VIPKID: From tip-toeing to diving in! {9 month update!}

Well, it’s happening, I’m am working for only VIPKID! This is my 9 month update!  I started in at the beginning of November 2017, and it is now the end of June 2018.

First a hobby, then a side hustle, now a reliable job!

I did not know what to expect with this job.  I wondered if it was a scam, or if it would be like many of my friend’s side hustles that were not very profitable and end up being a waste of time.  I tip-toed into the world of online teaching, hesitantly.  It started slowly building.  I taught a few classes here and there.  Then I got my first regular students, and they were the “game-changer” for me.  The idea that a student on the other side of the world liked how I taught enough to book my classes over and over was so humbling and exciting.  I was hooked.

Juggling two jobs: brick and mortar and online teaching.

From the first regulars, my schedule began to fill up slowly and my 5-star ratings increased.  I worked for an hour here and there, starting this job during my maternity leave.  Then, I went back to work full time at a preschool.  I eased back on my online teaching, struggling to find a balance between the full-time job and this fun side job I was enjoying so much.  I was very careful that I didn’t short-change either set of students or my family by over-extending myself. I continued to see VIPKID as a God-given blessing that I would just enjoy as long as it was fun.  I told myself that I could and would quit it if it ever got overwhelming.  I adjusted my schedule as needed, kept teaching both places, and really began to enjoy the new routine!

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New season for our family!

As the end of the school year approached, I turned my attention to summer plans, like many moms.  I didn’t have a great daytime option for my elementary age daughter during the summer days, and my current preschool where I worked and my other two daughters attended was undergoing major changes.  I felt a deep peace about leaving my preschool job for the summer, staying home with my kids, and trying to amp up my online teaching to fill in the income gap.  Turns out, that was the perfect decision, because the preschool that I worked at suddenly announced they were closing, not long after summer began.  I would have had to find another position anyway.  I felt like God was going before me and working out all the details.  I opened up my schedule for online teaching and got excited about a new adventure!

From 15 classes per week to 40! 

I dove right in and more than doubled the amount of classes per week that I was teaching.  I began a new routine of teaching for about 3-4 hours per day before my kids woke up. It fits perfectly into the groove of our days.  I love teaching still and it never gets boring!  I got certified to teach more levels, opening up my potential student base and began to fill in the additional slots with new students and many trial (brand-new) students.

Am I going to go back to teaching in the fall?

Honestly, I don’t know what my plan is for the fall.  I am taking this job one month at a time. I know there are no guarantees of bookings and regular students with this job, so I don’t completely put my trust in this as my only income.  But for now, this job is reliable enough to not take on a full-time job in the fall.  I still really miss classroom teaching, and I know someday I will go back to it.  I am keeping my teaching license up to date, and staying aware of opportunities that may come my way.  But right now, with two little girls at home, I would have to really love a job to justify putting the girls back in daycare and working full-time.  And currently, VIPKID satisfies the feeling of purpose I get from teaching.  I am using my talents and my degree, supporting my family, and still spending my days with my little kids.  It’s perfect for my family, for this season.

How do you get up so early every day when you have little kids? 

This is the question I get asked most often.  The time difference and prime-hours of VIPKID (4-7AM Central Time) are so strange, and people can’t imagine waking up so early.  Honestly, it was hard at first, but I have just adjusted to a new routine.  I wake up at 4AM on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, and I “sleep in”  (haha) until 5:30AM on Tuesday and Thursday.  I often take a short nap in the afternoon if I can get both of my younger kids to nap at the same time.  I am managing well.  It helps that I have such a supportive husband.  He knows on the nights when I need to get to sleep that he will help get the girls to bed early.  He handles the morning routine with the girls while I finish teaching.  I couldn’t do this job without him.

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Memorable moments!

I want to end with the best part of this job: stories about the students.  At first, I didn’t really care about connecting with the students, which I know sounds terrible.  I thought, “How much can you really connect with a student you see occasionally who lives across the world and doesn’t speak your language?”  I was so wrong.  I have regular students that I teach 3-4 times per week.  I know their family, their hobbies, their house, what they eat, their goals.  I know it is different than brick and mortal classroom teaching, where you teach the same group of kids for 6 hours a day, 170 days per year.  But the relationships of VIPKID teachers and students are legitimate, and it is the best part of this job.  Here are my most memorable moments with students so far:

  • Kin and Anna- These are siblings that I taught separately for several weeks before I realized they were brother and sister!  One day, they popped into each other’s lessons! It was a fun surprise! I had no idea!
  • Aimee- This student loves my dog.  My chocolate lab, Max, will wander around in the background of my screen occasionally.  This student freaked out and started saying “Dog! Dog!” Now every lesson, I call Max down and she smiles at him and says hello.
  • Ella- This student enjoyed the fact that she shares a name with my baby!  I have watched her transform from a timid, nervous girl who would barely speak a word of English, into a confident speaker who has entire spontaneous conversations with me!  Such progress is amazing. She’s my best “VIPKID success story” yet.
  • Elva- Oftentimes, I use real objects as props to help teach words.  One time, a student wanted to do the same, and went to grab an egg because we were talking about foods we eat at different meals.  She thought it was hard-boiled, but it was NOT.  It splattered all over her hands and we laughed about it.  Prop fail!
  • I’ve had students take classes while in cars, at stores, in dressing rooms, or during a dinner at a restaurant!  It has been amazing to see China through the eyes of these students.  Now, I have a serious itch to travel there…
  • Once, I opened up my camera, and an entire family was there.  I taught the child, his parents, his siblings, and even his grandparents for 25 minutes! So much fun!  The whole group was repeating after me and videotaping the lesson on their smartphones. It was bizarre, and memorable!
  • And the best moments are when you get to be the child’s FIRST experience with English.  The look of amazement in their eyes, and their parents’ eyes, when they speak in English and you understand them and they understand you. It’s magical!  Teachers talk about the “lightbulb moments” and I get to experience that daily.  It makes the world seem much smaller and reminds you that we are not all that different.

As of today, I here are my VIPKID stats:

  • 226 days since I was hired
  • 169 different students
  • 418 classes
  • 10,450 minutes of teaching
  • certified to teach 9 types of classes
  • 97 5-apple ratings (so close to 100 ratings!)
  • 4 referrals coached through the process

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I share this update for my friends and family who want to know how it’s going and who are curious about this strange job.  I do not actively try to recruit people to this job, because one reason I chose this job was that no direct sales, multi-level marketing, or recruitment is involved. That is not my gifting or interest. However, if you are interested in becoming a teacher online, I’d love to help you.

If you are a current VIPKID teacher, I’d love to hear how our stories compare.  I have found such a fun online community of remote teachers through blogging, YouTubing, facebook groups, and even one in-person Minnesota meet-up!  It is so fun to meet someone who speaks the “VIPKID lingo” and I’d love to hear your journey!

All the best and happy teaching!

-Laura

Some highlights that I’ve shared:

Want more info? If you are in this fun job with VIPKID and you need someone to talk you through it, follow my referral link and use this code: 05IOD5.  Thanks!

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500 VIPKID CLASSES! 100 RATINGS!

I hit a big milestone this week (July 2018)!  I hit the 500 class mark with VIPKID!  Woohoo!  That is an unofficial marker of becoming a “veteran” teacher with this company.  It took me 8 months to meet that milestone.  Some do it in a much shorter time period, other much longer.  To me, it seemed very far off when I began!  So excited!

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 7.07.11 PM.pngThis comes on the heels of meeting another milestone that meant a lot to me, getting 100 5-apple ratings!  That was the best milestone to me, because it means that 100 parents took the time to write a note about how well I’m teaching their student.  In a job where there is very little real-time feedback about how you’re doing, teachers can tend to live for ratings as information about how we are doing in our teaching.  It’s really the only way to know that you’re doing a good job, since so much of the job is just online, you and the student in the classroom.

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 7.08.56 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-07-09 at 7.08.19 PM.pngFor both of these milestones, it feels like validation that this is more than just a hobby or whim, or passing phase.  It feels like a big win for me.  It motivates me to do more and be better!

It has made me reflect on the beginning phases of this job, and where I’d like to go in the future.  I’m a very goal-oriented person naturally, so of course, I’ve made some goals for myself in this job.  Here are some things I’ve learned, and some goals I have!

What I’ve learned in 500 classes and 100 perfect ratings:

  1. Stay on your toes.  This job is ever-changing.  Don’t get too comfortable!
  2. Be yourself.  They are choosing you as their teacher because they like something about YOU.  Don’t be a copycat.
  3. Stay in your lane. Don’t compare.  Know what YOU want out of this job- bookings, pay, regulars, whatever- and go after that.
  4. It’s all about the kids.  Specifically, your regular students.  They make the crazy hours, technology problems, and cross-cultural communication troubles all worth it.

My goals for the future with VIPKID:

  1. 1000 classes, 500 ratings.
  2. Improve my referral game.  Right now I’ve only helped 4 people through the process. I’d love to help more teachers pursue this job.
  3. Write (on this blog) and film (for YouTube) weekly about VIPKID.
  4. Improve my trial class conversion (number of trial students who sign up for the full VIPKID package).
  5. Pursue becoming a Mock Class Mentor (helping new applicants) once I’m eligible.

Thanks for reading!

-Laura

 

Some VIPKID highlights that I’ve shared:

Want more info? If you are in this fun job with VIPKID and you need someone to talk you through it, follow my referral link and use this code: 05IOD5.  Thanks!

Let Your Kids Be Bored (despite the mess…)

I love the thought that is floating around parenting blogs lately that says, “let your kids be bored!”

I wholeheartedly agree that boredom is good for kids. It breeds creativity. It breeds teamwork. It breeds physical activity. It’s the opposite of putting them in front of a screen.

I have been trying to implement this since becoming a stay at home mom in the summer of 2018. I have an eight-year-old, a four-year-old and an almost one-year-old. My younger girls to still take good naps in the afternoon, but my eight-year-old is beyond that point. So, that leaves a couple hours every afternoon where she is “bored.” I’ve implemented a short reading time, and a chore, but beyond that I was getting lazy and letting her watch too much screen time. So, I am now letting her be bored more often.

The result is awesome actually! She has come up with some crazy stuff. She has made a robot costume out of cardboard boxes, complete with a Star Wars-style name and glitter and paint. She has made an elaborate fort in my basement, utilizing chairs and blankets and tables and pillows. It has provided hours of entertainment. She even found a way to make magnets out of magazine clippings.

My favorite project that I’ve seen her try was on a day that was very hot- almost 100 degrees! She decided to do a lemonade stand! She made the lemonade, set out a table, made a sign, got the ice bucket ready, and sat out there for an hour!  She sold several cups and made $11!  She was thrilled.  I love it. I am enjoying watching her creativity blossom and I’m surprised daily by the things she comes up with.

However, there is a side to this endeavor that the parents don’t talk about. All this creativity and innovation and engineering create a giant mess! A disaster.  I didn’t really think this through. I don’t say this to discourage you from implementing a “no boredom” time. However I say this to warn you that there are risks to the reward.

Just be prepared, you will have many more messes. Your playroom will not look like Pinterest. You will be frustrated. You may even have to spend some money to make their elaborate dreams come true. But I repeat, it is so worth it. There is still glitter on my floor from the robot project.  I gave up my nap and made a trip to the store for the lemonade endeavor.  What have your kids come up with when they were bored?

Fresh tropical smoothie

We have been on a healthy eating journey with our family for the last couple years. One of our favorite aspects of healthy eating and nutrition is making smoothies. We are not experts, but we have been making smoothies for a while now and I thought I would share one of my favorites!

Three handfuls of greens (we use a spinach, kale, Swiss chard mix)

One handful of frozen pineapple

One handful frozen mango

One frozen banana (we buy a lot of bananas, and when they start to turn brown, we peel them and freeze them.)

One whole avocado

Juice of one fresh lime

2-3 cups of water (depending on how you like the consistency of your smoothies)

One handful of ice cubes

Blend it all up for about a minute. We have a vita mix that I am still getting used to!

It was so good! It taste like a vacation! The lime juice and banana make it taste very fruity and tropical.

I let my four-year-old drink out of my class. Then disaster ensued…

Good thing this recipe makes very large smoothie. I still had a whole glass full, after this one bit the dust!

Excuse me while I go grab the mop and rags. I hope you enjoy your smoothie!

-Laura

VIPKID: No shows. Ugh.

One unfortunate side of teaching for VIPKID: no shows.  You get all excited to have a class booked.  You get up (usually very early) and get ready.  And then you sit there.  And wait… and wait…

I sometimes I feel frustrated. Sometimes relieved.  I suppose, for me, it depends on where in the day your no-show falls.  Here’s a video I made one day when my no-show was the first class of the day! Those are the worst, in my opinion, because you think about how you could have slept for another half-hour!

If the no-show falls in the middle of a long run of classes, I always feel a little relieved.  It’s always nice if you know ahead of time that it’s going to be cancelled, but oftentimes they don’t cancel ahead of time and they just don’t show up.  So you’re stuck sitting there, waiting to see what will happen.  In those times of waiting, here is what I used to do to know when I could leave the classroom:

I used to open up a different tab or window and watch for the firemen (tech support) to change the class from “booked” to “no-show.”  As soon as it’s marked “no-show,” you can leave the classroom with no penalty, even without waiting the full 15 or 25 minutes.

However, as of now (June 2018), I have a new process of handling no-shows!  I heard about this new extension for Google Chrome that tells you when the firemen change the class type to “no-show” as soon as they change it, without having to check.  It’s called “Teacher’s Pet.” It audibly tells you in the classroom with a funny saying, “Bye-bye Bao Bao!”  (For those who haven’t heard yet, “bao bao” is a common affectionate term for kids in Chinese, kind of like “baby” or “sweetie.”)

So this extension saves a lot of time!  I’ve been doing a lot of trials lately, and I’ve used it so many times already!  Check it out!  Here’s a better explanation.

Happy teaching, VIPKID teachers!  I wish you a full schedule with zero no-shows!  Unless you could use a no-show today!  🙂

-Laura

VIPKID: Read aloud books for fast finishers!

You know the dreaded moment while teaching for VIPKID:  You flip the slide and realize that you’re on the final slide with a full 5 minutes to go!  What to do?!  How will you fill that time?  You want to pace the lessons well, about one minute per slide, but every now and then you have a “fast finisher.”  I always want to fill the lesson with worthwhile content, and one way I fill extra time is reading a book in English to the kids.  They love books and often have English books at home.  I think they enjoy seeing some of my books!  Here are some of my go-to choices, with some of my notes about each one.  I’d recommend having a few on hand for that  fast finisher on your schedule!

  1. Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
  • Use the board book if possible!  Easier to use!
  • It has repetitive text.  The story is so repetitive that the kids catch on, and by the end of the book, they are reading to YOU!  So fun!
  • It has great vocabulary for both animals and colors!  Yellow duck, white dog, green frog.  So many possibilities for actions and animal sounds! Lots of fun!

 

2. Chika Chika Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.

  • It has big, colorful letters in capital and lower case!
  • I don’t read the whole book. I edit as necessary, based on the level of the student. But I read enough that they get the story of the letters climbing the tree and falling down.
  • I always explain vocabulary “coconut tree” and point to the tree on the first page.  If they don’t understand that phrase the book may be confusing.
  • On the last page, it has a colorful alphabet!  I have the kids sing ABCs and I point to the letters.  If time, I’ll point out individual letters and ask the letter name or sound.

3. Can I Play Too?  by Mo Willems

  • This book has simple language, with many sight words that they kids know.
  • He writes in word bubbles, which makes it easy for kids to understand who is speaking and follow the story.
  • The content matches Level 2, especially the lesson about “playing” and “having fun.”
  • This is good for older kids too, because there’s a joke in the book.  The snake wants to play with them, but he has no arms.  In the end, they “play with the snake” by throwing HIM (the snake) instead of the ball.  Silly story!
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https://www.amazon.com/Can-Play-Elephant-Piggie-Book/dp/1423119916

Enjoy!  What are your favorites?

-Laura

Grace for the Pastor’s Wife with small children.

My husband is a pastor in rural Minnesota and we just added our third daughter!  My older two daughters are 8 and 4 years old.  We are busy and have a lot of fun in ministry!
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Our church is full of young families and there are a lot of babies.  I have seen many moms disappear for a few weeks or even months after their baby is born, as they adjust to motherhood.  We miss them at church, and they almost always rebound as they adjust to their new family routine and dynamic.

As a pastor’s wife, however, I didn’t feel like I had the luxury of disappearing for a while as I adjusted to parenting another baby.  My husband got one week off, but then we were back at it, going (almost) full-force!  I realized right away that I needed to first show myself some grace.  I needed to focus on my family first.  At the same time, I wanted to get back to serving in the church and ministries that God had led me to.  So here is what I’m learning as a third-time mom, as I balance family and ministry.

  1. Your expectations need to adjust.

Truth be told, I just re-wrote that sentence three times.  “Lower your expectations.” No, that’s not it. “Don’t expect perfection.” No, perfection was never the goal.  It’s all about your expectations.  If you have older kids, you know what you can handle.  You know what a normal routine is for your family.  You think that you can maintain that routine when you add another kid in the mix.  But everything has changed! Adjust your expectations!  Here are some expectations that I needed to adjust:

-My older girls may not be wearing cute, complete outfits.  Shoes may not match. Hair may not be done.  It’s okay.

-Meals may need to be simplified.  Cereal may be an acceptable dinner.  Forgive your self.  It’s just a season. You’ll get back to your routine in time.

-Homework may be on the back burner.  We had our third on the week school started, so I preemptively apologized to my girls’ teachers for our lack of beginning of the year paperwork and such.  They were very gracious.

-You may be late or need to leave an event early.  Yes, I know. As a ministry family, we’re always early for church events.  I am sometimes even annoyed at latecomers.  However, in this newborn season, give yourself grace.  It’s better to show up ten (or twenty or thirty…) minutes late than not at all.  People will understand.  They just want to connect with you.

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Somedays you just have to sit and hold a sleeping baby!

2. Jump back in, without feeling “ready.”

Honestly, you’ll never feel totally ready to jump back into church ministry.  You’ll worry about nursing or blow outs or handling all your kids or whatever.  Just do it.  Just jump in.  This again requires you to let go of worry.  You cannot think through every possible scenario.  You cannot plan through every disaster.  Just go for it.  It won’t be perfect, but it WILL be good!

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Trying out a new baby wearing wrap so I could teach Awana.  Here we go!

3.  Don’t be supermom!

You cannot do it all.  You’re not  MEANT to do it all.  As your older kids are able, delegate.  Give them responsibility.  Praise them for their support and helpfulness.  My bigger girls can do so much more than I think they can.  In the months after baby, my girls helped me so much in getting back into our routine.  My middle daughter learned how to buckle herself into her carseat.  My older daughter learned how to make a bottle.  My husband started taking one or both of the older girls to church with him early, so I could get ready with only one kid to take care of.  We all worked together to make it a success.

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My oldest feeds my youngest! What a helper!

4. Ministry is a family activity.

It’s time for a family pep talk.  Dad is not the only minister.  We are a team.  We all have something to give.  We all can pitch in to make Sundays and any ministry event successful.  It’s a great time to reaffirm your family’s mission.  Ask the questions, “Why are we here in this city?  What is our goal?  What do we want to accomplish?”  Bring the kids into every conversation, and guide them into seeing ministry as the amazing privilege that it is.

 

5. Your pace will change for a season.

I know that after each of my children was born, I felt like I had to slow down so much.  I felt like I was not as effective for ministry.  But God will use you in new and different ways.  Keep your eyes open.  I have found that parenting and motherhood opens up so many ministry opportunities with other moms.  Motherhood connects women like nothing else.  Always remember, this is a season.  You have years and years in the future to lead groups and studies and teams.  This is a season of discipling your children that God gave to you.  Honor that season.

 

Those are my current thoughts about motherhood and ministry, as I come out of the “newborn fog.”  My daughter is 9 months old now, and I feel like I’m finally getting back to my new normal.  It’s a process.  Overall, pastor wife moms, give yourself GRACE!  Jesus already did.  He loves you.  He chose you for your husband, your kids, your church.  You are the perfect person for this season.  Enjoy it.  Find the joy in the craziness!

-Laura

VIPKID teacher: Standing desk vs. Sitting?

My name is Laura and I’m a VIPKID teacher!  I love this job!  I now am doing this for about 20 hours per week (35 classes usually), and that means longer stretches of classes.  I usually teach about 4-7 classes per day.  That means 3.5 hours of sitting in front of a computer screen!  That’s WAY too long for me!

So my amazing husband made me a wooden standing desk!  It was the best present!  Now I can seamlessly go from sitting to standing, even within a class, without it disturbing the lesson.  I love it!  Here is the video I made explaining how I use it and where you can get one!  Enjoy!

 

VIPKID Teacher: Learning from Lingobus!

Hello!  My name is Laura and I am a VIPKID teacher, since November 2017. I teach English to Chinese students!  I am eight months into this fun, crazy job.

 

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I have an 8 year old daughter, Kayla, who thinks it is crazy that I teach kids on the other side of the world.  But, if she’s honest, I think she would say that it’s a pretty cool “mom job.”

 

We heard about Lingobus, the company that does the opposite of VIPKID, meaning that Chinese teachers teach American students the Mandarin language.  We heard that VIPKID teachers get a discount and everyone gets a free demo class.  So we went for it!

We signed up for a free demo, watched the preview video, and got all ready.  We actually watched a couple really informative YouTube videos about basic Chinese greetings to get her a little more confident.  They were helpful and fun!

She actually set up in my VIPKID classroom for her demo class.  She thought that was fun, since she has been watching me teach for months now.  The roles were reversed!

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Ready to go!  She was excited to wear my headphones!

We got started and I have to say, I was fascinated!  I have been doing the same job, different language, for so long now that you forget how cool it is that you can communicate with someone on the other side of the world, in real time.

First impressions were:

-Wow! This teacher is good.  I’m watching a veteran teacher.

-Wow! Chinese is a hard language.  Seriously.

-Wow! Kayla is LOVING this.

-Wow! I better take notes.

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Teacher Steve from Lingo bus!

Until that moment, I hadn’t really thought about myself learning from this experience, I just wanted to expose Kayla to some new experiences.  But right away, I realized that I needed to make the most of this opportunity.  I started taking notes.

Here are my observations and lessons learned.

1. HUMOR.

One of the first things she said about her teacher, Teacher Steve, was, “He’s so funny!”  Humor is one of those qualities that really does transcend the language barrier.  He definitely kept a big smile on his face, but you could tell that he was actually a funny guy.  He was quick on his feet and made her laugh out loud.  At one point, he was asking her to say “hello” to all the characters on the screen, and even the dog.  When she said hello “ni-hao!” to the dog, he looked at her like she did something wrong, as if he was going to correct her.  She gave him a confused look.  He cracked a smile and joked in Chinese “Dogs don’t say hello, they say “RUFF!” It was funny and made Kayla relax.

My take away as a VIPKID teacher: Don’t be afraid of being a little silly and try to get them to laugh!

2. SIMPLE.

I instantly noticed was how simple Teacher Steve kept his words. He used almost zero incidental language, right from the start.  Incidental language is “filler words” in English, words that have not yet been taught to the student.  This is one of my goals for my own teaching.  I noticed his wait time.  He paused for what you would think would feel like an awkward amount of time.  But it was perfect for Kayla, who was processing and translating in her head.

My take away as a VIPKID teacher:  Pretend that you only are “allowed” to speak words that you have taught the child.  No extras.  So simple.

3. REPETITION.

The lesson did not cover that many concepts.  It was pretty basic, as I expected.  But the few concepts that it did cover, it repeated over and over.  Kayla could confidently say hello and goodbye by the end, as well as sing a song about family.  He went slowly, calmly, thoroughly.  The slow repetition made all the difference.

My take away as a VIPKID teacher: Don’t worry about finishing all the slides in trial classes.  Focus on making the child feel confident in speaking a few English words.

 

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4. ENCOURAGE.

Kayla finished the lesson and instantly wanted to sign up for me (which we haven’t yet!). She felt successful and wanted to learn more!  She walked around the house singing the Chinese song to anyone who would listen.  The teacher was so encouraging when she spoke clearly that she knew she did well.  He was exuberant with his praise.  He did a simple star reward with magnets, and used them often.  He did high-fives a lot.  He said Kayla’s name a lot.

My take away as a VIPKID teacher:  Use your reward more specifically.  This is one change I’ve made since watching him. I still give out the stars regularly (usually at 5 minutes intervals), but now I give my reward to the child more strategically, whenever they do something especially great.  I use it more carefully, and it has been more powerful, I think.

5. MOVEMENT.

He was a master at TPR (total physical response) in teaching.  He moved a ton.  He acted out words.  Every new word had an action attached to it.  The song had a new action for each line.  He waited until Kayla repeated the actions.  He used depth perception, coming close and far from the camera.  Each sound he taught had a hand gesture.  It was all very purposeful and thought out.

My take away as a VIPKID teacher:  This is one area I think I can grow in.  I do the typical TPR  that many teachers do, like cup my hand by my ear when I want the child to speak or count the words on my fingers.  But there is so much more to do.  I do more “acting out” to help the students remember.  I want to make up more actions to songs.  I’m definitely inspired!

 

Those are my take aways from watching a Lingobus lesson!  Here are a few other thoughts:

-Use voices for the different characters, even if it seems silly!

-Get a computer mouse, even if you don’t use it, to show the kids when to draw on the screen.

-Move on to the next screen if they’re not getting it within a minute.  Don’t belabor it.

-Whisper the answer, like telling a secret, if they’re not getting it.

-Use a name card with your name every time you talk about yourself.

-Have their name already written out on something (whiteboard, paper, etc) to show that you’re ready for them!

 

Parents, give it a try!  Great experience for my daughter!

VIPKID teachers, recruit a kid and give it a try!  You’ll learn a lot from watching the process in reverse!

Have fun!

-Laura

 

 

 

 

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