There are many VIPKID warnings floating out there on the internet, so I wanted to debunk the statements that weren’t true and give you the 7 most important “warnings” for new or aspiring teachers.
VIPKID Warning: What’s True And What’s Not True?
In this guide, I’ll clear the air on each of the following assumptions:
1. Is VIPKID A Scam?
VIPKID is not a scam. It is an online English teaching platform that caters to teaching young children in China.
VIPKID hires American or Canadian teachers as independent contractors. The company is responsible for attracting students to the platform, but classes are booked based on the parents’ discretion.
I have been a VIPKID teacher for nearly 3 years. I’ve taught over 4,500 classes to 1200 students. I’ve used this job as my full-time income for the past 2 years. I can attest that this company is not a scam.
2. Is VIPKID An MLM?
Another misconception that many warn others about is that VIPKID is a multi-level marketing scheme.
Multi-level marketing schemes are set up so that others make money (and get rich) based on how many people they can get to “buy in” on the scheme/product. VIPKID is truly just an online English teaching company for young kids; it’s not even close to an MLM.
Some confuse it with an MLM because VIPKID awards referral bonuses. If you help another teacher start teaching with VIPKID, you’ll receive a one-time bonus.
They give out these referral bonuses because if you refer a new teacher, you are expected to help them through the process. To compensate you for your time, you get a little extra cash that month.
Essentially, VIPKID outsources the orientation tasks to their current teachers.
It’s not an MLM and if it was, I wouldn’t be involved in it.
3. Will I Actually Get Classes With VIPKID?
Another common warning about VIPKID that you might hear is that you won’t get any classes.
The truth is, you probably won’t get a lot of classes when you first start out. Every teacher must go through this lull.
It can take up to 3-4 months to get fully booked with VIPKID and it takes some effort.
Important: Be sure to read through this entire guide; I’ll show you exactly what you need to know to get more VIPKID bookings.
4. Is VIPKID Over Hiring?
VIPKID’s objective is to always have enough teachers to meet student demand. When they first started, they didn’t have enough teachers to meet student demand and this posed a huge problem.
To combat this problem, they have hired enough teachers to always meet student demand.
This may sound as if VIPKID is over hiring, but in reality, they know exactly what their hiring goals are.
When they feel that the student demand has been met, they don’t spend any additional money on recruiting new teachers. When they feel that the student demand is increasing, they spend more to recruit new teachers.
With that said, I know hundreds of teachers that have started with VIPKID in 2020 who have been successful.
5. Does VIPKID Care About Their Teachers?
I’ve read in several places that VIPKID doesn’t care about their teachers. You’re wondering, “is this true?”
The first time I ran into an IT issue while working with VIPKID, the company blamed it on me. I wasn’t paid for this class and I was frustrated.
I thought, “wow, nice job supporting your teachers.”
But as it turned out, VIPKID blamed it on me because it WAS my fault. What some people might not know is that VIPKID has a system that tracks the internet connection of both parties (the student and the teacher).
If your internet connection becomes unstable, VIPKID is able to determine this. That is why I was blamed for the connection issue. It was my fault.
Was I happy about it? No. But later I realized I was just taking my frustration out on the company.
They can also be a bit strict about what is considered an excused cancelation and what isn’t. Their goal is to make the rules as transparent as possible and treat every teacher equally.
Because of this, many teachers’ absences are not considered “excused”. This can be frustrating, too.
But, the truth is, this is plainly written in our contracts. If we don’t like it, we don’t HAVE to sign it.
Do I get frustrated with VIPKID sometimes? Absolutely.
Are there times where it feels like they side with the students and parents too often? Sure.
But overall, they are very objective and treat every situation with as much fairness as possible. They can’t please everyone, but they do try.
My Personal Story
There have been times where I’ve been slapped with teacher ITs and I didn’t feel it was fair. I expressed my frustrations and VIPKID listened to me. They even paid me for a few classes they determined to be teacher ITs because they wanted it to be fair for me.
I had taught the entire class and they said that I did my best to finish and therefore, they would pay me for my efforts.
VIPKID Warning: 7 Important Tips
Now that I’ve cleared up the above warnings, I have my own warnings for any aspiring VIPKID teachers:
1. Bookings Are Sporadic To Start
The first VIPKID warning you should know as a new teacher is that it takes time to get steady bookings. And when I say, “it takes time” that could mean up to 4 months.
If you plan to use VIPKID as your full-time income right out of the gate, you might want to think twice.
Some teachers don’t get any bookings until that 4-month mark while others receive 20+ bookings each week. It completely depends on the things you’re doing as a new teacher to promote yourself to parents.
My Bookings When I First Started
One Year After I Started With VIPKID
My Bookings Now
But, with the right guidance, you should be able to start filling your schedule as soon as you sign your contract.
If you’d like proper guidance through your online English teaching journey, be sure to check out my VIPKID warnings #4 and #7.
2. Open Booking Slots Immediately
This is something most VIPKID employees and teachers won’t share with you, but I think it’s 100% necessary.
My second VIPKID warning is to open your booking slots as soon as you possibly can after you sign your contract.
There will be a few hours in between the time you sign your contract and when you can open classes. Monitor this and once you are able to open classes, open as many as you can.
The reason you should open classes as soon as possible is because your teaching profile will appear at the top of search results for the first several days after signing your contract.
This is your time to attract as many students as possible, make a great first impression, get positive parent feedback, and hopefully receive repeat students.
3. Know What NOT To Say In Class
When I first started with VIPKID, I had no idea what I was doing. I knew that China had different rules than America, but I didn’t know what those rules were.
Well, in my opinion, they should put a warning label on the VIPKID platform because there are many things you cannot say during class.
It took me two years to finally understand what I could discuss with my students and what I couldn’t talk about with my students.
Here are the five things you should NEVER talk about in a VIPKID classroom: Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tiananmen Square, the Chinese Government, and anything political.
4. Have A Referring Teacher
This is very important and so many aspiring teachers don’t take advantage of this.
Having a referring teacher is one of the best choices you can make as a new teacher because your referring teacher will be there to answer any and all of your VIPKID questions.
And believe me, you’ll have plenty of questions.
So do yourself a favor and use a referral code when you sign up to teach with VIPKID.
If you don’t have a referring teacher, feel free to use my code: LAURA0279. I’d be happy to help you through the process.
But, regardless if you use my code or not, use SOMEBODY’S. You’ll be thankful you did.
Important note: If you use my referral code, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know. I have no way of contacting you if you don’t email me, so please reach out.
5. Set Your Profile Up Properly
My next VIPKID warning relates to your profile. As a new teacher, you’ll need to set up your profile in a way that parents will be tempted to book classes with you.
The first thing you should know is that Chinese parents want to book classes with attractive looking teachers. I hate to say this because it may seem shallow, but it’s true.
So, with that said, be sure that your profile pictures are attractive. They should be semi-professional and inviting; smiling is the best way to present yourself in an attractive way to parents.
Next, be sure that your introduction video is short, sweet, and again.. inviting.
You’ll want to highlight how much fun the student will have in your class and how much they will learn from you.
For more tips on your VIPKID profile, be sure to check out our blog post: VIPKID Profile Pictures & Bio Examples.
6. Don’t Give Up
I’ve seen so many applicants go through the hiring process only to give up after one month because they didn’t get as many classes as they thought they would.
Here’s a VIPKID warning you should know before jumping into this platform: keep your expectations low when you first start out as a teacher.
As I said, you will not fill up your entire schedule right away. It may even take 2+ weeks to get your first booking. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be successful with VIPKID 3-4 months down the road.
My bookings were sporadic (at best) when I first started. It took me 3.5 months to get steady regulars and feel that I could depend on VIPKID full-time.
So my best advice is: Be patient, be persistent, and keep working at it because it will work out for you, especially with the right advice.
7. Join Our Community
The last VIPKID warning I have for you is to find a supportive community to join. Find the right guidance.
I would be happy to be that guide for you.
You can join our free weekly newsletter below. And, in doing so, you’ll receive our guide on how to become a highly demanded teacher with VIPKID. Sign up below:
The Wrap-Up: VIPKID Warning
I hope this guide helped you better understand this online English teaching platform.
Don’t stress about the warnings that others may post online. Although there are many common misconceptions about VIPKID, this is truly a great company to work for.