Read this BEFORE you apply to VipKid
The BEST and WORST things about working for VipKid
My first class was in 8 hours. I went into a job blindly, hoping it would relieve some of our financial burdens. Never having officially taught a one on one class, I was nervous.
When working for VipKid, how do I check the camera angle? I know there are different rules and regulations in China. Is it ok to have logos and Disney characters? What do I do with back to back classes? Can I really wake up at 4:30 am every morning?
I wish I had a referral teacher to help me with the 100’s of questions I had. It wasn’t until I found a friend that was 6 months ahead of me, that my questions were answered. The resources she connected me to was a game-changer for my teaching.
A referring teacher is there to help walk you through the application, and interview process. They will also help get you set up with the answers and resources you need!
If you don’t have a referral teacher yet, click here to apply for VipKid and use the Referral Code: DAWN00161
I would love to help you through the hiring process and give you my tips and tricks on how to get repeat students, a full schedule, and 5 apple reviews without asking for them.
Once you have used my link, send me an email at email@example.com and I will gladly help you get set up for the best job you’ve ever had!
If you’ve already started the hiring process, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org saying: “I would like to add Dawn Harrison as my referral. Her email is email@example.com and her referral code is DAWN00161”.
The WORST thing about working for VipKid
1. Waking up! Eh by far this takes the cake for the hardest thing about this job.
2. Schedule change. I need a good 7-8 hours of sleep so that means going to bed earlier. Therefore, making sure kids are in bed and I have time to wind down and go to sleep by the latest 9:30 is important.
3. Canceling classes. If you cancel a class within the 24/hr time window for any reason (sick, or tech problems), they will charge you $10.
4. Paying taxes. You didn’t think you got away with not paying Uncle Ben, did you?! Since VipKid employs you as an independent contractor or self-employed, you will need to fill out a 1099 and pay taxes on your earnings.
However, this isn’t all bad. When you are an independent contractor there are a lot of things you can write off. Some of the expenses to keep in mind; deductions on home office expenses, supplies, and possibly a cell phone usage. Keep receipts and write off everything you can. You can read more in detail tax deductions for 1099 here
5. Hours are not guaranteed. One of the main complaints I hear from teachers is not having a set or full schedule. While this might be frustrating in the beginning. There are tips and tricks to get more bookings, repeat students, and a full schedule. Once you are a teacher working for VipKid, there are countless resources in the teacher portal to learn how to present yourself to the kids and parents.
The BEST things about working for VipKid
1. Work from home. I can not tell you enough how incredible it is to not have to get fully ready and go out in the cold to go to work.
2. No childcare costs. Since you are teaching kids in China, the primary working hours are when your children are asleep.
3. Interact with sweet kids who are eager to learn. These are kids who work hard and sincerely want to learn English. Parents are very involved and help when needed.
4. Easy lesson format to follow. The lessons are quite basic and follow the same teaching patterns. It takes minimal time to prepare for class.
5. Earn up to $22/hr. This is a great paying job. Waking up early is not so bad when you know you are getting paid well for it.
6. Set your own schedule. Be your own boss and work when you want.
7. Work remotely. Do you want to vacation but still need the extra income? Work anywhere with good WIFI connection. If you are a traveler and need something you can do in your R.V. or hotel room, this is the perfect job for you.
8. Be apart of a community. There are about 70,000 VipKid teachers out there. The support is amazing once you know what groups to join.
9. Bonuses and incentives. VipKid frequently gives opportunities to make more by opening time slots, short bookings, or referrals.
10. The most fun and easy job you will ever have. I don’t say this lightly. Working for VipKid really is incredible. I get to laugh, play barbies and superheroes with my kids every day AND get paid well for it.
Answering Newbie Questions
10 Newbie questions I wish I knew before teaching English online with VipKid.
1. Q: How do you check your camera angle?
A: Turn on your computer’s camera to get an idea of how your background looks. To check with the VipKid camera. Go into the classroom of your next class, and turn on the camera.
2. Q: Can you use logos or Disney toys as props?
A: Yes! A lot of the time the kids recognize and love the cartoons and movies we watch. Peppa Pig, The Avengers, Starwars, Disney Princesses, and Pokemon, are some of the favorites I have come across.
3. Q: Are there any regulations in China I need to know about when teaching?
A: Yes, the rule I have heard most people get flagged for is the map you use. China has certain educational standards and views on their possession of Taiwan. Maps of China need to reflect these teachings.
4. Q: Do you use the reward system from the lesson or have a secondary reward?
A: The secondary rewards (rewards you personally make for the kids) are usually much more exciting and interactive for the kids.
5. Q: What is an assessment? How do I teach the 1st & 2nd assessment on lessons 6 & 12?
A: An assessment is a mini test to evaluate how well the child is learning the material. You will teach less on the assessments and do more of an evaluation. You will find that assessments will become your favorite classes!
Here is a breakdown of how the lessons and units are set up in VipKid
6. Q: How do you teach back to back classes?
A: Finishing on time, use similar rewards and take a few notes for feedback. For example, my go-to reward is a Teacher Vs Student Soccer Game that all the kids love. I can play it every time and just put the balls back before the next class.
Take notes on a few areas of improvement AND things the student did well, this will make for easy reference when doing their feedback after your classes are done.
7. Q: What do I do with a Student No Show?
A: Student No Shows happen most often during the summer vacation months. However, there will be random no shows every now and then. So what do you do? Just wait in class for the entire 25 minutes. Since the child will be charged and you will be paid regardless, this gives the student a chance to catch part of the class.
8. Q: What is Short Notice Bookings? Are they worth it?
A: Short Notice Bookings are when you allow your class to be booked within a 24 hr period. Typical bookings are required to give you a 24-hour notice so you can prepare for class or set your alarm.
So why would someone do that to themselves? VipKid offers an extra $2 per class to book on short notice. The dollars add up.
I would not recommend opening short notice if you are new or for your first class of the day. If you forget you had an opening and that class is booked while you are sleeping, then you will be charged the $10 no show fee and it will not look good on your record.
Once you are confident with the teaching curriculum, I think short notice booking can be a great strategy to make extra money.
9. Q: How long does it take to prepare for each class?
A: In the beginning, I would go over every slide. I would read the tips and practice transitioning so I didn’t feel or look awkward. Preparing for a VipKid class, in the beginning, took me around 30 min to an hour.
After a few weeks of teaching, that prep time dramatically decreased to about 5 minutes per class.
10. Q: What is a must-have prop for teaching?
A: I love my huge magnet boards. 2D props have changed my life when it comes to being prepared and on time for class. I sometimes grab some of the stuffed animals and toys around me. However, these 2D props make it fun and easy to extend in any direction.
Need more help?!
Email me or leave a comment. Whether you are already hired, in the application process or thinking about jumping on the VipKid train. I would love to help you get hired and stay booked.
VipKid is a dream come true to me and so many people I know. If you are looking to make legitimate money as a stay at home mom do not overlook this option. If you can get over the waking up early part, you will see how fun it is to teach these kids.
Teaching with VipKid has allowed me to work from home and be a stay at home mom. I am grateful every day that I get to see their cute faces when they wake up and I can help provide for them financially.
If this some of these things are deal-breakers here are 39+ ways to make money from home.
Trying something new is scary. However, when you already know the BEST and WORST things about working for VipKid it makes it easier to take that leap. I wish I would have known these things before I started working!
I hope this will help you make an educated decision about VipKid and help get the next teacher started on their teaching English online journey.
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