Teach English Online
What I love most about VIPKid is that it gets to the teaching. The teacher in me finds so much joy in this job! I don’t spend a lot of time grading papers. I don’t have recess duty. I don’t have the paperwork demands. I just teach. That’s amazing! I also feel like my view of the world has matured and grown. This experience has made me a more well-rounded person.
14+ years of teaching experience
I am first and foremost a teacher, and VIPKid is the most rewarding opportunity I have had as an educator. I am able to stay home with my daughter and continue to do what I love while impacting student's lives.
11+ years of teaching experience
I love the one-on-one connection between teachers and students. I have become very attached to many of my students and their families over the years! I also love that the curriculum is already developed, so all I have to do is bring my own 'magic' to the lessons.
25+ years of teaching experience
** As of August 7, 2021, VIPKid published this note on how their business will be affected by China's new education regulations moving forward.
VIPKID is one of the largest online education companies, with a student base in the hundreds of thousands and growing, in what is the largest teaching market in the world - China. With the ability to make your own schedule, monthly incentives and competitions, and a great community with many in-person meetups in locations across the globe, VIPKID’s popularity has soared with teachers. In order to teach with VIPKID, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree as well as experience teaching, tutoring, or working with children. A TEFL certification is vital for experience and leverage to negotiate compensation. If you meet the requirements, these tips will help you nail the interview process and have you on your way to teaching students in China from the comfort of your home, wherever that may be.
1) Be prepared
That might sound simple enough, but you need to consider a number of things. You should have a good camera and lighting, quality sound with a headset and microphone, and high-speed internet. Your background should have a map, whiteboard, or something else that gives off a classroom vibe (pro-tip: hang a black sheet behind you to transform the feeling of your classroom). Make sure you’re teaching at a comfortable distance from your camera and that you’re well lit, so that you and your visual aids stay clearly visible and in frame. VIPKID provides its teachers with lesson plans -so make sure you know the material well before teaching the lesson. You will teach two “mock classes” during the interview process. This involves an adult acting as a student who will assess your teaching skills. So, get ready for a little role play!
2) Give Yourself Some Props
Literally. You need to use visual aids in the classroom. This includes things like flashcards, puppets, and dolls, realia, or even simple apps that use augmented reality through your camera. You don’t need to use all of these things. I opted for realia with money and sports equipment, color swatches and dolls for young children, and augmented reality through my camera. Augmented reality might sound intimidating, but it can be really simple to use. With the click of a button, hundreds of different images and objects can appear next to you in your camera. So, when you say “apple” and an apple appears next to you -watch as your student lights up with excitement and understanding. VIPKID has even started to include augmented reality in its teaching app.
3) Remember you're the teacher
You should exude confidence and authority in the classroom. Even when you’re teaching an adult role-playing as a child, act like they’re just a kid and you’re their teacher. You should speak clearly with proper grammar in your sentences. Don’t say things like: “Is car red?” Make the proper sentence: “Is the car red?” You should also adjust your speaking speed for your student’s level. Your mock class mentor will play roles at different language levels. So, keep your speed slow and your sentences simple for the lower-level student and pick up the pace and sentence level for the higher-skilled student.
4) Practice, practice, practice
You will receive your mock lessons in advance of the mock classes. This means you will have time to learn the material, rehearse your lesson plan, and get your classroom just right. There are phrases, vocabulary words, and key topics that VIPKID expects teachers to cover in the mock classes. Make sure you are aware of these and that you meet their expectations. You’ll move through the lesson by clicking forward and back on a web page. The format feels similar to Microsoft PowerPoint. Remember that your mouse is a powerful tool and you should use it as if it were a marker on a whiteboard: circling or underlining things throughout a lesson, drawing pictures and writing words, and aiding students by drawing attention to target concepts in the text or images on the screen.
5) Watch the clock!
Your class will have a hard time limit. Once you hit it, you stop where you are in the lesson. So, while you’re practicing, make sure you’re timing yourself too. Expect things to move a couple of minutes slower in the mock class than when you practice at home. You don’t want to rush through the lesson -just keep a nice steady pace and don’t stay one page too long. Know how many pages of material you have to get through in the allotted time and practice doing it a few times.
If you stick to these steps, not only will your crush your interview, but you’ll also become an excellent online educator. Now get out there and start changing students’ lives one happy kid at a time.
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What are the 10 VIPKid Requirements You Must Meet?
The essential VIPKid requirements for teachers are a bachelor’s degree (4-year university degree), legal eligibility to work in the US or Canada, and a fast web connection – among a handful of others we’ll cover here.
Do you want a job that offers unrivaled flexibility, one in which you set your own hours? Are you looking for a side gig to supplement your primary source of income? If so, you should consider teaching English online where the jobs are plentiful and demand is only expected to grow.
Let’s get into the details of the 10 VIPKid requirements for teachers to join the platform and start making money from home.
VIPKid Requirements for Teachers
Here is a rundown of the qualifications that you will need to be accepted as a VIPKid teacher.
Bachelor’s Degree (Any Field)
A 4-year university degree is a must for VIPKid teachers. Parents want to know that their child is learning from the best, and, fair or not, the bellwether for this is a college education.
Like other online teaching platforms, VIPKid accepts a bachelor’s degree in any field – even one that has nothing to do on the surface with English education, such as mechanical engineering.
No degree? No problem! Check out this list of 21 Best Companies to Teach English to Chinese students where we link to several companies that have no degree requirements whatsoever.
The other major must-have for VIPKid teachers is TEFL certification. While this requirement might sound like too much of an investment, getting certified to teach English as a foreign language via the worldwide web is easier than ever.
Consider TEFL Hero’s 120-hour fully online course. It’s self-directed, meaning you choose your own study hours, it’s very affordable ($99) and most students can finish within 2 months. It’s also fully accredited, so it’s recognized worldwide.
2 Years of Experience Working With Children
While this VIPKid requirement would appear to disqualify most applicants, what actually qualifies as “experience” is more open-ended than it might seem at first glance.
For the purposes of applying to VIPKid, “experience” can include:
- Sunday schooling
You get the idea – be imaginative in what constitutes “experience.” Don’t make anything up, but don’t limit yourself either to strict definitions of “experience.” Nearly all of us, with wide enough definitional parameters, have accumulated 2 years of experience with children in one capacity or another.
Learn How to Ace your VIPKid Interview
Work Authorization in US or Canada
VIPKid is only open to individuals that are eligible for legal employment in the United States or Canada. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be a citizen of that country nor even a resident. Instead, the relevant credential at play here is a US or Canadian tax ID that can be used to verify your legal status as open to work.
Not able to meet this requirement? You can look at teaching English online to Japanese students, which has no work authorization requirements.
Not a Resident of California, New York, or Washington
Unfortunately, due to tax laws that regulate independent contractors, VIPKid is not open to teachers that currently reside in California, New York, or Washington. For technical purposes, this means workers whose tax residency – a distinct legal concept apart from where you live at any given moment – is in these states.
Pass a Background Check
Once you pass the initial steps of the application process and receive a tentative job offer, getting started hinges on you passing a federal background check.
You supply all your info; VIPKid then performs and pays for the check, which takes 7-10 days to process along with all of your other application materials.
Obviously, successfully teaching English online requires a strong, stable internet connection. VIPKid requirements for minimum connection speed for teachers at ≥ 25 Mb/s. You can test your speed instantaneously for free here.
In addition to a fast web connection, you’ll also need to meet a few technical requirements in terms of your equipment.
- Desktop, Laptop, Macbook, iPad, or Microsoft Surface (no Chromebooks*)
- Windows 7, 8 and 10; Mac OS 10.X or higher operating system*
- Intel i5 processor or higher
- 8GB RAM or higher
*Important note: Sorry, Google-philes — Google and all of its software products, including the Chrome operating system and web browser, are banned in China and therefore are not suitable for interfacing with the VIPKid platform.
If you are not a computer nerd and don’t know how to check your computer specs, use this helpful tutorial to guide you.
More on VIPKid’s technical requirements can be found here.
Availability During ‘Peak’ Hours
Due to China’s position on literally the opposite side of the world from the continental US and Canada, the timezone issue might pose a difficulty for some.
Most of VIPKid’s clientele are school children who, of course, go to school during the day. Most of their extra time to learn on the web – what VIPKid calls its “peak hours” — is therefore between 6-9 pm Beijing time.
So, if you live on the Eastern seaboard, that means your peak hours are between 6am-9am on weekdays and 8:30pm-9am on weekends.
That said, you absolutely can teach outside of these “peak hours” if you so desire – just be advised that there are much fewer offerings during these times.
VIPKid, fortunately, does not require a minimum time commitment, so you are free to teach whenever and however often you would like within the timeframes offered by the company.
Learn more about the VIPKid Application and Hiring Process
Native English Speaker
If you already have ESL teaching experience in a foreign country, then you are likely already familiar with learning institutions’ heavy emphasis on dialect and accent.
Asian learners and schools, in particular, are fixated on accent – indeed, that is largely the reason they hire foreign teachers in the first place. There is no shortage of adult Chinese English speakers that could, in theory, teach ESL; they want foreign teachers because they can impart their native-sounding accents into the vocal patterns of young learners.
For this reason, you must be a native speaker or, at the very least, meet the other requirements listed here such as legal working status in the US or Canada and sound like a native speaker.
Don’t meet all of these requirements? There are plenty more English teaching companies to choose from.
VIPKID Teacher Requirements FAQs
Let’s transition into some of the most frequently asked questions that potential teachers have about the application process and how it works.
What’s the VIPKID application process like?
If you just glance at the VIPKid site, the application process might appear more complicated than it actually is. The four-step procedure for onboarding new teachers goes like this:
-Sign up with a valid email address and verify it
-A short “demo” class covering the subject provided by VIPKid [protip: make sure you use an ESL technique TPR (total physical response) in your demo to ace it]
-A “mock class” with a current VIPKid teacher who can offer feedback and guidance
-After the company verifies your uploaded necessary documents, the contract is on the table and you are ready to start teaching once you sign on the dotted line
How does VIPKID verify my degree?
For those wondering if VIPKid will actually check to see if your degree is legit – yes, they absolutely will. The documents you will need to upload are:
-A photo of your physical bachelor’s degree certificate
-A copy of your official transcript from your institution
-Degree verification from National Student Clearinghouse
-A verification letter from your institution’s registrar office (signed, sealed or watermarked)
Do I need to speak Chinese to teach at VIPKID?
It’s a logical question, but if you stop and think about it, how many North American ESL teachers could VIPKid actually recruit if they made Mandarin fluency a requirement? Only about 1% of the US population speaks Mandarin. So, no, you don’t need to speak Chinese to teach at VIPKid.
The Bottom Line on VIPKid Requirements
To recap, here is what you’ll need to teach online at VIPKid:
- Bachelor’s degree
- TEFL certification
- 2 years of experience working with children
- Legal permission to work in the US or Canada
- Tax residency in states other than Washington, New York, and California
- Clean criminal background
- Fast internet
- Minimum technical requirements
- Availability to teach during “peak hours”
- Native English-speaking status
Do you meet all these requirements? You can also consider teaching for Magic Ears. Have a look at how it stacks up to VIPKid in our guide Magic Ears vs VIPKid.
If you meet these basic pre-conditions, you are already ahead of the game to land a well-paying gig at VIPKid. The company is generally highly rated by current and former employees, with a 4/5-star rating at Glassdoor and a 3.7/5-star review at Indeed based on thousands of comments from real-life teachers.
Let’s jump right into the updated VIPKid hiring requirements that all teachers must now meet.
By the way, I’m Teacher Chelsey and I’ve been teaching for VIPKid since early 2018, taught thousands of students, received thousands of 5-apple feedback from parents.
With the intro out of the way, let’s get into what you came here for.
What Are The VIPKid Hiring Requirements?
- A Bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited university
- Eligible to work in the United States (excluding CA, NY & WA state residents) or Canada
- Two years teaching “experience” (mentoring, tutoring, coaching, babysitting, parenting)*
- Fluent in English
- TEFL or TESOL Certification**
- Pass background check
That’s the quick answer to the VIPKid hiring requirements, but we do need to go into each one a little bit more (especially #3 and #5). Continue reading below the image.
1. A Bachelor’s degree in ANY field from an accredited university
- You must have this. It can be from anywhere in the world, but they will ask for proof.
- You will be asked to supply VIPKid with either your transcripts or a picture of your diploma.
2. Two years of teaching experience or the equivalent in mentoring, tutoring or alternative education. *
They are a little loose when it comes to this requirement
If you have direct American K-12 school system teaching experience then this is your main pitch as experience of course!
They will also accept “teaching experience” as a:
- Summer Camp Work
- Sunday School Teaching
VIPKid just wants you to have two years of experience working with children and the company is open to more than direct teaching as a requirement.
3. Eligible to work in the United States or Canada
VIPKid requires their teachers to have either a United States or Canadian citizenship OR the ability to work within the United States or Canada via green card or temporary work visa.
This basically means that you file taxes in the United States or Canada and that you have a permanent US/CN based address.
** Please note that, as of 2020, current California residents are unable to apply for VIPKid at this time due to new state laws and regulations. You can read more on that here – Is VIPKid Hiring In California? **
*** Starting November 1st of 2020, VIPKid will no longer be hiring new teachers from New York state and Washington state. This decision does not impact current teachers, nor will it inhibit current teachers from those states to be able to renew their contracts. ***
However, you can work from anywhere in the world as long as you meet this requirement.
4. Fluent in English
You must be fluent in English, even if it’s not your first language.
This will be evaluated within the interview process and they prefer a neutral American accent.
“What if I have a heavy accent?”
I personally have a ‘southern’ accent, but I do well at taking my time so that I can speak clearly.
If you have a heavy accent, then I do suggest taking some time to practice speaking clearly and working on pronunciation.
Having a heavy accent isn’t a deal-breaker, but masking it will help you in the long run!
This also means people who are eligible to work in the United States or Canada, but have an United Kingdom or Australian accent will need to mask their accent with a more neutral one.
VIPKid parents are paying for an American English teaching experience, but you can be hired if you do well at hiding heavier accents.
Again, they will evaluate it during the interview process so take your time before setting it up so that you can practice beforehand.
5. TEFL or TESOL CERTIFICATION **
This is a newer requirement and it came directly from the Chinese government.
Actually, VIPKid isn’t the only online education company in China to be affected by this new government-enforced requirement.
From my understanding/research, it’s now mandated that ALL online teaching companies who teach Chinese students must employ teachers who have a TEFL or TESOL certification.
Good news though (IF you don’t currently have either)…
VIPKid actually offers its own TESOL-VIPKID Program that is free to new hires (this is how I got my certification).
At the moment, VIPKid seems to still be upholding this offer to its new teachers.
You’ll be required to complete this short TESOL training class and pass a quiz.
You’ll be doing this right before you sign your contract.
If you’re worried about this, don’t be because you’ll be able to retake the quiz as many times as you need in order to pass!
So you don’t technically have to have either of the TEFL or TESOL certifications when applying to VIPKid, but you’ll be required to finish their certification course before they’ll hire you.
(If you do have a TEFL/TESOL then you might be able to bypass the VIPKid-TESOL as long as you provide proof of your current TEFL/TESOL certification)
6. Pass a Background Check
This is something that most other blogs don’t mention as a requirement, but it is exactly that… required.
Because you’ll be working with children and VIPKid wants to make sure that their students are in safe company.
It’s a reasonable requirement and no, speeding tickets don’t hurt your chances of getting hired.
REQUIRED VIPKID TECHNOLOGY
- Computer or laptop (Chromebook not accepted)
- Reliable Internet
- HD Webcam
Let’s talk about these real fast.
1. You’ll be teaching online so that means that you definitely need a computer or laptop.
Due to some techy stuff in regards to VIPKid’s application platform, your computer or laptop must run on an updated Windows or Mac Operating System.
Because of this, Chromebooks are not acceptable and the VIPKid ‘portal’ will not be able to open on the Chromebook so please don’t think that you can “make it work”.
2. You’ll need reliable Internet.
This means that your Internet needs to be, well, reliable and VIPKid says that your Internet speed should be at least 20mps. (you can test your Internet speed over at SpeedTest)
IF your Internet is slower, use an ethernet cable to connect your computer or laptop directly to your router/modem.
VIPKid suggests this, and I honestly agree that it is important to do so.
On my resources page (coming soon), I have a link to a super long ethernet cable that is affordable and works great if your computer is far away from your router/modem.
I also suggest getting a HotSpot device (or be able to use the HotSpot feature on your iPhone if you have good cell signal) because I have had times where my Internet just randomly stopped working in the middle of the night and my HotSpot saved my tushy!
3. You must also have an external HD (or internal HD) webcam.
Most newer laptops are already equipped with an HD webcam, but I’d test it out first and make sure that it’s actually clear.
If it’s not HD quality, or you don’t have a webcam, then you’ll need to get an external HD one.
4. & 5. You’ll need to be able to communicate clearly with your students so a headset and microphone are obviously needed as well.
A lot of headsets now come with a good microphone, so that’s a 2-for-1 technically.
No, you don’t have to have the ‘best’ headset initially, but remember that they’ll be sitting on top of your head for hours while teaching so I do suggest a good pair eventually.
Some teachers say that you can use earbud headsets and a laptop’s built-in microphone, but I highly suggest not to because they’re more likely to pick up background noise and just don’t provide the STUDENT with the quality experience that they deserve.
Again, you can refer to my resources page for more details on what I personally use and recommend!
WHAT VIPKID DOESN’T REQUIRE
Having a teaching license could be considered a bonus, but it is not necessary at all.
VIPKID doesn’t require you to have extensive teaching experience at all, but if you do then I’d be sure to emphasize that during your application/hiring process.
Those little ‘bonuses’ could help you get a higher base pay at the start, but don’t worry if you only meet the “looser” experience requirements because you can still have a chance to make a top dollar base rate.
Actually, here’s a link to a very detailed blog post of mine about how much VIPKid pays.
Do You Need to Know Chinese to Teach for VIPKid?
No, knowing Chinese is not a VIPKid requirement. You do not need to be concerned if you don’t know any language other than English.
It could be helpful for sure, but VIPKid offers a phenomenal teaching platform/curriculum that makes teaching English to students much easier than you’d think!
Is VIPKid Still Hiring?
Yes, as of 2021, VIPKid is still hiring new teachers (except for applicants from the states of California, Washington, and New York).
How Long Does It Take To Get Hired At VIPKid?
On average, the VIPKid hiring process generally takes an average of 1-2 weeks.
Does VIPKid Verify Your Degree?
Yes, VIPKid will need to verify your degree. You will be asked to supply VIPKid with either your transcripts or a picture of your diploma.
What If I Fail the VIPKid Hiring Process?
Easy, you can reapply with another email address!
For real, it’s that simple.
I’ve read of some teachers who have “failed” at some point in their hiring process, but have then gone on to reapply where they then aced all of it!
** Let me note that if you were “failed” because you don’t have a Bachelor’s degree or you aren’t eligible to work in the United States… then reapplying will not change the end result!
Does VIPKid Provide Lesson Plans?
Yes, VIPKid has an amazing curriculum. Once you’re used to it, you will be amazed at how seamlessly you can transition from class to class.
Ok great… you’ve made it this far! Now what?
If you meet the above qualifications and are good with young children, then you should definitely apply to become a VIPKid teacher!
I do my best to provide as much content and helpful advice as I can on this blog and through my Instagram.
If you sign up via the link below, I will personally do my best to help you navigate the hiring process.
APPLY TO VIPKID
I wholeheartedly believe that having some personal guidance can help you get through it with a better chance of success than if you decide to go through it on your own!
Once you have started the VIPKid application process with me as your referral, please DM me on Instagram @teacherchelsey and I will verify that you have successfully applied with my referral link/code and I will get back to you as quickly as possible to help guide you through the process as best as I can.
VIPKid Free TEFL Course
Find out everything you need to know about the VIPKid free TEFL course and certificate — what it is, why you should get it, and how to complete it.
What is the TEFL Certificate
TEFL, or Teaching English as a Foreign Language, is a certification that shows you’ve completed a set amount of hours of training specific to teaching English as a foreign language. In VIPKid’s case, this certification is issued by the China State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA).
The great thing about SAFEA’s TEFL certificate is that it’s based on research centered around Chinese students and only takes about 25 hours to complete. (And remember, more certifications = more VIPKid bookings). There are two modules that you’ll need to complete:
- The academic portion, which takes roughly 20 hours
- The practical portion, which is only 10 classes
Other TEFL courses can run up to 200 hours, so this is definitely a fast-track course.
The academic portion is divided into four modules with quizzes at the end of each module. You must pass these quizzes in order to obtain your certification. Additionally, your 10 classes taught must have a parent rating of 4 apples or greater. Don’t worry, though — if, after 15 days, parents don’t leave any feedback, your completed class will automatically count as a 4+ apple review!
Why get the TEFL Certificate?
While obtaining the TEFL certification is more work than gaining certification for other courses, it will also carry more weight. Having TEFL will look great on your profile to parents, which may also positively affect your VIPKid bookings! If you’re interested in teaching with other institutions based out of China, having a SAFEA issued TEFL certificate will also look great on your resume.
During your TEFL training, you’ll also learn more about specific strategies that will help you become the best possible teacher you can be – and who doesn’t want that?
How Do I Get the TEFL?
From the VIPKid Portal, click on “Certifications”, go to the “Edu Course” tab, and click on the TEFL Online button
Once in the portal, you’ll enter your basic personal and educational information and start your first module!
How Much Does the TEFL Certification Cost?
Normally $129, VIPKid is currently offering this certificate for free. However, if you want a certificate that you can use outside VIPKid (for another ESL school, perhaps), you’ll need to pay either $79 or 3,950 tokens to obtain a printable version.
Now that you have all the facts on the TEFL certificate through VIPKid, let us know how you did below! You can also have a look at English: The New Universal Language
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VIPKid TEFL Certification: What It Is and How To Pass
Digital Nomad, Olivia, Teaching English Online With VIPKid
May 18, 2020
Becoming a digital nomad has been the biggest perk that Bridge graduate Olivia Gilmore, from New York, has enjoyed while teaching English online. Previously a musician and music teacher, she has been teaching English classes to kids with well known online tutoring company, VIPKid, for two years now. She shares details of her experience as an online teacher and gives tips on how aspiring ESL teachers can also get into this growing field.
How did you choose VIPKid?
I found VIPKid by chance while searching for further teaching work. I already knew that I had a passion for teaching from my work as a music teacher. I never imagined that I would be teaching English, mostly because I found English grammar so scary (less so now, after taking the Bridge course!). However, I gave VIPKid a try, and it has been a life-changing job for me!
Read a profile of VIPKid, a trusted Bridge Preferred Partner.
Had you ever taught English before being an online teacher?
My work at VIPKid was my first experience teaching English, but I have prior experience working with children who do not speak English and with children who speak English as a second or third language.
Learn more about how your non-teaching skills can apply to teaching English online.
How did you land your teaching job at VIPKid? Can you tell us about the application process?
The application process was pretty straightforward.
I applied with my resume and got selected for an express interview, given my experience. I watched a lot of YouTube videos on how to give an impressive first interview. After uploading and passing the interview, I moved on to the first mock class.
I remember being so nervous about the mock class! I was asked to teach a sample from a higher-level (intermediate) lesson and a lower (beginner) lesson. I was especially good at teaching the lower level lesson, so my mock class mentor suggested I move on with that level.
Then, I had my final mock class and moved on to teach my first class. I watched a ton of sample YouTube videos throughout the process. If you are going through the VIPKid interview process, you can find a lot of material online to coach you through the process. You can just Google VIPKid interview, VIPKid first mock class, or VIPKid second mock class.
Overall, the process was as follows:
- Initial information
- Express (or longer) interview upload
- Mock class one (you are suggested a level at this point)
- Mock class two
- Then teach the first class!
I believe you receive your contract after your interview is passed. However, I went through this process about two years ago, so it might be a bit different now. It is always good to connect with VIPKid teachers, through Bridge, who can help you through the process.
Connect with new and experienced teachers in the Bridge Teaching English Online Facebook Group!
Who are your students?
I work mostly with beginner students aged from 4 to 10 years old. I was placed at this level during my first mock class. As you continue working for VIPKid, you have the option to become certified for levels that you were not originally certified for during your mock classes. However, I enjoy teaching the beginner levels and younger students, so I have decided to stick to those levels.
What’s your schedule as an online teacher? Do you make your own hours?
This job has been a lifesaver for me, as I was able to travel and continue my work abroad while still maintaining a good income from VIPKid. The job has also helped me continue working while being a full-time graduate student.
I make my own hours and have varied from working full time (five hours per day, seven days a week), to working three days a week on a limited schedule. While based in the USA, my hours are early morning (6:30-9 a.m.). However, when abroad I have had classes entirely in the afternoon (3-6 p.m.), or during the day (10-2 p.m.). The peak hours are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Beijing time, so you just need to convert those times into whatever time zone you are in. The flexibility has allowed me to have a healthy balance with my studies and other hobbies I enjoy!
Do you like your job?
I love my job at VIPKid. The students are wonderful, the hours are great and flexible, the pay is great, and it has allowed me to work on other passion projects and spend time with my loved ones around the globe. I would say that I am completely happy working at VIPKid. There are challenges to teaching online, but nothing about my job that I do not like.
Additionally, I love working with young people and hope that my classes not only help them develop their English skills but also inspire a love of learning and confidence. I know how stressful language learning can be, as I am also a language learner, so I aim to create a comfortable and happy space for my students.
Browse online teaching jobs with VIPKid and other companies on the Bridge Job Board.
What are your favorite activities or strategies for your online classes?
I love to incorporate music into my English classroom as much as possible. I make up little songs for the students when they do a good job, and I like to use musical ‘rewards’, like making a song together on my iPhone piano. I find that if a class is getting dull or repetitive, one of the best ways to liven it up is to sing a sentence or two. A lot of my students really enjoy drawing, so I like to use drawing rewards as well.
The students like when you show them that you are a real person (not an online robot!), with interests and quirks. They especially love when you recognize their interests, so I like to incorporate as many of their favorite activities along with some of mine into my classroom. I find that this really helps with engagement.
The Bridge Specialized Certificate in Teaching English Online provides new online teachers with methodology, strategies, games, and activities for the virtual classroom.
Olivia’s music students in her previous job.
What’s the biggest challenge and the best thing about teaching online?
Waking up early is not my favorite, but I got used to it! I think the biggest challenge I had to overcome was setting up all of my technology and making sure that I always have good Wi-Fi for teaching. I had this crazy experience where I was out in rural Nepal with my friends, and our Wi-Fi went down right before I had classes! In a scramble, we found a roadside tea shop at 5 a.m., where I was able to get a good enough hotspot to teach my classes! Thankfully, I was able to use props from the tea shop to teach my lessons, and my students and I had a great time. I even got some priority bookings for the next week from those classes.
This was probably my craziest teaching experience, so I wanted to share it. I would definitely not recommend trying it though! There are tools to make sure your Internet or hotspot speed is good for teaching.
I think my whole experience at VIPKid has been great in general. The best thing is probably having the experience of teaching students across the world from my living room!
You took the Bridge 120-Hour Master TEFL/TESOL course. Why did you choose this certification?
I have been working at VIPKid for a long time and had previously completed a less prestigious TEFL and VIPKid’s company TESOL. I decided that I wanted to improve my teaching skills and get a qualification from a prestigious company like Bridge. The course at Bridge has helped me a lot with improving my teaching skills and with my professional development. Currently, I am interviewing with more online English companies and feel confident in my skills, both from my teaching background and from my continued study at Bridge.
How has your course helped you professionally?
It has given me confidence and helped me improve my classes at VIPKid. I have incorporated a lot of the classroom management and creative pedagogy techniques I learned from Bridge into my lessons, and my students are loving it! My Bridge course has also encouraged me to become more involved in the online teaching industry, as I have applied to more e-learning companies.
Also, my Bridge Master Certificate has recently helped me get a job at BlingABC!
What are your career plans?
Right now, I am finishing my master’s degree in International Education and Development. Afterwards, I hope to move back to New York City to find a career in international education, possibly in an organization like UNICEF. I am also very interested in continuing work in e-learning, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, so I am looking for work in learning technology organizations as well. I plan to continue teaching at VIPKid long-term.
Do you have any advice for people new to teaching, who are now looking to get started teaching online?
I have had a great experience working with VIPKid, and I would definitely recommend applying for work in an online English teaching company. Right now, during COVID-19, it is a good time to get into the business. However, I know that many people are applying, so I would recommend applying as soon as possible. There are so many companies out there that cater to different teachers’ and students’ needs and interests. I think the majority are for kids, but there are also online schools for adult students as well. There are a lot of options for you as a teacher, and now is the time!
By the way, VIPKid only hires North American teachers – those with the United States and Canadian citizenship. However, there are many other companies that hire teachers from all over the world. Additionally, VIPKid features one-on-one classes, while there are other companies that feature small group classes. There are a lot of different options for online teaching, so you will find the company that works for you!
Interested in circling the globe and earning at the same time, like Olivia? Make it happen by getting started on teaching English online!
Post byKrzl Light Nuñes
Back in her hometown in the Philippines, Krzl worked as a writer at a TV station before moving to Chile seven years ago. After she completed her TESOL certification, she worked for language institutes then decided to become an independent English teacher to business professionals. When she’s not giving classes, she’s either surfing along Chile’s long stretch of coastline, traveling, or practicing photography by the beach.
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3. Stage 3: Become certified (2-3 hours)
After you pass Stage 2, you then then have to become certified. This is where you will get certified for the various types of classes VIPKid offers to students.
In order to get certified, you must study a small amount of material and prepare another demo lesson, which you will teach to an existing VIPKid teacher mentor. These are called Mock Classes.
You can choose to ONLY get certified for their lower level courses (Levels 2/3), their higher level courses (Levels 4/5), or both.
Levels 2/3 have students who are in the early stages of learning English. Think colors, animals, food, weather, etc.
Levels 4/5 have higher-level material. Think free talk, and subjects such as the environment, careers, and qualities of appearance and personality.
If you decide to only certify for one of these at this stage, you can always return later and get certified for more levels.
Applicants no longer have to worry about failing their mock classes. You can re-train and attempt mock classes until you pass. If you are having difficulty at this stage, you can avail of VIPKid’s free Online Coaching.
5. Stage 4: Sign a contract with VIPKid (30 mins)
After you’ve successfully completed your Mock Classes in the Certification Center, there are a few more things to do before you begin teaching.
If you do not have a 120-hour TESOL, TEFL, TESL, or CELTA certificate or a recognized teaching certificate from your home country, you are required to complete VIPKid’s own TESOL training. It costs nothing, however it is not recognized at other companies should you choose to apply somewhere else later.
Click here to get an accredited, 120-hour TESOL certificate for only $19. The regular price is $119.
If you DO already have one of these certifications, you will be asked to upload your supporting documentation. This includes a digital copy of your degree and/or teaching certificates, as well as a background check.
Once your background check is complete, you can begin opening time slots on the VIPKid portal and start teaching as soon as you are booked.