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