Teaching with VIPKid: A Six Month Update

VIPKid Six Month Update: Wayfaring Wanders

If you read my last post, a Four Month Update with VIPKid, you may be wondering what I decided to do. As you may recall, the summer months were particularly hard on me. I had a ridiculous amount of student no shows, my schedule was barely filled, some of my regular students stopped showing up… It was awful. I began questioning whether or not VIPKid was for me. Was this just a summer trend or was I declining as a teacher…? As promised, I decided to stick it out through August and September. Annnnnd… I’m so glad I did! August was also particularly slow for me (as was expected). Here’s a quick breakdown of the last two months of my first VIPKid contract.

August Breakdown:

August with VIPKid

As you can see, the month started off the same as July. I had SO MANY STUDENT_NO_SHOW classes. And because they were all trial classes, I only got paid half. That meant getting my butt out of bed at 5am just to sit at my computer for liked $3.75 (insert annoyed emoji face here). There were many days that I would have rather just slept in. My saving grace was that I worked more than 30 classes (so I got the smaller, 50¢ bonus per class – better than nothing). Another thing that really helped me earn a bit of extra cash for August was that I completed the new training (a series of YouTube videos followed by a quiz) which was an extra $30. I also earned two teacher referral bonuses, which totaled to $120 for August (note: the referral bonus is usually only $50/referral but there was a summer incentive making it $60 instead). These bonuses made my total August paycheck $380.

August still had me questioning whether or not I wanted to renew my contract with VIPKid. This is, of course, assuming I was even offered a contract renewal. Honestly, I began to think maybe they wouldn’t want me back. Maybe my classes were dropping in frequency because of my lack of teaching experience? Maybe other teachers know some magic trick to keep up student involvement? Maybe I was not a good fit anymore? Did I just get lucky when I got hired because they were desperate for teachers? I know there had been many teachers who applied through my referral link and were denied for not being a “good fit”. Had I applied in August, would that have been me? I suppose I’ll never really know that. All I can do is continue improving and trying my best!

September Breakdown:

September Numbers Wayfaring Wanders

Ok, so initially you might look at this and wonder, “Why were you happier in September if you only taught 20 classes?!” Take a closer look at the classes I did teach before I explain. As you can see, the number of STUDENT_NO_SHOW classes is significantly lower than that of August! This meant I was getting fully paid for getting out of bed (and actually teaching rather than staring at a blank computer screen). For me, it’s so much more rewarding to get up and teach a kid, put a smile on their face, help them learn something than it is to get up and just sit there. Sure, it’s less work (and less pay), but it’s also less fun. It’s less stimulating. I’d much rather get up and teach, than get up and do nothing!

So now you might be asking yourself why I taught so few classes. Well, my friends, I have officially moved to Spain! (Which you probably knew if you read my Fourth Month post, haha). I am participating in the Auxiliares de Conversación program which means I am in Spain as an English teacher for a bilingual school! My job in the classroom is to facilitate English by showing the students proper grammar and pronunciation. I encourage the children to speak to me only in English (I have to know zero Spanish to them – which isn’t too far from the truth anyway, haha!). If you want to know more info about this program, feel free to search my blog! I have a lot of posts about it. If you still have questions, you can always Contact Me as well.

But I digress! I moved to Spain in the middle of September. As I’ve mentioned before, each contract with VIPKid offers you two weeks of (unpaid) vacation. Because I didn’t use any during my contract, I instead opted to end my contract two weeks early (technically taking my vacation then). This meant that I really only taught the first two weeks of the month! I was very grateful when VIPKid offered me a contract renewal! My contract ended on September 29 and I was emailed a contract renewal offer on September 12. I was a little worried that they weren’t going to offer me another! Some teachers on Facebook were saying they received their contract renewal forms about a month before their contract ended. Needless to say, this left me a little stressed two weeks into the month (especially since I was leaving for Spain only a couple days later!). My contract is exactly the same as the first one. I wasn’t offered a pay raise (supposedly that happens after your second contract – we will see?). But that’s fine, I have additional sources of income! My total paycheck for September ended up being $250. I got a $40 bonus for my first contract completion as well as $50 for another teacher referral!

As my classes began to pick up, I started feeling a lot better. I was also very excited because my regular students began returning to me! I didn’t ask (nor was I offered) any explanation for the two month absences, but I honestly didn’t care. My validity as a teacher seemed to reinforce itself. I’m now convinced that summer just experiences weird breaks for the students and there’s nothing I did wrong.

The Contract Renewal

As I mentioned above, I was offered a contract renewal in the form of an email two weeks before my first contract ended. Had I not been offered it, I would have been ok (but a little hurt and offended considering the amount of time and effort I put into my classes!). However, I got it! This was something I toyed with because I knew I was moving to Spain. Because I’m now only working 16 hours/week in Spain, I need to supplement my income with additional sources of cash. I knew I would stick with VIPKid if it could fit in my schedule, and luckily it did! The peak hours for me are now 12pm-4pm. You know what that means? NO MORE EARLY MORNINGS! This is wonderful because I get to “sleep in” until 7am every morning before I head to class! And my school schedule in Spain is from 9am-1pm on Monday and Wednesday, so I return home and teach from 2pm-4pm Monday and Wednesday and more on Friday (I don’t work at all on weekends, though I could if necessary).

The contract renewal process was pretty simple. You download the new PDF, sign the page that requires your signature, re-upload it and send it back! That’s it! You’re officially on contract for another six months!

Does everyone get a contract renewal offer?

Unfortunately, no. There are many factors that could go into why you wouldn’t receive a contract renewal, but the only sure way to know is to submit a ticket to Freshdesk and get the info directly from VIPKid. When should you ask them? I would say if your contract is up in a week or two, you could send in your ticket to see your contract renewal status. My understanding is that if you cancel too many times, have too many teacher no shows, or receive too many complaints from parents, VIPKid can choose not to make you another offer. I only had one cancellation in my contract and I gave VIPKid 48-hours notice. I was not penalized for this. I also had zero no shows. I believe the company is lenient for a few, but too many and you won’t get a renewal offer. The best thing you can do is be honest as they happen and document any reason you might need to cancel or have a no show. Some teachers have to take newspaper clippings to prove blackouts/electricity failure, doctor’s notes for medical emergencies, etc. Remember, VIPKid has thousands of teachers across the globe. They can’t work with you if you don’t work with them!

So What’s New This Time?

VIPKid is constantly making adjustments to improve the company! At this time last year, there were something like 100 teachers and very few students. Now, there are 2,000+ teachers and even more students! The company is on the up and up, so to speak, and I’m riding the wave! It’s actually quite wonderful. I love the work, the money, the flexibility… It’s great!

In August, VIPKid updated the payroll system so you can now see it when you log in to your teacher portal! This is really nice because it updates daily. If you have discrepancies, you can send in a ticket to Freshdesk and someone is there to help. Theoretically, you can view your updated paycheck every day! Bonuses may take a bit longer to add, but they’ll be there. It’s a nice update, even though I worked so hard on my Paycheck Calculator Excel sheet! Oh well 🙂

My favorite new update to share with you all is that VIPKid is paying for me to get my Teaching English as a Second or Other Language (TESOL) certificate for FREE!! In August, they reached out to all current teachers asking if anyone was interested in obtaining this. Obviously this was perfect for me, seeing as how I was moving to Spain in September to teach English in person! They placed preference on teachers who renewed their contracts before November (which was my case). Luckily, I was one of the chosen ones! If you’re interested in the exact course I’m taking, you can view it here. It’s through Arizona State University! Thus far, I’m completed the first 5 weeks of Part One (there are two parts). I’m really enjoying it! I’m trying to incorporate everything I’m learning in the classroom in Spain as well as to my students online. Hopefully I’ll continue to improve my teaching skills!

ASU TESOL Wayfaring Wanders

Well that about sums everything up! I’m very excited to be continuing this job with my new hours! I’m also thrilled that my classes have picked back up and my schedule is filling up once more. I really think this is going to be an even better contract than my first! I love seeing the smiling faces of my students, and now at a time where I don’t mind smiling either (haha)! If you think you’re interested in reading more about VIPKid or applying for the position yourself, I’ll list some resources below! Thanks for checking in!

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! Especially if you’re in North America!! (Spaniard friends, you may have more luck, lol)

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).
Click here to read my four month update (my honest thoughts on the job as well as different ways to increase your booking rates).
Click here to read my ten month update (tons of exciting new updates and info for current and prospective teachers!).

18 Replies to “Teaching with VIPKid: A Six Month Update”

  1. Hey so glad I found your blog. Can I ask what your lesson prep is like? Thanks!

    1. Hi Morgan! My lesson prepping is very basic. I make sure to log into the portal early so I can review all of the slides. I read the Teacher Directions at the bottom of the slides so I know what to do/say before class starts. I also make sure I have a reward slide picked out for the class, if the student needs it (some of my older students don’t need to be rewarded with extra slides, haha). If the TDs at the bottom require me to do something with a white board, then I get that ready. If I need to have flash cards out (for low level students, letter cards), I prepare the appropriate cards. For the Trial Classes, I usually have out a puppet and a few slides in case I move the student to a different level. Overall, I don’t do a crazy amount! I just make sure to have the necessary materials so that class can run smoothly and easily!

  2. Hi Genevieve,

    What’s the income tax method for the income tax and Paypal fees? Will Vipkip deduct any amount of tax or Paypal fees on monthly pay?

    1. Hi Tess! As an independent contractor with VIPKid, you’re expected to file your taxes accordingly. VIPKid doesn’t do this for you. As far as I know, they don’t allow you to receive payment via Paypal (at least they didn’t when I was hired 8 months ago). During your hiring process, they’ll have you fill out a W-9 which you can bring to your accountant (or use on your own if you file your own taxes). For more information on taxes, you can check out Freshdesk once you’ve been hired. There are tons of additional resources about taxes there!

  3. I love your blog it is so full of valuable information. If at all possible could you please share with me if your undergrad degree was in education? I am degreed in education/special education but not fully certified due to not completing my final block of student teaching. I graduated from college later in life at the age of 49, and due to family finances I was unable to commit to a 5 month student teaching commitment without any type of income to support my family. Therefore, I graduated without state certification as an educator in the state of Georgia.

    1. Hi Tonia! Thanks! I would say that would be ok, but I’m not in charge of hiring lol. As for me, my degrees are in marketing and media arts – completely unrelated to teaching! I did have (limited) teaching experience through an internship though. Upon being hired, you’ll need to submit a scanned copy of your diploma so as long as you have that, you should be good to go I would imagine! Good luck!

  4. griselda foreman says: Reply

    Thought-provoking analysis ! I am thankful for the analysis . Does anyone know if I could acquire a blank IRS W-9 example to complete ?

    1. You can click here for the downloadable W9 Form! 🙂

  5. This is very helpful! Thanks! I have a question. For some reason I am being told my W9 is “unqualified” Do you have any idea what I should do? Is there any phone number I can call? Or is Freshdesk the only way to get a hold of them? Thank you!

    1. I’m not sure why your W-9 would be “unqualified” haha. I filled mine out with very basic information and they never said anything about it to me… I would search FreshDesk and see if anyone else had similar problems!

  6. […] author of Wayfaring Wanders has done a great job providing regular updates (ever couple of months) on her VIPKID journey. […]

  7. Hello..i was denied.
    Can i apply again ? What should i do differently ?
    Thank u
    Isoke

    1. Hi Isoke, sorry to hear that! They are getting more picky in their recruitment process. I’m not sure which stage you were denied in. If it was your Resume/CV, I recommend highlighting all of your teaching and experience working with kids. If it was in the interview, I’m not sure! Make sure you’re super cheerful and happy (as you will need to demonstrate this skill working on video with children) and make sure that you again highlight your teaching qualifications. If you’re really set on getting the job, consider obtaining a TEFL or TESOL as that will greatly improve your hiring chances! Unfortunately, those certificates can be a bit expensive. Good luck!

  8. Great post! I’m researching VIPKID at the moment seems like an interesting company. I also live in Spain and teach English online for another company. Thanks for the post!

  9. Dang! I must be lucky about student no shows.
    I started on July 20th, 103 classes and had 4 no shows.
    This month I have 7-8 no shows and I’ve taught 185 classes. I guess there’s greater demand these days? I never had an open slot not get booked, since day 1, and I have 2 negative feedbacks compared to 50 5 Apple reviews. I hope I get a new contract in February.

    1. There is DEFINITELY a greater demand from a year ago… I’ve noticed that too. I have every slot I open fill up instantly on Monday. It’s crazy. I don’t get any trials anymore and hardly ever see no-shows anymore! I’m sure as long as you don’t cancel too many classes or have teacher no-shows, you’ll get a renewal.

  10. Hi I click on your referral link but it didn’t give me one. Could you send me the link?

    1. Hi Miranda! Thanks for asking, I’ll have to go back and check my links! Here is my referral link: https://t.vipkid.com.cn/?refereeId=1469692&refersourceid=a01. Hopefully this works and they didn’t change all of our links!! 🙂

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