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With English being the third most spoken language in the world, more and more non-English speaking people are looking to learn the language and top among them is the Chinese, who largely speak Mandarin.
And thanks to technology, one can find online English teaching jobs via virtual teaching companies. One platform that provides such opportunities is VIPKID.
VIPKID is an online platform that brings American elementary education to Chinese students.
It was founded in 2013 by Cindy Mi, a high school dropout, who, out of her problematic educational background decided to make high-quality education readily available for all Chinese generations after her.
To say the least, the company is now worth $3 billion.
Basically, native English speakers sign up on the site and are connected to learners who are aged between 5 and 12 years.
However, I’ve seen teachers with students as young as 2 years! This might be due to their new goal of expanding the featured age bracket.
VIPKID has a planned curriculum which the teachers have to follow in their lessons. I think this makes the work easier as opposed to coming up with your own curriculum.
Similar to a traditional classroom, there is a pre-class video briefing that announces the day’s learning objectives.
After that, the lessons begin, with breaks set at pre-determined intervals. In addition, there are after-class assignments which the tutor has to make follow-ups on.
The lessons happen on a web-based video platform where the teacher and student connect one-on-one.
After the lesson or after the course is over, the parents/guardians of the students are supposed to give reviews.
VIPKID Pay: How Much Do VIPKID Teachers Earn?
VIPKid states that teachers can earn between $14-22 per hour.
The minimum pay starts from $7 to $9 per class (once you’ve passed the recruitment process – which is quite long).
The rate will be determined by how well you scored in the interview (more on this later). Note that each class takes 30 minutes.
Therefore, you will make approximately $14 to $18 per hour. However, the pay can reach up to $22 because of several incentives that are offered.
Each finished class earns you an extra $1. You get another dollar for showing up on time and adhering to the schedule.
All in all, the pay is quite decent considering that there isn’t any commute. Assuming that you work an average of 5 hours a day, it means you can earn from $70 to $90 every single day.
This is approximately $1,750 (on the lower side) and $2,250 (on the upper side) per month. The classes run 5 days a week so you also have your weekend free.
However, please note that the income can be lower or higher depending on your bookings. Therefore, the more bookings you get, the fatter your cheque.
VIPKID Mode of Payment
VIPKID pays between the 10th and 15th of every month through direct wire deposit. This is the only mode of payment that they offer at the moment.
As a VIPKID teacher, you are an independent contractor and you are responsible for your own taxes.
There are several requirements you need to meet to be eligible to teach at VIPKID.
They’re very strict in these demands, so make sure you meet all of them before signing up.
- You must possess a Bachelor’s degree in any field. Any genuine degree is acceptable.
- Atleast one year’s experience teaching or mentoring children.
- You should be ready to commit to a 6-month contract. This is the minimum and is renewable after the expiration date. This depends on your input and quality.
- You must be fluent in oral and written English. Also, you should be eligible to work in the US or Canada.
- The equipment: You need a dedicated space with minimal distractions. You will need a good computer and a high-quality video camera as well. Finally, get a good headset so you can communicate with the student easily.
- Some teachers also highly recommend that you get some cute puppets. They come in handy when you need to get some children out of their shells. 🙂
VIPKID Interview Process
The VIPKID interview process is long and a bit tedious. Let’s talk about the steps that you’ll need to take.
- Step 1. Apply to become one of the VIPKID tutors here. Upon applying to VIPKID, you will receive communication from them in about 24 hours regarding the requirements and day of the live interview.
- Step 2. On the day of the live interview, you’ll take part in a demo lesson that’ll take 10 mins. In this demo lesson, the interviewer will act like a 5-year-old child and you, as the tutor, will teach that ‘child’. If you pass that part of the interview, you’ll then move on to the teaching prep. Please note that the demo lesson doesn’t have to be live. You also record yourself doing the same on the VIPKID website.
- Step 3. In the teaching prep lesson, you’ll learn more about the VIP teaching style and lesson formats. You’ll then move onto Mock 1.
- Step 4. Mock 1 is a two-part class. Part 1 takes about 15 minutes. Once you’re done with Part 1, you’ll be given feedback to help you out with Part 2. What happens with these two lessons is you’re being tested on how well you can teach beginner and intermediate students. If you’ve done very well, you’ll hear back from them and be hired. If not, the next step is Mock 2.
- Step 5. In Mock 2, you’ll be tested entirely on how well you can teach EITHER a beginner level student or an intermediate student. If you pass this level, you’ll sign a contract and you can begin working for VIPKid.
What’s Hot About VipKid
- There is almost zero prep work. You can enter the class (or school) an evening or some hours before and review what they need you to teach in your next lesson.
- VIPKid lets you plan your schedule as long as you meet over 30 or 45 classes every month. Therefore, you don’t need to work the whole day or every day of the month. Sit, plan your availability and let them know.
- The best thing is that you can work shorter hours. No one needs to see you in class for 8 hours or record how many off-days you took. The hours you lost in school when you had no lessons can be used for some leisure or improvement tasks.
- There are bonuses! If you start and finish your class on time, they give you $1 per class. If you meet the 30 or 44 classes per month limit, you get a whopping 50 cent per class bonus! Still, you earn an extra $1 if you teach more than 45 classes per month.
- The learners are accompanied by their guardians so you have a well-behaved and cooperative student. This is a plus one as opposed to handling tens of students at a go, on your own.
- Their support is superb and when you reach out to them, they will do their best to sort your complications.
- Finally, since the kids are all from China, you get to learn a lot from them even as you teach them. The live classes let you see their lives in real-time and that makes the lessons more interesting since you also become a [paid] student!
- VIPKID firemen: These are support people are ready to help restore issues as soon as they arise. They are Chinese support staffs who are available 24/7 to sort arising issues. If a student or parent is acting rude or making the class impossible, you just need to contact them and they will extinguish the inferno in the best way possible. This is a new feature that we’re yet to see on other teaching sites.
What’s Not About VipKid
- Some teachers have complained that the prepared lessons at times have unclear instructions. This might lower your rating when it wasn’t your fault.
- When a child becomes rowdy and unreachable, or, for any reason, a class is canceled, you only get half the pay. Most teaching sites pay you in full. Also, some teachers say that VIPKid is too pro-parent.
- There have been complaints that VIPKid isn’t too understanding about some of life’s emergencies that may crop up. As a matter of fact, you are only allowed six absences per six-month period.
- When “bad” days strike, such as when you’re negatively rated or have very few parents booking you, your income is low. Therefore, you can’t have a fixed income range due to these factors. Also, many new teachers complain of waiting several months before getting any booking.
Online teaching jobs are gaining momentum and are especially attractive to digital nomads. VIPKid is a platform that pays well while allowing you to set your schedule. Sure, it has its cons but it is increasingly becoming popular.
In conclusion, I would give VIPKid a 4.7 rating!
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