Teaching with VIPKid: A Two Month Update

Wayfaring_Wanders_VIPKID_Update

Thus far, I have really enjoyed teaching with VIPKid! Click here to read my first post on VIPKid if you have no idea what I’m talking about 🙂 I have adapted my schedule a bit, so as to avoid working weekends (most of the time). I now open up three slots from 6:00am – 7:30am, Monday – Friday. My experience has generally been that the first two slots fill while the third gets filled sometimes, but not always. I was officially asked to get my Trial Class certification after a month with VIPKid! If you want to read more about Trial classes, click here. If you aren’t interested in reading that article, let me sum it up for you! Trial classes are promotional classes offered by VIPKid to prospective new students. The parents sign up their kids to test the waters, so to speak. Trial classes are paid the same as regular classes, when the student shows up. Because these are free classes, there is a high level of Student No Shows. For regular classes, if the student doesn’t show up, you still get fully paid for the class. With Trial classes, however, you only get paid for half of the class if the student no-shows on you. This can be a bit frustrating in the morning when an extra half hour of sleep would be nice… However, there is also an upside to teaching Trial classes! If, after your class, the student signs up, you get a $5 bonus for that class! It can be an easy way to earn some extra cash, though it’s almost impossible to say whether or not the student will sign up after your class. Some students get more than one free Trial class and only the teacher who last taught the student gets the bonus. Bummer. Another huge plus for new teachers like myself, is that the VIPKid sales team is responsible for booking the Trial classes. While a lot of veteran teachers have regular students who see them each week, it can be hard for new teachers to build up a rapport with students. This is especially true for me because I do not open up more than the minimum required slots each week (since I currently have a full time job as well).

Happy VIPKid!

I have only had great experiences with Trial students. I have heard a lot of teachers say that Trial students can become a bit nervous and classes can go awry quickly (tears, misbehaving, leaving…), but that hasn’t been my experience. One thing that I have found to be amusing is that the parents often want to help their children during Trial classes! They will whisper the answers to their children or sit and watch just out of camera view. It’s a lot different than the regular students! I’ve often been photographed as the parents watch in glee as their child interacts with a foreign, English teacher. It’s pretty adorable! Aside from all of the issues with students not showing up to the classes, I’ve really enjoyed teaching these new trial classes! I’ve also started to get some regular students who return to me each week! So that has felt like a success to me.

In The ClassroomOne of my regular students I see each week! We have fun a singing and acting in the Goodbye Song! She also enjoys writing me messages in Chinese that I don’t understand 🙂

I have definitely learned that you need to break out of your comfort zone to keep the kids entertained! Even though each lesson is only a half hour, these kids are quite young and can become bored/distracted easily. In one of my first Trial classes, I had a young boy (maybe 5 years old?) who just wanted to play with his toys! He had a little police badge he kept showing me, as well as a toy bow and arrow that he liked to pretend to shoot at me (I’m not that awful of a teacher, I swear! Don’t shoot!). Your patience will be tested at times. But isn’t that true of hanging out with any child? And at least you can say goodbye to the problem children after a half hour (and you get paid to deal with them!). The best things to do to deal with these kids is to regain their attention! Make them do something physical if they play with toys. “Touch your head! Quick! Good job!” Start singing! Break out the puppets/teaching tools!

VIPKid Reward SlidesI have a pretty extensive set of homemade reward slides. I try to pick one that I think the student will like (based on age/gender/English level) and that certainly helps them refocus & enjoy class!

One big holiday that just passed in Asian countries was Children’s Day on June 1! I used to joke with my mom when I was younger, “How come we have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day but no Kids Day?” And she would always answer, “Everyday is Kids Day!” However, there are some lucky kids whose parents celebrate Children’s Day, and apparently China and Japan go all out. Kids are extra spoiled this day and VIPKid encouraged all the teachers to send postcards to their regular students as a token of appreciation. I sent the following homemade postcards all the way to China! International postcard charges are only $1.15/ea. but I’m sure it’ll take a while for the cards to arrive…

Wayfaring Wanders Children's DayThe custom cards that I sent a couple of my regular students. They both seemed to think the cards were really cute and fun! Little do they know, I actually mailed a couple for a nice surprise and token of my thanks! (Gosh, I hope Google translated the Chinese right!)

Schedule Update

Ok, now how has my schedule changed since my first VIPKid post? Check it out!

VIPKid Schedule

In general, most of my classes get booked. I did take off Monday for Memorial Day (an extra day to sleep in – I wasn’t about to sign up to wake up at 5am!). Because of this, I had to sign up for Friday night classes, which were all quickly booked by Trial students. The sales team really pushes Trial classes on Friday and Saturday night (which is Saturday and Sunday morning in China). I don’t mind teaching 2-3 classes in a row, but after that, my cheeks need a break from smiling/singing/acting so much! Though, I have read some teachers like working for hours and hours in a row! Yikes, no thanks. Most of my slots are filled from Trial students. You can tell which are the Trial students because they use their Chinese name instead of their American name… Also, I am terrible at saying the kids Chinese names! During introductions, it’s so hard for me to repeat something like “Jingyi” haha… But I’m working on it! They mostly just refer to me as “teacher.”

Show Me the Money

I’ll be honest, it’s only been the past few weeks that my schedule has really been filling (thank you trial certification!) so I haven’t made a ton of money through VIPKid yet! I’m anticipating that I will see my biggest paycheck for the month of June! My first month, I only made $175 and my second month saw a slight increase to $250… Because I didn’t teach 30 classes either month, I didn’t get the extra teaching bonus (sad face), but I certainly should for June if my schedule continues to be as full as you can see above! *fingers crossed* Still, I did manage to get a few new sign ups!

VIPKid sign up bonusWhen the status has “New VIPKID!” next to it, that means they signed up and I get the Trial Sign Up Bonus! Yay!

I only taught 11 trial classes in May, and out of those, I got 2 sign ups. I also had 6 student no shows… From more experienced teachers, I have heard that getting 2-3 students to sign up each month is pretty good! This also depends on how many classes you teach. One lady told me she taught 37 Trials and had 34 Trial No Shows in May! Out of those, she had 3 students sign up.

As summer is quickly approaching for the students, my schedule might change. I may consider teaching only weekday nights, or continue doing mornings. Maybe I’ll mix it up and take Fridays off too! Who knows… But as of right now, I am honestly enjoying working for VIPKid! The pay is good, the work is easy, and the kids are super fun!

Apply Now!

If you think you might be interested in applying, click here for my referral link! Please make sure you’ve researched the program before you commit to the hours!

Click here for a more detailed post on what applying and starting work for VIPKid entails.
Click here to read my Four Month Update working with VIPKid.

Thanks for reading! Have I inspired any of you to sign up for VIPKid? Have I inadvertently discouraged you?! Let me know in the comments!

19 Comment

  1. Georgia Hemrick says: Reply

    Thank you so much for all of your information.

    I am scheduled for my 2nd practicum in a couple of days. I am soooooooo nervous. I thought I did better than I scored after my 1st practicum. I received some great feedback and I plan on applying the suggestions by the PE to my 2nd practicum.

    I really hope to get this job. This would be a dream come true for me.

    Any advice you have for me for the second practicum would be greatly appreciated.

    Sincerely,

    Georgia Hemric

    1. Hi Georgia!

      Almost everybody has to take a second practicum and almost everyone passes their second practicum! So don’t worry too much about that 🙂 The only advice I would have for you would be to incorporate the feedback given to you in your first practicum and it sounds like you already plan to do that! So that’s great!

      My biggest downfall in the practicums was timing lol. I seemed to always go over, which has not been a problem for me in the actual classes. So just make sure that you’re extra cheery and follow the “student’s” lead. My second PE was an “older student” and it was important to her that I asked conceptual questions and kept pace with the student’s learning. I’m sure you’ll do great! Good luck!

  2. I just passes my interview. I’m nervous about taxes and I’m wondering if there will be any conflicts with my current teaching contract. How’ are you planning to prepare for tax season?

    1. Hi Ashleigh, congrats on passing your interview! As far as taxes go, I’m certainly not an expert! But as an employee through VIPKid, you’ll be an independent contractor. You’ll do your taxes as such, quarterly (I think that’s the same for everyone). That’s the Schedule C form 1040. I’ve heard some teachers also use a home office form? But I don’t know too much about that. Once you get hired, however, you’ll gain access to Freshdesk. This is a huge forum for all of the teachers! There is much more information available about taxes on there, from teachers much more knowledgeable than I! Good luck!

  3. Hi! I’m enjoying reading about your VIPKID experiences! I’m brand new to VIPKID. Any tips on how to get parent to book your slots? I see some teachers like to make youtube videos..

    1. Hi Annie! Have you checked out my Four Month Update post? Scroll to the bottom of that post and I talk about how to increase your booking rates! There are tons of options 😉 Good luck!

      1. got it, thanks!

  4. Is there any way that you can post a link to a pdf version of your incentive charts, or share in some other way? They are super cute! I would love to use them in the future. I just had my interview and have moved on to preparing for Practicum I. I would really like a better way to reward students, than using the smiley face and teeth.

    1. Hi Jennifer! Here is a link with the reward slides that VIPKid supplies us with for the lessons! Unfortunately I don’t still have the specific ones I used, but that’s probably for the best because they were all odd shapes and sizes since I printed them out on a large format printer. Hope this helps!

  5. Hey! I’m interested in doing this and I’m just wondering how many hours you worked in your first month to get $175? Also, are you located in the USA or somewhere else? I’m wondering if the Internet is good enough in certain places abroad. Thanks!

    1. Hi Dayna! I don’t really remember how many hours I worked to get $175, but it wasn’t very much! I think I maybe taught 18 classes, so like 9 hours? Something like that. It was my first month so my bookings were very low! I also wasn’t trial certified yet, so that made it more difficult to get classes. At that time, I was working in the USA (very early hours) but now I am living and working in Madrid, Spain. The internet wasn’t great when I first got here, but I just got it upgraded and it’s much better! Now I have no tech issues! If you can get fiber optic internet wherever you move, I’m sure you’ll be fine (as long as it doesn’t cut out on you for whatever reason).

  6. Hey! I just started with VIPKID and I am wondering how to get in touch with other teachers? Maybe get a mentor?

    1. Hi Martha! Try joining a Facebook Group, like this one to meet fellow teachers. It’s been super helpful for me! There are also lots of other Facebook groups out there for teachers, so I would try there first!

  7. Hi Genevive. I have my interview this Sunday and am really excited and nervous! I love your handmade reward cards and I’d love to do something like that myself. May I ask, what do you use to adhere the pieces to each board? I was thinking of using magnet backing but I want to keep it as simple as possible.
    Thanks so much.

    1. Hey Ariel! I actually used to work in graphic design and had a large format printer so I stuck most of them to poster board material, about a quarter inch thick. They are essentially just giant stickers mounted to that! Then I used Velcro for the actual moving pieces! If you want to do something similar, you could use typical 8.5″x11″ paper and laminate that and use Velcro or dry erase markers or something like that! There are tons of awesome reward slides you can make if you think outside the box!! Good luck!

  8. Genevieve, can you use your cell phone to do the interview?

    1. Brittney, I’m not positive… I did the initial interview a year ago, so I’m not sure whether it was on their servers or if it was via Skype. I suppose if it was on Skype you could do the interview on your phone… But I know I did all of the interviews and practicums on my computer. The servers online are only available via a computer, so if it’s on their website, you’ll need a computer. You can’t teach from your phone so you’ll need a computer anyway. Maybe you can borrow one if you don’t have immediate access? Good luck!

  9. Hi Genevieve:

    I am a new VIPKID teacher and will be doing my first trial class. I cannot find a way to open materials to review. Am I missing something here? Is this something we are to do on the fly?
    I can only see classroom objectives, but no Powerpoint

    Thanks!

    Traci

    1. Hi Traci! When is your trial class? If it is within 48 hours, then you should be able to access the classroom. When you go in, you can see all of the trial lessons. There should be a TON of trial power points for you to choose from. You need to click on “INFO” for the student to see which one to open. Then you open it just like any other PPT and you should be able to review the slides! Remember to click the “Uploaded by me” section to see a list of all of them! Hope this helps!

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