Teaching with VIPKid: A Four Month Update

VIPKID Four Month Update: Wayfaring Wanders

It’s been slightly more than four months since I started teaching with VIPKid. I’m still enjoying my job, but to be perfectly honest, the last month has been more difficult. First, however, let’s start with June! The month of June was by far my best month to date. Here were my completed numbers in June:

  • As Scheduled Classes: 31
  • Student IT Problems: 4
  • Student No Shows: 16

As you may remember from my previous 2 Months with VIPKid Update, you only get paid half the teaching bonus if a trial student cancels class (student no show). Most of the no shows you get will be from trial classes. One of those cancellations was a regular student, so I did get fully paid for that class. Also, since I officially taught more than 45 classes, I got an extra $1.00 teaching bonus per class! So that was good. My total paycheck for June ended up being slightly over $445, which was a huge improvement from the first two months! I taught so many classes and almost every time slot filled up!

Summer Begins

Now, onto July. July marked the beginning of the summer months for the VIPKids. This meant that school was over for the students and summer break was upon them at last! VIPKid offered huge incentive bonuses to increase the “demand” that July would bring. More time slots opened up as the children would be available during mornings (teaching evenings in the United States) to take additional classes.

VIPKid Summer ScheduleThere are a lot more Peak Hours (orange slots) in summer months!

This led me to believe that July would be my best month! That was, unfortunately not the case. Here’s a quick breakdown of my July numbers:

  • As Scheduled Classes: 15
  • Student IT Problems: 5
  • Student No Shows: 14

Nearly every single class I taught was a trial class… I’m not sure if it was just because summer break happened or what, but almost all of my regular students stopped showing up. My classes stopped getting booked a week out and were instead filled with trials a night or two before. You can see, I actually taught less than half the classes from June. Luckily, I still passed the 30 classes threshold, so I did earn an extra 50¢ for my finished class bonus (down from the June $1.00 bonus I earned previously). I also gained one teacher bonus for someone who signed up under my referral link, so I earned an extra $60 that way (note: July and August had a $10 bonus for each teacher referral). This made my total paycheck for July just over $300. This is still my second highest paycheck, after June, but only because I got that teacher referral bonus!

It’s hard to explain, but after having such a full, great month in June, July was really disappointing. I found myself getting up for classes where the students just didn’t show up. It’s frustrating to wake up at 5am to get ready for a class at 6am just to find out that the student couldn’t be bothered to make the class. I get that sometimes things happen, but I literally had more cancellations (counting both no shows and IT problems) than I even had classes! And out of the 13 or so of those classes that were trials, not a single student actually signed up to become a VIPKid member. I’ve heard of teachers having their trial certification removed for having poor sign up rates. If this happens to me, I’m afraid I won’t be teaching any classes! I still have two more months on my contract, so hopefully things pick up and I begin to enjoy this job as much as I did in June. I’m hoping that maybe these summer months are just an oddity and things will return to normal come September.

Improvements to VIPKid

This has also been a big month for the company itself! As you may have noticed from the picture above, there are now clickable check boxes in each time slot. Checking this box means that you authorize the class to be filled with less than 24 hours notice. Leaving it unchecked does nothing different, it just means you can’t be booked with a last minute bonus class (for each one, you get an extra $2.00). I haven’t found this feature to be particularly helpful to me yet. When I have empty slots in the morning, I always check the boxes the day or night before. I haven’t had any of the checked box classes fill (yet). Even with the box checked, the classes cannot be booked within one hour of start time.

There is also now a little headset and microphone icon you can see. This pops up in every class as well. It is a way for the IT help (the “Firemen”) to communicate directly to you during class. The students cannot see the chats between you and the Firemen. VIPKid is doing everything they can to move away from Skype. When I first started, Skype was all everyone used to communicate. Apparently there were some confidentiality breaches with that, and rival companies got ahold of teacher’s Skype names and tried to steal them away from VIPKid. Weird, I know. Ever since, they’ve been making improvements to try and move away from Skype to communicate with teachers.

The website for VIPKid also got a face lift! Instead of the informational page, it now plays a little video of a gal getting  up to teach a class. It’s pretty cute, albeit a bit unrealistic. The video shows the teacher waking up at 7:30 to teach her class at 8am. I’ll just say this: pretty much every teacher I know gets up at or before 5am. Because of my timezone, I can’t even teach classes at 8am! Unless you’re teaching from overseas, be prepared to wake up early, usually before the sun’s out.

My favorite new update to VIPKid has to be the mobile app they just launched! It’s available for download on both iOS and Android. To download it, search “VIPKID T” for iOS or just “VIPKID” for Android. While it’s available for anyone to download, only teachers can actually log into the app. This app allows you to view your teacher profile, see all upcoming classes within 24 hours, check your schedule for the week, read their FAQ, contact their Help Desk, and read app announcements! You can view class times in local and Beijing hours. You can see the lesson you’re going to teach and see the finish type of previous classes. It’s pretty neat and I imagine the app will only improve over time!

Computer Learning Wayfaring Wanders

Improvements to my Teaching

As you may have seen in my Two Month Checkin with VIPKid post, I have continued making fun reward slides for students! This is a fun way for me to show off my creativity and make the kids smile! I now have a reward slide for gathering space items, collecting bugs for a spider, and adding spots to a Dalmatian! The kids always seem to enjoy the slides.

I also took the liberty of creating a Paycheck Calculator for myself. The only thing I don’t have on there right now is the $2.00 short notice bonus (totally forgot because I never get those classes). If you’d like to download my handmade VIPKid Paycheck Calculator Excel File, CLICK HERE. This is meant to be a guide and help teachers. If there are mistakes in my formulas, I apologize! Use it at your own risk. If you are very dependent on knowing your numbers are 100% accurate, use a back up method. That being said, I have found this calculator to be accurate for me!

My Thoughts on Where I Want to Go

This is a tough one for me. On the one hand, I’ve really enjoyed my job with VIPKid. I love the extra paychecks and the kids are adorable. On the other hand, I’ve become so frustrated with the no show students and a bit disheartened that my regulars haven’t kept up with me. There are all sorts of explanations on why this could happen, but I worry that it’s a reflection of my teaching. I always seem to have the kids laughing and singing and enjoying class, but is there something I’m doing wrong? Are other teachers doing something better to keep high booking rates? Is it just that they’re more qualified as teachers? I watch the example class videos and I feel like I’m just as good as those teachers, but who knows? It could certainly be due to my limited availability as a teacher. Many teachers teach far more than the 15 class minimum (I don’t).

In about six weeks, I’ll be heading to Spain to teach ESL in a classroom! This huge leap is really exciting for me. I am going to be an auxiliar de conversación, or a teacher’s assistant, through the Spanish government (Ministry) program. If you’re interested, you can read more about that program on my Different Ways to Teach English in Spain post. I’m considering keeping my contract with VIPKid (assuming they feel the same) because the peak hours in Spain are from 12pm-4pm, right during siesta time! This obviously depends on my work schedule, which I won’t know until I arrive in Spain, however. I’ll definitely have to see how that all plays out before I make any commitments. How awesome would no more early hours be though?! Should I decide to do that, I will probably need to do something to increase my booking rates.

Different Ways to Increase VIPKid Booking Rates

Increase Your Availability

The first thing you should do if you’re wanting to book more classes, is open up the Friday and Saturday evening slots (Saturday & Sunday morning in Beijing). In my experience, those classes almost always fill, typically with trial students. Be warned: they seem to cancel just as much as the other trials, but at least the time slots fill! Half pay is better than no pay.

Marketing Tactics

These are various ways you can market yourself to the parents of the children. These tactics can take up to 6 weeks to take full effect, so if you’re considering this, don’t delay! Each teacher is only allowed ONE form of a marketing tactic, so choose wisely! I’ve heard most teachers have success with the video, followed by the voice recording, but it’s completely up to you. Email bookme@vipkid.com.cn if you are interested in submitting something.

Marketing Article

Marketing articles written by teachers are published weekly on VIPKid’s WeChat forum. The average viewership of a marketing article is 2000 readers.

The topic of the article should be connected with your teaching experience with VIPKid. Articles should ideally be between 1-1.5 pages double spaced. You can give us three topics to make a decision before you start writing it or you can choose one of the following topics:

1. Please write about two of your top teaching moments with VIPKid.
2. If you have ever taught ESL abroad, write about some cultural differences in learning languages from your home country and the country where you were teaching.
3. How can parents help kids to review lessons after school?
4. How should a teacher praise or criticize a student?
5. Including pictures will enhance your article!

Your marketing article must be saved in word format! (.doc or .docx)

Voice Recording

Another option is recording yourself reading bedtime stories, poems, or songs for VIPKid students. The average audience for a recording is 3000 – 4000 listeners. Teachers are free to choose reading material that is suitable for 5 to 12 year old students. Please keep the recording between 2-4 minutes.

Here are the instructions for recording:

1. Choose the best recording device available. Recording by phone is one method; however, the quality is not as professional as actual recording devices.
2. Select a good recording environment. This means a place that is quiet and doesn’t have an echo (not the bathroom please). We can provide examples of ideal recording areas if you can’t find one.
3. Set the recording file format quality as high as possible before you start.
4. While recording, it is better to speak softly than to speak loudly. It is easier for us to adjust if your volume is too low.
5. Put the microphone in a good position. The rule here is as close to your mouth as you can. You can choose to set the microphone, voice recorder, or phone near the tip of your nose or jaw, and let the recording port point toward the sound.
6. After recording, save the recording as .mp3 file and always submit the corresponding text/script in word format (.doc or .docx) with your recording!

Video

This is an opportunity to show how you can connect with students or apply different vocabulary words, sentence structures, or concepts in real life. Always submit the corresponding text/script in word format (.doc or .docx) with your video. The video should be short, but sweet!

Teacher Referral Bonus

Ok, so this doesn’t technically have anything to d0 with increasing your booking rate, but it does have to do with increasing your paycheck, so it’s worth mentioning. As I said above, I had a teacher sign up through my teacher referral link (which you can find below :P), so I got a cash bonus on my July paycheck. For every teacher you get to sign up through your link, you will earn a bonus for that month. Normally you get $50 for the first and second teacher that month, and $80 for the third+ teacher. This bonus resets each month, so if you’re really into it, try getting a bunch of teachers in the same month to increase your bonus. This is easier said than done, however. A lot of people get cut because VIPKid is picky about who they’ll allow as teachers (no idea how I made the cut). It helps to have candidates beef up their resume or CV to emphasize working with children/teaching/ESL experience before applying for the best chances of hire (that’s just good practice before you apply to any job).

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 my first post on what applying and starting work for VIPKid entails (there have been a few updates since I started).
Click here if you’d like to read my two month update with the company (I explain more about trial classes and reward systems there).

41 Replies to “Teaching with VIPKid: A Four Month Update”

  1. I passed the demo class and interview. I am in the process of submitting my documents. When did you start working after passing the practicum? Did you start a day or week later?

    1. Hi Mabel, sorry it’s taken me so long to reply!! Congrats on passing the demo class though. Yes, as you probably know by now, you can start as soon as you pass your final practicum! If you need to take a week off, you can certainly message the team on Freshdesk, and they’ll usually allow for a later start date. Otherwise, you’ll start as soon as you enter in class times!

  2. Hey there!

    Thank you so much for your 3 posts about VIP KID! I have read all of them and they were super informative. I just passed my first interview and will begin my training soon. I plan to live in SE for 5 months and believe that my schedule should fit perfectly with Bejing. Have you decided to stay with VIP KID while you teach in Spain? Would you recommend VIPKID for someone that will be traveling? Do you have to know your entire month’s availability/schedule each month?
    Thank you for all of your information and I wish you luck in your travels!

    1. Hi Devan, glad you found the posts informative! Yes, I did decide to renew my contract. I found that in September, my booking rates went wayyyy back up! Which was awesome. My regulars came back and I started getting some new repeat students! It was encouraging so I decided to stay aboard 🙂 As far as traveling goes, just be aware that it may be difficult if you don’t have access to decent internet. If that is the case, I would recommend stacking your shifts at like the beginning of the week (if you’re traveling towards the end of the week). Then the following week, you can push your shifts towards the end to maximize your time off (without actually taking any time off). For me, I actually requested the last 2 weeks of my contract off so I could move to Madrid and get settled and make sure I had internet ready to go! Remember, you do get 2 weeks off for bigger trips if you need it! Good luck 🙂

      1. Is it two weeks off per calendar year, or two weeks off per contract?

        1. It’s two weeks off per 6-month contract!

  3. Hey,

    Super informative blog! I just updated my resume and tailored it to VIPKID. Is this the best way of reaching you? Do you have a direct email address? I could really use some extra insight and help with questions I might need throughout the interviewing process. Thanks 😀

    1. Hi Dan! Thank you! You can reach me here or on my Contact Page. There, I have a forum for emailing me directly or my blog email address (which goes to my phone, so I can be reached fairly frequently). I’m sure you’ll do great on your interview/practicum(s)! I was really nervous too, but here I am, 6 months later and still doing great! My advice to all applicants during the interview: be happy, cheerful, patient, and speak clearly! If you get to the interview stage, I’m sure you’ll do great, however. Good luck 🙂

  4. Nice blog. I’ve been at VIPKID for a couple of weeks so far & am satisfied with the supplemental income, especially after living in China 8 years and bringing my Chinese-born wife and kids back to the States, I get a little taste of China in every living room/bedroom/closet (nook & cranny). Class starts in 3 minutes, so I’ll come and read where I left off, but I do appreciate your writing. It inspires me=)

  5. Hello! I have really enjoyed reading your posts about your experience with VIPKID. I was just wondering … How did you feel after your first week of teaching? I just finished my first week, and I felt like a train wreck. I had all trial classes, which left me feeling incredibly flustered because I had to change the PowerPoint on most of them. At that point, I felt completely unprepared to teach the material. I prepared for the slides I needed to teach, but I couldn’t prepare (or remember) countless other slides (if I had to go up or down a level). I felt like a complete failure, and I would be embarrassed if anyone actually watched those recordings! I had one class that I felt went really well, but I was grilled by the student’s uncle at the end of the lesson. Totally flustered by that. I had another student with a cold, so mom kept interrupting to have her blow her nose. Another student had family members randomly popping in and yelling in the background. He kept walking all over the house – he would turn off the camera and turn it back on. He wouldn’t even look at me directly, so TPR was completely useless. He was staring off into the distance at something else and only randomly responded … Maybe he was distracted by the yelling in the background? You seem to have everything together, and I was wondering if it’s normal to feel totally flustered after your first week. Any advice for how to improve with trial classes? Again, I appreciate your informative and candid reviews of the whole process. Thank you!

    1. Hey Danielle, thank you for reading! Honestly, after my first week, I didn’t have trials. I think they’ve switched the process and you begin teaching trials right away, but when I started, you couldn’t teach trials until you were “certified” (which meant watching a bunch more training videos after your first month). So my first week was really slow. I had a few students, but maybe only about five? The VIPKid process started very gradually for me. With trials introduced later, I got A LOT more classes each week and yes, many were quite hectic.

      My advice for you is: be patient. I know that’s so hard to do, haha, but eventually, you’re going to become familiar with all of the trial slides as you do them so frequently. I’ve done so many trial classes that I hardly have to prepare at all for the lower level ones (I just need my flash cards and reward slides out). This will happen for you too. It’s ok to feel unprepared at first. I definitely did my first few trial classes. I would get all ready for the one that was assigned and then find that it was way too easy for the student. So you move the student up and then you feel confused because the slides are not the ones you prepared for! I totally get it and definitely felt this way at the beginning. But, as I mentioned, you’re going to get SUPER familiar with the trial slides. Here’s some more advice: next time you have a trial student, go through a lot of the slides. Yes, its annoying because it takes more time, but think of it as an upfront investment. Eventually you won’t need to go through them at all since you’ll do them so often. You don’t need to memorize every single thing, but read it and be comfortable with what you’ll do (more or less). If the student was positioned in LV2 Unit 4, for example, I would go one level up (unit 7) and one level down (unit 1) to have an idea of where I might need to move him/her. That will help familiarize you faster.

      As for the chaotic trial classes, they are pretty common, unfortunately. I honestly don’t have many classes as bad as the ones you described though! But, for instance, I have had a kid (who was honestly a bit too young) spend most of the class pretending to shoot me with his toy bow and arrow… I have had a kid stand up and leave while parents had to go fetch him (took about five full minutes), I have had a young child fall asleep (sometimes happens with the later scheduled classes), I have had a kid turn the camera on and off (thinking it was a fun game), I have had too many tech issues to name them all on the students’ end. It’s overwhelming sometimes, but I always tell myself, “25 minutes, you can do this!” and that usually helps lol.

      So yes, it gets better! I liked how trials were introduced more gradually for me, honestly. It gave me more time to become comfortable with the whole process. So I’m sure throwing them in your first week will make it more challenging. But you got this! 🙂

      1. Hi Genevieve! Thank you so much for the response! It does make me feel better. I know I shouldn’t beat myself up over week 1, but it was a little discouraging. I wish trials had been a more gradual process with me as well. I only opened 16 slots over my first weekend to avoid several back-to-back classes. Twelve of the slots filled, all trial classes. I had two no-shows. So, yes, it was exciting to have so many classes booked, but nerve-wracking for a first week. The training class videos (at least the ones I watched) weren’t overly helpful. I find out more info by reading posts from other teachers.

        Again, thank you so much for taking the time to respond. It truly sounds like you’re having a blast with VIPKid, and I take that as a positive that it will not be as overwhelming over time. I will take your advice and start prepping up and down one unit. In your experience, do you ever jump the child up or down more than one level during trials? Also (only one more question, I promise!), I experienced the opposite problem. The slides suggested were too hard for my students. Aside from the students who were actually placed at the lowest level, I had to move all of them down one level. They didn’t understand the material in those assessment slides. I don’t know if that’s possibly because the student is new and shy, or if I’m doing something wrong. So, now to the question … How do you approach those first few assessment slides to judge whether or not the student was placed correctly? Do you approach them as if the student should know the material if he/she was placed in that level? Or do you try to coax/teach them through those slides? It also doesn’t help when mom or dad are whispering ALL of the answers as soon as I ask, so I can’t really judge what the student knows or doesn’t know. If I’m being a pain, just let me know, LOL. Again, thanks so much! I appreciate it!

        Take care!

        1. In my experience with trial classes, I usually end up having to bump the child up a level. I find that the student can read the simple words and sometimes even full sentences. This is usually what I do with a L2U04 or so student. I bump them to L2U07, maybe even L2U10. It depends on how much they’re actually comprehending. I have definitely had times where the material was too difficult though. Usually at L2U04 and I bump them down to L2U01. Again, those are slides I can do in my sleep so moving them around there isn’t so bad! Haha.

          With the material on the first few slides, I approach it pretty normally. If they can sing the ABCs and read the few words or identify certain letters and sounds, I take that into consideration for the next slide. If that seems easy as well, I bump them up one level. If it seems ok, but a bit confusing, I let them stay. If they know nothing, I move them down. The material presented should make sense. Sometimes (like the keyboard, mouse, stand up, sit down slide) the material is a bit weird. I just ask them to try and read the words or say something like, “Show me your mouse! Good! Stand up! Good! Now sit down!” And if they do all of that, I move on. If they seem to struggle with reading basic words, “The big pig sat in the hut”, then I keep them at that level (unless they can’t even TRY to sound it out – then they have zero phonics skills and I move them down). So basically, I approach the students as if the level down would be boring, but the current level still needs to be learned – it shouldn’t be “easy.”

          Unfortunately, mom and dad are OFTEN present in trial classes. They are also often whispering answers. I usually let it go (unless it’s really bad) for the trial classes. I make a note of it so the firemen can address it, if they feel the need. I might make a comment like, “Mom often helped student answer questions, but in future lessons I would like to see student become more independent to really improve his English!” Or some gentle reminder that their child is the student, not them.

  6. Hey great job with this article!
    I am interested in applying, just wondering exactly what documents they will be asking me to submit?
    Thanks,

    1. Hi Matt, thank you! Upon getting hired, you will be asked to submit your CV, a copy of your university diploma, a scanned copy of your passport, and your bank account information so that you may be paid via direct deposit. In addition, you’ll be asked to write a little blurb about you that they parents will read before booking you as their child’s teacher as well as a short (10-20 seconds) video introducing yourself! That is all I can remember submitting at the time of my hire, anyway. As you go through the process, it’ll all be explained to you. Let me know if you have any other questions!

      1. Hi Genevieve! I was wondering about the passport. I don’t have a passport but can provide a birth certificate and photo ID. Do they accept these as well?

        1. Hi Cindy! You know, I’m not entirely sure whether they would accept that, but I would think they should. Usually companies want two forms of government ID if you can’t provide something at the federal level (like a passport). Since you have that, I would think it would be ok! If not, a passport is about $135 and isn’t a bad thing to have! They last for 10 years so it might be worth it to get one! You can check out how to apply for a passport here. Good luck!

  7. Kathryn Sullivan says: Reply

    Hello~
    I am on my second week teaching with Vipkid and enjoying it so far (except the crazy hours in the USA). My question for you is- how do you make the reward slides? Do you print them out then pin them to a board or what? I have been meaning to ask someone this. I just have a happy face still on a whiteboard easel but this won’t work when I travel.

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Kathryn! Yes, the USA hours are rough lol. As for the reward slides, you can do a number of things! Have you seen my Two Month Update post? That’s where I talk about the reward slides I use. I was in a unique position at my job where I had access to large format printers so I custom made all of my slides. However, I would imagine that you could use the reward slide PDF to print and laminate some 8.5″x11″ sized paper to use for reward slides as well. You can CLICK HERE if you want to see the printable PDF I’m talking about. I also bought a small whiteboard that I use and can bring with me when I travel. You could definitely try looking into that as well! It comes in handy for a lot of things! Good luck!

  8. Hi Genevieve!! I wish I had found your blog sooner – I would have used your referral! As it goes though, I just passed my practicum on Friday. My question to you is: How long did it take you to have access to freshdesk?? I made myself SUPER available these next few weeks (hoping to get lots of bookings as teachers take time off for Christmas) but nothing has been scheduled yet (I know, I know, it’s only been 2 days…). I’m worried about not being able to do the 7.5 required hours of teaching….

    Did you have this problem?? What happens with VIPKID if you don’t get booked the required 7.5 hours? How soon after you had access to freshdesk did you get booked? That’s my big problem right now….I can access the teacher portal, but not the freshdesk. I’m kind of at a loss!!

    1. Thanks, Cynthia! After I was hired, I never got any information about how to log into Freshdesk. What I ended up doing was using my same email and clicking “forgot my password”. That sent me an email to reset my password and then I had access to Freshdesk! Not the best way to go about it, but it worked for me! As far as teaching 7.5 hours, don’t worry about that! You’re only required to open 7.5 hours in your schedule – not teach that much! There are many weeks when I don’t teach the full 7.5 hours because not every time slot fills for me and I only open the minimum. My first couple of months were really slow because I wasn’t even trial certified at that point. For me, even the late slots don’t always fill and I’ve been with the company slightly over 8 months now! If you continually open up a lot of time slots, your schedule will slowly start to fill, don’t worry about that! Good luck!

  9. Kimberlea Gray says: Reply

    Genevieve:

    Excellent article! I am beginning my second week, and I learned a great deal from your advice. I took tons of notes! Is there anywhere I can go to read some of the articles that other teachers have submitted? Thank you, again.

    Kimberlea

    1. Hi Kimberlea, thank you! Congrats on getting hired. I don’t know of any other VIPKid blogs, but have you tried joining Facebook groups for teachers? That’s a great way to connect to fellow employees and everyone is always posting about their experiences! Here is one Facebook Group that I’m in that is very active.

  10. So, I’ve been with VIPkid since October and I have only taught 3 classes and had 1 no show. They were all over Christmas vacation. I’ve given a voice recording and have almost every slot open, even some with less than 24 hours notice on them. I’m stumped. Has VIPkid just hired too many new teachers for the amount of students they have? Any suggestions other than what you’ve already given? Getting up at 4:30 in the morning just to see if someone has booked a class when nothing happens, is getting really, really old.

    1. Hi Jeannie! That’s so strange that you haven’t gotten so many classes. I’m not sure if VIPKid has hired too many teachers… Are you in the Up-For-Grabs Skype groups? If not, send a ticket to Freshdesk and ask to be added. That’s a great way to pick up classes. It can also be a good way to get some more regulars. I make sure never to open up a 24 hour class unless I already have one class that day anyway. I would be super frustrated getting up for nothing too. I think with the app now, you can reword your parent introduction. Maybe try that? Mention your experience working with kids and make sure your picture is fun and inviting! Parents read our profiles very quickly before booking so it should be fun and engaging to get their attention! If those things don’t work, I would try submitting a post on the Freshdesk Forum. Maybe some others have better ideas. Good luck!

  11. Hello,

    You have done such a great job responding to so many different comments that I would love to ask a few of my own questions.

    1)
    – I am currently living in the US Eastern time zone
    – I am leaving for South Korea in 1.5 months for about 1 year
    – I have my schedule filled out for up to 4 weeks in advance
    – I will take 1 week off for the transition

    My question is, as I approach my departure date to South Korea, how do I go about applying for time slots (for up to 4 weeks in advance) in my schedule under the South Korean time zone while my account is listing times under the US Eastern time zone? – I hope I could make sense with my question 🙂

    2)
    A bigger concern of mine when teaching lessons is to be very prepared with all of the lesson’s materials and slides. By teaching so many unique PPT lessons every day and there being roughly 25 slides for each with many unique activities, games etc. I find it overwhelming to have to pre-prep with so much material in order to be able to truly explain it well to students. If you have 4-6 lessons in one day, and you can only view your PPT slides about 24 hours before the lesson begins, that becomes a lot of pre-preparations a teacher must do in order to not only understand each slide clearly, but to be able to explain it at a very basic level for trail class students for example. In addition, if a PPT gets changed or switched out right before a lesson, a teacher would have no experience with the new PPT.

    Perhaps “2)” is not so much a question but more of a concern, and I would love your input on it. Perhaps I am overthinking it (I just got hired by VIPKID), and over the course of a few weeks I will get used to the PPT slides and not have to worry about such detailed pre-study of every PPT.

    Thank you so very much for reading this.

    1. Hi John! Let me try to answer your questions 🙂
      1) When I moved to Spain, I also took a week off for the adjustment. Once you arrive in South Korea, you can change your time zone appropriately. Then you will see the hours have adjusted. If you are wanting to put the time in as quickly as possible, you could figure out the time difference on your own and open slots early! Otherwise, you can probably just wait until you arrive. VIPKid is pretty lenient about when you put in your hours, especially if you talk to them about it beforehand!
      2) You can view your PPT 48 hours in advance, which helps a bit. Eventually you will get to a point where you become familiar with a lot of the lower entry slides (especially for trial classes) and you won’t need as much prep time. You get more comfortable as time goes on, trust me there! Realistically, with every slide you have to talk for about a minute combined (preferably with the student doing most of the talking), so as long as you know what you’re going to talk about, there isn’t a lot of preparation needed. Class is a lot of conversation and practice, less actual teaching of new and difficult concepts. I’ve taught some last minute, up-for-grabs classes and in those cases, you’re never prepared. The content is usually fairly simple, however, and you just do your best! Try to make the kid smile and have a good time.

      I think once you start teaching a few classes, you’ll see that it’s not so difficult! I was the same way when I started… Absolutely terrified I wasn’t going to do well or be prepared enough. But you do get the hang of things fairly quickly.

  12. Ooo I have one more question! 🙂

    3)
    Say you “entered your classroom” 30 seconds or 1 minute late( due to Tech issues or whatever other reason, would you be deemed a “No Show” instantly and have your class cancelled on you? If not, and there is indeed a small window of time for you to show up and “enter the classroom” a little late, how long would that window of time be?

    It certainly makes hitting that 27-28 minute mark for a previous class really stressful if there are big consequences for being even a little late…

    Thanks again!

    1. 3) No, you’re not deemed a No Show instantly. I’m not sure what the magic window is, but I’ve been about a minute late due to tech issues and it was fine. I haven’t been more than about a minute late, but I would imagine if you’re more than 3 minutes late, that could be an issue. The Firemen will try to get a hold of you as quickly as they can, so make sure you have your phone handy. Often times the students come to class late so it does happen. Sometimes even 10 minutes late! If that’s the case, you can skip the review slides at the beginning of the lesson in order to get all the new content covered. You can also skip the goodbye song at the end. So there are ways to make sure you finish at 28 minutes or less! If you don’t finish, you don’t finish. As long as it’s not your fault, you’re fine. There will be issues at some point, but it’s certainly not the norm! Good luck!

  13. Hello,

    Great article!! So much helpful info.

    VIPKID states that “feedback” for trial classes must be submitted “immediately”. If a teacher wants to give thorough, detailed feedback to the student, I find it hard to believe they will be able to do that within a 2 minute time frame from one class to the next (should the first class go to 28 minutes). Did you always submit your trial class feedback immediately after the class?

    Thank you!

    1. He Kevin, thank you! I do not always submit my feedback “immediately”, but I do when possible (say it’s my last class of the day). You still technically have 12 hours to submit trial feedback, however the company would prefer it faster because they try to reach out to the parents of the trial student soon after class has finished. It makes their job easier if they have teacher feedback before they contact them. So, while you’ll still get paid for the class if you submit feedback within 12 hours, you should try (when possible) to submit it ASAP. I try to do it right after class, but yes, sometimes you get stuck in a class a bit longer and have another right after so it isn’t possible. Hope this helps!

  14. Hey! I just stumbled across this blog.. I just had a quick random question.. During my VIPKID interview, the evaluator said she was experiencing an audio delay/lag. Any idea of how to fix that or what it could be a result from? I’m desperate to fix it before my mock class. Thanks!

    1. Hi Sonny, thanks for checking out my blog! Honestly, it sounds like an internet connectivity issue. Do you have high speed internet? There’s also a possibility it was coming from her end and not yours. During my first practicum, I had the same issues. We also switched internet browsers (Google Chrome tends to work best) which helped a little. On my second practicum, I had no issues! So I think it was the first person’s internet and not mine lol. So my suggestions would be to use Google Chrome as your internet browser (try clearing your history/cookies/cache – sometimes it helps speed things up) and to make sure your internet is high speed. Good luck!

  15. I underwent my mock class this morning; it was suggested that I upgrade my headset (from apple earbuds). What headset or style would you recommend? Unfortunately, I did not have time to ask for clarification.

    Thank you so much for all the awesome info!

    1. Any headset that is decent quality should be good. It’s also recommended that you get a headset with a microphone. That can really help cut out ambient background noises. Honestly, however, I don’t even use a headset because I teach in a private room in my apartment with no distractions in the background!! I’ve found this works great for me and I’ve yet to have a student/parent complaint!

  16. Thanks so much for the info! I just passed the initial interview and demo! Praying I get through the practicum so I can get started with a flexible teaching job that doesn’t have all the things I hate about public education. This post has been sooo helpful!

    1. Nice job! I’m sure you’ll do great! 🙂

    2. Did you get through mock and get hired?

  17. Hi Genevieve,

    I am interested in teaching for VIPKIDS. I just need to know, specifically, what the up and down-load speed requirements are for “high speed” internet, if one wants to teach with them. I could not find this on their pages.

    1. Hmm. It’s a great question, but I don’t have an exact answer. You need to have a bandwidth of greater than 100KB/second, but I’m not sure what the upload and download speeds are. My connection time is 181 milliseconds and my delay time is 70 milliseconds (from their computer speed test) and that’s considered acceptable. I would imagine if you ever Skype with anyone and can see a clear picture with no noticeable sound or picture delays, that’s a good sign. Hope that helped a bit, anyway!

  18. Hello! I am very interested in writing articles and reading books. Where on the vipkid website do I find info on this? BTW…great blog!

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