Chinese New Year is by far the biggest festival in China. During this time, VIPKID students and their families are celebrating the lunar new year, which lasts for approximately one month.
Schedules change and students go on vacation during this month of celebration. As VIPKID teachers, we are affected by Chinese New Year in several ways.
Use this guide to understand these changes and how you can use this festival to your advantage.
Chinese New Year Dates
Chinese New Year falls on a different day each year because it follows the lunar calendar. You’ll also notice that your students (and VIPKID as a company) will frequently talk about a zodiac animal for each year.
Below, you’ll find the dates and zodiac animals for Chinese New Year for the next three years:
February 12, 2021 – The Year of the Ox
February 1, 2022 – The Year of the Tiger
January 22, 2023 – The Year of the Rabbit
Although Chinese New Year falls on one specific day, it is celebrated for nearly one month.
Students have a 4-week vacation from school during January and February; the specific dates of school vacation vary depending on which school the student attends.
VIPKID Bookings During Chinese New Year
Did you come to this blog post because your VIPKID bookings took a nosedive? Is it January or February and you’re wondering where all of your students went?
First and foremost, just know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Teaching with VIPKID during Chinese New Year is a stressful time for all teachers. This is the time of year when students and their families take long trips abroad, travel to other areas of China, or just take a break from school and studying.
In other words, bookings during Chinese New Year are completely unpredictable.
If you’re struggling to get VIPKID bookings during Chinese New Year, don’t panic.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel and bookings will increase as the festival comes to an end.
You should also know that if you’re a new teacher, it’s a double-whammy. New teachers tend to have difficulty getting classes in the first place, which is completely normal.
On top of having low bookings as a new VIPKID teacher, you’re facing another beast: Chinese New Year.
The absolute best advice that I have is to not let Chinese New Year bring you down. Know that there is an end in sight and that bookings will increase.
VIPKID teaching hours are different during Chinese New Year, which is another way things change.
Typically, VIPKID Teaching Hours revolve around after-school hours and weekends. Although it’s possible to teach 12+ hours each day, it’s not as likely to get bookings during daytime hours because the students are in school.
During Chinese New Year, however, VIPKID hours completely change.
Since students are out of school, it’s definitely possible to get bookings during daytime hours in China.
In order to increase your bookings during Chinese New Year, open slots two weeks in advance and open classes at any time, not just peak-peak time slots.
Common Phrases And Things To Know About Chinese New Year
There are so many things to learn about Chinese New Year. As a VIPKID teacher, it took a LOT of questions and probing to understand what Chinese New Year is all about.
Here are some things you should know about Chinese New Year as a VIPKID teacher:
1. Hong Bao
This phrase will be thrown around A LOT during Chinese New Year.
Hong bao, also known as the red envelope or the red packet, is a small envelope given to children during Chinese New Year. Inside, the child will find a gift of money.
Children will receive hong bao from several different relatives including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and sometimes parents.
Note: To connect with your student, ask if they received hong bao this year and what they will buy with their money.
My students regularly talk about their brothers and sisters that live in different cities. It always confused me and I often wondered, “why don’t your brothers and sisters live with you?”
As it turns out, many children in China don’t have brothers and sisters.
I know what you’re thinking and no, China no longer has a law limiting the number of children in each family. However, many families still choose to have one child.
So, when your students talk about their brothers and sisters, it’s likely that they’re talking about their cousins. This is especially true during Chinese New Year when families come together to celebrate.
What Do VIPKID Students Do During Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year is a time full of celebration, food, fireworks, and family.
Many VIPKID students will spend their Chinese New Year traveling to other parts of the country to visit family members.
Dumplings are served for New Year’s dinner and fireworks fill the skies in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai. This is also a time when families watch a lot of TV together.
For the remainder of school break, students take extra classes, study, and do homework in preparation for going back to school.
The Wrap-Up: VIPKID Chinese New Year
As the biggest festival in China, it’s important for VIPKID teachers to know what happens during Chinese New Year.
Whether you’re dealing with low bookings or trying to learn more about Chinese culture, use this guide to help you get through Chinese New Year.
For more details about teaching with VIPKID, check out our extensive VIPKID Blog.
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