When you’re ready to be hired by VIPKID, you need to do a little bit of research to prepare for your interviews. I remember feeling overwhelmed and completely doubting I’d pass the interviews the first time. I braced myself for doing interviews over and over again until I passed.
I passed right away!
What can you do to ensure you get hired by VIPKID?
There are so many factors at play for what VIPKID uses to choose the teachers they allow to work for their company, but I can at least share with you the expectations and best practices that helped me pass right away.
I love helping teachers with getting hired, getting their first booking, and with helping them find resources for the various lessons they teach at each level.
Let’s start with VIPKID expectations:
VIPKID likes to see their teachers interacting with students in a friendly manner through smiling, having a wall behind them holding educational and fun props for a welcoming classroom environment and a well lit classroom. This makes perfect sense!
If I do not know a language, the more warmth I can feel from the person helping me find my way around a foreign country or from the person teaching me this new language, the more interested and capable I feel.
This was especially true for our trip to Ireland. We were lost on our road trip to see the Dark Hedges and happened upon a sweet, elderly, gentleman on a dirt road. I jumped out to ask for directions while the hubby did a 50 point turn on a narrow dirt road in the middle of no mans land. This little old guy only knew how to speak Gaelic and I could not get anything across to him until I motioned (oh how TPR has been such a wonderful tool in many aspects of life) the hedges shape and said “tree” while motioning the shape of a tree with my arms. He then could direct me motioning with left and right or straight motions with his hands.
I had my doubts, but we made it just like he said we would!
TPR FOR THE WIN!
You can see examples of the various classroom designs I have created on my Instagram page here. Each classroom background was created with very budget friendly materials found at the Target dollar spot, Dollar Tree, Walmart and Amazon.
Click the images below to follow me on Instagram to stay up to date with my classroom!
View this post on Instagram
Added some friends to the background today. Might let them hang there for a while. Getting ready to decorate for summer time. What are your summer time go tos? #teacherblogger #teacherinspiration #fridaylove #backgroundideas #bulletinboardsofinstagram #teacherlife🍎 #dollartreefinds #howimakemoneyonline
View this post on Instagram
Something sassy about this new setup…can’t quite put my finger on it 🤷♀️. Waiting for class to start…what are you up to today? Working from hime@is everything! I get to stay home, feed my introvert soul with pajamas and coffee, play with the cutest girl in the whole wide world! Some days are tiresome, but most days are the best spent being a mom on my terms! When you’re ready to be in control of your schedule and to have fun working from home, feel free to do so at the link in my bio! #sassyandiknowit #allthatsass #imaginethat #rockinthesass #southernandsassy #vipkidteacherlife #classarenovation #newbackground #vipkidbackground #vipkidpropsandrewards #makemoneyfromhome #onlinejobsworkfromhome #wearehiring
VIPKID also wants to see teachers using TPR (Total Physical Response), Synthetic Phonics, 2D props, 3D props, a dry erase board, a reward system, headset, internet that can handle video chatting easily (ping less than 100 and download speed of 20 mbps) and limited incidental language.
Overwhelmed yet? Yeah..I was too!
Start by having your background setup. This can be a few stars or leaves or anything simple hung up behind you. You can see in the photo to the right I used a bulletin border I found at Dollar Tree and hung that with a Teacher Lauren sign so that they would know my teacher name. VIPKID loves to see your teacher name posted ;). Simple and clean is the way to go on this!
Lighting is EVERYTHING when it comes to getting bookings. Per an interview with parents from China, bright lighting is one of the first things parents use to determine who they book with at VIPKID.
I started with using LED light bulbs in about 5-6 lamps I gathered from my household lighting. That did not last long as the lamps would not stay put each time I moved in the room and it was a pain trying to get rid of any shadows that appeared.
It was like Peter Pan was haunting me!
That’s when I found this lighting rig and I have forever loved it since.
I can pack this up to take with me on the road, I use it to create videos for YouTube and it’s plugged into a power strip that is hooked up to a timer. I can click a remote control and turn my lights on before classes.
That one touch control is amazing!
***Disclaimer: Due to being an affiliate with Amazon, I earn a small commission from anything you purchase at Amazon once you click this link. I appreciate your support very much!
For 2D and 3D props, I suggest finding Kenneson Creations on Teachers Pay Teachers. She has some of the most handy packages available for most levels of VIPKID that contain the best 2D props for every lesson in those levels. They were the best purchase I’ve made (besides my lighting rig) since starting with VIPKID! The 3D props you should get depend on which levels you want to teach. Starting out, many teachers will purchase 3D animals, 3D food, and toy balls. All of these items motivate and help students understand what is coming at them in these lessons as well as what the heck you are saying. Visual and audio learning is key when learning a new language.
The more support you can provide your students with visuals, the better!
Having different types of balls (i.e. basketball, soccer ball, football, ping pong ball, baseball, etc.) will be handy for many levels and lessons!
When I started working for VIPKID in the beginning I had a ton of dry erase boards to hold multiple magnetic rewards and to use for writing out grammar, phonics and pronunciation skills they need to practice. I also draw rewards on them.
Later, I learned I could have saved myself so much space and trouble had I purchased double sided magnetic dry erase boards (meaning magnetic on both sides). They make the world of difference while teaching and balancing props and rewards as well as having something to write on at the same time! Sometimes the blank slide at the end of a lesson is helpful for this too, but rather than flip back and forth, I use my board to write on one side, reward on the other. DOUBLE WAMMY!
Reward systems do not have to be fancy when working with VIPKID, but they need to be fun. Every so many slides, we are expected to assign a star to the student as a reward for their progress in learning or something they mastered. There are five stars, so I spread them out evenly throughout the lesson. Each time a star should be rewarded, I use a secondary reward system I hold up to the camera and use to interact with the student in some way that is fun. I’ve listed my top favorites that the students love.
***Side Note: There are reward systems built into the lesson as well. You can use those, or these or both!
The most effective and popular reward systems I have used so far are:
Emojis: I will add an image soon! This reward is a printout of a large cell phone and emojis I laminated/added magnets to the back of. I have the phone on a magnetic board behind me or on a dry erase board. As the time arrives to assign a star for the student’s progress, I will hold up an emoji, say, “You get an emoji!” and copy the face I hold up. The kids, especially newbies, giggle and will eventually warm up to make the face with me. We get many laughs out of this!
Find a Star: You can see an image of this here:
View this post on Instagram
Find a star is such a life saver in the world of teaching ESL online. Some teachers go without secondary rewards, but every time I try, I get bored! I sometimes do them for my sanity, to get kiddos smiling and change up the lessons I teach multiple times a week. If you haven’t tried find a star, give it a shot on a student who rushes through lessons or reads well and doesn’t take long to finish. This reward system also helps with time management. ❤️
Drawing on the blank slide or the dry erase board and letting the student guess or letting the student draw on the blank slide something that ties to the lesson.
Squishies. This is not the proper name for them, but they are toys that you squish in your hand and they come back to normal shape quickly.
Large Dice. Make a T chart on the screen. Teacher on one side, student the other. Roll the dice and award that number to the person who’s turn it is. Compare the numbers to practice greater than/less than/equal to and decide who wins each round. You can extend this by adding the total up at the end for each person. My set is orange, but these are very similar to what I have.
Set yourself up with a computer/laptop/tablet that can handle teaching with a program that is similar to Skype. The ping (the effort it takes your computer to communicate with another computer over a network a long distance away) needs to be 100 or less and this can be tested online with a google search for ping tests that are free.
The computer I invested in just before starting was necessary because the computer I had was ANCIENT and could not handle video chatting well.
This is the computer I ended up splurging on and love still to this day!
The keys light up, the keypad is easy to use for our bookkeeping business and it is a workhorse!
The best part is that the screen is a touch screen making the writing on a slide or circling without it looking like a blob on a slide so much easier than I ever imagined. When I used to underline with the mouse, it would look squiggly. Now I have a more professional look to my marks on the screen while teaching!
When you are first trying to get hired with VIPKID, it is expected you have a headset. Many teachers can teach without a headset, but if you have a little one, pets, or a noisy spouse (like me), you’ll wish you had a noise canceling head set that allows you mute yourself, your microphone, your computer, the whole shebang in conjunction with the VIPKID portal microphone.
This is because, while we think we are muted on the screen, there are have been cases where teachers have been recorded cursing, talking to family members, jamming to inappropriate music and more before class began. Since they were muted per the screen, they assumed no one could hear them.
Later, the playback of the class showed this or the student was responding to their inappropriate actions by speaking to them prior to class beginning and mentioning it in class.
These headphones (pictured in my classroom design images above) have served me well for quite a while now! I love them!
You can purchase yours at my affiliate link here:
Before you apply or do any more research for how to get hired at VIPKID, check to make sure your internet download speed (can be tested the same way) is 20 mbps or more. I can operate on less, but I do not suggest this!
Synthetic phonics was something I thought I knew all too well. I still had to review and found these videos helpful for reviewing. They also taught me a thing or two!
TPR is total physical response and it is the crucial key to helping you communicate with your students effectively when you are hired with VIPKID.
To learn more about TPR and why it is so important in an ESL classroom (and useful for your own children who are learning English), please checkout these videos below:
When I help new teachers with how to get hired with VIPKID, I always remind them to watch that incidental language. Incidental language is what I call “extra words” or transitional words like so or but, and students may not know yet depending on what level they are at in being fluent with English. No matter what, play it safe and use as little if no incidental language at all. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, you will want to watch this video here:
I believe this covers the basics of what VIPKID hopes to see when you are in the process of getting hired to teach at VIPKID.
There are many aspects of VIPKID and I love working with them so much, I’ve made it a passionate focus of mine to help other teachers become as successful and to help with how to get hired with VIPKID. I’ve now expanded to helping teachers with finding great resources throughout their teaching experience too!
That’s why I hope you will reach out to me with any questions you may have about VIPKID. I love, love love your messages and hope to help you!
If you have not applied to VIPKID yet, please use my referral link or code listed below to do so today! I can then become your official coach through the hiring process ;).
Thank you for taking the time to read my rather lengthy, but hopefully helpful post today! Please follow me on Instagram and feel free to reach me there for more information!
You are going to do awesome and I cannot wait to welcome you to the VIPKID family!
Teacher Lauren BEJ
REFERRAL LINK: https://t.vipkid.com.cn/mkt/landing/personal?referralToken=7a5896dcb6d06ec2d72f271319eb8f40&refereeId=27483540
REFERRAL CODE: LAURE0751