Both current and former teachers can use VIPKID as a medium of making money using the teaching experience to tutor foreign and domestic learners. This can be an easy and great stay-at-home gig for teachers to earn some extra cash on the side.
Some of the most hard-working professionals in the world are teachers. VIPK was launched in 2013 as a way to help educators earn some extra cash through teaching English to international learners abroad. Lucky enough the business became successful.
I bet you’re wondering if it’s a good decision to work for VIPKid. This review outlines every aspect centered around being a VIPKid teacher. We’ve covered everything from how to apply for the job to how you can book for classes so as to make more money. If the gig is worth the time you can choose to join and tech with them.
What is VIPKid, and Is It A Scam?
VIPKid is a tutoring service that offers English lessons to kids in China from ages four to twelve. Educators from Canada and the U.S. give one-on-on lessons to different children from home. Although you’re going to be teaching English to Chinese learners, you don’t have to speak Chinese. Thankfully, VIPKid is a complete English involvement program.
The program is also amongst the best online teaching jobs for educators.
How Much Money Can Teachers Make From VIPKid?
The program is known to pay at least $22 per hour for English lessons via online classes. But how does everything work?
According to the company’s site, the lowest salary ranges from $7-$9 for 30 minutes or $14-$18 for an hour if you decide to teach 2 sessions at once. The minimum salary you’ll earn is determined by your performance and credentials during the demo interview session.
If you tutor for at least an hour at once, or two sessions that last 30 minutes every day, if the minimum rate is $7 for every lesson, you can make up to $280 monthly. This is before including any additional incentives.
The program includes some extra incentives for when you show up early to classes, following their teaching schedule to the latter and tutoring a specific number of sessions in one month. You can earn at least $1 for 30-minute sessions.
Remember that, although you can makeup to $22 an hour, you’ll be working as an independent contractor. This means that you may need to put aside about 25% of what you earn for taxes. However, you can opt to write off services or products used for VIPKid business, such as some of your internet connection, props and the money you used to purchase a new laptop.
What Are the Requirements for Joining VIPKid?
Katie Timmins, previously a drama and dance teacher and full-time self-employed photographer, discovered VIPKid while he was looking for ways to earn extra cash doing some online tutoring. Since she had enough experience in education and performing arts, she became a top ranked candidate after joining VIPKid.
After working for the company for 9 months, she gave VIPKid a positive review and she highly recommends it to other people. “The children are great,” she said. “They are quite interactive. They like being taught by new people.”
If this sounds like a company that you’ll like and enjoy working for, here’s more information about the program.
In order to join VIPKid, you need to have a Bachelor’s degree and a teaching experience of at least one year – or an equivalent -. You won’t be asked for current or any special certifications. They provide new teachers with TESOL certification as well as short courses within the online program which helps teachers to advance.
“I ensured that I obtained as many certifications as I could,” Timmins recalled. She took around 4 short test that helped her to be more familiar with the curriculum and also enabled her to multiple students from different levels at once.
Apart from a reliable internet connection, you’re also required to have a laptop, Mac, desktop, or a Surface device that has an HD integrated or HD external camera, and a headset that has a functional microphone. The lowest operation system that you can use is Mac OS 10.x and Windows 7 with a memory of around 4GB RAM.
The company has their own teaching platform which saves you from having to download one. You’ll be required to use either Firefox Version 47 or Chrome Version 51 as well as install the current version of Adobe Flash Player.
Some of the complaints and problems you’ll experience when working with VIPKid include Wi-Fi outage, technology issues, software glitches and computer updates. You should therefore ensure that you’re able to account for such issues if you decide to tutor with them.
VIPKid doesn’t require those who want to join them to have a big personality. Timmins says that anybody who like and enjoys working with kids and is good at using their imagination can make a suitable teacher.
Parents go through what VIPKid refers to as “personality tags” included in a teacher’s bio while booking lessons for their kids. The tags include enthusiastic, outgoing, facial expression and body language, discussion and speaking etc.
There are parents who are more concerned about high levels of enthusiasm while others are more concerned about the tutor’s technical qualities. More importantly, you need to be yourself and don’t forget that you’re tutoring children.
The teacher has to legally be accepted to work in Canada or the U.S. but they don’t give specified location requirements. VIPKid accepts teachers from everywhere as long as they have a reliable internet connection of about 20 Mbps.
Although its not really needed, Timmins says that props such as gold stars, puppets and other fun teaching aids help in engaging and make the learner pay attention.
“There are students who come to class with their dolls and if I have a stuffed doll as well, they interact with me through their stuffed doll.” Said Timmins.
Getting Started with VIPKid
It can be confusing when signing up for the first time on VIPKid, so ensure that you’re familiar with the process in advance. If you have questions or get stuck while applying for a position, VIPKid provides guidance and support for all stages. They also have Reddit and Facebook groups where applicants can ask questions and get information from.
Review of VIPKid’s Application Process
The application process on VIPKid comprises of 5 stages and it will take you about two or three weeks complete it:
- Fill out your online application stating your teaching experience ensuring that you have all the basic requirements.
- Make a recording while doing a demo lesson for evaluation or take part in a face-to-face interview with a recruiter from VIPKid.
- Partake in the introduction to teaching, that requires you to watch videos and review slides familiarizing yourself with the curriculum, standards and technology used on VIPKid.
- Conduct a mock lesson applying what you were taught during the training process. This is performed with a currently employed VIPKid tutor and you can take it numerous times.
- Finish your background check, upload the documents required and sign your contract.
After you’ve completed all the steps above, you’ll be a new employee of VIPKid and can proceed to booking lessons.
VIPKid Interview Process and Demo Lessons
The interview process and demo lessons on VIPKid will determine whether or not you’ll be employed and if so, the amount of money you’ll get paid.
The evaluation is mainly determined by your teaching skills on ESL (English as a Second Language) and your ability to explain the curriculum to young students. Your recruiter will be monitoring your preparedness and time management, so familiarize yourself with the curriculum beforehand.
You can complete your demo classes in two ways:
- If you don’t find any time slots, record your interview, especially if you’d like to earn a spot immediately.
- Book your interview by selecting a time slot at least 3 days beforehand using the calendar provided on the website.
Face-to-face interviews take 30 minutes, not forgetting the 10 minutes for teaching. The recruiter will not only be looking at your teaching skills, they’ll be checking whether your internet connection and equipment enable you to teach a complete class with kids from China.
Timmins decided to record her demo class for her interview instead of doing a live interview. “I chose to record my interview because it allowed me to do it at my own time and familiarize myself with being on camera, even though I was alone,” she said. “I just pretended that I was talking to a kid on the other side and that the kid was doing a great job.”
If you want more tips on VIPKid interviews, there’s a cheat sheet provided by the company known as the Applicant Performance Indicators where you can get all the information you need.
Teacher Training and Mock Class
After your application is reviewed by VIPKid, you’ll pass the demo lesson, and you become a fully-fledged teacher on VIPKid. You’ll then be able to access their certification center. This provides you with access to teacher instructions, slides and be able to practice mock lessons with assistance from an experienced teacher.
Mock lessons take 30 minutes to end and 10 minutes is set aside for first-time students and 10 minutes is for the students in the intermediate-level. You’ll be able to take as many mock lessons as needed, although you’ll be required to pass at least one before you proceed.
Timmins says good tutors can be viewed as tour guides. “You’re basically being guided through all the slides, ensuring that you’ve understood the information in the slide instead of teaching it,” she said. “Most of the information is provided for you and it instructs you one what is expected of you.”
You’ll be fine with the whole process if you follow all the classed and are familiar and comfortable with the curriculum.
Setting Your Schedule
After completing all the stages and have signed the contract, you can then proceed and begin filling your schedule.
If you’d like to have best schedule, its recommended that you keep your daily availability at least a month out. This will enable parents to choose the time they want within the availability window, with at least a 24-hour window notice in advance.
Don’t overwork yourself, schedule the amount of work you can handle. You might thing that 5 hours of work daily is doable at first, but once you complete your first week, you’ll notice that your students are straining more to follow through the lessons just like you are.
“I teach an average of 5 lessons in the morning for 5 days a week,” Timmins said. “There are instances when I take more classes, but it mostly when I’m able to especially since I’m still a full-time photographer.”
Remember that you’re supposed to book your lessons beforehand and VIPKid’s cancellation policy is fairly strict. If you cancel a session within 24 hours, you’ll not be penalized and you’ll only be charged for the cancellation. However, if you have an emergency, you overslept or aren’t feeling well and don’t have enough time to cancel your lessons, you’ll have to teach the class.
Review VIPKid’s Incentive Options to Increase Your Earnings
Once you’re an approved teacher for VIPKid, there are a couple of methods you can use to help increase your salary from the initial pay.
VIPKid has a referral program that allows teachers to recruit other members. Timmins says that she earns an additional $100 for every new tutor that joins the program with her referral link once they begin teaching their classes.
Short Notice Bookings
The open slots in your schedule are blocked within 24 hours ensuring that there won’t be any surprises. So, if you have spare time for a booking within 24 hours, you’ll be able to open the time slots manually and select “short notice bookings” allowing you to earn an additional $2 for the sessions booked that time frame.
If the time blocks are left unbooked, Timmins said that she will then be able to reopen her short notice bookings. The slots can only be booked after trial classes by the following day. Each trial class she takes and manages to convert to a regular student, she gets paid a $5 bonus.
Peak Time Incentives
VIPKid occasionally offers teachers with incentives that range from $15-$40 for open slots and the bookings acquired at specific time blocks.
Peak booking periods usually from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. EST on Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. EST on Saturday and Sunday. The company recommends their employees to schedule up to 15 time slots or 7.5 hours during peak hours.
VIPKid Teacher Review in Summary: It’s a Good Opportunity
Whether you’re a teacher, stay-at-home mom or freelancer who’d like to make some extra cash, VIPKid is a good option to put into consideration. You’ll be able to set your working hours at the comfort of your home and still make some extra money. All you have to do is meet VIPKid’s basic requirements then you’ll begin earning from them within a couple of weeks.
For more information, check out VIPKid’s Official Website.
If you want to look into other options, check out the list we put together of the best work from home jobs.