Get Hired to Teach ESL Online with VIPKid and Work from Wherever
If you’ve ever dreamed of having a flexible online job and the idea of teaching kids makes you super happy, then you are in the right place. I have been teaching ESL online for almost a full year now and honestly it’s the best job I have ever had. I work for two companies, one is SayABC which you can read about here, and the other is VIPKid. It has been five months since I got my job with VIPKid and every minute has been amazing. VIPKid pays super well, is very flexible and most importantly, it’s incredibly fun. I get to teach ESL online to the most amazing kids in China. Here is how you can teach English online with VIPKid too, specifically English as a Second or Foreign Language.
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Why Teach with VIPKid?
So, first off, I want to share with you what some of the benefits of working with VIPKid are, and this is just off the top of my head, seriously VIPKid is incredible!
1. Excellent Pay!
Your starting salary will depend on how well you do in your interview, but you can earn up to $22 USD per hour. That’s pretty amazing! Plus you get a big bonus if you refer a new teacher to start teaching with VIPKid. Currently, I make $8 USD per 25 minute class, but I get an extra $1 if I show up on time, which I do every class, so that’s an easy $18 per hour right there.
2. Room to Easily Grow with the Company!
It is super easy to grow with VIPKid. They have a Certification portal in their platform which allows you to get certified to teach all the different Major Levels of ESL that VIPKid offers. The amazing thing about this Certification portal is that it not only allows you to get certified to teach ESL online, but you can also take extra certifications to help you make more money and help the company. Some of these extra certifications (located in the ‘Builders Program’ section) include extra jobs such as becoming a Coach, Mentor, Brand Ambassador, Community Ambassador or even a Curriculum Reviewer, and that’s just naming a few. Each of these roles comes with different responsibilities and you have to have been with the company for a while and meet certain requirements to apply for them. So, not only do you already get paid super well for teaching, but there’s many ways for you to earn extra money as well.
3. Super Flexible Hours!
With VIPKid you open the hours on your schedule that you are available to work, and close the times that you’re unavailable and the parents choose when to book you. That means that if you want to take a few days off, you just need to make sure to book those times off in advance and no one will be able to have class with you that day, unless it is approved by you. Something else that I like about VIPKid is that parents have the option to request to book a time with you when your time slots are closed, and if it’s during a time you feel like teaching, you can totally teach then or choose not to, no pressure! So you have the flexibility to choose to make a little extra money if someone is wanting some more classes. VIPKid also has way more available hours to teach than a lot of other platforms so it’s easier to have a full schedule with VIPKid.
4. Teach Amazing Kids!
You will mainly be teaching kids in China, however it looks like VIPKid is slowly planning to expand to other countries as well. The vast majority of the kids you will get to teach are super polite and fun to teach. You just teach one on one lessons so you can develop good relationships with your students. It’s a really rewarding job.
5. Work from Wherever!
As long as you have a laptop that meets VIPKid’s tech requirements, have a strong internet connection (preferably with an ethernet cable) then you can take it with you and teach from wherever! I was able to bring my work with me recently on a few trips to Ontario and Vermont. This is truly such a great job for people who love to travel.
- You must be a native English speaker or speak English fluently.
- Eligibility to work in the USA or Canada.
- Have a fast and reliable internet connection and use an ethernet cable. The rest of the tech requirements can be found here.
- You must have a Bachelor’s Degree in any field.
- You must also have 1 full year of teaching experience (this can include mentoring, tutoring, homeschooling or coaching).
It is important to note that you do not necessarily need a TESOL or TEFL Certificate to apply to VIPKid because you get Certified through VIPKid once you are hired. However, it is a good tool to have as parents can see your qualifications when they look at your profile, so the more Certifications you have, the better. I personally got my TESOL Certificate online through Coursera and Arizona State University. Then, once I was hired, I also got VIPKid’s TESOL Certifications so that I would stand out more to parents. I believe you can also get TESOL and TEFL Certificate courses through Groupon.
The Application Process
The application process for becoming a VIPKid teacher is listed below:
- Basic Info (Resume)
- Introduction to Teaching
- Mock Class
- Background Check, Uploading Documents & Signing Your Contract
You can read about each of these steps in more detail here, but I will mainly be focusing on giving you tips for how to pass your Interview and Mock Class.
Application: How to Apply to VIPKid
The first thing you need to do is to use this link to fill out your application with VIPKid. Please be sure to use my Referral Code, APRIL0275 as well. Filling out your application is quite straightforward, just fill in all your relevant information. Remember that VIPKid requires to you have one year of teaching experience. That one year of experience can include mentoring, tutoring, training and more so make sure you take that into consideration when filling out your application. If you have any questions regarding your application please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Interview: Interview Process and What is a Fast Pass?
If you pass your application, you will either be asked to prepare for an interview or you will be able to attend a Fast Pass Coaching Day in your area which allows you to skip the interview and demo class and start your Certification process early.
If there is no Fast Pass happening near you then you can choose to do either a Live Interview or Recorded Interview, both of which include a 10 minute demo class. However, you may get invited to do an Express Interview which includes only a 2 minute demo class.
So what happens during the interview and what’s the difference between the interview options? Like I mentioned previously once you get to the interview stage you can either choose to do a recorded interview where you record yourself teaching a demo class, or you can do a live interview where you meet a VIPKid mentor online, and teach the demo class while they observe. If you choose to do a recorded interview, you can record it whenever you want. If you want to do the live interview, you just need to book a time on the VIPKid platform. All interviews happen through the VIPKid platform so make sure to record and be ready for them on there.
Passing the Interview: Practice, Practice, Practice!
Once you have chosen which kind of interview you want to do, you will receive all the demo class materials ahead of time. These materials will show you what your screen will look like, what exactly you will be teaching and how the different classroom functions work. Make sure you read through this information carefully, and practice how you will teach the class ahead of time.
Passing the Interview: Have a Kid Friendly Background
One amazing way to show that you are ready to be a teacher is to have a kid-friendly background from where you will teach. For my interview, I had a map of Mexico (where I currently live) on the wall, a Chinese flag (where the students are from) and a Canadian flag (where I’m from). I also had my name on the wall as ‘Teacher April’ along with a whiteboard and an ‘ABC’ chart that I made.
You do not need to have this much stuff on your wall to get started. The only reason I was so prepared for my VIPKid interview, was because I was also (and still am) an online teacher for another company called SayABC. Just make sure that you have your ‘Teacher’ name behind you, and perhaps some kid-friendly pictures. If you really don’t have anything, you can draw some things and put them on the wall behind you. An ‘ABC’ chart is a really good option for this. It’s also a good idea to have the VIPKid logo on your wall as it shows don’t just want to be an online teacher, you want to be a VIPKid teacher! You can print one off or make one yourself.
Passing the Interview: TPR, Props, and Speaking Slowly
Even though there will either be no one else online with you, or there will be a VIPKid staff member, you need to pretend that you are teaching a young child. Make sure to speak very slowly, use TPR (Total Physical Response aka physical actions) and use some props (stuffed animals, drawn pictures, photos, realia, etc) too. Give wait time after you ask questions so the pretend student can answer you. Also be sure to include some kind of external reward system. An example of a reward system would be showing the student a picture of a smiley face or star when they do a good job.
If you’re doing a recorded interview, it’s also a good idea to pretend the ‘student’ has made a mistake here or there (either in pronunciation or grammar) so you can pretend to correct them. If you are doing a live interview, it is highly likely that your VIPKid mentor will make a mistake when you ask them something because they want to see that you can correct student errors.
After you pass your interview you will go on to do a mock class where you will prepare to teach a full length class to another VIPKid teacher or mentor. Again, follow the same protocol you did for doing your interview. Use lots of TPR, props, have a reward system, know how to correct errors, and speak slowly.
Your mock class mentor will likely give you some feedback at the end of your mock class and at that point you can ask any questions you might have.
Signing Your Contract! Woohoo!
If you pass all of these steps you will get invited to become a VIPKid Teacher! CONGRATULATIONS! At this point you will need to fill out a Background Check, upload your TESOL Certificate and other documents such as your Bachelors degree, and sign your contract. If you don’t have a TESOL Certificate yet, you can take VIPKid’s TESOL Certification and it’s quiz and receive it that way.
I sincerely hope this article helps you to land a job with VIPKid as they are such a wonderful company to work for. I have been teaching ESL online for about a year now, and I’ve been with VIPKid for almost six months and I absolutely love it. Teaching ESL online is the best job I’ve ever had and I really hope you ace your interview and mock class and join me in the online teaching world soon!
Other Posts You Might Like:
- SayABC: How to Get a Job Teaching ESL Online to Work from Wherever
- 15 Reasons to Learn a Foreign Language
- Why You Should Take Online Spanish Classes with Hi-Spanish
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