This post is sponsored by VIPKID, but the interview is from a real friend of mine from college. All opinions and answers to the interview answers are honest and 100% her own.
Ever since I became a stay-at-home mom almost 7 years ago, I’ve felt like I needed to help contribute financially to our family. I looked around the internet, but it was really hard to find work that I could do from home that was flexible with my schedule as a mom to little kids. If you have teaching experience and are looking to work from home, then I have a great opportunity for you!
You may have seen ads or heard about a company called VIPKID. I recently did, but I wondered if it was really all it said it was, especially about working with kids all the way around the world! Were the hours really flexible? Would I be paid consistently? How exactly do I teach English with VIPKID?
If you haven’t heard of VIPKID yet, VIPKID is an online English education platform that teaches children in China ages 4-12. There are currently over 200,000 students and 20,000 teachers that are mostly located in the US and Canada. VIPKID has a unique curriculum for teachers to deliver English classes online in a 1:1 environment from the comfort of their homes.
To teach English with VIPKID had crossed my mind and then I recently learned that my friend and roommate from college does work for them! I was excited to hear what she thought! And I thought you would be too! Which is why I interviewed her to see what it was really like to work with VIPKID.
Here’s my interview with my friend Jenn:
How did you hear about VIPKID?
One of my friends from college posted about the job on Facebook.
What experience do you have teaching and/or teaching English Language Learners? Is this required for the job?
I taught kindergarten before my girls were born. I also have a minor in TESOL/TELL. The TESOL/TELL experience/certificate is not required but it helps determine pay level. 1 year of teaching experience (of any kind) is required.
How many hours a week do you work and when? Are the hours flexible?
I usually work around ten hours a week. I make my own schedule and work only when I can. It is super flexible. Right now I am working a little less because I have been sick with this pregnancy.
If you don’t mind me asking, how much do you get paid?
I got offered $8 per class as base pay. They also give you $1 per class that is completed with no IT issues. And if you teach more than 35 classes a month, then you get paid another extra $1 per class. It was confusing at first, but it comes out to $10 per class (25 minutes) or about $20 an hour (2 classes). I know some other teachers who started at $7 or $7.50 per class so I think it depends more on your experience.
How do you know what to teach? Do you have to create your own lesson plans?
Every class is already prepared for you. In the 25 minute lesson there is a power point presentation with 25-30 slides. We teach about one minute per slide. The only lesson prep I do is look over the slides, target sentences and vocabulary beforehand. Some students finish early so we practice the main objectives from that particular lesson.
What’s your favorite part about working with VIPKID?
I love the students. You quickly develop regulars who I will see a couple times a week. I can communicate with their parents in the parent feedback which helps the relationships grow. I also love that I can do it from home as much or as little as I need/want.
What’s your least favorite part about working with VIPKID?
My least favorite part would have to be that time change. Before I got pregnant I was teaching from 5-7am because that is when the most students take the classes. (You can start teaching at 1am AZ time, kind of crazy). I know of lot of teachers will do over night shifts and teach a bunch of classes. But I don’t think that will be something I do anytime soon. 🙂 Now that I am pregnant I work mostly Fri/Sat nights and some weeknights (which is the student lunch break.)
Is there anything else you would like us to know about working with VIPKID?
“With VIPKID, I “travel” to China every day. My students showed me the breakfast churros they eat, their school mandatory uniforms, how they celebrate for Chinese New Year, and so many special things. And the sweetest thing is to know that for these little kids, their lives are a little different because of me.”
– Teacher Nancy
So what are the requirements to teach English with VIPKID?
- Bachelor’s degree in any field
- One school year of full-time teaching experience or equivalent hours in similar educational activities (e.g. home schooling, tutoring, educational mentoring, etc.);
- Eligibility to work in US or Canada.
Some interesting facts about VIPKID (which are especially interesting if you’re familiar with TESOL – which is what I minored in) is that they are the official provider of the TOEFL Primary assessment in China, they are a Strategic Partner of TESOL International Association (the largest global association for English language teaching professionals), they cater to the growing middle class in China, and they care about their social impact. Two very important projects are their research institute at Stanford studying how children learn languages and their rural schools in China project with the Jack Ma Foundation. VIPKID teachers get connected to a lower income rural school and teach English with VIPKID to the class, virtually.
VIPKID also runs “Coaching Day” events, free of charge, across North America to train teacher candidates on ESL online teaching skills. Candidates who participate in these events get to accelerate through the interview process. Here’s the event calendar: https://splashthat.com/sites/view/vipeventcalendar.splashthat.com
Does this sound like something you would be interested in? If so, sign up for VIPKID here and get started today!