My Aunt Julie is the reason I have the travel bug. My mom, dad, grandma, and aunt are one of the reasons I fell in love with teaching, despite saying I would never, EVER be like them or a teacher when I was younger. Oops! When I left Hong Kong, I knew I was going to be done with teaching for awhile – I was burnt out, ready to take a break, but that never meant I stopped loving teaching. I just knew for the time I had evolved from the classroom and needed a break. Now I work for an amazing company where I get to help people do what I did – teach English abroad! I am so thankful for the opportunity to help change lives, as my life was changed when I taught in France and Hong Kong.
However, I started to feel the nag of teaching again at the back of my mind. It is hard to talk about it all day and NOT think about my time abroad. I also have a
unhealthy obsession with travel. As I am in a bunch of travel groups, I get airline deals emailed to me everyday, I read different blogs and travel sites daily, etc. I am the type of person that would rather spend my money on travel than things. Travel isn’t exactly cheap, nor is living in the city of Chicago…nor is constantly going to Cubs games or concerts, but HEY I said I like to spend my money on experiences. 🙂 I am going on a big continental adventure next year and knew I needed some supplemental income for this so….
I am now a VIPKID teacher! This combined my love of ESL teaching with my desire to travel and I have loved every minute of it! And the thing is, by teaching online I actually am helping my day job by now being able to tell them about what it is like to online teach. Win-win! A lot of the “students’ I mentor at ITA work for VIPKID, so I had heard some great things about it going into it. I know quite a bit about Chinese culture and what it is like to teach there (as I did some teaching in Hangzhou, China, too). I figured this would be an easy transition! Plus I don’t have to create lesson plans for VIPKID. While I really enjoy making lessons plans, I don’t have the time to make them!
VIPKID is a Chinese company with over 200,000 thousand students and 20,000+ teachers (wow!). You teach one-on-one with Chinese students aged 4-13, typically, however it is possible to have some older students. As mentioned, the lessons are already created for you, so the only prep work is reading over the slides the night before and getting props ready. As you are working with children, props and TPR (total physical response – meaning acting everything out, using hands and movement to teach) are the two big things to make your class even more interactive. This helps considering you have a screen and literally half the world in-between you and your student.
Believe me, I have always been against online teaching as I see it as a way to get rid of teachers in the classroom but this honestly is VERY different than I expected. We aren’t robots, so phew! Teachers aren’t going to be replaced, and it is one-on-one not a whole classroom you will be teaching. I have been teaching for almost three months and am still loving every moment of it. The early mornings are tough, especially as I am NOT a morning person, but seeing the little ones makes it all worth it.
I will be doing a series on VIPKID from the interview process, to teaching, to pros and cons and more, so stay tuned on more! In the meantime, if you are interested and want to learn more, leave a comment and I will be happy to help mentor you through the process! I am so happy to be a VIPKID teacher and would love to help others. Here is my referral link and code as well: 043GL5