If you want to know a little more about VIPKid, you’ve come to the right place. No more scratching around the internet chicken-patch trying to piece together all you’d like to know. We’ve got it all right here. In this quick guide to teaching online, you’ll find out how VIPKid works, how much you can expect to be paid, how to sign up, and more.
All you need to do is settle in and get ready to learn just how easy it is to get involved. Grab yourself a coffee before we dive in, we’ll wait…
Table of Contents
What Exactly is VIPKid?
VIPKid is an online one-to-one ESL learning platform that connects English teachers with Chinese children. Or, in other words, teaching English online from the comfort of your own home. Now we’ve got your attention.
Instead of getting too ahead of ourselves, let’s start at the very beginning (which is really just six years ago). VIPKid was founded by Cindy Mi with the simple goal of inspiring and empowering children through building genuine connections with teachers otherwise inaccessible to them. We have achieved this goal by harnessing the power of the internet and developing a truly global classroom, where teachers on one side of the world can connect with students on the other side of the world. Literally.
Through one-to-one English lessons, this new method of language learning is not only changing the way education is delivered but the very lives of students and teachers too. You see, online teaching opens up all sorts of new opportunities that traditional classrooms cannot offer. Teachers with medical reasons preventing them from leaving home, can now still teach. Students who live in remote areas can now still learn. In the realm of language learning especially, these opportunities become even more important. For example, through online teaching, students who otherwise would not have access to native-speaking teachers, now do. And through one-to-one instruction, total language immersion is provided that can be adapted to suit the unique needs of every learner. The list goes on.
We can probably spend all day waxing lyrical on the merits of the global classroom, but let’s move on to the bits you really want to know about…
Chapter 2: What is the Application Process?
Let’s assume that we’ve successfully sold you the dream. You know, hypothetically speaking of course. You’re probably now wondering what the application process entails. Vetting our teachers to ensure the highest level of education is always our top priority, but our second priority is making sure the process is as simple as possible.
There are four main parts to the application process.
Simply sign up at VIPKid.com and provide some basic information about yourself. We’ll want to know your educational background, work experience, and other relevant credentials – things like ESL certificates or teaching credentials (yoga instructor or cat de-fluffer are cool, but not relevant). So far so good.
This is the demo lesson stage. You’ll be asked to submit a recorded video of a demo class, alternatively, you can take it face-to-face with a VIPKid representative online. We’ll tell you exactly how to prepare and what’s expected, so don’t worry. In fact, we’ve made it so simple you can even record it directly on our App. This is also the stage where your base pay rate will be determined.
Remember we talked about different levels of students? This is the stage where you’ll become certified to teach a specific level. You can choose the level you’d like to teach, and then access various materials designed to help you prepare for a certification class. You’ll then take a one-on-one certification class with a VIPKid mentor. This will ensure you are comfortable and ready to teach your chosen level.
You’re in the last stretch! At this point, you will be prompted to complete a routine background check on our platform, and you may also be asked to complete some additional training materials to make sure you’re completely ready to start teaching. Then it’s just a case of signing your contract and you’re off running uh… teaching!
Chapter 3: How does VIPKid work?
The first question you probably have about VIPKid is, how does it all work? How do you teach a class and where do the students come from? Is it really as simple as logging in from your living room? Luckily, teaching online with VIPKid truly is simple. Like, 3-steps simple. Here’s what it entails at the highest level:
Step 1: Select your availability and get booked
Once you’re onboard as a VIPKid teacher, you’ll gain access to the VIPKid Teacher Portal. The portal can be accessed from your laptop or iPad and is like your command center (nothing cooler than having your own command center). In it, you can select the exact hours in which you are available to teach. These times will then be broadcast to potential students who can choose to book you. There are no minimum hours you need to make available!
Step 2: Log into your online classroom and teach
You’ll receive a notification once you’ve been booked, as well as all the info you need for that class. All you need to do then is log in. It’s as easy as that. Enter the classroom in your Teacher Portal before your class begins, and when the time arrives your student will simply appear on screen! Your entire lesson plan is provided by VIPKid and available on the screen too. You’re also able to do a little pre-class preparation so you’re not like a deer caught in the headlights, but all the materials and curriculum are made available by us, so your job remains simple.
Step 3: Wait for the payment
With VIPKid there’s no need to invoice or calculate how much you’re owed. Everything happens automatically and simply, with all your incentives and payments added into your account details for you to view. On the payment date of each month (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly), we’ll transfer your payment directly to you. It’s as simple as that.
If you’re sold on the basics of how VIPKid works, let’s dive into some of the specifics! Here we look at what you can expect to be paid, what kind of students you might encounter, and what it means to be in control of your own time and schedule.
Payment and class time
At VIPKid, you are paid per 25-minute class taught. The base pay rate is $7 – $9 per class (which means $14 – $18 per hour on average).
If you’re interested in learning about our incentives, we break it down in this blog about how much you can really earn.
Student ages and levels
VIPKid caters to students of all levels and abilities. That means you’ll be teaching anyone from a first-time speaker to a seasoned playwright (well, you know what we mean). Whatever the level you teach, VIPKid provides all the relevant materials for you to teach with.
Lower levels usually include kids aged 3 to 5 years, while upper levels typically have kids up to 12. You have the freedom to decide which level suits you best, and as you grow in confidence over time, you can choose to teach more levels too.
One of the best things about teaching with VIPKid is the ability to control your schedule. That’s because there are no minimum or maximum number of classes you need to teach per week. Want to make more money? Teach more classes. Want to take vacation more often? Teach fewer classes. It couldn’t be simpler.
You’ll always select your availability before your classes are booked. So you can choose exactly when you’d like to teach in any given week. It’s worth remembering that when you want to teach may differ from when your students want to learn, but we have plenty of information to help you on that front too.
Being an Independent Contractor
Teachers with VIPKid are Independent Contractors. That basically means that you have control over when you want to provide your services as a teacher. The important part to remember here is, as an Independent Contractor, your taxes won’t be withheld by VIPKid. Instead, you’ll receive the full amount from us, and you’ll be responsible for paying your taxes each year. A tax professional can help you understand how to make the most of your taxes depending on your unique situation (married, filing jointly, maximizing deductions, etc.).
Chapter 4: Does VIPKid offer additional support?
VIPKid offers all sorts of support to new and veteran online teachers alike. From lesson aids and supplementary materials to optional coaching sessions and free webinars. You think it, we’ve probably got it. And if we don’t have it, let us know… you’ll be amazed at how good we are at listening!
For teachers without online experience, we know that online teaching is a new, magical, and sometimes unfamiliar concept. So we’ve developed oodles of support to make sure you can learn the ropes quickly, feel at home, and most importantly enjoy yourselves every step of the way. For more veteran teachers too, aside from providing opportunities to further develop your teaching career through webinars and seminars, we also provide the platforms for you to share your experience with other teachers and engage in discussion groups.
For the application process, VIPKid offers several forms of support to get you through each stage. We offer a pre-demo webinar to get you ready for your demo class, and if you live in a major metropolitan area, you can also attend a live coaching day event. Successful attendance of a coaching event means you can even skip the demo lesson stage and go directly to your live certification class. For the certification class preparation, we also offer online coaching at all levels. We highly recommend using one of these free resources because, well, they’re free!
Throughout the year VIPKid also hosts several activities and events that serve to enhance the experience of the teaching community. One of the highlights of the year is our Journey Conference that currently takes place annually in the United States. The conference provides teachers with an opportunity to meet industry professionals, thought leaders in the space, and engage with one another through a series of innovative workshops. Some have called it the most fun you can have as a teacher. We won’t disagree.