for the entire course?
Prepare Feedback Train
How do I access teacher notes for the entire course?
Blue Flag Teacher

Blue Flag Teacher. In order to reach this mark, teach Module #1 and fill out the Checkpoint Survey or add a PFStudent to your Class List. However, you must register to reach the first teacher mark on the PFSchool Path.

Blue Flag Teacher Path

PFSchool Path

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Students
T9. How should I teach the live class?
Prepare Feedback Train
How should I teach the live class?
A Mark 30 Live Class
Preparation Feedback

5-10 min
Rep
Checkpoint
Training Session

15-20 min
Assessment
Assessment Feedback
5 min
Feedback
Students
The Preparation Feedback stage is the link between what you do before you come to class and what you do during your live class. At this stage you

-introduce yourself to your teacher and build a friendly relationship with him or her
-ask your teacher questions about any reps that you had trouble with (you find reps at the end of each online preparation lesson)
-practice with checkpoints that your teacher selects from your online preparation (you find checkpoints at the end of each online preparation lesson)

Before you go on to the next stage, you should take one minute to think and further organize your thoughts towards the training session.

In the Training Session, you practice the language that you studied prior to attending this live class. At this stage you

-use assessment tasks that you have selected during your online preparation (you find assessment tasks at the end of each lesson)
-develop language skills that you have thought about before coming to class
-receive feedback from your teacher with a positive attitude

The Assessment Feedback Stage is the last part of the live class. The live class will conclude after this stage. In this final part you

-receive a filled out copy of the PFT Assessment Sheet from your teacher
-discuss with your teacher any questions that you have about the training session
-ask you teacher how to better prepare for your next live class

For Teachers
The main purpose of the Preparation Feedback stage is to direct the focus of your student towards the training session which follows. At this stage you

-make sure your student is familiar with the format of this live class and what they will do at each stage
-answer questions about any reps that your student had trouble with
-focus on meaning, form and pronunciation of checkpoints that you feel would benefit your student most in the training session

Before you go on to the next stage, give your student one minute to think and organize their thoughts to further prepare for the training session.


During the Training Session, you help your student develop their skills and provide focused feedback to the tasks that you give them. At this stage you

-run through assessment tasks that your student has selected during their preparation (you plan this before the class)
-patiently observe and listen to your student and provide feedback based on the training session feedback comments (you can see these in your teacher notes)
-facilitate in a way that helps your student focus on improvement and development as opposed to receiving new input

It is important to make a clear transition from the previous stage to this Assessment Feedback section of the live class. How you do this is up to you. At this stage you

-provide your student with a filled out copy of the PFT Assessment Sheet including comments and suggestions for improvement
-briefly answer any questions your student has about their training session
-make your schedule for the next class and collect payment (if appropriate) for this class
-encourage the student to thank and support the proprietor if you study in a cafe or any other place of business

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Students
T10. Can I use this website to run one-to-one live classes in open spaces like coffee shops?
Prepare Feedback Train
Can I use this website to run one-to-one live classes in open spaces like coffee shops?
You certainly can. You need an internet connection as well as table that has a surface area large enough to fit a tablet device, an 8 x 11 PFT Assessment Sheet, a pen and of course a cup of coffee or super healthy fruit juice.

If there is no internet connection, make sure you can access the assessment tasks. You can print them out or save them to somewhere offline as an alternative to viewing them online.

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Students
T11. Can I use this website to run group classes in private physical spaces like classrooms?
Prepare Feedback Train
Can I use this website to run group classes in private physical spaces like classrooms?
You certainly can. Adapt the A Mark 30 Live Class to suit the length of the class and number of students. You may also want to consider a mix of pair work followed by whole class feedback at the first stage of your class.

During the training session, students take turns delivering the assessment task and providing feedback to the best of their ability. This is where the teacher monitors and confirms accurate feedback or interjects when he or she feels there is a disagreement. This disagreement is not necessarily a correction of the choice of feedback flag the student has "inaccurately" selected but rather a difference in knowledge and experience.

If the teacher has earned the trust of the student, the suggested alternative feedback comment will not only be less defensively received but also will raise awareness in the mind of both about the gap between what they perceive their ability is and where the target actually is.

Teachers can collect the filled out PFT Assessment Sheets at the end of class as a record of progress or to write further comments that he or she has gathered from observation.

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Students
T12. Can I use this website to run live classes in virtual spaces via an online platform?
Prepare Feedback Train
Can I use this website to run live classes in virtual spaces via an online platform?
You certainly can. You will need to find a suitable online platform to pass messages and perhaps digital images of the PFT Assessment Sheet to your student. Otherwise, run your class in the same way as you would a face-to-face class in real life.

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Students
T13. How do I know if my student has prepared for class?
Prepare Feedback Train
How do I know if my student has prepared for class?
Find your class list from your homeroom page. Go to the student notebook page to observe preparation feedback flags and comments. Go to the student feedback page to observe student lesson submissions in addition to request feedback and live class checklist submissions.

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Students
T14. How do I add a student to my class list?
Prepare Feedback Train
How do I add a student to my class list?
Monitor student progress and provide feedback to their online preparation from your class list. Confirmation of a successful addition results in the rise of your teacher mark to Blue Flag Teacher.

1. Find out if your student is a PFStudent
Figure IV

Figure IV. Students pay the PFT website for access to the full course. These students (now PFStudents) see lesson results on their feedback page and have the option to allow teachers to access and provide feedback to their online preparation.

2. Make an Arrangement
Figure V

Figure V. The diagram shows one possible professional teaching scenario with you as the teacher. The teacher arranges a study schedule with the PFStudent. The teacher chooses how and when to be compensated by the student. On this occasion, the PFStudent pays the teacher for X number of live classes in advance in some form of currency.
3. Add to your Class List
Figure VI

Figure VI. Two things must happen in order for confirmation to delivered. The PFStudent must make a request to get on the teacher's class list, which is linked to from the homeroom. Second, the teacher must confirm the PFStudent from their class list.

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Students
T15. How do students get on my class list?
Prepare Feedback Train
How do students get on my class list?
A student must be a PFStudent (i.e. a paid member) to be able to Get on a Class List. You can provide your PFStudent with the following link:

Get on a Class List

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Students
T16. How do I find students to teach?
Prepare Feedback Train
How do I find students to teach?
The PFT website is equipped with the Take a Class page. Constructing an effective Watch Me Teach video and linking to it is an effective way to promote yourself to students.

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Students
T17. What is the Take a Class page?
Prepare Feedback Train
What is the Take a Class page?
The Take a Class page is a search page for students who are looking for a teacher to study with. All links from the Take a Class page lead to teacher profile pages which contain a short teaching video and activity based on Prepare Feedback Train.

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Students
T18. What do I need to do to post to the Take a Class page?
Prepare Feedback Train
What do I need to do to post to the Take a Class page?
In order to post to the Take a Class page, your Watch Me Teach video and PFT Activity must be approved by the PFT Chief Moderator. The moderator adheres to criteria published through out Module #1 of the PFT Binder. Start your PFT Binder from the homeroom or PFSchool Path page to find out more about how to post to the Take a Class page.

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Students
T19. What does effective preparation involve?
Prepare Feedback Train
What does effective preparation involve?
In my opinion, effective preparation involves:

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Students
T20. What is feedback?
Prepare Feedback Train
What is feedback?
There are actually two kinds of feedback. The feedback that one gives and the feedback that one receives. Technically speaking, when one gives feedback, they are reacting to another either verbally or through writing with the purpose of helping the receiver improve or develop in that area. On the other hand, the receiver may perceive body language and facial reactions unintended by the giver as feedback. Or criticism and/or disapproval depending on what is going on in the mind of the receiver at that particular moment in time.

In order for the teacher to deliver effective feedback, I feel that three conditions must be met:

1. There is rapport between the teacher and the student (i.e. the student feels comfortable learning with the teacher).
2. Shared experience has been understood between the teacher and the student (i.e. both student and teacher know and have respect for the rules).
3. The teacher has earned platform from the student (i.e the student trusts the teacher and believes the teacher is willing and able and capable of deciding what the best way to help them is).

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Students
T21. What are the categories of feedback on this website?
Prepare Feedback Train
What are the categories of feedback on this website?
There are two types of feedback comments on this website. First, preparation feedback comments are selected by the teacher in response to student preparation. This provides scaffolding for the student and a starting point for any teacher who is familiar with the contents of the training session module. Second, assessment feedback comments are delivered immediately following the training session.

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Students
T22. How do I provide assessment feedback to my student?
Prepare Feedback Train
How do I provide assessment feedback to my student?
Provide assessment feedback during and after the training session in the live class.

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Students
T23. What materials do students use in the live class?
Prepare Feedback Train
What materials do students use in the live class?
Students use reps, checkpoints and assessment tasks which that have selected when they submit their request for feedback. All of these are found on the Train page at the end of each preparation module.

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Students
T24. Where do I find training session materials?
Prepare Feedback Train
Where do I find training session materials?
All training session materials are accessible from the Train page at the end of each preparation module. Find this page from the Notebook page, any student lesson or jump to an assessment task directly from the Homeroom page.

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Students
T25. What do I need to do to prepare for class?
Prepare Feedback Train
What do I need to do to prepare for class?

Your preparation for class comprises of:

You need to bring with you to class:

Your student needs to bring to class:

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Students
T26. How long will it take me to prepare for class?
Prepare Feedback Train
How long will it take me to prepare for class?
The best way to do it is to figure out how fast or with how much pace it ought to take you to prepare thoroughly and then work up to it. You can know if you have prepared thoroughly only after running the live class, considering the outcomes and reflecting on what you successfully anticipated and what you missed out on. You don't need a teacher training certificate, Master's Degree or PhD to put this into practice right away.

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Students
T27. What are the different teacher marks on this website?
Prepare Feedback Train
What are the different teacher marks on this website?

PFSchool Path

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Students
T28. How do I reach the different teacher marks on this website?
Prepare Feedback Train
How do I reach the different teacher marks on this website?

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