Thanks to Ashleigh Allman for answering these interview questions. Ashleigh is a former teacher turned SAHM to 3 little man cubs. She is passionate about helping moms (and dads!) find real ways to work from home and save money. Check out Ashleigh's creative ideas for making money at home on her blog at Smart Cents Mom.
I've heard so many great things about VIPKID, an online school that teaches English to kids in China.
Some people have reported making as much as $22/hour while working on their own time. Of course when people say they make money, some people say that what they're doing is scam.
When you're making $22/hour from home, there's something fishy about it. Not this time and not with VIPKID. Sounds good, but is it true?
It is and I've got a proof.
A couple of weeks ago, I interviewed Ashleigh Allman. She's given me great answers to my questions about VIPKID, her experiences with teaching for VIPKID, among others.
The True Life of A VIPKID Teacher
Without any further ado, let's go ahead and get questions answered regarding VIPKID teaching opportunity. The interview questions are categories into four different areas namely experience, process, rewards, and recommendations:
1. How long have you been with VIPKID and what's your experience like?
I have been with VIPKID for a little over 18 months. I just signed my 3rd contract with VIPKID last month!
This has been one of my favorite ways to work from home as a stay at home mom. The schedule is very flexible, and I can work the hours around my husband's schedule. My husband lost his job in October of 2017 and my work with VIPKID significantly helped us cover our bills for a few months!
I really love working in the classroom and interacting with kids and their families. It's such a unique experience to talk to someone who is living in a completely different country and culture!
2. What do you like most about it?
I really love the flexibility that VIPKID offers. Currently I work very part-time hours as my husband's schedule has changed, but I'm still able to keep up with the classes and make some extra money that we can put into savings.
I also really love that there is no paperwork, lesson planning, or grading papers. There are no “extra” duties that you find with other online teaching jobs. (like K12)
3. Do you get the support you need to be successful as a VIPKID teacher (e.g., training materials, mentors, etc)?
The support is really great! From the very beginning VIPKID provides resources including powerpoints, videos, and online forums to help you learn their process. Several of my friends actually teach with VIPKID, and we've been able to share ideas and experiences. I also am apart of a very active VIPKID facebook group that is a great place to receive advice quickly!
1. What's the process of getting into VIPKID?
The interview process is kind of intense, but you have to realize that their clients are expecting the very best native English speaking teachers. I found the interview process to be much more difficult than actually teaching a class!
You will go through 3 interview steps.
First is the initial interview. It takes about 10 minutes: 5 minutes to introduce yourself and 5 minutes of teaching a letter. The interviewer is looking to see if you engage well with the student. My advice during this short interview is to smile and be bubbly. They love teachers who are happy and engaging!
Next you will be invited to Mock Class 1. In this lesson you will teach a beginner lesson for 25 minutes. About half way through the lesson, the interviewer will stop you and talk about some things that you may need to change. It's very important that you make those adjustments during the second part of the interview.
The interviewer will particularly be checking to see if you catch any mispronunciations. You will want to correct the mispronunciation in a kind way, but always correct!
The final interview is the Mock Class 2. You will teach a beginner lesson for the first half of class and an intermediate lesson for the second half of class.
Again, the interviewer will be looking for you to catch mispronunciations during the class. Make sure you are listening as well as teaching!
2. How do you ace the interview process?
The best way to ace the interview is to…
Prepare – VIPKID has an amazing library of resources to help you prepare for the Mock classes. It's very important that you read through all of the information and watch the videos.
Also, make sure that you have props, a rewards chart, and you wear an orange shirt (VIPKID colors).
Practice – Make sure you practice your mock lessons. I practiced my lessons with my own kids. I practiced teaching the lesson into my camera on my computer so I could see what it would look like. I practiced teaching to my husband because you are actually teaching to an adult during the interview process so it can feel a little awkward!
Research – There are tons of YouTube videos online from VIPKID teachers sharing tips to teach your Mock Classes. Nancy Taylor is a VIPKID teacher and she is also an interviewer, so you know she has the best tips! Check out her videos for passing the Mock classes.
3. Aside from VIPKID requirements, what personal skills you need to be successful with VIPKID in terms of teaching the kids?
You need to be a person that has lots of energy especially early in the morning! Most classes are early in the morning (5am – 9am) depending on your time zone. You really need to have a positive attitude and be entertaining while you are teaching.
An important part of teaching English as a Second Language is using Total Physical Response (TPR). TPR is using your hands, facial expressions, and voice as you teach.
1. What's the most rewarding part about this job?
The most rewarding part of this job is the fact that I'm able to stay home with my kids! It's also a really unique experience teaching children in a different culture. You can build relationships with students and their families when you have repeat students. It's feels good to see that light bulb click on for a student when they understand what you are saying. Older students are able to have conversations in English, and it's really neat to experience a different culture in a very small way.
2. (The dreaded questions) How do you get paid? How's the pay?
This is my favorite part of VIPKID! They pay on time with a direct deposit to my bank account. I know a lot of times you may see job opportunities online and worry about being paid…but VIPKID is legit!
The pay is $18 – $22 per hour assuming you have 2 classes per hour.
The pay per class is $9 per class and you can earn bonuses for arriving to class on time and completing a certain amount of hours per month. I also really like that they pay you half the pay if a student doesn't show up. I feel like that is really generous!
Each month there are different challenges that you can do to earn more bonuses.
You can also refer friends and earn extra bonuses!
3. How flexible are the working hours with VIPKID?
VIPKID is very flexible. They don't currently have a minimum number of hours you are required to work. You determine when you want to work by opening your schedule when you are available.
This makes it very easy for me to schedule around my husband's business travel when he knows his travel dates in advance.
4. Is it worth your time and effort?
Absolutely! I know the interview process sounds rigorous, but the job is totally worth it! After I passed the interview process I started filling my class schedule in about 2 weeks. The actual classroom teaching is so much more relaxed and enjoyable than the interview process. The kids are really great too! All my students have been so excited to meet an American and practice speaking English. Their excitement makes it even better!
1. Is there an area of improvement you see VIPKID could improve at?
Flexibility is great with VIPKID, but if you have to cancel classes at either in advance or at the last minute you can lose money. You have 6 cancellations that you can use, but after that you are jeopardizing losing your contract with VIPKID. This has made it really hard for people who are sick or their kids get sick at the last minute. Also there were a few times when my husband went out of town and I had to teach while the kids were watching TV downstairs. (which I don't like to do!)
I know that VIPKID is continually working to improve their policies to benefit both their clients and teachers. I really believe that VIPKID cares deeply about their teachers. The CEO, Cindy Mi, makes trips to the US to meet with teachers and takes time to understand problems teachers face. That has made a big impact on me that the CEO would take time to visit in the US!
2. Do you recommend VIPKID to those who want to make extra money on the side?
I think VIPKID is a great way to make money from home! Especially if you have experience with kids (in any capacity) and a college degree this could be a great flexible way to earn extra money! I know people who teach as a side hustle before they go into their regular job…it's just such a unique experience!
Here are the requirements to become a VIPKID teacher:
- 4-year Bachelor’s degree
- High-speed internet connection
- Some experience with teaching kids (formal or informal way of teaching)
The application process is simple and straightforward. I’m not sure when the registration closes. So it’s in your best interest to apply soon. You don’t want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.