By: Richard James
In my last blog and video I introduced you into how to pass your VIPKID interview, mock, demo, and certification classes on your first time. I did this by introducing the rubric the Mock Class Mentors use to score your performance. In the last blog I talked about ESL ESSENTIALS and the domains within. In this video I talk about TEACHING SKILLS.
I go through each sub domain and tell you how to achieve the highest possible score in each aspect. I would like to thank the VIPKID community for being so incredibly supportive of me and the hard work I’m doing to ease and demystify the process for everyone!
Have you applied to VIPKID yet? Help out this blog author by using his personal link.
By Richard James
In my last blog I let everyone know how we don’t have to have a Nancy Taylor type personality to work for VIPKID. In this one I want to explain why. To get hired with VIPKID you need to do the basic steps of your interview, your mock classes, and then get certified to teach the levels you want to teach. It’s easy to believe you need to be extra cheerful and extra smiley, all while shuffling a plethora of props. This isn’t the case.
Each main domain has subsections in which you need to meet a certain grading score. When you do your interview, you are scored on a grading tier of Absence, developing, fair, exceeding and exceptional by the Mock Class Mentors and interviewers. I will talk about what’s needed to meet the exceptional score. This way you can pass the first time you do it and begin teaching right away!
The first video in my series is about the domain of ESL Essentials. ESL Essentials is broken down in the following criteria. Educational TPR, repetition, modeling, supplementary tools, full sentences, positive correction, teacher output and language proficiency. You need to be sure to include all the techniques from each criterion in order to pass your first time!
In my video I briefly tell you how to meet the exceptional score for each criterion! Keep checking my blog and subscribe to my YouTube channel in order to be ready for part 2 of the series on Teaching Skills.
Have you applied to VIPKID yet? Help out this blog author by using his personal link to get started.
with VIPKID and then when prompted to schedule an interview found these tutorial videos and turned away. I wasn’t even sure this job wasn’t a scam, why would I even pretend to be a children’s television show host for money that probably wouldn’t even come. As I decided against continuing on with the hiring process, I got a call from VIPKID headquarters in Beijing. This and my need for money pushed me into continuing on.
During the interview process, I watched a bunch of the top videos you probably find yourself coming across now. Even though I had already 100% decided to try for this job, the tutorials still made me feel uneasy and inadequate. Then I found a video tutorial by a person named Unique. The content is a bit outdated now so it wouldn’t do a new applicant justice to watch it, but what she presented helped me tremendously. It was a no-frills explanation of exactly what she did, and exactly what they wanted. She was honest about the cheap props she used, and what she said during the interview. She stripped the mystique of the process and simplified it into easily digestible portions that I knew I could replicate.
After getting hired I quickly found out that I didn’t have to be the cartoon character Nancy Taylor was in her videos. There were different levels of students. I started with the upper levels. Because of this I quickly got booked from parents looking for more of a tutor than a children’s television host. My first student is still my favorite. We instantly bonded, he was a higher level and liked conversation outside of the lesson plan. He was so good at the lessons because he reviewed it with his father before taking the class. Because of this we sometimes had 10-18 minutes to just talk about things. We read comic books, talk about movies, his teachers at school. He even feels comfortable enough to make those common complaints children do about his mother and father to me like I am a dear friend.
One of the other perks about being a man and working for VIPKID, is you are a desired minority! They are not nearly as many men as women teaching. Parents book classes for their children, and actively seek men. This bias might be because exactly what I stated before, they want more of a tutor than a cartoonish court jester to teach their child. They want the bond of extending past the lesson with their child. They may believe it is easier for an older male student to bond with a male teacher. Because of this you bypass the major problem most teachers face. That is getting bookings when you start. It takes time to market yourself and get some classes and parent feedback under your belt. For some teachers this does not even happen and they just give up. As a man this whole process is expedited, and you should expect classes and feedback within a couple weeks.
So don’t be afraid of the childish aura surrounding VIPKID, you don’t need to be that type of person to work and succeed there! You can be yourself and be great at it!
Have you applied to VIPKID yet? Help out this blog author by using his personal link to get started.
VIPKID does not have policies about hair color, tattoos, personal style, etc.
Will VIPKID hire someone like me?
In this article, I’ll explore the qualifications for being a VIPKID teacher, as well as some common concerns about what type of individual VIPKID is looking for.
VIPKID requires at least a Bachelor’s Degree and in most cases, that degree can be in anything. It doesn’t have to be in Education. A Master’s Degree may go into figuring the hourly rate if hired, but does not seem to affect hireability in either direction
A year’s worth of teaching experience is required. Keep in mind that a year of experience equals 40 hours a week times 52 weeks. Make sure the hours you cite do add up.
Don’t despair if you haven’t taught in a public school classroom. It’s possible that any experience you have “teaching” anything might count. Think about tutoring, daycare work, training, conducting workshops, homeschooling, working at a summer camp, giving piano lessons. Your experience doesn’t have to even be “paid” in most cases. Think: coaching little league, leading a troupe, and teaching Sunday school. All of these and may involve teaching, whether in the classroom or not. VIPKID wants to know that you are comfortable instructing, and, ideally, that you can work with kids.
TESOL and Teaching Certification
These credentials are not required. Do mention them if you have them, though, because they might go into figuring your base pay. The additional certification may also be attractive to parents who are choosing their child’s teacher on the online platform.
VIPKID requires a high degree of competency in the language. Here are some common questions about proficiency asked by applicants:
Do I have to be a native speaker?
VIPKID changed its policy in mid 2017 and will now accept English speakers who have an excellent grasp of the language including synthetic phonics. It can be assumed that being easily understood by the interviewer is also a key requirement, although they do not expressly say so.
Is my regional dialect okay?
Based on what I have observed, VIPKID seems to understand that speakers of any given language will have varying regional pronunciations and accents. They tend to overlook these qualities, perhaps ascribing to the idea (which research backs) that children will “sort out the accents” if exposed to a variety of teachers. They seem to be less concerned with accent, and more concerned about the quality of the teacher’s grammar, vocabulary, syntax, etc. Slang is mostly frowned upon. “Improper English” words like “ain’t” and “gonna” are not met with approval. Generally speaking, if your public school English teacher would have corrected you on it, your online English company will discourage it as well.
To summarize, VIPKID is looking for teachers who can model proper English, recognize and correct mistakes, and teach synthetic phonics well.
Race, gender, age
No noticeable hiring trend has been reported regarding any race, gender, or age factor. However, unfortunately, the clients who book the classes may have their own opinions or even prejudices about who they would like to teach their children. Some teachers may experience a head-start that is boosted by their great looks, youthfulness, or gender (male teachers are scarce and often book their slots quickly). Most teachers find, however, that the market is huge and that more often than not, parents are open, and given time, will try out and find value in a variety of teachers.
VIPKID wants a “professional appearance” but does not define it beyond “non-rumpled,” etc. As a rule of thumb, clothes should be pattern free, modest, and not wrinkled. Hair should be groomed. Teacher should appear neat and clean. VIPKID does not have policies about hair color, tattoos, personal style, etc. Even so, many people still question whether the company would be “okay” with it. In what almost seemed like a reply to these concerns, in 2017, VIPKID posted an
VIPKID has doubled its teacher pool roughly every 4 months since its beginning. The company wants and needs to hire lots of teachers, fast. The hiring process is no joke, but the qualifications are not difficult to meet. The company exhibits openness and equal access in its hiring, while maintaining strict standards around teacher quality.
Still have questions? Check out this FAQ by the author on Youtube.
By: Janice Cook
to train teachers to use the Google apps suite to enrich their teaching. Janice lives in Vernon, CT with her two daughters and talented husband who also happens to love to help her create custom-made reward systems. Janice shares her story of how adding VIPKID to her life as a classroom teacher was a positive addition. Please check out the resources she has created for her classroom at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Cookfamilyresources
When I began with VIPKID it was not easy to wrap my mind around the entire curriculum as I taught all different lessons, out of sequence. I quickly realized that Level 2 was the bulk of our student population and therefore a great percentage of my bookings. These were the lessons that were showing up in my schedule over and over again.
Focusing on level 2
I decided to make Level 2 my professional development goal for the summer of 2017. I knew that if I could teach Level 2 well, my overall planning stress would be far less. Organizing just my Level 2 props would cut a significant amount of time that was currently spent setting up for and cleaning up after a day of teaching. I knew it was a process I would enjoy and one that would pay off. I was able to take this project on because of an amazing resource called The Collaborative Lesson Bank.
MY LEVEL 2 Box of Props
created some reward systems that supported the content and provided additional practice opportunities with the target sentences.
Level 2 reward system bundle
from me to you
Whether you are a new teacher who is just starting out or a veteran teacher who would like to get to know Level 2 more intimately, I hope that these resources will support you in your journey. The VIPKID community of teachers share and collaborate around the clock to provide the best possible 25 minutes for every student that appears on our booking screens.
Please subscribe to the YouTube channel, Follow the teacherspayteachers store, and email me (email@example.com) to share comments and questions. I am grateful for all that I learn from my incredible colleagues each and every day. VIPKID is much more than a way to supplement my income - it really has become a tremendously positive part of my life and I look forward to continuing to connect with other VIPKID teachers to improve my practice.
By: Jamisha Jeffery
I began my journey of becoming a VIPKID teacher in May of this year and let’s just say this job has exceeded my expectations. I didn’t know how much this job would have such an impact on my life as a teacher. I initially decided to work for VIPKID to make extra income and make use of my teaching endorsement in English as a Second Language (ESL) but working for VIPKID became so much more than that. Here I am on day 76 and I have made connections with children who live on the other side of the world! Each time I open my camera, I’m excited to teach and share my knowledge of the English language. It brings me such joy to see the smiles and hear those infectious laughs of my students in the classroom. As a newbie, I have found a few teacher hacks that I’d like to share.
1. Props and rewards
2. Organize your space
3. time management
stretching, and any other form of routine that you enjoy needs to be done before you begin teaching. So make sure you have enough time to get those things done. And most importantly, be sure that your computer is ready to use. Make sure that you have a stable internet connection and be sure that your computer won’t be making any updates. You don’t want to risk having a teacher no show or experience any IT issues. Plan and prepare!
4. have fun!
As teachers, sometimes we can be too hard on ourselves especially after teaching a particular lesson. If you think a lesson went great, reflect on what worked well. Was it your enthusiasm, a certain prop or teaching method that helped your student? Figure out what really worked so that you can continue to shine when teaching your students. If your lesson didn’t go as well as you would have liked it to, don’t beat yourself up about it! Watch the replay of your lesson and reflect on what you could have done better. Making simple adjustments to a lesson can really make or break a lesson so always do some teaching reflection after your lessons.
I hope that these tips have been helpful! Enjoy your experience as a VIPKID teacher. Everyone’s experiences are unique and that what makes this job so rewarding. Happy Teaching!
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By Mary Caroline Smith
ends meet until I started getting my teaching salary again. I also wanted to avoid the mistakes of completely ruining my credit again. By pure dumb luck, I stumbled across an ad for an online company called VIPKID and decided to give it a try. (Read more about that journey here.)
I went back to work full time after three months of maternity leave in March, and started with VIPKID in April when my baby was four months old. I did not truly understand the meaning of "tired" until May of this year. I had to really adjust my personal life to make this work. It is possible to do this and stay sane, but be prepared to compromise and let go of many things you enjoyed doing in your former life. Holding on to expectations that are unrealistic will cause you to be frustrated and burn out. Be honest with yourself. If something isn't working for you, it's OK to let it go and try a different way. It took me many weeks of experimenting to figure out a schedule that would allow me to work AND still be a person that I was comfortable being. The most important thing to remember is to take care of yourself. Sure, I need to pay the rent, but I also need to have the energy to be a good mom and a good employee. You are not doing anyone any favors when you are chronically fatigued and not mentally present. I have found that there are four key things that help me juggle all of my responsibilities and maintain a *moderately* healthy balance.
No matter how busy you are, make time to get enough sleep. Some people function just fine with 4-5 hours. Personally, I need at least 6 hours to be my best self. Know your limits and don't push them. Find the time to take a nap, make a way to get to bed early. No one knows your body better than you do. Listen to what it tells you. Besides affecting your productivity and mental health, lack of sleep can be physically dangerous to you and your children if you have them. Don't take an unnecessary chances. It's OK to take a morning or a day off. I take off every Sunday to sleep late and make up any sleep debt I have accumulated (and to spend time with my family). That is non-negotiable. You need a MINIMUM of one day a week to relax.
#3- Personal Care
So you have perfected the art of being an amazing, selfless parent and partner. Your boss loves you and your coworkers want to be you. But do YOU love you? Are you eating enough? Are you getting out of the house daily? (Even if it is just to walk the dog or get groceries!) When is the last time you bought a new outfit for YOU? Get your hair done, get a pedicure. Make sure that you are still a priority in your own life. You are working hard and you deserve a treat on occasion. When you feel good about yourself, it has a positive effect on the world around you.
them now and enjoy them so much more. It's all about perspective. Before this season of my life, I was also the type of person that HAD to do the dishes and clean the kitchen as soon as everyone was done eating. I HAD to fold the laundry before it got cold. I HAD to sweep and mop every Saturday. After my baby was born, I became an absolute ball of anxiety as I watched the dirt collect in the corners and the laundry mountain pile up. Then a couple of months in, I decided that it wasn't worth the stress. It really wasn't THAT important that I cleaned the baseboards of my home. I have learned that it's OK to let go of things that used to be important. For me, it's more important now to spend my free time doing something with my child or to take care of myself. No one has ever died from ULS (Unfolded Laundry Syndrome).
Click here to view two schedules I use so you can get an idea of what may (or may not) work for you.
Sometimes no matter how much you plan or organize your life, it just isn't going to work. Don't get SO obsessed with your schedule that it causes you more anxiety. You can go off script. It's OK to take a mental health day. Your child will survive a day without a bath. Decide what things are REALLY important to you and make them your priority. Sometimes you have to change the way you think or do things, but at the end of the day, make sure you are finding joy in your life. Because if you're not, then what's the point?
Managing motherhood and a career can be difficult whether you return to work or stay at home. There are tons of considerations to be made. Just because mom is home, doesn't mean she can stop to entertain a child or mitigate life's little catastrophes that seem to happen right in the middle of class. Floorspace is given up to accommodate a classroom or a room becomes multi-purpose. Meanwhile, all the regular "incidents" and tasks continue to be there, even if the other parent handles some of the duties. Read below for some tips and tricks from other VIPKID moms!
have a play yard
Some VIPKID moms swear by the play yard. Depending on your floor plan, you can position it to "corral" kids who wake up from naps and come wandering out during class. It may be possible to place it just within sight so you can teach with peace of mind. Prepared with a snack, a tv on
USE A floor-cleaning Robot
Prep meals ahead of time
sleep sounds for everyone
What's YOUR secret to combining work and home? Comment below to let us know how you do it!
Props are a VIPKID Teacher's best friend! They can make an ordinary lesson extraordinary! But what props should we include in our basic prop toolbox? If you're just starting off you don't want to invest in things you'll never use. Teachers often ask what the basics are, so here's a list. (Pictures include a link to the actual item. Or, you could always shop around for your own!) Let us know what your favorite props are!
Puppets have great entertainment value, but they are much more than just a fun thing to look at! They are great for modeling conversations, too!
Puppets are great for getting shy students to speak! Your students may prefer talking to the puppet rather than the teacher! That's okay! They're talking!