Teach ESL Online with VIPKid Global & Work from Wherever
If you’ve ever dreamed of having a flexible online job and you love kids then you should consider a job where you can teach ESL online. I have been teaching ESL online for almost 4 years now and honestly, it’s the best job I have ever had. Over the past four years, I have taught for multiple companies and one of my favorites is VIPKid. VIPKid is now called VIPKid Global and has changed a lot recently. While I don’t currently work for them, I will be sharing lots of helpful information about how you can get started with them.
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VIPKid to VIPKid Global: Why the Change?
So when I taught for the company it was just called VIPKid and all the students were based in China. In the middle of 2021, China’s rules and regulations about online teaching companies changed significantly. Basically all of a sudden, if you weren’t based in China, you couldn’t teach ESL online to students in China.
This came as a nasty shock to many teachers across multiple online ESL teaching platforms. A lot of companies had to completely give up what they were doing and suddenly a ton of teachers were jobless.
Then in late 2021, VIPKid announced their VIPKid Global program. Now you can teach for VIPKid again as part of the VIPKid Global program and teach students all over the world rather than only teaching students in China.
Why Teach with VIPKid Global?
VIPKid Global offers teachers $7 USD per 25 minute class. So around $14 per hour which is pretty good compared to some other online teaching programs.
Keep in mind that this is the base pay. VIPKid Global offers incentives for completed classes. Back when I worked for them I got an extra $1 USD just for showing up to classes on time, plus incentives for teaching classes as a standby substitute teacher. Now, you can be on standby, not get any classes, and still get paid the full amount just for sitting at your computer.
Super Flexible Hours!
With VIPKid Global you open the hours on your schedule that you are available to work and the parents choose when to book you. That means that if you want to take a few days off, you just need to make sure to book those times off in advance and no one will be able to have class with you that day, unless it is approved by you.
Great Curriculum & Easy to Use Platform
I have always loved VIPKid’s platform and curriculum.
The platform is so user-friendly and easy to use. It’s easy to open and close hours of availability, send in support tickets, view your contract and account information, leave student feedback, and more. Plus, all your class materials are right there ready for you to use as soon as you open the classroom too which is not the case with some other companies.
The curriculum is easy to follow, interactive, and engaging. The classes are predictable in that they have a chronological order that they always follow for each student. If you’re teaching a lot of students in the same level, you will end up teaching many of the same classes from the units in that level.
This means you don’t have to spend tons of unpaid time preparing materials or lesson plans. Yay!
Teach Amazing Kids!
With VIPKid Global you will be able to teach incredible kids from all over the world! It’s so fun being able to meet students from all over and learn a little bit more about different cultures that way too. Most of the kids I’ve taught are so fun to engage with and usually quite polite too. If you love kids, you’ll love teaching with VIPKid Global.
Work from Wherever!
As long as you have a laptop that meets VIPKid Global’s tech requirements and have a strong internet connection (preferably with an ethernet cable) then you can take it with you and teach from wherever! In fact, I have taught for VIPKid in Canada, Mexico and the USA.
VIPKid Global Requirements
- You must be a native English speaker or speak English fluently.
- Eligibility to work in the USA or Canada.
- Have a fast and reliable internet connection and use an ethernet cable.
- You must have a Bachelor’s Degree in any field.
- You must also have 1 full year of teaching experience (this can include mentoring, tutoring, homeschooling, or coaching).
It is important to note that you do not necessarily need a TESOL or TEFL Certificate to apply to VIPKid because you get Certified through VIPKid once you are hired. However, it is a good tool to have as parents can see your qualifications when they look at your profile. The more Certifications you have, the better your profile will look.
I personally got my TESOL Certificate online through Coursera and Arizona State University. Then, once I was hired, I also got VIPKid’s TESOL Certifications so that I would stand out more to parents. You can also get TESOL and TEFL Certificate courses through Groupon.
The Application Process
The application process for becoming a VIPKid teacher is listed below:
- Basic Info (Resume)
- Demo Lesson Recording
- Certification & Introduction to Teaching
- Contract Info & Background Check
You can read about each of these steps in more detail here, but I will mainly be focusing on giving you tips for how to pass your Interview and Mock Class.
Application: How to Apply to VIPKid
The first thing you need to do is to use this link to fill out your application with VIPKid. Filling out your application is quite straightforward, just fill in all your relevant information.
Remember that VIPKid requires to you have one year of teaching experience. That one year of experience can include mentoring, tutoring, training and more so make sure you take that into consideration when filling out your application.
Passing the Demo Class: Practice, Practice, Practice!
You will receive all the demo class materials you need for your recording. These materials will show you what your screen will look like, what exactly you will be teaching and how the different classroom functions work. Make sure you read through this information carefully, and practice how you will teach the class ahead of time.
Have a Kid-Friendly Background
One amazing way to show that you are ready to be a teacher is to have a kid-friendly background from where you will teach. For my interview, I had a map of Mexico (where I currently live) on the wall, a Chinese flag (where the students were from before VIPKid went Global) and a Canadian flag (where I’m from). I also had my name on the wall as ‘Teacher April’ along with a whiteboard and an ‘ABC’ chart that I made.
You do not need to have this much stuff on your wall to get started. The only reason I was so prepared for my VIPKid interview, was because I was also an online teacher for another company at the time. Just make sure that you have your ‘Teacher’ name behind you, and perhaps some kid-friendly pictures.
If you really don’t have anything, you can draw some things and put them on the wall behind you. An ‘ABC’ chart is a really good option for this. It’s also a good idea to have the VIPKid logo on your wall as it shows don’t just want to be an online teacher, you want to be a VIPKid teacher! You can print one off or make one yourself.
TPR, Props, and Speaking Slowly
Even though there will either be no one else online with you, you need to pretend that you are teaching a young child. Make sure to speak very slowly, use TPR (Total Physical Response aka physical actions) and use some props (stuffed animals, drawn pictures, photos, realia, etc) too.
Give wait time after you ask questions so the pretend student can answer you. Also be sure to include some kind of external reward system. An example of a reward system would be showing the student a picture of a smiley face or star when they do a good job.
It’s also a good idea to pretend the ‘student’ has made a mistake here or there (either in pronunciation or grammar) so you can pretend to correct them. VIPKid Global wants to know you are prepared to correct errors.
Signing Your Contract! Woohoo!
If you pass all of these steps you will get invited to become a VIPKid Global Teacher! CONGRATULATIONS! At this point you will need to fill out a Background Check, upload your TESOL Certificate and other documents such as your Bachelors degree, and sign your contract. If you don’t have a TESOL Certificate yet, you can take VIPKid’s TESOL Certification and its quiz and receive it that way.
I sincerely hope this article helps you to land a job with VIPKid as they are such a wonderful company to work for. I’m so excited for you to start your online teaching journey and I hope you love to teach ESL online as much as I do!
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