How to Become a VIPKID Work From Home Teacher
Working from Home as a VIPKID Teacher
Hey Fabs! Today I have Stephanie, a Fab Frugal reader, sharing her experience of working from home (plus some expert tips) and making money through VIPKID! She has some great tips to help you see if VIPKID would be a good fit for you… so read on!
“What if we build a global classroom for all of the learners and encouraged that curiosity and aspiration to explore? I think the world of learning will be a much better place.” -Cindy Mi, CEO and founder of VIPKID
What is VIPKID?
VIPKID, rated the #1 Remote Job by Forbes in 2018, is an online teaching platform that provides an English language immersion program to children in China and other countries. Native English speaking teachers provide 25-minute one-on-one classes to students ages 4-12.
VIPKID has a vision to expand beyond China to connect the world in a digital learning environment.
My personal VIPKID Review
I began my VIPKID journey after our family bought a new house and we realized we needed a little extra income for a while. The draw of being able to teach from the comfort of my new home was very appealing. I have three small boys, two with special medical considerations, and working from home was looking to be my best option.
What started out as a short term financial boost has turned out to be both financially and personally fulfilling. VIPKID has filled a hole in my heart that was left when I quit working in public schools.
I love the relationships I have formed with these students that live halfway across the world. I celebrate their accomplishments with them. I help guide them through their struggles. I teach them about American holidays, and they teach me about theirs.
I am not a morning person, but seeing the names of my students on my schedule helps me get up in the morning. It has been a rewarding experience for me. And the money I have earned has helped with the several projects that come with a new home!
One aspect I love is the flexibility of setting my own schedule.
The timing works out perfectly for my family. I teach while my children are asleep in the morning and after they go to bed at night.
I don’t worry about asking for time off for vacations or family events. When life burns me out, I can cut back or adjust my schedule to fit my family’s needs.
VIPKID has a vision to do good in the world and revolutionize digital learning. I had the opportunity of attending the first-ever regional conference for VIPKID in Salt Lake City. Cindy Mi, the CEO of VIPKID, was there as the keynote speaker.
As I heard her speak about the future plans for VIPKID in China and other countries, her vision for VIPKID inspired me and I felt like I was a part of something bigger than just my 20 square foot classroom in my home office. For me, this is not just a job anymore. I see it as my future.
VIPKID Teacher Requirements
- Bachelor’s Degree in any field.
- Teaching experience with children is strongly recommended. This can include service opportunities you have fulfilled, such as PTA service, classroom volunteering, and religious or community groups involving working with children.
- You must have access to a computer or iPad, webcam, a headset with a microphone, and reliable internet
- Earn $14-22 per hour. Base pay is determined during your interview. There are incentives for class participation, the number of classes taught monthly, new student sign-ups, and more!
- Create your own schedule! As an independent contractor, you set your work schedule. There is no minimum weekly required hours. Taking a vacation is as easy as not opening slots! (Or taking your classroom with you!) Work as little or as much as you’d like!
- Classroom Hours. All classes are taught at 9am-10 pm Beijing time (BJT). HOT teaching hours are 6-10 pm BJT Monday-Friday and 9am-10pm Saturday and Sunday. These times are different based on your time zone in America, but it converts to early morning hours Monday – Friday and great bookings on Friday and Saturday nights!
I’m interested! Now what?!
- Apply here: https://t.vipkid.com.cn/
- Fill out your online application. Word your application to show your active involvement and teaching of children. For example, instead of listing “I teach 5-year-olds,” indicate, “I work one-on-one and in small groups with 5-year-old children. I develop daily activities for them to complete.”
- Set up a VIPKID interview. This can be done a few different ways. VIPKID is actively working to make this process easier and more efficient for new hires. You will receive an email explaining your options for interviewing. Most commonly, you will interview with a member of the VIPKID team in China. You will be provided with a power point of the slides you will be teaching to the Chinese team member. You will need to demonstrate ESL teaching techniques, time management, and student engagement skills. See the tips below for passing your interview and mock classes.
- Complete Teacher Training. There are online trainings and videos that will be followed by a short quiz before moving on to your mock classes. This quiz can be taken multiple times. Watch for information about mock training sessions in your quiz confirmation email.
- Teach Mock Classes. Depending on your interview and scores on your first mock class, you may have one or two mock classes. Here you will meet with an American based teacher to practice teaching and receive immediate feedback on your teaching techniques. Mock class material will be emailed to you. You will also be given a rubric with your mock class materials to guide you. Teach your mock classes as if you are a hired, awesome VIPKID teacher. Be confident and have fun! See tips for passing your mock interviews below.
- Congrats! You are ready to submit a background check, sign your contract and open your first time slots!
VIPKID Interview Tips
- Come prepared! Simple supplementary materials, such as handwritten flashcards, printed pictures, or toys stolen from your child’s toy room show preparation. Have a headset and a simple background, if possible. Prepare a simple reward system. This can be as simple as drawing apples on a tree on a whiteboard. It is rumored that wearing orange, while not required, is a big plus!
- Don’t plan on the lesson to go exactly as you prepared it. As a guideline, prepare to teach each slide with the “Model, Guide, Independent” mindset. Demonstrate what you want the student to do first. Guide the student in completing the next task. Allow the student to try the next task independently. Reward for correct answers. Be flexible.
- Pace yourself! You will be timed. Keep a timer where you can glance at it. Pace your slides accordingly. Don’t automatically think you failed if you miss a slide, but do your best to keep within the time limits. Being a master pacer comes with time and practice. Also, look directly at the camera where possible. A little smiley face on your camera helps! 🙂
- KEEP YOUR SPEAKING AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE. Do not use unnecessary words. Use correct English, but simplify! Example from mock slides letter sound match: Look at the camera. Point to M on your whiteboard. Say, “ mmm (pause) mmm.” Use your hand to gesture it is their turn to speak, then cup your ear as you wait for a response. Pause. Circle mouse. “Mmmm mouse?” Nod yes and no, using large facial cues or thumbs up/thumbs down. Pause to see if they answer. If not, model, “Mmmm mouse. Yes!” while giving the same cue used in the question. Draw a star or checkmark next to the mouse to reinforce the correct answer. Guide them on the next picture. **Teachers (by profession) often try to explain too much in mock classes. Keep it simple. Use short sentences. Use easy words.**
- Address behavior issues. A team member or mentor playing a student may test you to see how you would teach a student with behavior issues. They want to know you can help focus a distracted student or simplify a concept that is difficult. This is where using smiles, a stuffed animal, or a unique toy can be helpful.
- YouTube is a great resource to find tips, tricks, and sample classes!
Other useful information:
- If at first you don’t succeed, try again! Many applicants are more confident the second time around and are hired on their second try.
- VIPKID provides all of the curriculum materials for classes. Each 25-minute class typically has a warm-up activity, a review of past vocabulary, an introduction to new vocabulary or skills, an opportunity to practice the new vocabulary, and a closing activity.
- VIPKID encourages the use of supplementary teaching materials and reward systems. These can be as simple as flashcards and 2D pictures or creative props, toys, charts, etc. They also encourage the use of a secondary reward system. Each classroom has stars that are awarded to students for good behavior and success in learning. The students then use these stars to purchase things in their portals.
- Classes are scheduled by parents up to 2 weeks out. Open time slots can be closed at any time. Closed time slots can be opened up and scheduled up to 1 hour before class time. Filled time slots needing to be closed are subject to the company’s cancellation policy. There are different types of cancellations that are handled on a case-to-case basis. Cancelling class is discouraged.
- VIPKID loves the color orange. However, teaching in orange is no longer required. A solid colored t-shirt, hoodie, or jacket is strongly recommended.
Are you ready to visit China? Apply here!
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