Who am I? I graduated from Instituto Franklin – UAH Teach & Learn master Program in June of 2016. In October of 2016, I started teaching English online for VIPKID, and also started working as an English Assistant at a primary school in Madrid. I firmly believe that the experience I received during the Teach & Learn program helped me get the job with VIPKID, and was one of the reasons I got offered a relatively high starting pay. VIPKID really values your educational background, therefore having a Master´s in education is a huge plus when applying for the job. They are also looking for people with teaching experience, and Teach & Learn gave me accelerated teaching experience during my teaching internship hours.
I honestly could not love working for VIPKID more and I am not exaggerating. It is the perfect way to make extra money while I am in Spain. VIPKID classes fit ideally with my English Assistant (auxiliar) schedule which is only four days per week, although the nice thing is you can really fit them into any kind of schedule. I plan on continuing working for them (at least part time) when I return to the States.
If you are interested in this unique opportunity, please read on.
Who is VIPKID looking for?
They are looking North Americans with at least a Bachelor´s degree. TOEFL certification and Master´s degrees are highly valued in the hiring process. VIPKID is looking for vibrant and passionate educators with teaching experience. Currently there is no minimum teaching time requirement, although they recommend being available for approximately 7.5 hours per week.
WHAT is VIPKID?
VIPKID is a company based in Beijing, China where you teach children aged approximately five to twelve years old one-to-one through the company´s online platform. The company provides you with PowerPoints to teach your classes. The child´s level is assessed when they sign up for classes with the company. They are placed at a specific starting point in the curriculum based on their level assessment.
Your job is to lead the children through the PowerPoints in fun and dynamic ways during 25 minute lessons. There is little preparation required since the PowerPoints are provided to you, but you must familiarize yourselves with the PowerPoints prior to teaching them, and find some props, flashcards, etc. to go with each lesson.
Most of the students I teach are focused, polite, appreciative, bright and seem to enjoy the classes, which makes the job very fun and rewarding. When you open timeslots in your schedule, the parents can then book you. Over time you get regulars, and you can get to know them and follow their progress. Therefore, although the job is done via the internet, it can be quite warm and personal just like in person teaching jobs can be.
WHERE? You can teach from anywhere, as long as it is a professional setting that has a good Wi-Fi connection. You CANNOT teach in public places, such as cafés or bars. Good lighting and sound quality are extremely important.
WHY work for VIPKID?
Some of the many positive aspects of the company include:
- The job requires ZERO travel time. Wasting no time traveling to and from work is spectacular. For those living in Spain who are sick of traveling from private lesson to private lesson, this is the solution for you. Working from home allows you to fit this job into any schedule no matter where you are in the world. It is easy to squeeze in work hours when you do not have to leave the comfort of your own home to work. Squeeze in a 25-minute class before work, during lunch, on the weekend, whenever you want and can!
- Flexibility in scheduling: You make your own schedule. Weeks that you are busy traveling, or have other commitments, you can work less. Weeks that you have more time: work more. Feeling ambitious? Schedule several hours of classes in a row. Only want a few hours per week? No problem. Want to work full time for VIPKID? This is also possible. Weekend plans fall through? Click the last-minute booking option in your schedule and try and make some $$$. Peak hours in China are: 6-10pm from Monday to Sunday and 9-11am from Saturday to Sunday, although you can get bookings easily outside of peak hours.
- Teach from anywhere in the world: As long as you have a professional environment and the right equipment. This job is the traveler’s dream.
- You will get to work with a well-designed and effective curriculum. Largely due to the curriculum VIPKID has designed, not only do the students tend to learn pretty quickly with VIPKID, but they also seem to really enjoy learning English.
- You will see your students progressing before your eyes. Working with VIPKID is very rewarding. Seeing my students improve each and every day, and seeing their bright smiley faces eager for their English lessons makes it worth it. Seeing most of my students rapidly learning and improving is very satisfying as a teacher.
- The company is professional and supportive. From day one of my contact with the company to now, I have felt thoroughly supported by them. I received ample feedback when I was a new VIPKID teacher via my initial class evaluations and their mentor program. Any time I have a question or concern it is quickly answered and resolved. Every Monday, we receive a witty newsletter about company changes, improvements, news, and current incentives. We have access to many resources to improve as teachers or resolve any doubts we may have.
- As the company grows, you will too. The company is constantly innovating and improving, which means you are constantly growing as a teacher when you work for them. The company gives you opportunities to participate in workshops, competitions, and you are eligible for pay raises each year or so. In the almost 6 months I have worked for them, many components of the company have been improved, such as being able to see parent feedback, and the development of the VIPKID app. The app has many useful features, such as providing you with notifications 15 minutes before each class.
- The company is generous and makes you feel valued and appreciated. They are generous with their incentives and bonuses, which motivates me to work even harder. I feel appreciated and valued as a member of the VIPKID team.
- You will be able to learn and practice new teaching techniques applicable to other aspects of your career in education. My work at VIPKID has helped me become a better teacher overall. For example, the use of TPR (Total Physical Response) is vital to being a successful VIPKID teacher. I have started using some TPR techniques I picked up when working with VIPKID in my classroom teaching job, and will be able to use them in any language teaching job I may have in the future.
- Harness your creativity: with VIPKID the more creative you are the better. To be the best VIPKID teacher you can be, you should present the material in a fun and creative way. You can make your own props, rewards systems, games, etc. The students are pretty young, so make the classes silly and exciting to keep them entertained.
- Teach VIPKID students about your culture and learn about theirs. This intercultural exchange is very meaningful and interesting.
- VIPKID´s education model is the future of education, and now is a better time than ever to get involved with a company like this! Connecting Chinese families with native North American speakers who live all over the world via a dynamic and well-designed, easy-to-use education portal is brilliant and it is working: the kids are learning and both the kids and the teachers are happy and enjoying the process overall.
I could go on and on about why I love VIPKID. Sign up to see for yourself what a great company it really is.
When: There´s not time like the present! VIPKID is currently hiring like crazy. The application process takes a few weeks to complete, and it takes some time to build your schedule, so now is a great time to get your foot in the door. A benefit of starting the process now: you will have a job lined up by summer when teaching programs and positions end! Take the plunge and see for yourself what it´s all about. Do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions.
Heather Olafsson is Franklin Alumni on Teach & Learn in Spain Master Program 2015-2016.
Contact her: HERE