I recently came across a very interesting conversation thread on the Facebook group: VIPKID Teachers Who Travel. I am a member of this group and have currently been working as an online English teacher with VIPKID for over a year now.
The question (as seen in the picture below) really got me thinking, “how do brick & mortar (normal school) teaching jobs compare to teaching online with VIPKID?”
Many responses to this question can be found below and all of them reflect the same feelings; I didn’t just select the ones in favor of VIPKID. Since this was eye-opening information for me, I thought a post comparing brick & mortar schools to VIPKID was absolutely necessary.
With VIPKID, you are in control of your own schedule. There are no set hours or number of days you must work.
For example, when I am not traveling I work around 35 hours per week. When I am traveling, I can change my schedule without notice. For the past two weeks, I worked a total of 5 hours because we were constantly moving from country to country.
This is especially beneficial for mothers who wish to stay home with their children. Many VIPKID teachers work during early morning hours and spend days/nights with their kids (no childcare costs? Sweet deal!)
Although brick & mortar schools are not flexible during the school year, you must remember that teachers are given 2+ months of holiday during the summer months.
They also have national holidays and weekends off.
The hours that VIPKID classes are conducted are a bit strange because they are based on the Beijing timezone. If you are living in the United States, peak teaching hours can vary from 3am – 10am depending on your timezone.
Although the hours are early (or late – Friday and Saturday nights), this can be beneficial for stay at home parents. It also gives me a jump on the day. When I teach from 5am – 10am, I have the entire rest of the day to enjoy and take advantage of.
Teaching hours depend on the school level and the district. The average school day for children in the United States is approximately 6.5 hours, however, teachers are typically expected to arrive an hour before and stay late. Many teachers spend 10 hours per day at school.
Prep work is basically non-existent with VIPKID. Teaching materials are provided for you. For the first several months, I would glance over the slideshows to prepare for class. Now that I am familiar with the teaching style and lessons, I no longer prepare for classes.
As far as I know, brick & mortar teachers spend a lot of their free time preparing for classes. The worst part is the teachers must follow a strict curriculum that they may or may not agree with.
This is a major downfall of VIPKID. Unfortunately, VIPKID teachers are not offered many benefits (or any at all).
Health insurance, paid vacation, and a 401K are not provided. As a full-time VIPKID teacher, I currently use Liberty HealthShare for health insurance. Paid vacation is not an option, however, you are can teach from ANYWHERE; teaching can be done while you are on vacation. In place of a 401K, there is a specific accountant that helps VIPKID teachers invest in IRAs, annuities, etc.
The benefits provided to brick & mortar teachers are pretty good for most school districts. Health, vision, and dental insurance are usually covered, as well as promotions, raises, and tenure.
I currently make $22/hr with VIPKID. For short notice classes, I make $26/hr. There are more bonuses and more opportunities to earn money with VIPKID, which you can read about in this blog post: How Much Can I Actually Make with VIPKID?
According to Niche, the average annual salary for starting teachers in America is $38,617. For veteran teachers, the average annual salary is $58,950. These numbers completely depend on the state and grade level.
As an online teacher, classes can be conducted anywhere in the world where WiFi is strong enough. Location independent.
Dependent on location.
I think this comment speaks volumes:
This comment was in response to the question posted above. It was a completely voluntary comment and was not coached in any way.
Want To Teach With VIPKID?
Awesome, they are always hiring and I highly recommend this company.
You can start by filling out an application right here: VIPKID.
Be sure to use the referral code: LAURA0279
With this code, I will become your referral. A referral (mentor) is a really important part of the interview process and is highly recommended by VIPKID because although the teaching itself is the easiest job, the interview process can be daunting. But don’t worry, it is worth it and I will help you through it step-by-step.
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