I have been working for VIPKID for almost three months now. I heard about it from my cousin's wife who posted about how much she loved it on her Instagram account. It has been an absolutely perfect fit for my new life as a busy stay-at-home mom. I love focusing on my family, but I also have lots to offer the world as a result of my education and career experiences. VIPKID allows me to do both in a way that I feel comfortable. And extra money on the side is nice too. :)
WHAT IS VIPKID?
From my home computer in Idaho, I teach English to children ages 5-12 in Beijing, China. Parents book classes with English speaking teachers that can provide their child with valuable conversation practice and immediate feedback on pronunciation and sentence structure. Each private lesson lasts 25 minutes.
I love that I can make my own schedule and teach when my Charlie Boy is asleep in the early mornings or in the evenings. I check the VIPKID app notifications on my phone for any new bookings, login to the VIPKID website, put on my headphones, and teach one-on-one 25 minute lessons to children aged 5-12. Very little prep is required. I just teach from the provided PowerPoint slides with a few fun props and visuals to keep the students' attention. It's so easy!
To apply, you'll need a college degree and some teaching experience (even Sunday school counts). Then you go through the following process over video chat:
2.) Two Mock Classes (teaching an adult pretending to be a young Chinese student)
Definitely do your homework first. Carefully prepare for mock classes with the PowerPoint slides they provide. Use your own creative props to make it interesting to a young child (online teaching requires even more enthusiasm to keep their attention), and watch YouTube videos from other VIPKID teachers giving demos and tips. I found the interviews to be fun and my mentors supportive and helpful.
Base pay for a 25 minute class is $8. So actually, it is $16/hour. But at the end of the pay cycle, you get an extra $1 per class you finish in the allotted time...so that's up to $18/hour. Then you get ANOTHER $1 per class if you complete 45+ classes in a pay period(one month)...so that's $20/hour!
But there's more! If you sign up for short notice classes (meaning you allow students to book you up to an hour before the class begins) you get another $2 per class! So potentially, if both classes in the hours are short notice, you are now at $24/hour!!
And there's EVEN MORE! If you teach a "trial" class (to a student just trying the program out) and they sign up, you get an extra $5 bonus. So there is the potential to make another $10/hour on top of the $24!
There are also monthly and weekly incentives that provide additional opportunities for teachers to make extra money.
MY VIPKID REVIEW
1.) I love being able to use my creativity and training without having to spend hours prepping beforehand or hours grading afterward.
2.) I make pretty good money for working less than part time hours most weeks.
3.) If I want to work a heavier schedule one week and a lighter one the next...no problem! It's so flexible! It would even be easy to teach these classes on top of an existing full-time job.
4.) The students are adorable and entertaining every single day! They generally work hard and learn quickly. It is fulfilling to build relationships with my regulars.
5.) My daily uniform: a professional VIPKID orange blazer on top with sweat pants on the bottom...ha! My students never know how cozy I am!
6.) There is a large, positive community of VIPKID teachers online who help each other out. Videos, free printables, Facebook groups, regional meetups, and discussion boards. They have been a great support group.
7.) I have felt from the beginning that VIPKID is organized and clear about their expectations. They offer newsletters, teacher training classes, sample videos, and reminders. From what I understand, this company is growing very fast. It is obvious they are working hard to continually improve and update the way everything works everyday.
8.) I feel supported by the company. Tech support can be contacted any time during a class, and very helpful to work with both the student and teacher to get everything working smoothly. And I can contact educational support with a question or appeal that is always answered within a day or two.
9.) I love that I can replay a class afterward and learn from what I see. It's so valuable to watch and evaluate what did and didn't go well. I wish I had that option in my third grade classroom!
10.) The app keeps my schedule, parent feedback, and lesson PowerPoints nicely organized and easy to access. It also allows me to chat directly with tech support and receive notifications and reminders about upcoming classes.
Like any job, there are a few things I don't love:
1.) Early hours. There is a time difference between China and America, after all. Sometimes, I open my camera to start class and I look like a zombie! Black eye liner has definitely been my friend and helped me look more awake.
2.) Sometimes students don't show up for class. This can be frustrating when I woke up at 5:30am to meet them. Luckily, as long as it's not a trial student, I still get full pay! Trial no shows result in half pay.
3.) Even if I chose to word full time, there are no benefits. And if I suddenly get sick, canceling a class comes with penalties of varying degrees (depending on the amount of notice). This pressure has resulted in teaching classes when I felt awful...which then impacted my parent ratings. I miss the ability to call in for a sub without having my pay docked.
4.) Smiling for hours straight can be exhausting...and painful! Ha!
Overall however, I LOVE this job! I have been so happy. It has truly been a blessing in my life...and totally worth these few annoyances. I hope to work with this company for a looong time.
Interested? Are you looking for a fun, flexible job you can do from home?
Yes, I get a small kickback if you use my link (Thank you so much!)...but I have not been paid to give any certain opinion. All thoughts are my own!