Teach Online with VIPKID

This past month I started teaching English online with a company called VIPKID.

VIPKID-Phonics
image courtesy of VIPKID

How Did I Find this Job? 

To find this job and ESL teaching jobs in general, BOTH online and abroad, I use the search engines Dave’s ESL Cafe and Teaching House. To find American-based teaching companies, I also use LinkedIn.

What is VIPKID? 

VIPKID is one of the world’s leading online education companies, which pairs qualified English educators with young learners in China.

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North American teachers can deliver lessons over the internet to students in China.

These North American educators teach Chinese students in a virtual classroom using a unique software program developed by the company.

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In this virtual classroom, the lesson PowerPoint is displayed on the left, while the student and teacher’s video camera is displayed in the middle. The student and teacher can see each other and communicate this way, but can also write notes to each other on the far right.

VIPKID provides its teachers with pre-planned PowerPoint slides, which means minimal prep time before class. The company also assesses the student’s English knowledge beforehand, which means the material suits their academic level.

VIPKID-slide-screenshot
Here is an example warm-up song for a beginner student. The company also provides prompts at the bottom to help the teacher during the lesson.

Teachers are encouraged to be interactive and engaging with their delivery, by using educational props, toys, and hand gestures to clarify the language.

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In this model, the teacher uses hand puppets to keep the learner’s attention.

As a VIPKID teacher, you are able to set your own schedule. Essentially, you open up your available teaching slots on a timetable, and parents book you to teach their child. The most popular teaching hours are 6-9 PM, Beijing time.

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I’ve used my timetable as an example. Here I made myself available on Monday and Tuesday from 5-9 AM, and 8-10:30 PM, CST. The times marked in red are the most popular hours. Placing a check mark next to the time slot signifies that I am available for short notice bookings as well.

What are the Pros and Cons to Working with VIPKID? 

😊Pro: Flexible Schedule!

There are no minimum OR maximum hours required.

😊 Pro: Attractive Salary! 💲💲💲

Teachers can expect to earn between 15-25 USD/hour.

😊 Pro: Freedom to Travel ✈️🌎

As long as you have a stable internet connection, you can teach anywhere! 😃💻

🤔 Con: Hours are not guaranteed

Initially you may not have many hours, since you need to build up your reputation within the company, and increase the number of students booked. 👩‍🏫

🤔 Con: Penalties for Canceled Bookings

If you make yourself available during a time slot and a student books a class with you, but then you cannot deliver that lesson, either due to technical or personal issues, you may receive a penalty from the company. ❌😢

What are the Steps to Working with VIPKID?

1. Meet the minimum requirements

To work with VIPKID, you must be a native English speaker from North America, with a bachelor’s degree, and at least one year of teaching experience. A teaching certificate is also beneficial. As well, the company requires that teachers have a computer with a high-speed internet connection, and both audio and video capabilities.

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As a new VIPKID teacher, I’m prepared with my laptop, headset and teaching props for my first lesson.

2. Apply! 

You can apply for the position using this link. Bonus points if you use my referral code: 040H13 😉

3. Interview!

VIPKID’s multi-level hiring process can be broken down into three stages:

  1. First stage: an interview and mock lesson, which determines your salary. If you pass the mock, you’ll be asked to read their online-training manual and complete a few quizzes.
  2. Second stage: a 25-minute demo lesson for both beginner and intermediate learners, which determines which type of learner you will teach.
  3. Third stage: a 25-minute demo lesson for your pre-determined level.

Overall, through this rigorous interview process, the company is looking for teachers that use appropriate language to deliver the teaching material both effectively and creatively, in the time given. During my demo lessons, I used lots of eye-catching printed pictures, and a whiteboard to demonstrate the tasks. I also used a reward system to encourage the student, and I wasn’t afraid to be silly, making animal noises, giving virtual high-fives, singing, and using stuffed animal props. 😛

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Using this reward system, the student is encouraged to listen and participate in order to help the monkey get more bananas. 🐵🍌

4. Get Hired! 

After you make it through the interview process, you can breathe a sigh of relief and begin teaching! I’ve only been with the company a few weeks, so I can’t give much insight on this just yet, but expect a follow-up post on my experience with VIPKID in the coming months. Until then! 😃mn

https://t.vipkid.com.cn/

https://www.facebook.com/VIPKID.com.cn/

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