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So you’ve become a VIPKID teacher and you’re ready to set up your classroom. Perfect, you’ve come to the right place!
Over the past year and a half, I’ve learned everything there is to know about VIPKID setup and making your classroom appealing and attractive to students. Use these tips to create a budget-friendly environment for your soon-to-be VIPKID students.
VIPKID Classroom Background
One of the first things your students will see when they enter your classroom is your background. VIPKID loves when their teachers have an appropriate and educational background. Parents like to see this too, especially if they’ve never met you before.
Giving off a great first impression will help you build rapport and hopefully add this student to your list of regulars (this is a figurative list, of course!).
I’ve tried several different backgrounds throughout my time with VIPKID but quickly found that the easiest solution was a world map tapestry. This is a very low-maintenance background for my VIPKID classroom and it’s especially helpful when I am traveling. It is completely portable, so I am able to take it with me wherever I go.
Check out how the world map tapestry looks in the picture below:
There are several different variations of these tapestries, which you can find on Amazon at this link:
Note: my world map tapestry is approximately 59″ x 79″ and it is quite big. Anything around this size or smaller will suffice for your VIPKID classroom setup.
In order to hang my world map tapestry on the wall behind me, I use sticky tack. This way I am not poking holes in the wall and it’s easy for me to move the tapestry if necessary (especially when I travel).
Name Tag For Background
A lot of teachers like to have their name displayed on the wall behind them. VIPKID mock class mentors also like to see this. While I no longer display my name on the wall behind me, I would recommend that new teachers use a name tag.
Since you’ll be consistently meeting new students, having your name displayed on a tag will help them remember who you are. To keep costs down and make my classroom as budget-friendly as possible, I simply wrote my name on a colored sheet of paper. I made the letters large enough to read from far away. I suggest doing the same.
Keep in mind, there is no need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on VIPKID classroom setup equipment. Keep things simple and focus on your teaching; that is the most important aspect of being a VIPKID teacher.
VIPKID Classroom Lighting
Lights, camera, action! Time to teach, but you’ll need to make sure the lighting in your VIPKID classroom is bright enough.
For a while, I struggled with shadows and poor lighting in my classroom, but that quickly changed when I invested in a proper desk light. My desk light plugs directly into the USB port on my computer. It has many levels of brightness, which I can adjust when the natural light streams in.
Check out the LED desk lamp I like to use for lighting my VIPKID classroom:
I’ve always been a firm believer that you shouldn’t spend money on props. I love saving money and putting that money toward other things (like travel). That’s why I like to get creative and find props around my home for free!
VIPKID also encourages you to find props from around your home.
However, I know this doesn’t sit well with some aspiring teachers. If you want to come fully prepared for class, I recommend buying three helpful props:
1. Letter Flashcards
When I first began teaching, I found that using letter flashcards was especially helpful. This helped me teach my students phonics and blending words.
The cheapest way to get your hands on a deck of letter flashcards is to make them yourself. I made mine with a stack of notecards.
However, the easiest way to find letter flashcards is to buy them from Amazon, which you can find in the link below:
2. A Whiteboard & Markers
Another prop that I found extremely helpful during my first year of teaching with VIPKID was a mini whiteboard. Using a whiteboard, I was able to explain proper pronoun-verb agreement, blending words, and anything else that needed to be written out.
I recommend getting a whiteboard that has a handle on it like the one in the picture below. This way, you’ll be able to hold onto the whiteboard with ease. Not to mention, these whiteboards are ridiculously cheap.
Hand puppets help teach dialogue and sentence frames. I recommend buying the puppet in the picture below because his mouth opens and closes. There are several hand puppets by Melissa & Doug that you can find at Target, however, they are expensive and the mouths of these puppets don’t open and close. This makes it difficult to show the student dialogue.
As a VIPKID teacher, you’ll need to have a reliable headset in order to hear your students properly. I’ve used several different pairs of headphones and headsets over the past two years but found that the best VIPKID headset is the Logitech H151 Headset.
I like this headset the best because it’s affordable, has an easy mute switch, and has a headphone jack instead of a USB plug-in. At first, I purchased a headset that attached to my device via USB, however, this didn’t work out when I wanted to teach on my tablet.
Save yourself the time, energy, and frustration and get the headset above. And for what it’s worth, this is the headset that VIPKID recommends, too.
Common Questions About The VIPKID Classroom Setup
Often times I get the same questions about my VIPKID classroom setup and how other teachers can set up their classroom, too. Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions about the classroom setup:
Can I Teach With VIPKID Using A Chromebook?
Unfortunately, teaching with VIPKID happens on the VIPKID app. Apps are not supported on a Chromebook, so you will not be able to teach using one.
Can I Teach With VIPKID Using My Phone?
Another device you cannot use to teach with VIPKID is your smartphone. Although you’ll be able to complete the smart demo (part of the application process) with your phone, you won’t be able to teach using your phone.
You’ll need to teach using a tablet, laptop, or desktop.
The Wrap-Up: VIPKID Classroom Setup
Setting up your VIPKID classroom should be quick, easy, and budget-friendly. I highly recommend sifting through your belongings at home to see if you can decorate your classroom with things you already have. Use the tips above to help determine what you need to make your classroom fun and appealing to your VIPKID students.
Want More On VIPKID?
After almost two years of teaching with VIPKID, I’ve learned the ins and outs of becoming a highly demanded teacher. I want to share my insights with you, which is why I created this free guide on “How to Become a Highly Demanded VIPKID Teacher”.
You can get your guide below; all I need is your name and email address and I’ll deliver it directly to your inbox.
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