*For reference this post was recently updated: 6/12/2017*
This job has been a huge blessing in my life and I wanted to share the wealth! Best thing is this job is simply about YOU and YOUR STUDENTS! No-one else!
First I want to share some background information. I graduated with my bachelors in Elementary Education when I was 19yrs old (longish story for another time). I have always loved being around children and watching them learn. I graduated in December of 2011. Since it was the middle of the school year I worked as a classroom aide and tutor for the school I student taught at. Afterwards I taught summer school for them then I got married and moved.
My first year of teaching I was pregnant with my son. I was teaching a 3rd/4th grade accelerated class and had my work cut out for me. I was excited for the opportunity but a little sad it ended when I had my son. My husband has always been a huge supporter of me staying home. It worked before vet school because we were both working full time and living in a small home on his parents property.
Once we started vet school I spent the first few months at home but then decided to look for a job as a nanny. Because of my background in education many didn’t mind that my son would be coming along with me. I found an amazing family and the mom and I are still friends. We had toddlers similar in age, she had an older son and we were both expecting. I had planned to nanny Janurary-June until they asked me to continue and that’s when I announced my pregnancy. I decided that many little ones and two babies at different stages would be too hard. I was sad to go but relieved to be going back to running only one household.
My husband works so hard over the summer and on the farm and we have done well with no debt. I just wanted to find a job to help with continuing expenses and the cost of two kids. I also like to splurge on a few things and needed a way to earn extra money. Before I resigned from teaching I had thought about being an online teacher. Many of the jobs required extensive years of teaching though and I only had one. As I was looking at other jobs locally and it killed me that I wasn’t even able to use my degree. It was also almost impossible to find something that worked with my husband’s hectic schedule. I finally did another google search and came across VIPkid!
Put simply this is the job:
You are teaching students k-8th English 🙂 VIPkid creates the lessons for you but encourages you to use your own props to make it more interactive.
This is the layout of the classroom:
After you’ve been hired you’ll log into the portal link, then your classroom and this is what it looks like.
- This area shows the target vocabulary and sentences.
- Info button will tell you about the student and show comments from previous teachers.
- Docs is where you upload the lesson, like shown, and they have it in there for you.
- You can draw on the power point and so can the student. You’re red and they’re blue. Only you can erase. Special note for the interview: When you’re drawing break it up. If you’re underlining a word for example c a t unless you underline C let go of mouse than underline a they’ll just see one big line at the end.
- You can move through ppt page by page with the arrow or skip to a certain page at the bottom.
- Shows video of you and student.
- You can use chat box to type sentences or greetings. Parents appreciate this because they’ll practice after class.
- Stars are the reward system.
- You add a small paragraph of feedback to parents and the next teacher at the end of each lesson.
Each lesson is 25min long and with one student. Often parents are present.
- Bachelor’s/college degree (doesn’t have to be in education)
- A desktop or laptop with Webcam (platform does not work on phones or tablets yet)
- A headset with microphone
- Chrome browser
- High-speed Internet
- 1 year of experience with children and/or teaching.
- Encouraged to work a minimum of 7.5hrs a week during peak times (listed below) but a minimum number of classes is no longer required.
Note:This is a recent change that took place the begining of the year before 7.5hrs was required. It has been so nice on busy weeks though if I can only squeeze in 2-7 classes total. Such flexibility!! You do want to book yourself as much as possible in the beginning though.
- Your base pay is decided after the interview process ($7-12 per 25min class)
- If you complete under 45 class (for the month) you get $.50 for each class you attended and teach, bonus!
- If you complete over 45 classes(for the month) you get $1 for each class you attend and teach, double bonus!
- Once you have your 3rd contract renewal you are given a $.50 raise to your base pay and that continues.
- Before you were allowed 2 weeks of unpaid vacation during each 6month contract. Now if you won’t be available as much or need to take the week or two off simply let the staff in education know so they can make a note.
- Monday-Friday 6-10pm Bejing Time (China)
- Friday/Saturday/Sunday 9-11am Bejing Time (China)
First you’ll send in your application. Initial interview is about 20 minutes…10 talking about your experience and 10 for a demo lesson (emailed prior to interview). If you pass the interview you’ll read through some material and take a quiz. After the quiz you’ll schedule your mock 1 class. It is an hour long. 5-10 mins talking, 12 minutes teaching, feedback and reflection, then 13 more minutes teaching the rest of the lesson, and lastly feedback and reflection again. Some are hired after the initial mock class others have to sign up for mock 2. Don’t be discouraged though, really depends on who is interviewing. Mock 2 is also geared towards the older kids and good practice. After you are hired you’ll upload all your official documents and be given access to the portal to schedule classes.
The hardest part about this job is the early hours. What has worked best for me is working Monday/Wednesday/Friday mornings and then since my husband studies I also work Monday/Wednesday and Saturday evenings for 1-3hrs. Saturday evening is during peak hours so they usually fill. My other evenings are full now but weren’t in the beginning since they aren’t during peak hours (not a high demand from students).
I love the flexibility of this job though! Especially now that the 7.5 hours aren’t required. I have been able to schedule them whenever I want along with additional hours. When we are headed out on vacation for 10days I work the earlier days of the first week and again the last few days of the 2nd week. It has also been easy to transport a few basic props, my orange polo, my computer, and a white board for extended trips. I have been working with this company since March 2016 and they are amazing! I just started my third contract a couple of months ago and it was a smooth transition.
If this sounds like something you would be interested in you can apply here!
If you have any questions PLEASE let me know (comment, email or message me on Instagram @marksofmotherhood)!
Special note: If you make it past the interview and onto the first mock class I have their grading system(pdf) I can share with you to help you prepare! You’ll have to use a referral link (same as above) or a referral code (0227VU) in order for me to verify your application was accepted.
4 thoughts on “VIPkid (my online teaching job)”
Hi! I just passed my mock class with VIPkids and I’m really excited! One thing though is really stressing me out. I have a 7 month old and I don’t know what I’m going to do if she wakes up and starts crying while I’m working. How do you handle it with little ones? Are they always sleeping? Do you only work when your husband is there?
Yay!! In the mornings my husband is usually there but most of the time they’re all sleeping. I’ve had my son and daughter both walk in for a class before not wanting to leave but luckily they were regular students and excited to see my kids. I just have stuff on hand to distract them. You could also look into getting noise cancelling headphones. That’s what a lot of Moms have done with infants. What time do you plan to work? When does she usually wake up? Feel free to shoot me an email if that’s easier 🙂 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey! Thank you for this great info!! I have done a lot of research with VIPKID and it really looks amazing. I am pregnant now (due in Nov) and currently teaching. I’d love to start with VIPKID over the summer but do you know what their maternity leave policy is?
You’re welcome! As far as I know there isnt a maternity leave. They do have “soft” cancellations for when you go into labor which means it wont end up on your record. They also no longer “require” 15 time slots. One lady mentioned teaching class Monday, taking her 2 weeks unpaid vacation, and teaching the saturday after that so essentially 4 weeks off. That kind of time off does effect your student bookings though. I know you can take a maternity leave but they will have you reapply if it’s in the middle of your contract. Hope that helps!