My Experience Working with VIPKID

Hey there!

As you may know, I am taking a year off of teaching to stay at home with my new baby girl! I am so blessed to be able to do this and it's all thanks to Teachers Pay Teachers and VIPKID. Without those two companies, I would not be able to stay at home, and I am SO thankful!

I receive many questions about VIPKID, so I am going to answer most of them in this post!

•What is VIPKID?
VIPKID is an online teaching platform where you teach English to kids living in China. The company is also planning to expand to other countries in Asia in the near future!

•What is required?
All you need is a Bachelor's Degree and some form of teaching experience (babysitting and volunteer work count!) If you have an ESOL endorsement, that definitely helps as well.

•How does it work? 
The online classroom works like a video chat, so you can see/hear the student and the student can see/hear you, while they can also see the lesson. You can draw on the screen with a pencil tool, to circle and underline different parts as you go. Some lessons are now interactive, which means you can use your mouse to drag and drop certain parts of the slide. This is what the online class looks like.
•What do you have to prep for your classes?
Class prep is minimal! The lesson is preselected for your student based on their level. You just enter the classroom and click on the lesson button. The slides look and work like a Power Point. At the top, it shows the objectives for the lesson, as well as any sentences the student needs to be able to say. At the bottom, it has cues for the teacher to follow on each slide. When I first started, I would review the slides for about 5 minutes before the class so I knew what to expect. After about a month of teaching, I felt comfortable teaching the lessons without any prep.

•What supplies do you need? Do you need a "classroom"? 
VIPKID encourages the use of props and TPR (Total Physical Response aka hand movements) I am very simplistic when it comes to the props I use, because I find that using TPR and expressions is enough. I usually only use props for the lower level classes. Props can include flashcards, stuffed animals, food, pretty much anything you can find around your house that relates to your lesson.

Here is what I suggest that are MUST HAVES: 
-Mini Whiteboard
-Dry Erase Marker/Eraser
-Rewards System
-Sign with your name on it- Mine is "Teacher Kristina" I point to mine at the beginning of the lesson, so that the student can see my name easily.
-Headphones with microphone. This is the kind I bought:

Here is what I suggest you MAY HAVE:
-Puppet (to demonstrate when to answer questions)
-Flashcards ( I bought the dollar ones in the dollar spot at Target and those work great for teaching letters, sight words, animals, etc)
-Props that relate to the lesson. For example, one of the lesson teaches about healthy and not healthy food. You can grab an apple and a chocolate bar to show them healthy/unhealthy.
For my classes, I teach in our den in my little "office space", where I also work on my TPT store. This room also doubles as our "guest room", so when we have guests, I end up teaching in my daughters room. This is where the little TV tray comes in handy because I can move it anywhere! This past summer, we also took a last minute road trip and I ended up teaching my classes in a hotel bathroom! You can literally teach anywhere!

This is what my classroom looks like. I spent about $5 at the Target dollar spot!

•How much do you get paid?
Your first interview will determine how much you get paid, so definitely be prepared to do your best job! The minimum rate is from $7 to $9 per 25 minute class. If you show up to class on time, you automatically get a dollar added to that! If you teach 30 classes in a month, you get an extra .50 per class, and if you teach 45 classes in a month, it's an extra dollar! There are also incentives if book a short notice class or get a trial student to sign up. Pretty much, its about $19 to $21 per hour (two classes) you teach.

•Do you need to speak Chinese?
Nope! All I know how to say in Chinese is "Hello" (and only because we had Chinese class at the last school I taught at) Just like if you were teaching a non English speaker, the fastest way to learn is with total immersion. I speak English the whole class, just slower and with lots of TPR.

•What is the interview like?
The interview is made up of 3, sometimes 4 parts. The first is a simple application you fill out with your information and experience. Once you pass, you will be contacted to schedule a time for your interview/demo class. You will talk with someone who works for VIPKID in China. First, you will do the demo class, which is a shortened version of an actual class. They are looking for expressive people who use TPR and give lots of positive feedback throughout. I watched this video to prepare and had a few little props to help me. Then, they ask you a few quick and easy questions, and talk about how you did on your demo class. They also discuss your pay rate at this time, and the next steps in the interview.

After you pass the demo class, you will have to schedule a mock class with a VIPKID mentor teacher (someone who teaches VIPKID classes and helps hire new teachers). This is 2 classes you have to prep for- a lower level class and an upper level class. I watched this video to prep for this part and had a few little props as well. Once you pass that, you may have to do an additional mock class, if your mentor teacher thinks you need a little more practice. This doesn't mean you won't get hired! I was able to start teaching right after the first mock class.

Once you're hired, you will complete a background check, upload photos and a brief bio, and an intro video. The intro video can look like this video, short and sweet. I did mine in about 10 minutes and uploaded it. I know the interview portion seems lengthy, but honestly this was the most prep/work I've had to do with VIPKID. The classes are a piece of cake compared to the interview! I just tell everyone to get the interview done as fast as you can so you can get the hard part over with. Now, you can start teaching!

•Can you pick your work schedule?
YES! This is the absolute best part. Going on vacation? Don't open classes. Don't want to work on Sundays? Don't open classes. On the VIPKID teacher homepage, you will have a Bookings page. This is where you can open and close time slots. The hours vary depending on which time zone you're in. I usually open from 5am-6:30am on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and then usually one weekend (Friday or Saturday night) You open time slots about two weeks in advance, so you choose when you want to work. Once you are booked, you cannot cancel without a penalty (unless its an emergency), so make sure you are able to teach when you open the time slot.

This is what the bookings page looks like:
•How do you get booked for classes?
Usually on Sunday night, there is a "frenzy" when the Chinese parents book teachers for the following week. I wake up on Monday morning with some classes booked! Now, you won't always get every single slot you have opened booked, especially when you first start. I started during Chinese New Year, so I only taught 4 classes my first month. Once that passed, I was getting fully booked in March and April! Don't worry if it's slow to start, it will pick up.

•Can I do this while holding a teaching job?
Yes! You can either teach in the morning before school, depending on what time zone you are in, or weekend nights (Friday and Saturday). I was fully booked for two months during the school year and taught an hour and a half every morning, then would get ready for school and go to school. I did have to wake up super early, but I just made sure to go to bed by 9:30 every night, and I was fine.

Do you still have questions? Feel free to email me at sweetforkindergartentpt@gmail.com or message me on Instagram and I'd be happy to help!

Are you interested in applying? Use my referral link to apply, and I will be able to help you through each step of the application and interview process! Once you sign up, you will receive an email from me with lots of tips, videos, a free rewards system and more! My referral was a co worker and she helped me so much- whether it was a question I had, how to do certain parts of the interview, or questions I had about teaching the lessons once I was hired. I love helping others get started with their VIPKID journey!









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