VIPKID is one of the many online ESL teaching companies. They are based in China and hire North American teachers to teach students throughout China. Today I am going to talk about my experience teaching with VIPKID for the past two years. I haven’t taught with other ESL companies but I know some basics about what those companies are like and will try to compare them to VIPKID.
1. Flexible Hours
The best thing I think about teaching with VIPKID is the flexible hours. You literally decide every week how many hours you want to work, which days and which time. I have another full-time job so when I started looking for a way to supplement my income I knew I needed something that was really flexible. Some ESL companies require teachers to teach a minimum amount of classes in a month. Some require teachers to block off times for a group of students a term or a month at a time. With VIPKID though I can increase the number of classes I teach on weeks or months when I don’t have a lot going on and I can decrease my classes when I go on vacation or have a lot of other commitments.
2. Very Little Preparation Required
If you were to teach or tutor ESL students on your own, or perhaps teach some other kind of classes on Out School, Fatherly or Skill Share, you would need to plan your own lessons and prepare outside of class (not part of your pay). I was a teacher in the classroom before and so I know how much time it can take preparing a lesson on your own. VIPKID, however, does most of the planning for you. They give you a powerpoint for every class. The company has worked very hard over the years to make these powerpoints better and better. They are continually releasing new features and more kid-friendly presentations. Going through these powerpoints generally takes up the entire 25 minute class that you teach.
Now, some VIPKID teachers are just…… WOW! I mean absolutely above and beyond. They create their own supplemental activities, props, games etc. They even spend time creating amazing backgrounds to make their “classroom” look more inviting. If you like this stuff and you want to do this, go for it! You’re kids will love it. However, as I said earlier, I have a full-time job and I just do VIPKID as a supplement to my income. So for me, all I do to prepare for my classes is briefly look over the powerpoint for the class I am going to teach. Since I have been teaching with VIPKID for so long, I have props for most of the major content points. After looking through the powerpoint I grab a couple props I think will be helpful in teaching the content for that lesson. Also, once a month or so, I change the background in my “classroom”. I might add a string of Christmas lights at Christmas or paper lanterns at Chinese New Year. Most of the time my background is just a simple sheet of colored paper with a border around it and I add an subtract things occasionally.
That’s it! It’s really only about 5 minutes of prep for each class.
3. Plenty Of Support To Help You Become A Great Teacher
During the hiring process you’ll deliver several mock classes to VIPKID teachers/coaches. These coaches will then give you feedback on things you are doing well and ways you can improve. After getting hired with VIPKID there are a lot of resources available to help you continue to become a better teacher. VIPKID offers free online workshops on a variety of topics. They also have an online community where you can ask other teachers questions. There are facebook groups you can join to share prop and teaching resources with other VIPKID teachers. You’ll never feel like you’re just being hung out to dry.
I’m also available to answer any questions you might have about the hiring process or tips once you start as a VIPKID teacher. You can connect with me using one of the connect buttons at the top right corner of this page.
4. Incentives For Teaching More
With VIPKID the longer you teach and the more classes you teach in a month, the more money you make. You also can get rewarded for opening up slots for certain times of the day because these slots are really popular and in demand for Chinese students.
So, if you are interested in getting started with VIPKID, click the link below. Remember, I’m here if you have any questions or what to know more!
*If you sign up using the link above I will received a small incentive from VIPKID.