Getting Hired with VIPKid: My ESL Teaching Journey

  • November 18, 2019

Welcome back!! If you are reading this, you are probably interested in teaching ESL with VIPKid or just for the fun of learning more about ESL.

Getting started

March 2019, I started my application process for VIPKid. In all honesty, I was skeptical. I thought it was a sham; I thought that somehow despite the research of other’s success, I would somehow get trap and scammed into some shady business venture. I just want to make a difference, that’s all. Before I pressed submit to the application, a big ball of nerves came over me. My throat was knotted and my heart raced until I took a big sigh of relief…. then click!! I was officially an applicant for VIPKid. It didn’t take long at all to get a response. Within moments, I received an email to schedule my first interview. I was stoked!!

I was so excited to get that email for an interview. I was sent a link to a coaching event online. There, I met teaching mentors and other teachers. I’ve learned so much during this session. When you get the invitation, take it seriously and be sure to take notes. Although this company is fairly young, there is a rich history. after the coaching event, they send you will valuable information and links only provided to those in attendance. But I did extensive research on the interviewing process and I would like to share some tips to get you prepared.

  1. Be yourself. As you are being interviewed, you will be asked simple questions. These questions will not be random. They will be almost identical to your application. You will be asked about your educational background. If you are not a teacher by profession or on paper (degree), but you have children or even babysat before, you will pass the interviewing process.
  2. Get yourself a coach. In this interview, you will be asked to demo a short lesson. In order to pass the interview process, you must show your skills in a classroom setting. This demo lesson will show the representatives at VIPKid how qualified or motivated you are to teach a Chinese child. If you would like me to help you along this process, follow this link and let me help you pass your interview!
  3. Get on YouTube!! Like, right away!! There is plenty of valuable information about the actual demo lesson. They often change in some form or fashion, but the foundation of it is the same. This is my personal favorite video about the demo classroom. This video tells you all the things you’ll need for your interview and demo lesson. If you are a parent, most likely you have the following: small dry-erase board, puppet or some sort of stuffed animal, flashcards or props. That’s all you’ll need.
  4. Stable internet connection. Because this is an online business, your interview will be conducted over the internet. Make sure you have a stable connection. Lags and disconnections will definitely cause you to fail this interview stage.
  5. Headsets or a quiet environment. You must be in a secluded part of your house to conduct your interview and eventually to teach a class. No noises or distractions. If you do not have a headset, be sure to take care of that before you are booked for your first class. For my interview, I used my husband’s gaming headset for the look so I can make it through the interview stage. The interviewer caught on because they’re trained to hear the difference.
  6. Lighting. For your initial interview, lighting isn’t needed but it is best to be well lit during your interview. So if you are sitting in front of a lamp, that should suffice until you get adequate lighting.

(I will be sure to link everything I use for my classroom in the next post about setting up for your first class and beyond.)

Congratulations!! You passed your Interview!!

You will receive detailed instructions and suggestions from your interviewer on what areas you need to work on as well as what your base pay will be. VIPKid’s base pay is between $18- $22 an hour. So that means you’ll need to work 2 classes to receive an hour’s worth of pay. The mistake that many teachers make is using this as a main source of income. This should be secondary for sure because like with any business, things change… people’s interests change. Don’t fall for that trap. If you are willing to work at least 3 hours a day ( and depending on your pay), you can make up to $2000 a month with VIPKid. That’s not bad as a side hustle! VIPKid will assign you to a specific level based on your teaching style. You may be a better fit for the upper level if you are more firm OR if you’re more animated and inviting, you will be assigned to the lower leveled students. For me, I gravitate to children ages 3- 9. I just love the babies. At this point, whether the interviewer chooses for you to teach, that’s what you are certified to teach.

Speaking of certification, if you are like me and are not certified to teach, VIPKid has got you covered. The first thing you’ll need before you are booked for a class is your TESOL certification. TESOL is Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. You can not teach ESL online without it IF you are not certified already. VIPKid will provide training and testing for you to certify. There’s a lot of information to consume for TESOL certification but you will learn so much. Much of the material covered is about learning styles and the role a teacher plays in teaching children of another language background and culture.

There were some changes to the hiring process put into place on January 9th of 2019. Basically, applicants will need to complete a short TESOL training & quiz in their VIPKid portal right before signing their contract. If you indicated on your application that you already have a Teaching or ESL certificate, you may be allowed to bypass this step by uploading proof of your certification. This is to combat some upcoming changes that MIGHT happen in the near future, where the Chinese government may require all online and classroom teachers to have some sort of teaching credential/certification.

VIPKid’s TESOL course provides background on second language acquisition and was developed with TESOL. The TESOL quiz can be taken as many times as you want until you pass! So no need to stress about not passing!

After you have passed your TESOL, you are ready to sign your contract and teach. Because you are working as an independent contractor, you have to fill out your contract in its entirety as well as submit your W9.

What additional information do I need to teach my first class!?

After you have completed your TESOL certification, you will need to submit a profile picture and 2 additional featured (lifestyle) photos as well as an introduction video about you as well as any diplomas, certifications, and documents that need to be uploaded to your account. After everything’s approved, you can start opening slots and start teaching.

WHAT IF YOU DON’T PASS THE INITIAL INTERVIEW?

Do not fret!! If at any point you “fail”, it is not the end of the world! You can reapply right away with a new email address. It just gives you more time to practice, which in all honesty is a good thing because once you are officially hired the training wheels are OFF and you are expected to be a full-fledged teacher. In fact, it is not uncommon for people to end up reapplying after a bad interview result and then be hired with glowing feedback on the second time around. Practice truly makes perfect and this hiring process can be brutal and subjective. Don’t let it discourage you, there are so many success stories of those who reapplied after being denied the first time! Make sure you’re using a mentor that’s right for you. That’s where I come in and the power of the internet!!

Want to begin your VIPKid journey? Follow this link or use my code (ANTOI0027) and I will help you along the way!! Also, if you’re interested in viewing my actual introductory video, let me know!! I will post it at the close of this blog series!

Thanks for reading!!

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