Time sure does fly when we are having fun! On January 1, 2020, I celebrated my second anniversary as a VIPKid teacher. It has been amazing to see the growth of my students and teaching new lessons being created all of the time. I have been able to keep a steady income comparable to what I made teaching in Mississippi when considering commuting and the personal money put in to being a teacher. My post last year recapped what I learned so far as a VIPKid teacher. This year, I was given some unbelievable experiences thanks to VIPKid.
Here are some of the amazing things that happened this year in my VIPKid teacher career.
I taught reached over 4,500 classes and over 1000 students taught.
My sweet parents helped me reach over 2000 five apple reviews!
Began teaching some great reading based curriculum and can now teach all 7 levels within the portal.
Two of my favorite people became my first VIPKid referrals.
Visited China and met 4 of my students and their families!
Attended my first Journey Conference in Washington D.C. I was able to take a selfie with Cindy Mi our companies founder and meet some dear Instagram friends in person.
Best of all, I continued to make a full time income from the comfort of my home office.
Why I Still Love It
I have struggled with burn out this year, but the beauty of this job is the flexibility. I have committed to the next 2 months of reducing my schedule to get more sleep and take days off. It has been nice to recharge. The biggest benefit is that I can do this without asking permission from an employer. Since it is close to Chinese New Year, many of my students are keeping irregular schedules while they celebrate.
I also appreciate that the company is evolving and changing. New curriculum is released all the time as well as updates to current lessons. It has been a nice change to use AR stickers and interactive features this year as new lessons are produced. It was so interesting to see the company from the Beijing side on my visit to China. I also had the opportunity to speak with VIPKid staff at a breakout session during the past Journey Conference.
My Top 3 Tips for VIPKid Success
I am asked by new teachers all the time how to get to a full schedule. I can say that it doesn’t happen overnight for most of us, but we can all get there if we work towards it. These are the things I keep seeing time and again that help new teachers grow their schedule.
Open Your Schedule and Certify for Everything Available
Being from a fishing community, I grew up with the phrase “cast your net wide.” Meaning, keep all of your options open. Therefore, once you begin teaching, open as many in demand times as possible you are comfortable with. Also take any certifications offered to you. At first, certifications will be limited, but every one received is an opportunity for a booking. Trial certifications are particularly great for feeling a newbies schedule. I also recommend late nights on weekends between 1-4 A.M. if you can manage. Those times are popular in China, but not for us working. Short notice also helps bring in any last minute students wanting to take class.
A student will want to come back to your class if you make them feel welcome and accepted. You can easily do this by building rapport and taking an interest. Ask them how their day was and their favorite things. Make a point to include some of the things you learned in your lesson and parent feedback. For example: If a student has a cat, tell them the name of your pet. Grab a prop that his their favorite color. These connections can be quick, but they have a lasting impact on your overall schedule.
Focus on Pronunciation
Most Chinese students are already receiving instruction in grammar and writing in English at school. What makes VIPKid so important is that students are gaining pronunciation development with a native English speaker. It is important to correct all pronunciation and offer advice on how to better pronounce English words. They may need help breaking them into syllables or a certain beginning letter sound. Always offer for students to use the lesson playback in order to focus on words they struggle pronouncing. It is also important to have conversations in English that help them develop stronger skills as well.
Where Will I Go From Here…
2020 already looks like an amazing teaching year already. I am excited to say that I will be attending the upcoming Journey Conference in Atlanta and hope to gain even more company insight. I am also looking forward to teaching all the new supplemental classes being rolled out for the students Winter Break! With my fifth contract, I have also begun working towards the raise criteria which I have been successful at completing the past two years.
I hope to see your VIPKid adventures soon as well!
Have you tried online teaching? What did you like about it?
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