What is VIPKID? You’re wondering. I’m answering!
- What is this company? Is it legit?
Yes, it is a legitimate! Not a scam, not too good to be true, not a MLM company, and you don’t have to sell anything! VIPKID is a Chinese company that matches Chinese children (ages 5-12) with English-speaking teachers in an online Skype-style classroom. Read more here from Bloomberg News about the company. It was on the Forbes 500 best company list, and it is growing exponentially! As I write this in December 2017, there are 20,000 teachers and 200,000 students, and they are on track to hit 1,000,000 students! Crazy!
2. What are the requirements?
- Bachelors Degree (in any field, not just education)
- Experience with kids (not just teaching, could be clubs, coaching, church, babysitting, etc).
- Reliable wi-fi and technology (don’t bother if you don’t have this!)
3. Will I make real money?
Yes, you will. It is a great part-time job! The company pays between $14-22/hour, based on your experience and your interview process. You will pick your schedule (see below) so how many hours you work is up to you. It will take you about one month to get a “full” schedule. Just for reference, I was hired November 6th, 2017. I had 38 bookings (1 booking= 25 minute class, so about 20 hours of work) in November, and I made $318 for that month. It’s mid-December as I write this, and my schedule is totally full, so I will make about $500 this month, which is what I was hoping for. There are great You Tube videos about how the pay scale works. They don’t hide anything about the pay, so there are no surprises.
4. What are the hours?
The company is based in Beijing, China, and that area is where most of the students are from. Beijing is 14 hours ahead of USA Central time (where I live). So do the math: that means that the peak times for teaching kids is the after-school time in China, which means very early morning time here. The peak times are 4-7am. There are also evening times available, especially on the weekends too, but to start out and get students, you will probably have to work early in the mornings. I wrote about how I adjusted to getting up early here!
5. What is the application process like?
The application process is no joke, even for teachers with a lot of experience, like I had. Teaching online is very different than teaching in a brick and mortar school. There is definitely a learning curve. So the interviewers are looking to see if you are teachable, engaging, and can adapt to the VIPKID way of teaching. Not everyone makes it through the process, but if you stick it out, there is an awesome part-time job on the other side of a rigorous hiring process. As of now (Dec 2017), the hiring process goes like this. It has changed even since I’ve been hired, so stay tuned!
- Apply online. Use a referral code from a current teacher to get priority. They ask the basics.
- Get an interview. You’ll interview online with a Chinese VIPKID employee, and you’ll do a very basic “demo lesson,” where the employee acts like a kid and you teach them. It’s actually quite fun and not intimidating.
- You’ll then do a Mock class, which you’ll prepare for. They send you the lesson. You just practice the slides. Watching some YouTube videos helped me a lot.
- After the Mock class, you’ll either be hired directly, or you’ll be sent to do a “workshop” for more training. This is what I did. There is also a chance that they decide you’re just not a good fit for the company. If so, you can reapply if you desire in a few weeks.
- Then you’re hired and can start teaching!
6. What do I need for teaching?
Just a good computer and some creativity! That’s the bare necessities! Beyond that, you’ll want:
- Alphabet cards of some sort. You’ll be teaching a lot of letter names and sounds
- A small white board for writing letters, vocabulary, math problems.
- Fun stuff- this can be anything to make the lessons fun. I use a lot of stuffed animals and toys. There are entire Facebook groups dedicated to prop and reward ideas.
- Lamps and lighting to make your space bright.
That’s it! I didn’t purchase anything until I knew I was actually hired. Some people go overboard, but you don’t have to.
Okay, those are the most frequent asked questions I have gotten since starting this new job! If you’re still curious, you can read through my whole journey! 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