What does it take to be a VIPKID teacher - from a newbie!
I am 14 days into my VIPKID teacher journey, and the question that keeps popping up in my messages is "Do you love it?".
Here we go! The short answer is YES!
In 5th grade, I remember telling my social studies teacher that when she retired, I was going to teach in her classroom. Although I'm not currently in a classroom, I love kids. I love being part of their learning. I love seeing them successful and happy. From time to time I find myself missing my preschool classroom and my kids (who are now middle school and high schoolers!). I love the challenge of having new faces every day.
VIPKID has been so fun for me. I get excited when I click the "start class" and get to see their face for the first time. I get SUPER excited when I get a new booking and do a happy dance :)
What's the VIPKID process?
Their app will walk you through the steps, but first you have to answer some quick questions. If you pass this stage, you'll go to the demo stage.
In this stage you can do the smart demo, recorded demo or live.
Smart Demo - You answer 5 questions and record yourself teaching one slide for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. This is what I did and I think the easiest. I wasn't ready to do a live yet and just wanted to practice!
Live Demo - You do a demo with a real VIPKID person (adult, not child).
Recorded Demo - I believe you have to record yourself teaching for 10 minutes, although I didn't pick this option so I'm not sure the time limit.
When your demo is approved, you'll go on to the mock classroom. They give you two sets of slides - A and B. You will schedule a time and go into a classroom with a VIPKID teacher. They will say hello, answer any questions you have and then you have 10 minutes to teach one set of the slides they pick for you. They'll give you some feedback and within 48 hours, you should have your answer. Mine came within 20 minutes!
If you pass the mock classroom, you'll start your paperwork. You need to complete a background check, photo of your bachelors degree, teaching certificate (or complete their class), and you'll have to submit photos and a video.
If you don't pass the mock classroom, they'll send you feedback and you can schedule another try! A lot of people need extra practice because this is a brand-new platform and some are new to teaching.
Once your paperwork is approved and your contract is signed, you open the your time slots and get ready to teach.
** Just because you open a time, doesn't mean that you'll be booked for it, although teachers in their first week are highlighted as new. It seems to run the gamut between teachers who are super booked and some trickle in here or there. I've been pretty steadily booked and I'll tell you why I believe that to be true in a little.
When do you teach?
For some people this is as close to a full-time job as they get, but I'm really part time. I open my schedule from 7-9 every morning and then 9-11 Friday and Saturday nights. That's 4 classes back to back in the mornings and 4 those two evenings. I've tried opening my schedule during the week nights, but it's just not a popular time. Some teachers do have luck doing that, but it doesn't seem like that many. China is opposite hours of us, so you have to keep in mind that when we're awake during the day, they are asleep. When my kids go back to school, I will adjust my hours to 6-8 instead, but I'm taking advantage of them not needing to get to school so early. I have had 6:30 classes, and my brain is just not awake at that time yet lol!
You can also work overnights on Friday and Saturdays, so IF you wanted, you could teach from Friday night at 8:30 until Saturday morning! I have never tried that and I don't think I will lol! I already feel like a zombie some mornings!
You don't have to work a certain numbers of hours per week so if you go on vacation, you just don't open hours that week. You don't get penalized for not having hours open.
What do you get paid?
Their pay scale in 2020 has changed.
My base pay per class is $7.50 BUT the more you work, the more bonuses you earn. For the first 1-20 classes, you'll earn an extra .80, so your pay will be $8.3 per class. When you teach 20-40 classes, you'll earn an extra $1.20 a class, so your pay will be $8.7. 40-60 classes is an extra $1.6, so base pay is $9.1 and the scale keeps climbing.
You also earn an extra $2 per class if the class is scheduled within 24 hours.
You also earn an extra $5 for every trial student that signs up for VIPKID!
Each class is 25 minutes, so if you book back to back classes, you'll make a minimum of $16.6 per hour. That's pretty good for working at home in my opinion. I started in the middle of the month (March 14) and I'm already at $18.2 per hour.
This morning I taught 4 classes - 7:00, 7:30, 8:00 and 8:30. I earned $7.5 per class plus the $1.6 bonus and an extra $2 for one of my classes being short notice. I earned $38.40 to teach from my basement in my pjs (that's $19.2/hr).
What's a trial student?
Glad you asked! A trial student is someone who is trying out the VIPKID program. They have a certain number of trial classes before they sign up. If you are the last teacher to teach them before they sign up, you get the trial bonus. In order to teach trials, you have to take a quiz and earn a certification. (it's easy I promise!).
The downsides of trials is sometimes they don't show up. If they don't show up, you have to stay in the classroom for 15 minutes instead of 25 and you earn half pay BUT a lot of my trials are short notice, so you'll earn the extra $2, which brings you closer to your regular pay.
You also sometimes get placed into a classroom and you have to teach on the fly. Typically I get placed into the same classroom and I teach the same material, just to different students. The Level 1 trial is apple, banana, ball, blue, yellow, red and the sentence "I see a ___________." (it's pretty simple).
You may also get very advanced kids who breeze through the information on the slides and you have to be ready to extend the lesson. You HAVE to teach for 25 minutes, so I have color, number and letter flashcards ready to go.
The upside is that you get to teach someone new all the time. It's a fun challenge and it keeps it exciting and fresh. Like I mentioned before you'll earn a bonus if your student signs up.
Here's a screenshot of a trial lesson (before a student entered).
Once I click start class, the interactive classroom with load along with teacher tips so you know what to do, what to click and what VIPKID wants in terms of student output and goals for the lesson.
What else is involved?
After each class, the only other requirement is that you have to submit feedback. Once you get approved as a VIPKID teacher, there are facebook groups that you can join that will help you. The feedback is basically a thank you, what they learned, what they can work on and a reminder for them to book you again. It's pretty simple and takes less than 2 minutes. You have to submit it within 12 hours to get full pay.
What do you need to teach?
It's pretty simple. You need a computer, wifi (or ethernet), headphones with a microphone and a background. I only spent $5 on my background. It's 2 rolls of white paper from the dollar store, a dollar store map, letter chart and colors. I had a roll of the brick wall paper let over from my studio redo so I just used the ends. My husband also set up lights for me because the basement is so dark. We had this old desk in the basement and it's perfect to keep my computer at a higher angle. I repurposed an old banner and a shelf that I had the basement.
It's also highly recommended that you use props. You can see above that I printed and laminated three of the main characters - Dino, Mike and Meg.
Here are some more things I use! I found a food set in the Target dollar section. The trials teach apple and banana so I have those props out all the time, as I teach mostly trials at this point. I laminated the 5 stars as a reward system to mimic the reward system in the VIPKID app. I also have my flashcard sets, a train (also in the trials), blocks and my white board. I keep a notebook with their names so I can remember how they did when I put in feedback.
I also have a white container to my left that has other rewards - eggs, unicorns and stickers. It also have some more flashcards and the rest of my food from Target.
As I book classes, I can look at the slides and see what props or pictures I might need to extend the lesson. You can get all of these in the resources section of the VIPKID teacher portal.
You may have some more questions or want someone to help you through the process and I'd love to do that for you.
Disclaimer ** VIPKID isn't an MLM and recruiting isn't part of the process, but I do earn a one-time referral bonus once you teach your first class. **
- Teacher Danielle