"When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky"
-Guatama Siddharta

Over and under and up and down...sunshine and thunder...a laugh and a frown!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My journey to get hired to teach English with VipKid (aka: how to work from home/anywhere in the world, and get paid!)

Now is a great time to apply because you can build your student base while school is still in session in China, then have a good student base for summer when more time slots open up!


  • That you have be a native North American English Speaker (US/Canada, or Europe if you don't have an accent!)
  • You do not have to have ESL experience, or teaching experience, but you do need to like kids
  • Positive energy
  • Smile until your cheeks hurt during the interview/demo and Mock/s (they want good energy)

The hiring process (I will explain all of these in more detail after outlining):

  • Apply online HERE
  • You will receive an email indicating that you have been selected (assuming you have!) to proceed to the next step, the Interview and 10 minute Demo Lesson
  • Mock 1 (this is a full length 25 minute lesson with a current VipKid teacher in the US pretending to be a 5 year old student with very limited English) 
  • you receive an email within 24-48 hours letting you know if you have to do another mock, Mock 2, or if you have been hired and move on to complete the rest of the paperwork
What you need to know for the Interview and 10 Minute Demo Lesson: 
  • Sell yourself, this is when your pay is determined, don't leave details out!! I didn't do a good enough job of this and wish that I could go back! Ex: ANY work with kids that you have done that you can reformulate into something resembling teaching (babysitting, working in a daycare, working in a school in some fashion, ANYTHING, emphasize that you like kids!)
  • Use TPR (using your body and props to demonstrate things, and using the least amount of words possible!) The 5 year old has limited English so you don't want to confuse them! If you think you're using too much TPR, you aren't! Use more!
  • Speak slowly and don't use incidental language (again, as few words as possible!)
  • Don't get discouraged
  • SUPER important, make sure that the student speaks on every single slide!
  • Wear an orange shirt. It's not required but orange is the color of VipKid, it shows that you did your research
  • Some of the critiques from my Interview/10 minute demo were: make sure that you have a good background, something academic maybe on a whiteboard, or a map (I had a blank wall), reward more frequently (in the 10 minute demo I gave 5 teeth and my interviewer wanted me to reward more, he also said to leave the reward system visible for the students)

What you need to know for Mock 1:
  • Wear your orange shirt!
  • Prepare, practice, time yourself, KNOW THE MATERIAL. The teacher will be scoring you and timing is one of the things they are looking for
  • TPR. As I said above, when you think you're using too much, you're not!
  • Really look at the sheet that comes with your slides that shows the objectives and USE THOSE SENTENCES "what do you see?" "_____ starts with (sound)"
  • Make sure that the student speaks on every slide, it's the goal for the student to be speaking more than you!
  • For new material, you demo, you do it together, then you have the student do it (Me, we, you)
  • Try not to use incidental language! Use as few words as possible! The person is acting as a 5 year old with very limited language so you don't want to add words that confuse, focus on the words on the slide and use TPR for everything else!
  • Use props!
    I used flash cards for the "How are you" slide
    Emoticons flash cards can be found HERE (I printed then laminated and cut them so I could use them again)
    Robots emotions flash cards can be found HERE
  • Some of the critiques from my Mock 1 that I thought might help others were: make sure all demo materials are in the screen (at one point my whiteboard was out of the screen), use even more TPR (I thought I used a lot, see what I mean, use TONS!), time management (you have 23 slides to cover in 25 minutes that is approximately 1 minute per slide (don't underestimate the time it will take to elicit language and speaking from a 5 year old, I did!), use your fingers to represent words in a sentence you are trying to teach students (Ex: if you are trying to get a student to say "I see a panda" each word is a finger, thus 4 fingers are used), during activities don't be afraid to clear the screen so students know exactly which item you are focusing on, on the "matching slide" pair down the slide to reduce time (circle two, "which one starts with "P"?"), on the "point and reach" slide, use magnets, white board, or fingers to represent the letters as you work through the blend, when teaching new materials to a student, repeat 3 times and use it in a sentence (the more they practice the more they learn)
All of my props and sticky note reminders for Mock 1!

My backdrop and the gumball machine I used for a reward system for Mock 1

I was hired after finishing my Mock 1, so I didn't have to do a second mock. I've heard that this isn't common and most people have to do two mocks, so going into it I mentally prepared myself to have to do 2, so I was VERY pleasantly surprised to only have to do 1. This was probably the most stressful/nerve wracking part of it. After you complete these two part (demo lesson and Mock/s I swear it's way easier!)

It took me about half of a day to finish the paperwork and demo video that they need you to do before you can open up your schedule. I opened my schedule Monday afternoon and watched it like a hawk. I will admit I was depressed that I didn't instantly get booked. But, starting Tuesday I was booking students and I have been good to go since then! Be patient!

I do plan to do a YouTube video to discuss the hiring process, tips/tricks, my experience with my first week in the classroom, etc...but I've been busy teaching! I will get to it, eventually! In the meantime, I hope that this helps those in the pursuit of some extra income!

If you want more information about how to get started with the hiring process, click HERE

If you have questions please don't hesitate to ask! I'm happy to help how I can!

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