You've probably heard about VIPKid by now, but just in case you're reading this and thinking, huh? VIPKid is an online platform that brings native English speakers into online classrooms with Chinese students from the comfort of their home. You can teach from your couch, a desk, your balcony - you name it. I mean, there are some requirements for an educational atmosphere, but as long as you've got that, you're golden.
The best part is that Chinese students take these classes on their computer or tablet, making it really easy to learn English from a native speaker in their own time. The goal is for these kids to have a better understanding of the language by actually speaking with someone who is fluent.
I've been teaching with VIPKid for almost four weeks now and I love it. I studied English in college but never expected to be a teacher. I didn't like the idea of being in charge of a classroom full of kids. But I love that VIPKid allows me to teach a class of ONE student, making it more of a tutoring session with fun games, pictures, and opportunities to share about our different cultures.
Now that I've got you intrigued, let me tell you ten reasons why YOU should become a VIPKid teacher as well. Because if I, who has zero classroom experience and was super scared about teaching kids could do it, you can too.
10. You LOVE Kids
Okay, this one is kind of a no brainer, but I really did meant it when I said I was afraid to teach kids. In fact, my husband is the one who told me to apply for the job. I was so skeptical that I said I would look into it but I wasn't making any promises. As I read about VIPKid and the application process, as well as watched videos of current teachers who love their job, I realized that I didn't have to be scared.
I love kids, and though I don't have any of my own yet I really enjoy being around my friend's children and my younger cousins. I loved being a camp counselor every summer and joining Vacation Bible School as a volunteer. All of this made me eligible to teach English with VIPKid. Well, that and a Bachelor's degree (in any subject, by the way!)
9. You Talk With Your Hands
Since classes are online, you have to be willing to use your camera in creative ways. You'll learn through the hiring process different tricks and techniques to help you, but I found that the habit of already talking with my hands made this an easy transition. I'm already all over the place, which helps to keep the kids focused on me as the teacher.
8. You're Pretty Creative
There are some amazingly creative teachers that work with VIPKid. If you type in #vipkid on any social media platform you will see what I mean. I'm not going to claim to be on their level, but I did have fun putting together the little poster I pictured up top. You don't have to be an artist to join VIPKid, but you do think out of the box from time to time. English is a hard language to learn, and it's so different from Mandarin. So you can't mind getting a little silly, wearing costumes or playing with puppets. It makes the job so much more fun.
7. You Correct People's Grammar
Raise your hand if it bothers you when people use the wrong spelling of "your" in a sentence. If that's you, you belong with VIPKid. Parents want you to correct their children's grammar, pronunciation, and word choice. There are some great positive ways to correct students that will help them learn without feeling like they've failed or make them overwhelmed. Think of this as a chance to ingrain the difference between "your" and "you're" at the start. You can even take a stab at there/they're/their.
6. You Want to Work But You Need Your Mid-Days Free
It's very possible to work with VIPKid full time, but if you live in the US you'll have a chunk of about 10 hours that you cannot teach during the day. From 10:00 AM EST to 8 PM EST, most students are sleeping as there's about a 12 hour time difference between the East Coast and Beijing. This is a great opportunity to work only in the mornings or even mornings and nights to free up your calendar during the day. This is great for parents, for side hustlers, for travelers, and even military spouses. There are certainly ways to build your business with VIPKid during those off hours, but it's also nice knowing that you have them free for appointments, visits, and anything else you may want to plan.
5. You Want to Work In Your PJ's
The great thing about this job is that sometimes I keep my PJ bottoms on when I'm teaching. I still brush my hair and put on a clean shirt, but I'm sitting comfortably on my couch with my computer in front of me while I teach a lesson. You don't have to worry about dress codes or even shoes. If I want to feel a little bit more awake I'll trade my PJ bottoms for leggings or a comfy pair of jeans. But still, I don't have to worry about putting on a dress or a nice pair of slacks to go sit in an office desk. I can wear what makes me comfortable.
4. You're Interested in Becoming a Part of the Online Teacher Trend
There are so many different opportunities to teach classes online. Many of them are like VIPKid in that they are English language programs, but even universities are hiring professors to teach classes online. We're moving towards using technology more and more for education and it's an exciting time to be a part of the growing trend. I love getting to teach a student on the other side of the world and be able to see their face! I can ask my student to interact with the information I'm presenting through an interactive powerpoint program. We can listen to songs, draw, read, and discuss all within a desktop app that's easy to use. I couldn't have imagined this possibility back when I was learning Spanish in school.
3. You Need a Part Time Job for the Summer
Whether you're a full time teacher at a brick and mortar school or you work somewhere else with summers off or with less hours, VIPKid is a great place for a summer job. You can work as many or as few hours as you want. You have the ability to control when students can sign up for your class. So during a six month contract, you can open only morning classes from May through July and then close out your calendar once summer ends and allow your contract to end. Or, you can work as many hours as possible and then continue to teach once the six months is up and possibly receive a bonus in pay. There are so many possibilities in between this as well.
2. You Like to Travel and Want to Learn About Other Cultures
Many VIPKid teachers travel around the world and teach from wherever they are. VIPKid attracts travelers and seekers because of their commitment to teaching about cultures as well as language. As a VIPKid teacher, I have access to workshops and reading material about China's history, customs, and expectations. By teaching Chinese students, I'm learning from them as much as they are learning from me about how much we are alike and how much we are different. VIPKid also gives away fully funded trips to China every year for top performing teachers. When I found out about the trip, I knew that would be my goal going forward. I have a bad case of wanderlust and it's so exciting to me that my job can help me with it.
1. You Want to be Your Own Boss
I am an independent contractor with VIPKid. This means I pay my own taxes and take responsibility for my teaching and my schedule. VIPKid does not guarantee me classes every day, but I have it within my power to make my profile attractive to potential students and the VIPKid staff that communicates with their parents. VIPKid also has given me many resources to build my small business and grow even in the short amount of time I've been teaching. You are your own boss as a VIPKid teacher, but the staff is incredibly hard working and there to help at every step of the way. It's kind of like the best of both worlds.
If you have any questions about VIPKid or just questions in general, leave a comment or shoot me an email. If you are interested in signing up to be VIPKid teacher, use my referral link and I will be there for you at every step of the hiring process. I promise you will love it as much as I do.