Now that I have signed my second contract with VIPKID and I’ve become quite the “VIPKID” obsessed teacher (see my Instagram for proof), it’s high time I start sharing with you the tips for getting hired at VIPKID and we’ll start with the VIPKID requirements.
Many people make assumptions about VIPKID and I’ll be glad to address those if you would like to mention any concerns or questions you have in the comments below.
Speaking of below…I have included affiliate and referral links/codes below for your convenience. I hope they serve you well!
Since I evidently look like I know what I’m doing per tons of really great questions I get in my email, Instagram or Facebook messenger, I will be forming this post into a Q & A sort of post for y’all that I can easily update with the new questions that come across my desk as they come in.
I hope these all help and you will mention anything I have not covered here in the comments below.
Oh..and brace yourselves. This is a lengthy post! I wanted to make sure it was ALL there. I wouldn’t send anyone I know (or don’t know for that matter) into the abyss alone without some sort of knowledge of how to succeed!
VIPKID requirements are as follows:
- Do you have to have a teaching license in order to teach with VIPKID? Do you need a degree for VIPKID?
Not even close!
You do not have to speak Mandarin or Chinese and you do not have to have teaching experience or even ESL (English as a second language) experience!
You do have to have a Bachelor’s Degree in any field and at least one year of experience in teaching children.
THAT INCLUDES teaching, mentoring, coaching, substituting, babysitting, tutoring, homeschooling, taught Sunday School, worked in a daycare facility, etc. ALL experience with children=experience teaching to VIPKID.
On your application, indicate you have experience and when given the opportunity (through a box on the application or through your interviewer asking), tell every ounce of experience you have.
- Pay. What does VIPKID pay and how do you receive your VIPKID payment or how does VIPKID pay work? How much do you get paid for VIPKID?
VIPKID pay is dependent upon your experience. The base pay rate (minimum you can earn) for each class that is 28-30 minutes long is $7-$9. That means you can earn at least $7 per class. In one hour of teaching, you earn $14.
While the schedule is flexible (meaning you work how little or how much or not at all), you do have some incentives offered through VIPKID pay that allows you to earn even more per class. For example: If I start class and finish on time, I get an extra dollar per class I teach. That bumps the pay rate from $14 an hour to $16 an hour ($1 per class-2 classes in an hour=$7+$7+$1+1). Another incentive they offer is if you teach 45 or more classes a month (basically 1-2 a day) you get another $1 per class! That has now bumped you from the $14 an hour to $18 an hour (with the other $1 incentive for starting and finishing on time). Now, you’re making $18 an hour in your pajama bottoms (if you choose) teaching sweet little faces from China how to speak English and you get to decide how often or how little or when you want to do it!
VIPKID payment is received either twice a month or once a month. I chose once a month (you get to choose) and I receive a direct deposit into my bank account every month around the same day of the month. You can see those deposits and what I’ve made so far on my VIPKID Monthly Income Reports below:
If this sounds good to you, you can apply at my referral link here today!
2. Wait…if you don’t speak Chinese or Mandarin, how do you communicate?
This one blows my family’s mind!
The thing we have to remember here is VIPKID does not require you speak the language you are not teaching. The VIPKID requirements do not state, “MUST SPEAK CHINESE” because you are not teaching Chinese. You are teaching English!
Under this same umbrella, VIPKID requirements do not require you to have ESL experience. I briefly touched on this in #1, but I want to reiterate here that VIPKID wants people who understand children and their development enough to be able to share a world they know nothing about (i.e. the English language) or they may have a taste of and perfect it for them while having fun doing it.
This means, know English, speak English clearly, and share that language in all it’s beauty with the littles and bigs that are wanting to learn it and their parents who want to hear them speak it clearly so they will have flexibility with their future jobs.
This does not mean, as I have been asked before, that knowing how to speak the language makes you less of a teacher or unable to teach. That is a heck of a leg up in the teaching field and amazing! Use it, but not too often.
Remember, they are there for the English!
3. Do you have to do lesson planning? What are the lessons like? What does each level mean? What level are the kids? What subjects do you teach? Are the lessons hard?
This one is a biggie that gets asked a lot!
I want to make sure I cover this one well and I’m sorry not sorry if it gets lengthy!
I’d prefer serving my referrals well and helping these new teacher (or prospective teachers) succeed regardless of everyone else’s comfort level.
First, the levels in VIPKID are meant to organize students based on where they are in their English speaking ability. The hope is they are challenged just enough, but not pushed beyond their limits.
VIPKID requirements are that they students be tested to see where they are at level wise before they begin their journey, but that doesn’t always happen. Parents will assume where their child is at and place them where they think they are (at least in most cases I have come across).
That said, I have taught 4 -5 year olds in interactive level 2 while also teaching a 6 year old in level 3. I’ve had 10-12 year olds in both levels and in level 4 I recently taught a 6 year old. Age is not the factor, it’s the ability either based on what VIPKID thinks their abilities are or what the parents think.
Each level is designed to meet each level of English speaker’s needs.
Level 2 interactive is fun because you can move things around the slides and it’s very basic English skills. Most of the time you are demonstrating TPR (total physical response) by pointing to your mouth or chin, saying a word or phrase and then cupping your ear to indicate the student should repeat. There are students who will be able to read all on their own and won’t even need you to tell them the word.
There are some who do not know the command “draw a line” or “drag and drop”. You may spend your first lesson or two going over just simple commands with them and learning what is expected of them in the VIPKID classroom.
Students are always awarded 5 stars in the classroom slides, but teachers are also expected to have a “secondary reward” on hand to grant the student a reward for a job well done, using complete sentences, trying on difficult lesson materials, etc.
I say all of that to let you know there are expectations even in the fun slides and each lesson is different because of the student’s ability and the lesson material covered.
Every lesson/level has reading and phonics built into it. As the level number goes up, the level of difficulty to read and the content level increases too. There are some repeat lessons or carry over between levels since not all students will see the content in every level (they may jump a level due to their ability to speak fluently already and miss some themes so VIPKID has included those themes in other levels to ensure it’s not missed).
Some lessons have science and others don’t. Some have math and some do not. Almost all of them include a form of culture and form of phonics along with reading and high frequency words. You can expect that in every lesson you teach. Plan on teaching it all when you are hired and as you gain more certifications over time for each level.
There is not an ounce of lesson planning involved. The lessons are there when you login and appear on screen when you enter the classroom (most of the time). They have all of the information laid out for you in an outline which you can access in the materials section of each lesson you are booked for.
Unfortunately you cannot see the lesson until you are booked for it. VIPKID does not hand out their lesson information ahead of time to avoid other companies from trying to steal their information.
You will have some prep time in that you will be picking out props and materials to make the lessons fun, engaging, and to help the student understand words that come up which may be new to them.
The lessons themselves are not difficult. If I can teach them, anyone can! Sometimes, I am tripped up over a phonics question that seems to go one way for me, but they expect something different or a few of the science lessons where I’m not for sure the answer. This is where Google and the VIPKID Teacher Q & A group on Facebook becomes my best friend in tough situations! Either the teachers in the community will help me when I post a picture of the slide I have difficulty with or Google will quickly help me out.
It’s a learn as you go and have fun doing it kind of atmosphere with lessons already built in and the materials planned so all you have to do is find ways to make it even more exciting for the student!
4. What do I have to pay to start up?
That doesn’t mean You are expected to have 2D and 3D props as well as a white board, some sort of toy microphone comes in handy, a puppet and something fun like a noise maker or silly object to make the lesson fun for your interviews. A background behind you that looks educational and shows your “teacher name” (for example: my teacher name is Teacher Lauren) behind you while you teach too!
This means minimal setup, but once you start teaching, you can go to the minimum if that suits your style.
I dream of becoming a minimalist with my teaching, but every time I try, I have panic attacks! I LOVE MY STUFF =).
Have a secondary reward to give to the student every two slides. This is because the slides you teach are only 10 slides total (normally a class can have 25-46 slides depending on what you teach). The student should receive 5 stars at the end of class. These should be spread out to encourage the student’s learning throughout the lesson.
The lessons usually have a static or an interactive reward system built in. I don’t always love the built in rewards because either they are super cheesy, do not make a lick of sense or the kids do not love them.
I always introduce the reward slide and use the interactive rewards for teaching “drag and drop” to the new students coming on board. I might also go ahead and extend with that slide if the student seems to be rushing through slides.
On the side, there is always a reward system handy.
My personal favorite is find a star. This is a board game sort of kind of. The student calls out a number and hopefully finds one of the five stars hidden under the numbers. Each time they find a star, they get a star on the screen.
When you begin teaching, you can teach to however you want. VIPKID just wants to see that you can do this and support the student through use of TPR, synthetic phonics and props before they release you to the kiddos so you are prepared for any type of student or level of student that comes your way.
Here are affiliate links to the items I have purchased to create the reward you see above and to setup my classroom:
LIGHTING RIG https://amzn.to/2X2waS3
Ring Light https://amzn.to/2YbiU9U
Canvas World Map. Not exact same one I have, but similar. https://amzn.to/2YbiU9U
Computer Keypad Cover https://amzn.to/2YbiU9U
Visa Vise Markers https://amzn.to/2Xuc6r6
Dry Erase Markers (Use darker colors so they show up on camera better) https://amzn.to/2Xz60FL
2 Sided Magnetic Dry Erase Boards (there are many at this link because I ordered this many to make back to back classes easy to setup ahead with magnetic letters and numbers) https://amzn.to/2XsMHOt
Magnetic Letters and Numbers (bright) https://amzn.to/2Y8EgFb
Magnetic Playhouse Tin https://amzn.to/2RxShcW
Magnetic Princess Tin https://amzn.to/2J7Cw8E
Magnetic Build a Face Tin
Magnetic Superhero Tin https://amzn.to/2x99jEH
Magnetic Nemo Tin https://amzn.to/2J7CzRS
Magnetic Frozen Tin https://amzn.to/2Ruwd2X
Magnetic Zoo https://amzn.to/2RARCY7
Magnetic Neighborhood https://amzn.to/2J3TDZc
Laminating Sheets https://amzn.to/2YegpnA
Toy Suitcase https://amzn.to/2Ye3Zfi
Puppets I use: https://amzn.to/2Fw5JJt
5. HAVE FUN
Believe it or not, VIPKID supports fun in the classroom!
What a change up from the brick and mortar days!
The more silly, active, and hilarious you are the better. Use your talents like playing music, singing, not being able to sing well, draw, have laughs about not being able to draw, play games, etc.
VIPKID believe strongly in the psychology behind a child having fun while learning = a child engaged in their learning and motivation out the wazoo.
Therefore, go all out! Give it all you’ve got!
Smile a lot, have fun so the student has fun and enjoy the journey!
When you’re ready, apply by clicking this image here:
TPR is “Total Physical Response”. You can see Nancy Taylor explain it perfectly here:
Synthetic phonics is shown here and should be heavily studied as some interviewers are strong sticklers about this!
When you are ready to apply, you can do so here! I have included a link to an awesome video to help you pass your first interview. It will be a basic interview and then time will be given for you to teach the person interviewing you how to speak English while they pretend to be a 5 year old who does not know English.
This sounds scary, it is not if you follow this video! I am glad to answer any questions and help you throughout the steps of getting hired, getting your first booking and even after that I’m here to help you with the teaching process and getting certifications!
BOTH OF THESE WILL HELP YOU PASS!! STUDY THEM!
I hope you guys have fun and will reach out for any help you may need! I’m all yours!
Apply here today or click this image to get started on your VIPKID journey!
Teacher Lauren BEJ