Should I quit my Brick and Mortar teaching job for VIPKID?

This is a conversation I’ve had quite a bit lately. So many teachers are tired of all the changes with covid-19 and it’s many regulations. But is online teaching for you?

I feel like I have a good perspective about this because I taught in public schools for 12 years, and then after a move and a 3rd child, I made the decision to stay home and only teach online.

Also, I am going to say right off the bat that I’m not trying to sell you on VIPKID. It’s perfect for some B&M teachers. It’s not for everyone. I am not here to refer you to a company. I’m here to give you an honest perspective of the pros and cons, so you can compare easily. Here we go.

https://youtu.be/_IoJXKvPoOQ

Pros of Online Teaching:

1. It’s actually TEACHING, not all the extra responsibilities that come with a classroom job. There’s no lesson planning, conferences, grading, observations, data meetings, and so on. You get to actually teach students that want to learn. You get to watch them grow and progress in their English ability.

2. The flexibility can not be beat. You are in complete control of your schedule. There is no minimum (or maximum) number of hours required. When you teach at an actual school, taking time off is super complicated. You have to request the time off, get a sub, write sub plans, prepare the kids, and worry when you’re away! With VIPKid, you just simply close your schedule.

Cons of online teaching:

1. The pay does not compare to a teaching contract. When you’re a classroom teacher, you have a salary, a retirement account, taxes are taken out, and you have insurance. You have none of that as an online teacher. You have a contract, and you are technically your own boss. It’s a price many of us are willing to pay for the freedom and flexibility of online teaching. But be aware, unless you’re willing to work long hours and hustle hard, the pay won’t compare.

2. You won’t really have coworkers. I guess, depending on your relationship with coworkers, this could also be a “pro!” But I have always had wonderful coworkers who made my job so enjoyable, that it was hard for me to give up that aspect of the classroom job. Of course, there are lovely online communities of teacher, you just have to proactively find them.

With those pros and cons in mind, there are few other big differences between B&M teaching and online teaching.

1. Online teaching has its own set of skills. Many skills will translate easily to the online world for the classroom, but you’ll need to learn how to engage students online. For online ESL, you’ll need to work in slowing your speech, using props to support your teaching, and mastering “total physical response,” an important ESL technique for teaching.

2. Technology adeptness will become vital, not just a bonus. When I was teaching in the classroom, some teachers were known as “technologically savvy.” With online teaching, everyone has to have that attitude of “I can figure this out.” Oftentimes, you’re on your own. Yes, there tech support and a great network of helpful teachers. But sometimes, you’re just on your own at 4am, with a tech problem in your basement.

So if you’re a B&M classroom teacher and you’re considering teaching online, I hope this will help you make your decision. Both are amazing careers!

#vipkid #Vipkidclass #vipkidprops #vipkidteacher #vipkidlife #vipkidnewbie #workfromhomelife #thevipkidlife #vipkidteacherlife #onlineteacher #teachenglish #eslteacher #eslstrategies #wahmlife #outschool #outschoolteacher #onlineclassroom #distancelearning #homeschool #onlineteacher #workfromhome

Meet VIPKID Teacher Laura #onlineeslteachertag

Here’s a fun way to get to know other online teachers! It’s called #onlineeslteachertag. In the video above, I gave “rapid fire” answers to most of these, but here’s I’ll expand a bit so you can get to know me!

Thanks to Teacher Lori for getting it started! Head over there to watch the original video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPc4d…

ONLINE ESL TEACHER QUESTIONS:

  • Where are you from?
    • I’m from rural Minnesota, in a small town of about 5,000 people.  I grew up in the Twin Cities, but moved out to the country a few years ago.  I love it out here!  We get LOTS of snow in the wintertime.
  • How long have you been a VIPKID teacher?
    • I started with VIPKID in November 2017, and Gogokid in February of 2019.
  • Did you get book immediately?
    • Yes and no.  With VIPKID, I got bookings trickling in right away but it took a full two months to have a full schedule.
  • What hours do you typically work?
    • I teach mornings, from 5-8am, sometimes 4:30-9am.
  • What is your typical #teacherootd (outfit of the day)?
    • I wear plain colored shirts, or my teacher shirts made by some amazing instagrammer teachers!
  • Are you a brick and mortar teacher?
    • I used to be.  I taught in the public schools for nine years, then did some subbing, and now only teach online.
  • Who are you favorite youtube/snapchat/ig teachers?
    • See the video for my faves!
  • Are you team meg, mike or Dino?
    • Honestly, I’m not really into collecting the characters.  I just use some simple 2D cut outs of Meg and Mike when necessary, and I do have a plushie Dino, but I could take them or leave them.  They’re not a big deal to me.
  • Why did you decide to join VIPKID?
    • When I had my 3rd daughter, I was subbing.  Most of my income was going straight to daycare, and it didn’t make sense for me to work full-time.  Now, I’m loving the “work from home mom” life, and don’t plan on returning to the brick and mortar classroom until my youngest is in school.
  • What is your most used prop?
    • My small globe is my most used prop.  I think this is probably because I teach a lot of level one, and they’re always traveling around the world in that unit.
  • What advice do you have for anyone thinking about joining VIPKID?
    • My advice is that you should examine your motives.  I’ve chatted with many people who are just looking for a quick buck, or a job that pays full time money for part time work.  This is not that job.  Only apply if you truly love teaching, children, cultures, languages, and want to really make a difference.
  • What advice do you have for a newbie teacher?
    • My best advice is to get as many certifications as possible.  You’ll want to have the opportunity for as many people as possible to see your profile.
  • What is your best teaching tip?
    • Learn a language yourself.  You don’t have to learn Chinese, but practice learning any language that interests you.  It’ll make you more compassionate toward your students!
  • What does your morning routine look like?
    • I get up at 4:30am, press snooze a couple times, quickly do makeup, brush my teeth and hair, make a quick Keurig coffee, and get my lights on.  Then, I’ll pull up my Feedback Panda tabs for each student and prepare the feedback, which I’ll edit between the classes.  I can go from dead asleep to ready to teach in about 10 minutes if necessary!
  • What is your favorite course to teach?
    • Level two is my favorite because they’re really ready to learn.  I love watching them grow in confidence throughout that level.
  • What is your least favorite course to teach?
    • Trials. I feel like I’m pretty good at trials, and I do like the variety, but it’s not worth the IT problems and high frequency of no-shows.  I’ll take Major Courses any day.
  • The best thing you like about this job?
    • The flexibility is my favorite part.  I am so grateful to be able to pick my schedule.  It has made our family life much more calm, organized, and peaceful to have a mom that is home more.
  • The worst thing you hate about this job?
    • The hours are tricky for my sleep schedule.  I have to take a nap in the afternoons to function past 8pm.  I can almost always squeeze in a 10-30 minute nap, and it makes all the difference in the world.
  • Can you say anything in Chinese?
    • Yes!  I’ve been learning with YoyoChinese, and my girls take Lingobus classes!  We’ve learned a lot!  Watch the video to see me attempt some phrases.
  • Have you been to china?
    • No, but I’m dying to go!  Who wants to take me?  I’ll hop on a flight tomorrow!

Thanks for reading or watching!  You’re welcome to participate in the video or blog version!

____________________________________________________

Hello! My name is Laura and I teach online for VIPKID and Gogokid, teaching English to Chinese students!

 

I write blogs here to connect with other teachers and applicants. If you’re interested in these companies, follow the links below or email me!

Email: laura.risdall@gmail.com

Instagram: minnesotateachermom

GOGOKID referral code: X73CTGPA

VIPKID referral link: https://t.vipkid.com.cn/activity/popu…

VIPKID referral code: 05IOD5

VIPKID/Parenting Blog: http://www.laurarisdall.wordpress.com

Feedback Panda Referral: https://www.feedbackpanda.com/?_teacher_ref=1k0QBN

Lingobus Referral: https://www.lingobus.com/?referralCode=PAR49P

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!

-Laura from Minnesota

 

#vipkid #onlineeslteacher #vipkid #teacherlife

 

VIPKID: Is it a scam? Is it too good to be true?

You’ve heard about this VIPKID teaching online, and it probably is popping up on your ads. If you’re like me, you are skeptical.

Many of my friends lately have been scammed with “work at home” jobs that in the end, cost them more money than they earned. They will call it a “failed business venture” or “more work than it was worth.” With these stories in mind, I assumed that VIPKID was aiming for that same audience- people who wanted an easy job that they could do whenever they wanted, and make a disproportionately high income.

So I tip-toed into the job, not announcing it publicly until I had dispelled all my fears and concerns. I have worked as an online teacher for 1.5 years now, and can honestly explain the positive and negative aspects of this field.

Is it a scam?

The short answer is no. It is not a “get rich” scheme. There are no promises of wealth or advancement. It is also not a pyramid scheme. There is no “down line” or “building a team.” There is no initial “investment” or start up fee.

In short, you are an independent contractor, like a tutor. You do not work for VIPKID, you are a contractor that they hire for a six-month contract. Your contract is renewed every six months.

These were my biggest concerns. I did not want to spend a dime on this job until I knew it would actually make me money. So all through the interview and training process, I chose not to invest any money into gear or teaching materials. I didn’t want to be someone who dropped a lot of money on the front end, only for it to not pan out.

Is it too good to be true?

This answer is more complicated.

1. You have to do the work… or you won’t get paid.

This is not a source of “passive income.” You have to do the work to get paid. You are paid by how many classes you teach. If you don’t teach, you won’t get paid. This job is not for the lazy or unmotivated people, looking for an easy income. It requires you to teach during very early hours, and exert a lot of energy.

2. You have to plan ahead for taxes… or you’ll regret it on Tax Day.

This is something that may easily be forgotten, especially if you’ve never worked for yourself as an independent contractor. There is no one taking taxes out of your paycheck. You need to do this on your own. It may make you feel like you are making less, because you see your income before taxes are taken out. It’s up to you to do your own research about taxes and plan accordingly.

3. You get control of your schedule… mostly.

This is one of the best parts of online teaching. You can choose your availability. You open the time slots you’d like to teach, and close the ones you don’t want to teach. If you’ve been working a regular teaching or office “nine to five” style job, it feels like an immense amount of freedom.

But of course, there are some caveats.

  • It is run on Beijing time, resulting in available times that are not normal working hours in the US. The “prime hours” range between 3-9am, depending on your time zone.
  • Once you open your schedule and a Chinese parent books a class with you during that time, there are consequences if you cancel the class. Too many cancellations, and your contract will not be renewed.
  • Not every time slot that you open will be booked, especially in the first few months of teaching. You have to build up your client base.
  • Your schedule is at the whim of Chinese culture. Meaning, during seasons of holidays in China, your schedule will not be full because families are traveling and celebrating.

4. You get paid well… for an online job.

It is true that you will make around $20-25/hour. That is not exaggerated. There is some variation based on your base pay, how much you teach, and if you get bonuses. But generally, teachers are happy with their pay.

However, if you are looking to match your salary that you’ve been making at a contract public school teaching job, or office job, you will probably be disappointed. It is possible to make $40k in a year with online teaching, however, it is very difficult. You can find people who do it on YouTube. It requires a complete commitment to the job, working very unusual hours. And there is no benefit package, insurance, pension, or retirement.

What’s the summary?

Basically, online is a fantastic gig, if you know what you’re getting into. Go into with lots of research, eyes wide open, and low expectations. Consider it a hobby at first, and you’ll be happy with the outcome. If you expect it to replace your income immediately, you’ll be disappointed.

I hope this is helpful to you! It has been the perfect fit for me and my family. I’d love to help you get started if you’re interested. I went into it with no advice or support, and I wish I had met someone who was willing to answer questions. All the best!

-Laura

VIPKID and online teaching: hobby, side hustle, or full time job?

I have been an online teacher for a year and a half now, and it started for me on a whim, as a hobby.  I loved the new challenge, the variety of students and lessons, and the new format.  As I got more students, and a reliable schedule full of regular kids, I realized that this was becoming a solid side hustle for me.  I was still teaching full time, and just adding a few more classes in the mornings.  Then, I made the brave jump and decided to make this my sole income source.  I opened up my schedule and it filled.  I was never full time (my max was about 5 hours per day, not 7 or 8), but it was matching my full-time income at the daycare that I had worked at previously.

Along with the jump to focusing solely on VIPKID, came a mindset shift for me.  I became much more invested in the company, and the lifestyle of a VIPKID teacher. I began following YouTubers and Instagrammers, and started my own channel and profile.  I helped more teachers get hired.  I watched workshops and got every certification that I could possibly get.  I added Gogokid to diversify.  I was fully immersed in this online teacher life.

Now, I’m 1.5 years into this, and it is the first week of summer here in Minnesota.  My kids are home from school, our schedule is changing. I’ve decided to back off of my teaching schedule and slow my involvement in the online community.  I need to focus on my family more for the summer.  And that is the beauty of this job: it can be whatever you need it to be.  Thanks to my husband’s seasonal income, I can make my job more of a side hustle hobby rather than a solid source of family income.

So my plan for the summer is to get up early and teach, but less hours, before my kids wake up.  Then, when they get up, I’ll close my laptop, and choose to disengage from the online community for a few months.  I’ll be less active on social media, I’ll do less workshops, I’ll refer less teachers.  However, it will be there when I am ready to return in the fall.  There is no shortage of students in China needing a teacher!

I’m so grateful for this job that can be “what I need it to be” in this season. I’m so grateful for flexibility.  And I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be with my kids, at home, focusing on them in their childhood years.  I know I’ll never get this time back.

Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear in the comments where you land on the continuum of online teachers.  Is it a hobby or a full time job or somewhere in between for YOU?

-Laura

__________________________

Hello! My name is Laura and I teach online for VIPKID and Gogokid, teaching English to Chinese students!

 

I make videos here to connect with other teachers and applicants.

GOGOKID referral code: X73CTGPA

VIPKID referral link

VIPKID referral code: 05IOD5

Email: laura.risdall@gmail.com Instagram: vipkidteachermom

VIPKID/Parenting Blog: http://www.laurarisdall.wordpress.com

Feedback Panda Referral: https://www.feedbackpanda.com/?_teacher_ref=1k0QBN

Lingobus Referral: https://www.lingobus.com/?referralCode=PAR49P

Should you be loyal to one ESL company or work for two?

I have worked for VIPKID  for almost a year and half.  I love it!  I have no complaints.  I have a fully booked schedule.  So why would I want to consider pursuing another company to work for?

I have a couple reasons. I decided to pursue another company to work for: Gogokid.  After a lot of thought and consideration, I pulled the trigger and went for it.  Here are my reasons:

  1. Pay:  Now that I have done this job for a while, I have experience and am considered a “veteran” in some companies.  I am hoping this translates to a higher base pay, which will add up.
  2. Contract “insurance:”  What I mean here is that as an independent contractor, our employment is a bit uncertain.  We are at the whim of the company we work for.  If something happens, VIPKID could choose to not renew my contract and I would be out of a job.  Having another company “in the wings” is good preparation in case the worst happens.
  3. Variety:  After working for VIPKID for almost a year and a half, I’ve taught almost every lesson at every level.  I’ve taught the trial lessons dozens, maybe a hundred times.  I can teach Level 2 in my sleep (seriously… sometimes at 4am it feels like I’m asleep!).  I was craving some new lessons and variety.

I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments if you are an ESL teacher!

___________________________________________

Hello! My name is Laura and I teach online for VIPKID, teaching English to Chinese students! I make videos here to connect with other teachers and applicants.

VIPKID referral link: https://t.vipkid.com.cn/activity/popup?refereeId=9269465&refersourceid=a01

VIPKID referral code: 05IOD5

Email: laura.risdall@gmail.com

Instagram: vipkidteachermom

VIPKID/Parenting Blog: http://www.laurarisdall.wordpress.com

Thanks for watching!

-Laura from Minnesota

 

 

Laura’s VIPKID Week in Review- Oct 19th, 2018

Best moments: It was a full week of classes, but this week some of my best VIPKID moments happened outside the classroom!

1. I was offered a chance to learn Chinese with YoYoChinese because of my YouTube channel! It’s something I’ve been wanting to do, and I’ve been feeling very stuck, so I’m excited about it. Stay tuned!

Screen Shot 2018-10-20 at 9.24.02 AM
This is my dashboard for YoyoChinese!

2. I was chosen to be the “VIPanda,” the highlighted teacher for Feedback Panda! I will do a recorded interview with them! So fun. I’m honored! I love Feedback Panda and have been using it for several months.

3. A friend of mine is seriously considering becoming a teacher, so I have really enjoyed belong him understand the company and how it works this week!!

 

Worst moment: My trackpad broke! Bah! I didn’t realize how much I relied on that dumb thing. Ordering on Amazon right away!

IMG_7775

In case you’re wondering, no, you don’t need a trackpad. I just really enjoy writing on the screen and I enjoy using a pen and trackpad!

Reward System: I used a magnetic face reward all week, for every student in Levels 1-4. This is such a good reward- I think every teacher should own this!  I have fun giving the students options for different mouths, eyes, and accessories so that every face turns out a little different!  Grab it here on Amazon (not an ad, I just really like it!).

Screen Shot 2018-10-20 at 9.31.40 AM

News: The big news this week as the VIPKID celebrated their 5th anniversary! So exciting! They have accomplished so much in 5 years and I’m proud to be a part of the company!

IMG_7774YouTube/Blog/Teachers Pay Teachers: This was a YouTube week for me! I published two videos! Enjoy!

Weekly Stats:

  • Classes Total: 36
  • Trials: 0 (Weird!  I usually teach about 5-10!)
  • Short Notice: 2
  • No Shows: 1
  • Trial Conversions: 0

Thanks for following my journey with VIPKID!  If you’re interested in this awesome work at home job, please contact me through comments or email!  If you’d like to hear more about how I got started and how it’s going, check out these posts!

 

______________________

Hello! My name is Laura and I teach online for VIPKID, teaching English to Chinese students! I make videos here to connect with other teachers and applicants.

VIPKID referral link: https://t.vipkid.com.cn/activity/popup?refereeId=9269465&refersourceid=a01

VIPKID referral code: 05IOD5

Email: laura.risdall@gmail.com

Instagram: @vipkidteachermom

VIPKID/Parenting Blog: http://www.laurarisdall.wordpress.com

 

Thanks for reading!

Laura’s VIPKID Week in Review: October 5th, 2018

Best Moment: This is a short week for me!  I took Saturday off because I am going to a Women’s Conference with my church!  I love the flexibility with this job!

This week was a holiday week in China, their National Day, when they became the People’s Republic of China.  Because of this, students were traveling!  One of my students did a lesson in a car!  One of my students did his lesson in a tent, camping by the mountains!  So fun!

Here is a simple explanation of the holiday from travelchinaguide.com.

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 9.15.35 AM.png
Credit: https://www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/festival/national.htm

Worst Moment: I don’t really have a worst moment this week.  I had slightly lower bookings and a few open bookings expire, which I haven’t had in a while.

Rewards: This week I let the kids choose between the phone/emoji reward and my ice cream reward.  The emoji reward is from Special Stuff for Special Teachers on TeachersPayTeachers!   Thank you for the free download!  This has been a total hit!  I thought the ice cream reward was kind of childish, but even some of my Level 3 kids chose it.  🙂  IMG_7494 3.JPG

News/Updates: Just news about the holiday and bookings being lower.  This week, I also completed a new certification: Free Talk.  This is a supplementary class that is meant to promote free conversation, using un-scripted chatting about setting pictures.  I’m excited about it.  This summer, I did many supplementary classes (phonics, proper pronunciation, voice of VIPKID) and enjoyed the change of pace with the different type of class.

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 9.20.18 AM.png
These are the supplementary classes I’m certified for!

Blog/Tpt/YouTube:  I did a short YouTube video about how I celebrate students birthdays in the VIPKID classroom!  Check it out!

Stats

  • Classes Total: 29
  • Trials: 6
  • Short Notice: 5
  • No Shows: 6
  • Trial Conversions: 0

IMG_7496 3
My weekly tallies.

Thanks for following my journey with VIPKID!  If you’d like to hear more about how I got started and how it’s going, check out these posts!

Thanks for reading!

-Laura

 

______________________

Hello! My name is Laura and I teach online for VIPKID, teaching English to Chinese students! I make videos here to connect with other teachers and applicants.

VIPKID referral link: https://t.vipkid.com.cn/activity/popup?refereeId=9269465&refersourceid=a01

VIPKID referral code: 05IOD5

Email: laura.risdall@gmail.com

Instagram: @vipkidteachermom

VIPKID/Parenting Blog: http://www.laurarisdall.wordpress.com

 

Thanks for reading!

VIPKID: I’m teaching my first UA! (Unit Assessment!)

Hello VIPKID teacher!  Come on over, let me tell you about Unit Assessments, or UAs.  You need to know about these types of lessons before you begin to teach them!    UAs are different from regular classes. Don’t get caught off guard!

As soon as you see a UA on your schedule, plan a few extra minutes to check it out and get familiar with it.  Even if you’ve taught several normal classes, this one will take some preparation.

You’ll notice right away that they have a TON of slides, usually about 45 instead of 26 or 27.  Don’t freak out.   Most of those slides are “filler” slides.  The format of the UA is always the same for levels 2-6. They have a “game map” format.  If possible, look through the power point ahead of class to get the format. Here’s an example. It is kind of like a “built-in reward system.”  But note that you still need to use some kind of simple secondary reward system.

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 8.45.20 AM.png

On the day you’re going to teach it, go into the classroom and click “Add Feedback” right away, before class begins.  You’ll want to look at it ahead of time because it’s a very different feedback form.   It will have multiple places for you to rate the student, on each content area (grammar, reading, speaking, etc.).  Here’s a sample of the grading rubric for the feedback form of UAs:

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 8.55.31 AM.png

Now, let me explain some of the UA slides:

First there are the usual intro slides: a reward slide and a song slide.

Then, there is a slide that has a problem: “Lily lost her toys!” “Dino needs to make a salad!”  “Tino can’t remember the name of his school!”  Something like that.  That’s the set-up for the UA game. Here’s an example:

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 8.58.18 AM.png

 

Then, they choose a character- Meg or Mike- to play through the game.  It’s kind of a “breeze over it” slide.  On the Interactive Level 2 lessons, they’ll actually be able to “drag and drop” Meg and Mike over the level map.  But it really doesn’t matter if they say they want to play with Meg or Mike.  Fly right past this one!

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 8.53.00 AM.png

Then, it shows the 5 or 6 steps of the game map.  I usually count the steps and draw a line through all of them. I say something like “You will get 5 things!”  If it’s an interactive lesson (Level 2), there will be a little Meg and Mike character that you can actually move to each level.

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 8.52.30 AM.png

Projects:

Just to give you an overview, there are 12 lessons in each unit (Major Courses).  The 6th and 12th classes are UAs.  For each unit, there is a project due at the end of the unit, as part of their lesson 12 UA.  If it’s lesson 6, there will be no project due.  The project will be discussed at the end of the slides in lessons 5, 6, and 11.

If it is lesson 12, this project due.  Presenting the project is always “Level 1” of the game map. Don’t get too worried, MOST student’s don’t have it ready.  But some do!  It’s always exciting when they do!  And in a very few cases, they will upload it beforehand.  Check on the area above the classroom, by the stars, and there’s a button that says “Project Uploaded.” If that is highlighted, they already took a picture of their project and uploaded it.  I’ve only seen this maybe twice!  But it could happen. Usually this is what you see: “Project Not Uploaded.”

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 8.51.38 AM.png

 

So the first step of the game map (if its lesson 12) is for them to show you their project.

-If they did it, they will hold it up to the screen and show you. You can talk about it.

-If they did not do it, they will probably look totally confused. Just skip over it, give them 0 points. If you have time at the end, hop back to this slide and draw one of the project choices together, and talk about it.

 

Then, after the project section, continue through the slides and the “game map.”  After each section, there will be a reward slide and it show the game map moving on. This is where I give my secondary reward.  Sometimes, I just draw whatever they got on the game map, so that it’s not confusing to have two totally different rewards happening.  Don’t forget to give stars too.

If possible, score the student as you go, with the feedback “stuck” on the side of the slides.  You can be tough on scoring.  If they need teacher assistance, they shouldn’t get the full amount of points. At the end, you’ll have to still write feedback to the parents, but no teacher to teacher feedback.

Here’s an example of feedback I wrote for a Level 2 UA. I use Feedback Panda, so this was a template that I edited.

_____________________

“Hello Coco!  🙂  I love having classes with you!  You are such a great student!  In today’s class Coco took an assessment of all the content that she learned in Unit 5. Assessments are different than regular classes. No new content is learned, instead Coco showed me what she has learned up to this point.

Coco did not have a project, so we drew one together.  She told me that she likes to swing and slide at the playground!Coco did well on her assessment but needed teacher help for few activities.  For vocabulary, Coco demonstrated knowledge of the activities [ball], [basketball], [ping-pong], and [soccer]. Coco also was able to identify [kite], [friend], and [tag], and use them in complete sentences. Coco was not able to properly conjugate the phrase [to run], and [to play].  Remember for the pronouns he/she/it, we use the “s” at the end like “He runs. She plays.”

In speaking and listening, Coco was able to read and tell me in in complete sentences different varieties of the verb [play]. For Example [I play with my friends], [I play with my dad], as well as [The dog plays], and [The family plays].  For reading and writing, Coco was not able to identify and the high frequency words [was], [day], [we], [or], [who], and [only]. Please review these words.  Coco was also able to blend short /i/ words with [-it], [-ip], [-ig], [-in]. Coco was given a short story to read, and was able to read the story fluently and independently, as well as appropriately answer the comprehension questions with complete sentences.

In grammar, Coco was given the task to find the lower case [i], and proper nouns. Coco was able to appropriately capitalize the appropriate letters with teacher help.  Coco did a very good job in Math. She was given two math problems to complete and answered them correctly with teacher help.

Please thank Coco for a five-star class! ★★★★★Thank you for sharing the class with me and I hope to see Coco again soon! I would appreciate your comments and 5 apple rating!  In the comments, please tell me what Coco enjoyed about our class! Please consider using the Priority Booking function to get on my schedule again in two weeks. Have a great day! – Teacher Laura FAJ from Minnesota, USA”

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Some other UA thoughts:
-If they are totally not understanding a concept, take the time to re-teach it.

-If they didn’t have a project (this is normal!) and you have time at the end, hop back to the presentation slide and draw a project with them so they can get a few points still.

-Make sure to mention in the comments that UAs are different than normal classes, so parents understand why you’re not teaching new material, and probably not using as many props and teaching aids.

-Usually, kids are pretty prepared and breeze through their UA.  So keep an eye on your pacing.  You don’t want to get to the end of the slides and still have 5-7 minutes left!  So try to pace yourself to finish the levels in 5 minute increments, like this:

5:00ish= finish level 1

10:00ish= finish level 2

15:00ish= finish level 3

20:00ish=finish level 4

25:00ish=finish level 5, say good bye!

 

I really enjoy UAs, because I feel like I can relax a bit and just let the kid show me what they know.  Less teaching, more listening.  I hope you have a good one!

 

Laura

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Hello! My name is Laura and I teach online for VIPKID, teaching English to Chinese students! I make videos here to connect with other teachers and applicants.

VIPKID referral link: https://t.vipkid.com.cn/activity/popup?refereeId=9269465&refersourceid=a01

VIPKID referral code: 05IOD5

Email: laura.risdall@gmail.com

Instagram: @vipkidteachermom

VIPKID/Parenting Blog: http://www.laurarisdall.wordpress.com

 

Thanks for reading!

#vipkid #vipkidunitassessment #teachertip #vipkidteacher

VIPKID teachers: Do I need a trackpad for writing on the screen?

 

I have been an online English teacher for 9 months.  Generally, I’m not a “gadget” kind of person, opting for minimal tools and money spent.  For example, I didn’t give in and buy a headset until I had taught for about 4 months.  I still haven’t purchased a VIPKID shirt at all.

But I was getting frustrated with the trackpad on my laptop (MacBook) for writing on the screen.  I would say that I write on the screen more than an average teacher, not that there is any way to really gauge that.  I enjoy writing on the screen to connect with the student and to extend the lessons.

I teach standing a lot, which meant that I was leaning in, trying to write on the small track pad with my laptop lofted in the air.  It was uncomfortable and didn’t make the best, most clearest letters and numbers.

So I went to trusty old Amazon and found a well-rated track pad.  Above is the video of me trying it out for the first time, so you can see the difference.  I think I’m going to love it!

A full review is coming!

Happy Teaching!

-Laura