In case you didn’t see it, I am now a VIPKID Teacher! I have been teaching for almost four months now and I am still absolutely loving it. A lot of people have asked how do you become a VIPKID teacher so I thought I would explain my process. There are several different ways to become a VIPKID teacher – yep, I said it, there are several ways to get the end result. Every teacher is different and VIPKID constantly changes their hiring practices, but as of now this is how I was hired:
So most people know someone who works for VIPKID and have a referral code. I went in cold turkey, no referral code, and no idea what I was doing and how to apply. Having a referral can give you a leg up in the whole recruitment process. Despite that fact, I STILL MADE IT! I talk about VIPKID in my awesome daytime job, so I literally just googled VIPKID and signed up first by creating account with my email address. You will also make your password here and this will be your account going forward once you become a teacher.
Once the account is created, it will take you to a ‘basic info’ page where you will provide your:
- personal information
- educational history
- certificates (like TEFL) and diplomas you have
- and your relevant work history to education.
VIPKID now requires one year of “teaching” experience (with some exceptions i.e. referrals and just shy of a year). However notice how I say “teaching” – as teaching is a bit of a loose term, however. It does not have to be ESL experience nor classroom experience, but tutoring, nanny-ing/being an au pair, stay-at-home moms, etc. as this all can be related to teaching.
Once you submit your information you will find out right away if you have been selected for an interview or not. I got an email right away and was welcomed into the portal asking me to set up my interview time. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting it to be so fast, so I sat on everything for two days. Welp, someone didn’t like me sitting around, twiddling my thumbs so I got a call from VIP secondary headquarters in California asking me to schedule an interview. They were super friendly and just asked if I had any questions. They informed me after a certain amount of days we are kicked out of the system so it is best to schedule an interview sooner rather than later.
Considering I used to be a recruiter, you would think interviews would be easy for me. However, I was so. freaking. nervous for this interview. VIPKID has a really low success rate of like 7%-10% for hired applicants. Yes, that low, but that is because they are looking for the best and many people who apply don’t meet requirements, which skews the numbers. For the interview process you can choose one of two options: live interview with someone in China OR a taped demo.
I chose the live interview and you are allowed to select a 30 minute slot in your timezone, however times are in Beijing Time, so expect times to be in early morning, the evening or throughout the night. My interview was set for 7pm Central. For the interview you must prepare a ten-minute demo lesson for which VIPKID provides the material. You are given a their version of a powerpoint slide with what you are to teach to your interviewee who will be acting like a child. We are given material to watch and VIP theories and rhetoric to read. I went straight to Google and YouTube to look up and see who has gone through this process and this is how I stumbled upon 100s of videos and of course, Nancy Taylor. I practiced my given demo lesson, created my reward system – a monkey and bananas, and flashcards for the letters/Consonant-Vowel-Consonant (CVC) blends I was teaching.
For your interview, you are given access to an online “classroom” an hour before my interview. I arrived about 30-minutes early to practice and make sure I knew how to use it. My interviewer Victoria entered early, which was good, because of course I ran over on my teaching demo and was about 13 minutes instead of 10 – OOPS. The interview is conducted by someone from headquarters in China. It started with questions about, my schooling, an experience (how many years of ESL experience, my certifications, etc.) This is how they determine your pay – yes your pay is determined within the first few minutes, and ranges from 7-9 dollars base pay per class. (Note: classes are 25 minutes long). During my interview, Victoria was very kind and told me that I would make a great teacher and do well on my mock – basically meaning I PASSED! Sure enough, I got an email 18 minutes later moving me onto Mock 1.
If I thought I was nervous for the interview, that pales in comparison to how I felt for the mock lesson. I scheduled it for 5 days after my interview, the farthest I could schedule it out, since I didn’t have much time to prepare due to my awesome day job. I went into YouTube video OVERLOAD and this is what caused me to panic. Nancy Hope, and Mandy are all so freaking good. What was I going to bring that they couldn’t?! Rule #1: Don’t watch to many YouTube videos. They are definitely there to help, but remember they are looking for great teachers, not copycats. So take ideas and elements of what you see, like reward ideas, TPR (total physical response), but make sure to BE YOU.
Like the interview, you will be teaching (duh) but this time you will do a 15-minute lesson for the intermediate level and another 10 -minute lesson for beginners. During the Mock class, you will meet your “Mentor” who is an American/Canadian teacher for VIPKID who has been teaching for VIPKID for awhile. Nancy Taylor is a mentor! My gal was really sweet and located in Florida and I was her last mock of the night (that didn’t scare me at all!). She told me what she was looking for, that I could ask any questions, and to jump right into teaching. I started off with the beginner level first – I used my banana and mouse reward again, and I ordered flashcards for this round. Shocker – I didn’t get through all my slides. I was off to a great start! My mentor gave me me tips to follow through with for my next lesson – the intermediate lesson. I got through even LESS of the slides. OY. Again, I got some pointers and by that point there was a huge storm in Florida so she had to go.
I. felt. TERRIBLE. after my mock class. How the heck could I not finish my demos TWICE?! I was sick to my stomach and new I would not be hearing good news, or be going to Mock 2. I did not want to go to Mock 2 since I was in such a tizzy over doing Mock 1. Now was the waiting game – they say it can take up to 48 hours before you hear back. Le sigh.
Two Hours Later…
I got the email….I WAS HIRED!!!!! I was in such a state of shock because I was sure I had blown it. In case they made a mistake and sent the email by accident, I immediately started filling out my paperwork and creating my introduction video. Despite the fact I was tired, I had no classroom setup, and my makeup was under my eyes, I had to get the video in to make me a true VIPKID teacher. The couldn’t take the job away after I had all my docs in, right?!
Good news, it was not a mistake (well maybe, just they didn’t correct it!). I am still working for them and loving every minute. And that’s how I was hired!
Have questions? Let me know in the comments below! Looking to apply to VIPKID, check my link and I can help!