Monday, February 6, 2017

Giving VipKid A Try- Getting Hired

I, like many others have barely been getting by every month.  The bills get bigger, but the paycheck stays the same!  While browsing through a teacher page on Facebook, I read a post about teaching Chinese children English on VipKid.  I have never heard of the company, but the post caught my attention and I wanted to know more.  I clicked on the link provided by the poster and began to dig deep into just what VipKid is, and whether I wanted to jump into a third job!

While researching I found that the company pays about $20 give or take depending on teaching experience and bonuses. That sounded great to me!  I also saw that there were only 7.5 hours of availability required for teachers to sign up for each week. ( The company has since changed that policy and there is now NO MINIMUM REQUIREMENT!)  Being a certified teacher is a bonus, but it's not a requirement.  Anyone with a bachelors degree and some (any) experience with kids is acceptable.  And the best part is, there is no planning involved.  All of the lessons are planned for you!  Here's the kicker, the hours are far from convenient since the children are in China and there is a 12 hour time difference.  Most of the peak hours are early in the morning when I'd be getting read for and going to my full time job, but, there are also evening hours on the weekends!  So, after obsessively looking into the company, I decided to give it a try and apply!

The first thing I did was filled out an online application.  Almost immediately, I got an email asking me to sign up for an interview time!  I was very nervous, but I signed up.  They gave me everything I needed to prepare for the interview, including a PowerPoint of a practice lesson that I would have to teach.  There were videos to watch, documents to read, and tips on being successful!  Needless to say, I read everything.  The night of the interview, I was super nervous.  I had never video chatted with anyone in China before!  But, it all went smooth!  The interviewer asked me a few questions like, do I have a bachelors degree?  Am I certified?  Would I be available during peak hours?  Then I did my lesson.  It all went great!  She gave me constructive feedback about using more expression, and adding props to make the lesson more fun. She said that I would be a great fit for the company and asked me to schedule a mock class.

So there are two required mock classes that you have to teacher before you are officially considered a VipKid teacher.  The first lesson is very similar to the lesson taught during the interview.  One major difference is that you are interacting with a teacher, not a VipKid employee.  During the mock lesson you pretend to teach a 5 year old, limited English speaker.  Half way through the lesson the mentor teacher stops you, talks about the lesson, answers questions, and gives tips for the second half of the lesson.  During the second half, you try to use the feedback to improve your teaching and then at the end of the lesson, you discuss it with your mentor.  My mentor talked to me about using too much incidental language, and giving too many directions.  Modeling is much more effective than giving oral directions.  She also noticed that my background was a little boring.  After my lesson was finished I anxiously waited to hear if I was going to be moving on to the next mock lesson.  It only took a few hours to hear the good news!  So I scheduled my second mock class!

My second mock was a little different, I was to teach a 5 year old for the first half of the mock, and teach an 8 year old for the second half.  The format was the same.  I first talked with the mentor teacher, taught the first half, discussed my technique, taught the second half, and got more feedback.  I felt pretty good about the lesson (they are really good at giving you prep materials and videos to watch) but I wasn't positive that I had done well enough.  Once again, it only took a few hours to hear that I had passed!  The next step was to upload required documents!

There were a lot of documents to upload.  I just took a picture of them and uploaded them that way.  They need your driver's licence, diplomas, w-9 tax form, teaching certificate (if applicable), three photos of yourself (one professional, and three informal), an introduction of yourself for parents and students, and a video greeting.  I went and bought an orange shirt before recording my video, since that's the requirement once you teach.  I did have some trouble uploading my video, but eventually got it!  After uploading all of the required documents, VipKid has 48 hours to review your documents and you can officially start teaching!  I can't wait to start!

If you're interested in applying, here's my referral link.  I'd be honored if you'd use it!