Firstly, welcome to VIPKID: one of the most successful and supportive online teaching programs ever to be developed! You are in for a real treat. My name is Teacher Taylor. I’ve been with VIPKID for a short while, but plan to continue this amazing adventure for many years to come! I started with VIPKID in February of 2019.
This guide is organized into three categories: what to expect, how to navigate the VIPKID platform, and tips on how to be successful.
What to expect
VERY FOCUSED STUDENTS
These one-on-one classes will make you quickly realize how seriously these kiddos take their learning. You’ll also notice that parents are often times present during classes, especially if you’re a new teacher to their child. Keep calm. These students are precious, kind, and very smart! There isn’t one student I’ve encountered that made me reconsider the whole VIPKID thing.
These students will leave you smiling and laughing so hard from the joy and entertainment that is brought out from these lessons that your cheeks will be hurting!
STUDENT NO SHOWS, TARDY STUDENTS
This doesn’t happen too much, but things come up and students are either tardy or just don’t show up. If this happens, make sure you stick with the requirements regarding the amount of time you should be waiting in the classroom before leaving class.
TIP: after 2 minutes, I shut my camera off (or cover it up with a post-it) and get some work done on the computer until my student shows up.
Don’t worry, you’ll still get paid for the student no show and tardy arrivals!
TIP: be ready to teach at any point in the lesson. If a student shows up at minute 23 of the 25 minute class, you’re doing some awesome teaching for the last 2 minutes of class.
Yes – early mornings! Keep in mind that you’re teaching students in China and the prime time to be teaching is in the evenings after school and on the weekends throughout the day. Please see this table below to get an idea for peak teaching times based on your time zone.
VIPKID Peak Teaching Times
|Beijing Time, Monday -Friday|
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
|Beijing Time, Saturday -Sunday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
|EST, Monday - Friday|
5:00 AM - 8:00 AM
8:00 PM - 12:00 AM
|EST, Saturday - Sunday
12:00 AM - 8:00 AM
8:00 PM - 12:00 AM
|CST, Monday - Friday|
4:00 AM - 7:00 AM
7:00 PM - 11:00 PM
|CST, Saturday - Sunday
11:00 PM - 7:00 AM
7:00 PM - 11:00 PM
|MST, Monday - Friday|
3:00 AM - 6:00 AM
6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
|MST, Saturday - Sunday
10:00 PM - 6:00 AM
6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
|PST, Monday - Friday|
2:00 AM - 5:00 AM
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
|PST, Saturday - Sunday
9:00 PM - 5:00 AM
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Low bookings at the beginning
Why? Well, there are many reasons why you’ll expect low bookings. In most cases, this may occur. I’ve also seen a brand new teacher receive more bookings their first week than I did in my first month! But, if you’re the teacher who has very few bookings, it’s quite alright!
You should consider if there are events, holidays, or celebrations taking place in China. Whatever is going on there will impact your booking numbers.
Also, please keep in mind that these parents are looking for a professional, so check your profile and profile picture to see how you are selling yourself to these parents.
Lastly, get as many certifications for levels as you can. This will immensely increase the odds of getting booked. If you’re only certified for one lesson, hurry up and get more certifications under your belt!
At the end of the day, all you can be is patient. Eventually, you’ll get some regular students. I also noticed that when I received more and more parent feedback from my classes I taught, my slots were nearly all full!
How to Navigate the platform
Have you downloaded the app yet? Well, you should if you haven’t already. It’s on my computer and my iPhone. I use the iPhone nearly hourly to check for recently booked classes, alerts, notifications, booking requests, etc. I check the VIPKID app almost as often as people check Facebook and Instagram: ALL THE TIME.
The “Class” screen will take you to three different places: bookings, classrooms, and feedback.
Bookings allows you to view and edit your booking slots you have open. It will also provide you with opportunity to see your classes you have booked for the week and upcoming weeks. Use this Bookings tab to review classes and edit availability. A quick screenshot of the bookings tab is below 🙂
Classrooms is useful. This is how I enter my classes when I teach. Here, you’ll find entrances to each class you will be teaching in the future. You can also find that you’ll be able to check to see if any feedback for your classes needs to be completed under the “Missing CF/UA”.
Feedback is the feedback that PARENTS provide for you after you’ve taught lessons. Don’t take it personally if you don’t get feedback from every parent after every lesson. It’s not required of parents to send you apple feedback. Also, keep in mind that if you receive poor feedback and you feel it is not deserving, you can also dispute the feedback and take it up with VIPKID support staff. They are very helpful and usually assist you in a timely fashion. I take time to reply to each apple feedback I am given. Parents and students look forward to developing a relationship with you!
Library tab under ‘Resources’ is a MUST SEE! It is incredibly helpful – especially for new teachers. Essentially, you’ll find workshops, presentations, supplemental tools and resources for teaching, and other various topics to assist you with training and becoming the best teacher you can be!
Certification tab is where you will find all the certifications you have acquired with VIPKID.
Also, you can utilize the Certification tab to determine if there are any openings for other levels and supplemental classes. I highly recommend you become certified in as many areas that interest you. It will help increase your bookings as well!
Who doesn’t love rewards? No matter how old you are, it is nice to get rewarded for you hard work, behavior, and participation. Visit the rewards tab to check out what is available to you. Don’t forget to collect your FREE qualifying tokens for slots you’ve opened and feedback you’ve received from families.
A quick note on the Six Apple Club: it’s free! Get yourself signed up for this great membership where you have access to some decent discounts from participating retailers, businesses, and online services.
I utilize the Community tab frequently! It is where you’ll find the Hutong, which means “the alley” in Chinese. It is also the central pub for all the challenges VIPKID posts. The challenges are cool and important: you earn tokens with every successfully completed challenge. Earn tokens, and redeem them for FREE prizes and to enter raffles in the Token Center.
My Info Tab
The My Info tab is fairly important. Here, you’ll find all your account information and payment history for the classes you’ve taught. You can look back at previous months’ payments. You can also print out records of your earnings under the Payments tab.
The Tags tab is worth a look-see. The Tags are ways families search for teachers. Use these tags to highlight your strengths so that you can set yourself apart from other VIPKID teachers. You can update these tags anytime!
Have a problem or want to learn more? Visit the Support tab. This is a useful tab to look through if you have any questions or want to learn more about the logistics and such of VIPKID. You can also personally write a ticket to VIPKID, and someone will get back with you in a timely fashion.
The Support tab is a goldmine of useful information!
Tips on how to be Successful
BRING LAUGHTER, JOY, AND LOTS OF SMILES TO THE CLASSROOM
GET TO KNOW YOUR STUDENTS AND MAKE CONNECTIONS WITH THEM
INVEST INTEREST IN YOUR STUDENTS AND THEIR HOBBIES
BE PRECISE WITH YOUR TEACHING AND PRONUNCIATION
IF POSSIBLE, KEEP YOUR SCHEDULE CONSISTENT FOR FAMILIES
PROVIDE DETAILED, POSITIVE, AND CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK
RESPOND TO PARENT FEEDBACK
SEND STUDENTS GIFTS VIA THE APP
TAKE WORKSHOPS FOUND ON THE VIPKID PLATFORM
KEEP YOUR PROPS AND REWARDS WITHIN ARMS’ REACH