You’re probably wondering, “what is this VIPKID gig everyone is talking about?” Does it seem too good to be true? Well, in this post I’m going to let you in on the 10 things I wish I knew before teaching with VIPKID.
Why Should You Listen To Me?
It’s been nearly two years since I’ve started teaching with VIPKID and I can honestly say this is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. It’s given me the flexibility to create my own schedule, travel the world, and most importantly the kids are freaking wonderful.. well, most of them.
As a successful teacher, these are the tips and information I only WISH I knew before I started teaching:
1. Having A Referring Teacher Is Extremely Helpful
When I signed up to teach for VIPKID, I didn’t have a referring teacher or someone to walk me through the process; no one to give me necessary tips or advice. That is one of my biggest regrets. There are SO many things that I didn’t know before diving in that I wish I would’ve known (yes, even more than what I’m about to tell you in this post!).
Your referral is there to walk you through the application process, which can be quite daunting at times. Don’t get me wrong, teaching actual classes is the easiest job in the world, but the hiring process.. not so much.
If you don’t have a referring teacher yet, use this link to sign up for VIPKID and use referral code: LAURA0279.
I’ll gladly help you through the process and offer extensive support. I will also walk you through the steps to get bookings when you eventually become a teacher. Once you use my link, send me an email letting me know! My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’ve already started the hiring process, you can add my referral code: LAURA0279 by following the instructions in the picture below:
Check out our recent blog post for more information about referrals- VIPKID Referral Code: 3 Reasons Why You Should Use One
2. Parent Feedback Is VERY Important
The parents are paying a lot of money to have their child take classes with VIPKID. They want to be assured that they are selecting a good teacher, one that will really help their child learn. The best way to build a good reputation among VIPKID parents is to have other parents vouch for you.
This is why you NEED excellent parent feedback.
So how do you get great parent feedback?
ASK FOR 5 APPLE FEEDBACK.
As I said, I wish I would’ve known this before I started teaching with VIPKID. I taught two whole weeks of classes without using this trick and it definitely hurt my bookings (for the remainder of the first month anyway).
After every class, VIPKID teachers are required to leave feedback. This feedback is for the parents and it’s your opportunity to tell them how wonderful their child did in your class, what they could practice at home, and ask for a 5-apple review.
Here is an example of what I write in a student’s feedback:
“Eric is a wonderful student. He worked hard in class and focused the entire time. He is very good at reciting his ABCs, blending sounds to make words, and reading short sentences. For homework, Eric can practice the new vocabulary words. Eric’s English language skills are very good and I would love to continue teaching him.
What are some of Eric’s hobbies? What are his favorite subjects to study at school? I enjoy learning more about my students because it helps me connect with them.
If you liked my teaching today, please leave me positive 5-apple feedback. It is very important for VIPKID teachers to get 5-apple feedback from every class. Thank you!”
Pro-tip: Ask the parent questions in feedback. If they are asked questions, they are more likely to reply and leave positive feedback.
3. What Are VIPKID Trial Classes?
As a new teacher with VIPKID, I highly suggest that you get your trial certification (see #6 below for more information). New VIPKID teachers are much more likely to be booked for trial classes than regular course classes.
Trial classes are for students who aren’t yet signed up for VIPKID. VIPKID offers three free trial classes to any child in hopes that they will eventually sign up as a paying student.
How To Teach VIPKID Trial Classes
The classes for trial students are different from the major course classes.
The two most important things to remember about trial classes are:
1. You teach the student something new.
2. The student has fun.
If the student enjoys it, they are much more likely to sign up for VIPKID; this could also mean a new regular student for you! If they learn something new (even something very small), the parents will be satisfied.
Trial classes aren’t very strict, therefore it isn’t necessary to correct the student’s grammar all the time. It’s also unnecessary to finish ALL the slides. Go at the pace you believe works for the student. A pace where the student is having fun but also learning something.
To prepare for trial classes, I would recommend looking through the PowerPoint before your class. Understand the basic information on each of the slides and have an idea of how you may teach it.
And for peace of mind.. just know that these students don’t have any expectations. If you don’t do so well during your first trial class, don’t worry! The student probably won’t know the difference.
For more information about teaching trial classes, check out our post: VIPKID Trial Class: Every Question Answered.
4. How To Get More VIPKID Bookings
Getting consistent bookings is one of the biggest problems for new VIPKID teachers. I briefly experienced it and I’ve also cracked the not-so-secret code to getting consistent bookings. The first thing to remember when starting with VIPKID:
Patience is key.
I know that this advice kind of sucks. Believe me, I was in the exact same position. Getting consistent bookings (or any bookings at all) seemed impossible but I waited out the storm and I’m now using VIPKID as a full-time job.
Luckily, I can promise you that if you stick with it, you will get bookings and you will be able to fill your schedule, too (yes, even if you’re starting to teach with VIPKID in 2020. You aren’t too late to join the club).
In order to start getting bookings and eventually get a full schedule, check out this detailed post:
Here is a map of the first five weeks that I worked with VIPKID. As you can see, I started off with a decent amount of bookings and then dropped off after the first two weeks. By week four and five, I was filling up my schedule again.
1. Week One
2. Week Two
3. Week Three
4. Week Four
5. Week Five
Getting bookings takes time. From what I’ve seen, the average time for your schedule to fill up completely is about 8 weeks. For some people, it takes longer, for some people it takes less time. Stick with it. I promise you it’s worth it.
5. VIPKID Student No Shows
So you’re ready and eager to teach your first VIPKID class. You’ve prepared yourself, you have your classroom set up, the time comes, and…. there’s no one there? These are called student no shows.
This mostly occurs with trial classes and any class booked during summer vacation (July 1 – September 1), however, it can also happen randomly throughout your schedule.
So What Do You Do If Your Student No Shows?
For trial classes, you are to wait in the classroom for 15 minutes before exiting. For a regular class, you will need to stay in the class for the entire 25 minutes. You are more than welcome to surf the internet or catch up on feedback during a student no show, but you must keep the tab open.
If a student no show occurs during a trial class, we only receive half the pay since we will only be in class for 15 minutes. If a regular student decides to no show, you are still paid the full amount.
6. VIPKID Certifications
Most new teachers will start with two certifications (level 2 & 3 or level 4 & 5) upon completion of their mock class. Although you will have a few under your belt when you start, it’s important to know that the more certifications you can acquire, the better.
Having more certifications means you have the ability to teach more students and more classes.
How To Get More VIPKID Certifications
You can earn more VIPKID certifications through your teacher’s portal. Look for the “Certification” tab at the top of the page. Here, you will find tons of certifications. Some certifications will require you to pass a quick quiz, others will require a demo lesson.
They are all free to acquire and VIPKID highly recommends earning as many as you can.
In the certification center on the VIPKID dashboard, you’ll be able to see the requirements for each certification and whether you qualify or not. If you’re a new teacher, you’ll qualify for many of the major course certifications and a few others as well.
Some certifications require that you teach 400 classes before applying for it. Others require a certain amount of parent feedback.
Insider tip: as a new teacher, I highly recommend that you get your trial certification as soon as possible. Most new teachers have success in booking trial classes before booking major course classes.
Trial classes are also extremely easy to teach because you aren’t following a strict curriculum; it’s the perfect time to practice for major course classes, which are soon to follow.
7. Teaching With VIPKID Is The Easiest Job
While preparing for my mock class, I was so worried that I would have to spend hours and hours prepping for each lesson. It took me FOREVER to prepare for my mock class, so why would the actual classes be any different?
Luckily, teaching is so much different than the mock class.
Once you have your teaching style down, you simply go with the flow and teach! The slides and information on how to teach them are all provided for you. I just show up, teach, and enjoy the time with my students.
8. VIPKID Short Notice Bookings
Short notice bookings are pretty important in the VIPKID world. The short notice booking option allows parents to book you within 24 hours of the class start time. If you check the 24-hour blue button, parents are allowed to book your class up to one hour prior to the start of class.
When I first started with VIPKID, short notice bookings made up at least 50% of my schedule. Now that I’m an established teacher, I utilize short notice bookings to make more money.
Any short notice class booked will result in $2 extra/class. I can use short notice bookings to steadily making $25/hr.
9. The Importance Of Bettering Your Teaching
VIPKID does an excellent job providing on-the-job training, instructional videos, and how-to guides. I spent many student no-show classes reading, watching videos, and using their resources to better my teaching.
I currently feel very confident in my teaching abilities.
Use the resources they provide to improve your teaching and make classes more fun and interesting for your students. Get tips from other teachers via Youtube videos, Facebook groups, the Hutong and this blog right here!
10. Go Into Every Class With A Positive Attitude
As a VIPKID teacher, you are required to leave the student feedback after every class. The system also prompts you to write tips and advice for the next teacher who will teach the student.
I read these tips religiously. These help me prepare for my lesson.
However, I have noticed that when I read about a student who is naughty, doesn’t stay focused, or just struggles with every concept, I go into the class with that on my mind..
What I didn’t realize was that I needed to change my own attitude. Instead of going into the class with these negative ideas, go in with a positive attitude. I’ve had students that other teachers cannot handle or report as having poor behavior. Time after time, I have had completely different results with these same students.
Basically, don’t judge a student based on what other teachers say about them. Although the other teacher tips can be helpful, having a negative view of the student before you even meet them is completely unfair.
Want More On VIPKID?
Get your free guide to becoming a highly rated and demanded teacher with VIPKID through the sign-up form below!
The Wrap-Up: 10 Things I Wish I Knew BEFORE Teaching with VIPKID
VIPKID seemed too good to be true before I started working with them. I brushed aside the idea of applying for years. Overall, I am so glad that I decided to give it a chance. VIPKID has allowed us to work remotely from anywhere in the world and create our own schedule.
As with any job, there are many things that I wish I would have known before I started teaching. I hope these tips will help out the next teacher looking to begin their VIPKID journey.
Any more questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me! I’d love to hear from you!
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