VIPKID New Teacher Handbook
Hey new VIPKID teachers, this post is for you! You’ve completed all of the necessary steps to become a VIPKID teacher and now you’re ready to teach classes.. or are you?
The thought of jumping into teaching head first can be intimidating, so I’m here to make the process a little bit easier. Below you’ll find the answers to many frequently asked questions for new VIPKID teachers.
1. VIPKID New Teacher Bookings
Let’s dive right into the most important part of teaching with VIPKID.. actually getting classes. Here are a few things you should know about bookings with VIPKID as a new teacher.
How long does it take to get a steady schedule?
One of the main concerns that new teachers have is, “how long does it take to get a completely full and steady schedule?”
To be completely honest, it is different for every teacher. However, on average, it takes about 3 months to fill your schedule completely. Bookings might increase and decrease periodically, but keep in mind that eventually, your schedule will fill up.
There is no reason to panic if you don’t see any bookings on your radar for the first week or two; yes, this is completely normal. It even happened to me! Since parents don’t know who you are yet, it takes time for them to come around.
The best thing you can do is have patience. I also highly recommend checking out our post on How to Quickly Get Bookings with VIPKID. These tips and tricks have worked wonders for other teachers (including myself), so give them a try!
Can I teach with VIPKID full-time?
Teaching full-time with VIPKID is absolutely possible. Many teachers use VIPKID as their full-time income. In fact, many brick and mortar teachers are giving up their classrooms to come over to the virtual side of teaching. It is definitely possible to teach 40+ hours per week.
Since Mike and I travel full-time, I take advantage of VIPKID’s flexible policy; some days I teach 10 hours, other days I don’t teach at all.
Do I need to keep a steady schedule in order to fill my timeslots?
I’ve been asked this question a LOT recently. Many new VIPKID teachers worry that if they don’t open the exact same time slots each week, students won’t book their classes.
This just isn’t true. Although having a consistent schedule might appeal to some parents, most parents are flexible. If they like you and their child enjoyed your class, I can almost guarantee that they’ll go out of their way to book lessons with you again.
2. How to Teach Back-to-Back VIPKID Classes
This intimidates a lot of new VIPKID teachers and for good reason. How in the world can you jump from one class to another in a matter of minutes? What if I go over the allotted time? How can I prepare for this?
Back-to-back bookings with VIPKID was my biggest concern as a new teacher. All of the questions I mentioned above were running through my head and since I didn’t have a referral, I didn’t have anyone to turn to for advice.
The best thing you can do is to review the materials before your classes. If you’re still worried about teaching two classes in a row, don’t open two classes back-to-back until you feel ready.
Preparing props for back-to-back classes
Another thing many new VIPKID teachers worry about is getting props prepared for back-to-back classes.
This might be the most important thing you’ll learn from this blog post… PROPS AREN’T THAT IMPORTANT. Yes, they help and you should definitely use enough props during your mock class, but don’t get worked up about not having class-specific props.
In fact, the only prop I recommend that you buy is a small whiteboard. When in doubt, draw what you’re trying to explain to the student. It’s a piece of cake.
You can find the whiteboard in this post: VIPKID Classroom Set-Up
3. How to Handle Short Notice Bookings as a New VIPKID Teacher
Many new VIPKID teachers stray away from opening short notice bookings. The idea of not being able to prepare for lessons is scary.
However, remember that short notice bookings cannot be made less than an hour before the scheduled start time. Therefore, you’ll have at least an hour to prepare.
Preparing for VIPKID classes gets easier and easier the more you teach. The best way to prepare is to read through the lesson, slide by slide. Keep in mind that every major course class with VIPKID is structured the same way.
The structure of every VIPKID class (major course classes)
Every VIPKID major course lesson is laid out the same. Here’s what I mean:
You’ll start by teaching a few new vocabulary words. Use silly voices to have the students understand and remember these new words. You can even circle the picture and ask, “what do you see?” Hint: they should answer using the new vocabulary word.
A new verb is typically introduced here. You can get up out of your seat and show the student what this word means or you can draw it on your whiteboard.
Next, you’ll teach sentence frames using the new vocabulary and action words.
Then, you’ll move onto sight words. If the students are old enough, have them use these words in a sentence that they create.
Next is teaching phonics. The easiest and best way that I’ve found to teach phonics is by having a race, me vs. the student. Who can read the blends faster? I use my phone to keep time and I always let the student win.
Last, you’ll teach a bit of math. This is usually pretty self-explanatory. If they’re younger, you’ll focus on math symbols. As they get older, they’ll complete word problems. You can even have the student read the word problem if they’re comfortable reading.
Once you become comfortable teaching each of the above topics, you’ll be able to spend less time preparing for each class. You can use the same technique to teach each class.
Pro-tip: you don’t have to teach the slides EXACTLY how VIPKID says in the tips excerpt. Feel free to put your own spin on things. If you feel like you can teach it more effectively in a different style, do it!
If you’re still uncomfortable with the idea of short notice bookings, wait until you’ve taught a few classes before you start opening short notice lessons.
4. How to Deal with Priority Booking Requests as a New VIPKID Teacher
Booking requests can be a difficult concept to understand as a new VIPKID teacher. To clarify, a student can send a booking request to a teacher for a class that has not been opened. The teacher can choose to open this slot for the student or keep it closed.
A lot of new teachers battle guilt if they aren’t able to open classrooms for booking requests. Understandably, a lot of teachers feel they will lose a prospective regular student if they don’t accept the booking request.
The truth is, if a student enjoyed your class, they will book classes with you. Don’t worry if you can’t cater to the student’s initial request; you’ll be surprised to see those same students show up on your schedule for the classes you can open.
How do I respond if I can’t accept a priority booking?
Personally, I just ignore requests that I cannot accept. Instead of denying it, which I think is kind of harsh, I just let it expire. I have never had an issue or complaint and I receive handfuls of booking requests that I cannot accept each week.
5. How to Keep VIPKID Students Engaged
As a new VIPKID teacher, it can be intimidating to go into a class without knowing how the student will respond. Will they participate? Will they care about what you’re saying?
Most students stay engaged and focused during VIPKID lessons, but there are always the few that don’t. So here are a few tips to help you keep the distracted students engaged:
1. Connect with the kids as much as possible. Ask them level-appropriate questions. Have them tell you about their day, their friends, and their favorite things (animal, color, subject in school).
2. Ask the student to pay attention. If a student is clearly focused on other things, wave at them and say, “please look at the teacher.”
3. Play really exciting games. Here are 5 Clever VIPKID Reward System Ideas for Building Excellent Rapport. These will help to keep your students focused and interested.
If you’ve tried all of these methods and your student still won’t stay focused, you can tell the learning partner about the issue. You can contact the child’s learning partner at the bottom of the feedback form.
6. What If I Don’t Finish All of the Lesson Slides?
Your goal should always be to finish all of the lesson slides for each VIPKID class you teach. However, you’ll soon realize that sometimes things happen that will keep you from finishing every lesson slide. And that’s okay.
Overall, it takes many, many classes to get the timing down perfectly. This is something that will come naturally after several months. Don’t beat yourself up if you have to skip a slide or two at the end of the lesson; it happens to me quite often, too.
Tips for finishing all of the lesson slides
1. Spend approximately one minute on each slide. If you spend more than one minute on a particular slide, don’t worry! You can make up time by spending less time on the next slide.
2. Let’s say you’re teaching a slide that has three questions about the same topic. If the student has easily answered the first two questions correctly, don’t feel like you NEED to complete the third question. If you’re running short on time, continue on to the next slide.
The Wrap-Up: VIPKID New Teacher Handbook
As a new VIPKID teacher, you might be apprehensive about starting your teaching journey due to varying factors. My goal is to give you the confidence to open classes and begin teaching.
Not a New VIPKID Teacher Yet? Sign Up Here!
If you haven’t started the VIPKID hiring process, there’s no better time than now. Use my referral link here: VIPKID Teach and referral code LAURA0279. This will make me your referring teacher.
Once you’ve done this, send me an email at email@example.com so I can help you through the process. We’ll get you hired and teaching in no time!
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I’m in the process of signing my contract and this is SO helpful! I’ve been stressed about a lot of these things and can’t find answers for them anywhere but here. THANK YOU!!
I’m so glad this was helpful for you! I sat in bed last night writing it and wasn’t sure if I structured the post in the best way. So your feedback means a lot to me!
Thank you so much for your kind words.
YOU should be a brand ambassador. Talk about great content and style! Thank you so much for your diligence in providing such a wealth of easy-to-read information to us newbies!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you so much for your kind words! You made my day 🙂
Hi Laura! Thanks for your absolutely, totally invaluable information! You really have a feel for what new teachers need. I teach secondary school but think I could teach younger students, because as a theater and television broadcasting teacher, I have to be entertaining and can be pretty dramatic, haha. I would like to begin teaching a few classes on weekends, increase the number this summer, and then increase even more when I retire in a couple of years.
However, it took me back when I saw that teaching math is included. I am terrible — I mean really terrible — at math. Do you think that this would keep me from being successful as a VIPKID teacher?
Again, thanks for your great information and encouragement and help you may provide with my concern about math as a requirement.
Best regards, Josie
Good question. I absolutely don’t think the math teaching will hold you back. It is VERY easy math information and they even give you the answers. But again, the math is elementary and simple. Don’t let it deter you!
Also, thank you so much for the kind words! They mean everything to me 🙂
I’m so glad I found your blog! I was just hired and am in the middle of completing my contract. My question is- how can it replace a full time job? They told me my class times would be from 6:30pm-8am because of my time zone. So would I have to teach all night?! ?
When I made VIPKID my full-time job, I worked 4 or 4.5 hours every morning (typically 5:00am – 9am because of my timezone). By doing this, I earn $3,000+ each month, which is consistent with a brick & mortar teacher’s salary. I sometimes added a few hours to my schedule to earn even more, if I wanted.
Hope this helps and thank you so much for the kind words! If you have more questions, absolutely send them my way!