Teach English Online with VIPKid

As an English teacher, it can sometimes be hard to make ends meet. Luckily, over the past few years, there has been a dramatic rise in online English teaching jobs. These jobs provide you with flexible working hours, enable you to work from anywhere and help to boost your income.

 

One of the most popular and well-respected online English teaching companies is VIPKid. VIPKid provides online English lessons to Chinese students aged 4-12. The company offers 25-minute one-on-one classes delivered via their learning platform. VIPkid teachers guide students through pre-planned lessons in order to help them improve their speaking and conversation skills. VIPKid ranks as one of the top companies employing English teachers online. There are currently over 60,000 native English teachers around the world working for VIPkid. These teachers are able to work flexible hours and receive between $16-22 USD per hour. In this comprehensive, no-nonsense guide, we will explain how to apply for an online English teaching job with VIPKid, the application process and give an overview of teaching English online with them.

If you decide to apply for a teaching job at VIPKid through Teach-This.com, you will receive guidance from our in-house ESL professional Eric. Eric has worked for VIPKid for a number of years and will be there to guide you through the process, mentor you and be on hand to answer any questions you have regarding the application process.

Why choose VIPKid?

The best thing about working for VIPKid is the flexibility and freedom they offer their teachers. VIPKid lets teachers set their own schedule and provides pre-planned lessons with related materials via the VIPKid learning platform. This means there is no lesson planning. VIPKid deals with everything. Your job is to simply review the material before each class and teach the lessons. Unlike other online teaching companies, you are guaranteed a contract with decent pay and bonuses. VIPKid also has a well-supported community of teachers who are there to help and assist you when needed.

What nationalities do VIPKid employ?

VIPKid employs American and Canadian teachers living anywhere in the world. The company also employs other native English speakers who are eligible to work in the USA or Canada. Eligibility to work includes a green card, a temporary work visa or citizenship.

What qualifications do I need to work for VIPKid?

To teach English online with VIPKid, you must possess a Bachelor's degree (or higher) in any field. You also need at least 1 year of teaching experience. This can include tutoring, mentoring, coaching, homeschooling, or alternative education. A teaching qualification (in any subject, e.g. TEFL or TESOL) is also preferred, but not essential.

How much do VIPKid teachers get paid?

For an at-home teaching job, VIPKid pays quite well. VIPKid teachers receive on average around $20 USD per hour. Your basic pay is between $7-9 for each 25-minute class you teach. The pay rate is based on your qualifications, experience and demo lesson performance. You also receive extra money per class/hour for showing up on time, teaching the lesson according to the schedule and completing 30/45 classes a month.

Here is how the pay works:

VIPKid pay rate

Does VIPKid offer teachers a contract?

Yes, VIPKid signs 6-month renewable contracts with teachers who pass the application process. During your contract, you set your own schedule, so you can work as much or as little as you like. You can even take off extended periods of time as long as you inform VIPKid two weeks in advance.

What equipment do I need to work for VIPKid?

As you will be teaching online, you need a stable internet connection, a computer, a HD webcam and headset to minimize background noise and amplify your voice. You should also make sure there is good lighting in the room. The webcam should show your head, shoulders and the wall behind you. You can also decorate the background wall in a classroom style setting if you wish.

How to get a job teaching English online with VIPKid?

The application process has four steps and usually takes around a week to complete. It involves a simple online application form, an interview, demo lesson and mock classes. For some people, the application process can seem a bit daunting, but it's actually not that bad and it ensures VIPKid employs the right people for the job.

The application process is as follows:

1. Fill in the online application form.

2. After you have submitted the application form, VIPKid gives you three options to choose from. These options are a live interview/demo lesson, a recorded demo lesson or an express demo.

Live interview/demo lesson

The first option is to have a live interview and demo lesson with a VIPKid recruiter. The interview is to establish your qualifications and experience, set your base salary and assess your internet connection. After that, you give a 10-minute demonstration lesson with the interviewer pretending to be a Chinese student. For your demo lesson, materials are provided for you in the form of slides. You can log in to the virtual classroom to review and practice the material one hour before the interview and demo lesson takes place.

The live interview and demo lesson provides you with an opportunity to show off your teaching experience. You can also ask questions and gauge whether the job is right for you. As the recruiter pretends to be a student during the live demo lesson, the class is more natural than the other options and easier to teach. The downside is it's harder to manage your time as you have to wait for responses.

Recorded demo lesson

The second option is a recorded demo lesson. This involves logging in to the VIPKid online classroom alone, speaking about yourself for 5 minutes and teaching slides for 10 minutes to an imaginary student. You do have the opportunity to record the demo lesson again (up to three times) if you think your first attempt didn't go well.

In the recorded demo lesson, you have to pretend to teach an imaginary student. This can be tricky as you have to pretend to correct mistakes and elicit answers. The upside is you can record it again if you make a mistake and time management is easier to control.

Express demo lesson

The last option is an express demo lesson. With this option, you record a three-minute video where you speak about yourself and teach two slides. The express demo is much faster and easier to complete than the other two options. Due to the shorter length, you can fine tune and perfect your lesson. However, you won't have much time to talk about your teaching experience and demonstrate your skills.

Tips for the VIPKid interview and demo lesson

• Watch the VIPkid training videos and familiarize yourself with the VIPKid interface.

• Make sure all your computer equipment is working correctly. Also, check there is good lighting and you have a suitable background. You will be evaluated on your connection speed and equipment to make sure you can maintain a smooth connection.

• Smile, talk about yourself and your teaching experience. Your salary is determined in the initial interview, so it’s important to tell the interviewer all about your teaching experience right at the beginning.

• Most importantly, understand, study and practice the slides before your demo lesson.

• Pace yourself and speak clearly.

• Recruiters are looking to see how well you explain your activities, elicit complete answers and your time management awareness.

 

3. The next step is a mock class. This is essentially an extension of the interview process as well as teacher training. With mock classes, you are given a sample 10-minute lesson to teach and assigned a mentor who takes on the role of an ESL student. The mentor also assesses your teaching competency and provides feedback. You can re-take the mock class as many times as you need to pass. Most people do it two or three times before passing. It’s important to review the material you will be teaching and practice before each class. You will be able to view the teaching materials for each mock class a few days beforehand to give you enough time to prepare.

Tips for VIPKid mock classes

• Use actions (TPR) every time you speak. Act out words or use props. A small white board and props will also come in handy when you need to explain words or emphasize proper pronunciation. Aim for 50% student talk time with low levels and 70% with higher levels. Silent actions are a good way to minimize teacher talk time and prompt students to speak independently or use a phrase they already know.

• Smile and have fun. Keep up your energy levels, be enthusiastic, charismatic and use a simple visible reward system.

• Teach the target language. Remember that each lesson has a clear goal usually in the form of learning a target phrase or phrases. It's important to understand that by the end of the lesson the student should be able to use the target language unaided.

• Be smart with your time management and make sure you finish the lesson in the allotted time.

 

4. The last step is to sign your contract online and upload your documentation (degree certificate, ID, etc.). If you have a teaching qualification such as TEFL or TESOL, upload it. If not, you will be required to take an online certification test. The test is fairly straightforward and designed to test your ESL skills. VIPKid provides you with the study materials to take and pass the test. You can take the certification test as many times as you need to pass.

What's next?

In the first few weeks of teaching, it's a good idea to become familiar with the VIPKid teacher's portal. There you can set your schedule, check your bookings, set how you want to be paid and see which types of classes you can teach. Peak hours for teaching are usually Monday to Friday between 6 pm and 10 pm and Saturday to Sunday between 9 am and 10 pm Beijing time. You can enter your weekly availability one month in advance and you receive your weekly schedule each Saturday. Ideally, you should be available at least 7.5 hours per week. There are no limits on how many hours you can teach. However, having availability during peak times ensures a higher possibility of student bookings.
Apply to teach for VIPKid
 
 
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