It has been about 3 months since I got hired and started teaching from home with VIPKid (click here to read about how/why I got started), so I wanted to give an update. So here it is: It’s amazing and I LOVE IT.
I could not be more thankful and thrilled about the existence of this company and I still can’t get over how lucky I am that I found it. I continue to teach 5:30-7:30am, Monday-Friday (ok, so TBH, I don’t love waking up at 5am, but who does?!), and my schedule is always full. One of the things that you learn in training is to not be surprised and/or disappointed if your slots don’t fill up right away. Truth be told, the only week my 20 weekly slots weren’t full was during China National Holiday week. Otherwise, I can always count on all 20 slots (full slots = steady income) with the occasional exception of a student no show.
So what’s the trick to keeping those slots full?
Show.Up. There is a surprisingly huge issue with teachers not showing up for classes or canceling at the last minute (with less than 2 hours notice) and parents obviously don’t want to book those teachers again.
Have fun! Why would a parent want to use a teacher who makes their child feel bored or miserable? The basis of this company is to bring the “American” style of teaching to Chinese students (less serious, more engaging).
Be positive. Seriously. Would you want to sit in front of teacher who belittles you, is constantly negative, or over-corrects you? Of course your job as a teacher is to teach and correct, but find the balance between “WRONG!” and “good try!” The more animated and “HIIIIGHH-FIIIIVE” you can be, the more students feel accomplished and motivated to continue.
Another thing that takes some effort is your “classroom” set up. It definitely does not have to be fancy or complicated, but you do need something that is equal parts fun, functional, and distraction free. Also be sure to have appropriate lighting. Since there is not natural daylight when I’m teaching, I put a spotlight bulb in a cheap desk lamp and shine it towards me from across the room (overhead lighting is usually not sufficient enough to brighten your face). So here is my classroom setup:
That’s it! Surprised at how basic and boring it is? So easy, huh? I have 2 wipe-off boards, letter magnets and other various object magnets, and a little bucket of toys that I
steal lovingly borrow from my kids (Is it borrowing or stealing if they don’t know about it…?).
As non-attractive as this classroom appears from this angle, let me show you why it works so well from other angles and for my students to be a part of!
This is what I see when I log-in to my classroom each morning. The lesson is a premade vibrant and fun powerpoint already created by the wonderful staff at VIPKid with our video and text chat boxes on the side. (Obviously I’m in an empty classroom at the moment so there is no student in here). All the student sees is a blank wall behind me, my white board, and me (in the required orange shirt)! I can hold up toys, manipulate magnets, write on my board (I have black, red, green, and blue markers) and type in the instant message text box to my student. Different students have different preferences and learning styles, so all this makes it super quick and easy for me to alter my teaching style based on what they respond best to.
And that’s it!
Put on an orange shirt and pj pants
Head to my “classroom,” drink coffee while I start my computer and check my schedule
Teach 4 classes that are 25-28 minutes each
Close my laptop at 7:30am, put my “toys” back in their box, and head to the kitchen to make breakfast and pack lunches for my waking kids.
How amazing is that? By waking up early and getting to know some amazing Chinese kids (who almost always teach me something new), and getting to actually teach (as opposed to planning, grading, attending meetings, calling parents, and classroom management) I make at least $42 each Monday-Friday morning!
I mean, really. Why wouldn’t you want to do it? CLICK HERE to get more info, read their FAQs, and apply!
Still on the fence or have questions? I have answered all the most common questions I get asked HERE!