VIPKID Ups and Downs {What do I have to lose?!}

My mantra with VIPKID, since the beginning has been, “What do I have to lose?!”  I started this journey on a whim, with no expectations, and it has been well worth it.  Now, about five weeks into it, I am more invested into this process.  But I’m still hanging onto that mantra, but I do feel like I have more to lose now.  I am very grateful for this job.  But it has been a bit of a rollercoaster, with some UPS and DOWNS.

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My teaching area- do you like my DIY “standing desk?!”

Ups

  • Growing in confidence

As with any job, you start out tentatively and carefully.  As you relax into your new groove, you become more natural and confident!  This is definitely true with VIPKID.  I’m about five weeks into this job, and I feel pretty confident with my teaching.  I know the lessons well, having taught the same few lessons several times.  I am more familiar with the different types of students- the shy, the outgoing, the scared, the silly ones.  I know what to do if a student doesn’t use the mouse, or if they can’t hear me.  It truly does get easier every time!

  • Settling into routine

I also have felt more comfortable with my routine, specifically getting up early. At first is was pretty rough.  Previously, I only set my alarm at 4-something for special occasions- an early flight or Black Friday!  Now, it’s a regular occurrence, and as I wrote a few weeks ago, it’s not nearly as bad as I had thought.  I have my routine in the morning of getting up, brushing my teeth and putting on some makeup and my orange shirt, feeding the dog, making coffee, setting up my classroom space, and nursing my baby.  I can go from dead asleep to teaching my class in fifteen minutes, if needed!

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One of my lesson bins for my trial classes.

Downs

  • Inconsistent bookings

This is a typical problem for new teachers with VIPKID.  You just never know what you’re going to get with bookings.  Again, I’ve had to hold onto my “nothing to lose” mantra here.  I had steadily increasing bookings the first three weeks, then my fourth week it dropped off dramatically.  I went from 15 bookings to about 5.  I was so disappointed.  I read somewhere that VIPKID features new teachers on their main page for a few weeks, then you’re put in the pool of thousands of teachers, making bookings more challenging. Everything I’ve read says that it takes time, and they number of bookings will grow organically as you become certified and gain your own following of students.  But this is my friendly “heads up” that you may have some dips in bookings!

  • Challenging certification process

Speaking of certifications, this has been a low point for me.  When I was hired, I went through the “New Teacher Kick Off” process, which means you’re only certified to do trial classes, which are for students who are considering signing up for VIPKID and trying a few classes.  This means you are only available to teacher this small section of classes, which is a way for you to be “gradually released” as a new teacher.  After you get five students to sign up, you’re invited to do a certification class.  I just last week did this class.  It’s similar to the Kick Off, with a mentor teacher leading a group of teachers through a powerpoint.  Then you record yourself teaching a demo lesson and do a quiz.  Sadly, I failed the quiz!  I was super disappointed.  Luckily, you can retry as many times as you’d like.  So I just resubmitted my certification and am waiting to hear.  In the meantime, more trial classes for me!

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Some of my teaching materials

So that’s my update!  Stay tuned for more VIPKID updates and follow my VIPKID Journey here:

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