I have been teaching abroad for three years now. I have taught in Thailand, Korea, and Vietnam. Recently, I just got hired on with VIPKID, and it is one of the best things that could have happened in order to sustain my travels. There is nothing as freeing as the feeling of being able to pack up and move anytime you want. Having the financial freedom to move as I please is a step towards my goal of truly becoming a digital nomad, and I couldn’t be happier.
I have been working for VIPKID for about one month now, and my experience has been immensely positive. For those of you who are interested or want to learn more, I’ll give you a rundown of the hiring process, the mock lessons, and scheduling.
VIPKID offers online tutoring services to students in China. They have their own platform, which is similar to Skype. The classes are one-on-one and last for 25 minutes. Most teachers make between 7-9$ per 25 minute class. In addition, there are incentives for classes finished and hours taught. This makes most hourly rates come out to between 20-24$ per hour.
All materials are prepped for you via an interactive powerpoint. As a VIPKID teacher, your job is to go through the slides with the students and correct pronunciation as well as explaining ideas and new concepts. VIPKID loves fun, energetic teachers that incorporate songs, games, and props to keep the students interested.
VIPKID requires that you have a Bachelors Degree and experience teaching and/or working with children. They also only hire recruits with Canadian or American nationalities.
The Hiring Process
First, you will fill in your basic information. If you pass this step and meet the requirements, they will ask you to schedule an interview.
You have two options- a recorded demo or an in-person interview. I opted for an in-person interview, as I enjoy being able to talk and receive feedback in person. However, this is a personal preference and some people really enjoy being able to record their interviews. To prep for your interview, I would recommend watching lots of youtube video. Make sure to incorporate lots of TPR, smiles, and fun! You will also need to purchase a headset and set up an ‘educational’ background. For this, I just printed off an alphabet chart and a map and hung them on the wall. Some other great props to have on hand are puppets, a white board, and alphabet flashcards.
The Review and Quiz
After you have successfully passed your interview, you will be asked to read and watch materials about VIPKID. This covers everything from classroom bookings, how to effectively teach a class, and how to handle parent complaints. At the end, you will be asked to complete a quiz. Don’t worry, you can retake the quiz if you don’t pass the first time! (Although it is fairly straight-forward).
The Mock Classes
If you make it through the initial interview process and quiz, you will have to teach one or two mock classes. These are like actual classes, and you will be teaching for a full 25 minutes. I was able to successfully pass through the first time by preparing thoroughly for my mock class.
Apparently this is rare, and most people have to do two mock classes. The interviewers are other teachers from VIPKID. They are evaluating you on your use of TPR, your energy, and your ability to gain rapport with the student. This can be a little strange, as the ‘student’ is an adult pretending to be a five-year old. My advice would just be to let all inhibitions go and fully get into character. They appreciate seeing that you can have fun in the classroom and engage the student. This shows that you will be able to have fun in the classroom. If you’re having a good time, your students probably will be as well!
Once you have passed through one or two successful mock classes, you are officially a VIPKID teacher! You will need to send in your documents, a background check, and a signed copy of your six-month contract.
The reason I love VIPKID for my nomadic lifestyle is that they don’t have a minimum number of hours that you have to teach. It is up to the teacher how much they want to work.
At the beginning of the week, you simply choose the time slots that you are available and parents book with you. Some people worry that they won’t give enough bookings, but that hasn’t been my experience at all! Even as a new teacher, nearly every slot I open gets booked.
So, that’s that!
I will be quitting my in-person teaching job in February, consolidating my stuff down to a backpack, and will bounce around the world working for VIPKID. It has truly given me wings, and I would love for more people to experience this kind of freedom. If you use my referral link, I would be happy to have a Skype session with you to walk you through the process. I will also send you a copy of the files and clipart I used to successfully complete my mock lesson 1 without having to do a mock lesson 2. If you have already begun your interview process and would like me to be your referrer, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- my name: Kaitlyn Knoll
- my email address (email@example.com)
- and referral code (06F42O)
Even if you don’t use my referral code, please feel free to send an email or leave a comment at anytime. I would love to help or answer any questions that you may have.