I have a quote by Saint Benedict on my bathroom wall that I look at daily that simply says, “Always We Begin Again.” After moving my family to a new community, leaving my job, starting a church, making new friends, and beginning new jobs and schools, this quote sums up my past two years. We are constantly beginning again.
My newest beginning started because I’m on maternity leave with my third daughter, taking time away from my teaching career. Turns out, I’m terrible at maternity leave, and found myself missing teaching, bored, and searching for something to “begin again.”
I became curious about VIPKID, a company where North American teachers teach English to Chinese kids via online classrooms. It seemed like a scam, or a gimmick, but I did my research and started the process! I have written about the first week of the rigorous application process here, and the next step here where I taught Mock Lessons, and that brings us to the last step of the process and my eventual hiring!
My last step was to complete the New Teacher Kick Off Meeting, a two hour online Skype-style meeting with several potential teachers and one mentor teacher. Here is the email inviting me to the Kick Off:
It seems that after the Mock 1, it seems like you have four possible outcomes:
- Straight to hired (for people who rocked the Mock 1!)
- Kick Off (for people who have potential, but need more training)
- Mock 2 class interview (for people who have potential, need more training, and want to do a lesson instead of a class format)
- Not hired (for people who just aren’t a good fit, unfortunately)
I landed in option #2, and did the Kick Off. I decided not to wait long, and signed up for the Kick Off happening the next day. I think this process is a relatively new process, because I couldn’t find much information about it online. I didn’t know if it was one-on-one, or if it was a group. I didn’t know if I was going to have to teach something, similar to a mock lesson. It was all pretty confusing.
But I dove right in, and signed up for an early session. I got onto the platform, and there was another teacher there. We tentatively introduced ourselves, realizing that we were both potential teachers, not the mentor. We had similar paths to getting there too, making it through the interview and demo lesson, but not passing Mock 1. As we waited for the start time, teacher after teacher joined us. There were eight potential teachers in all, and then the mentor.
She began the powerpoint-style presentation. It really did take the full two hours, but it was very practical and useful information, so it didn’t feel that long. It covered:
- The rest of the application process
- What to do if you have IT problems during classes
- Fresh desk- site to find workshops and teacher development
- Classrooms and slides
- Hutong- a site for challenges for new teachers
- Trial Classes- classes for students who are trying out VIPKID
- Giving feedback after lessons
- Major Courses- Levels, Units, Lessons
- How to prepare
- Tricks and Tips
- Cancelling and No-Shows
I took about five pages of notes! She shared with us that this New Teacher Kick Off is a new process. At this point, she told us that we were officially hired, and that after this two-hour workshop, they would “slowly unleash” us. We wouldn’t be “certified” to teach all levels, but we would begin with trial classes. Trial classes are for students who just signed up and are doing their free class before they pay for a subscription of classes. So it was almost like a salesman who has to go find his own clients. We are responsible to do our best to “sell” them on VIPKID, and by extension, to sell them on “Teacher Laura” so they sign up and come back for more classes.
If I were honest, it seemed a little unfair at first. Limiting the new teachers to trials, severely limits your availability. Also, trials are MUCH more likely to be no-shows, because they haven’t paid for anything yet. But in the end, I think it’s a really smart way for VIPKID to handle the many, many teachers like me. It gives us a chance to start earning money right away, and gives us practice with a limited number of lessons, in order to “hone our craft.”
So right after the Kick Off, I got an email to confirm that I was there, then an email to send in my documents. This email shows the documents you’ll need. If you’re in the process, I would start gathering them now, so you have them ready to go!
Send in those documents, sign the W9 form, and- I still can’t believe it- the interview process is DONE and you’re an official VIPKID teacher! It was so exciting! Then the real work begins! I opened up my time slots for 5-6:30am, Monday through Friday, and sat around waiting for bookings! I’ll write more about my first few days of teaching later! It has been a BLAST!
Again, if you are ready to dive into this fun job and you need someone to talk you through it, follow my referral link and use this code: 05IOD5. Thanks!
Follow Laura’s VIPKID Journey here:
- Blog #1 What Did I Just Sign Up For?!
- Blog #2 Am I Really Going To Teach Online?
- Blog #3 VIPKID Final Application Steps!
- Blog #4 VIPKID One Month Update
- Blog #5 VIPKID Ups and Downs!
- Blog #6 VIPKID: Laura answers the FAQs!
- Blog #7 VIPKID: Two month update!
- Blog #8 VIPKID: No-Shows
- Blog #9 VIPKID: Purchases that are WORTH it!
- YouTube #1 Laura answers the FAQ
- YouTube #2 My Intro Video
- YouTube #3 No Shows
- YouTube #4 Favorite Read Alouds for Fast Finishers
- YouTube #5 Zero-Cost Props