I currently work for VIPkid teaching English to children in China (I’ve also strongly considered Magic Ears, but don’t have time in my schedule for both right now). I love this job. This job allows me to travel and live full time in our RV with my sons while still making a living. The job itself is fun and rewarding. I get to talk to and be silly with kids from the other side of the world.
The positives about the job:
I can work anywhere, as long as I have a good internet connection
My boys can be with me as long as they stay quiet and aren’t in view of the camera – no babysitter needed (this may not work if your children are young, mine are 11 and 13)
I can choose when I want to open time to work or when I want time off
There is not a lot of overhead: computer, headset, mouse, lighting and some props
The lessons are supplied for the class. They monitor and advance the students. As a teacher you just walk them through the power point and help them with understanding and pronunciation.
The hours are overnight – work time is from 7:30 pm central to 9 am central time, although best hours are 5 am to 9 am (This allows me to do things with my boys during the daytime)
The kids – I love working with kids and most of these kids are adorable and so much fun, even the ones that are difficult aren’t terrible. And each child is only with you for half an hour.
The negatives about the job:
No benefits – you are a 1099 employee, you pay your own taxes and your own health insurance, etc
Hours are not guaranteed, takes time to build up regulars – you open slots that you are available, but they may not be filled
Is it for you?
If you think this job might be for you then check out the info below to help you out. Also, let me know that you are applying and I will help you as much as I can through the process.
Please use this link to apply for VIPkid:
VIPkid requires a 4 year degree(bachelor’s), but it doesn’t matter what your degree is in
Another option is Magic Ears:
Magic Ears now requires either a 4 year degree or a certificate in TEFL (Teaching English as Foreign Language). One advantage to magic ears is that they recruit for you so it does’t take as long to build it up. You also do’t need a secondary reward system. The online system is all that is required.
Headset with microphone – with a mute is a plus I’ve heard, but I haven’t needed it
- I bought my headset from 5 Below
Mouse – doesn’t even have to work, you will need it to show the child how to use the mouse to click and circle things on the screen.
Webcam- you do not need an external webcam although it would improve the quality
Lighting – you need good lighting that does not cast shadows
-I bought 2 of these lamps from Lowes and put them on both sides of the computer
Since I moved into the RV I bought some batter powered LED lights which work great with being mobile
Props – It is best to have 3 different types of props
- 2D – something printed
- 3D – fake but same shape etc
- Real item
- Have a reward system set up to reinforce positives
- I’ve used minifigures, tiny stuffed animals, or just repeated pictures of interest to a kid
Use TPR – teaching with your hands, kind of like charades
-there are not set signals for most words, you create something that reminds the child of the word
– A couple of TPR motions that are used in VIPkid
-when you want the student to focus on what you are saying point to your chin
– when you want the student to respond cup your hand to your ear
Use few words
- Fewer words are better – you want the kids to do the talking
- Use TPR instead of talking
- Speak very slowly, when we are excited we can tend to talk very fast
- Talking slowly helps students to be able to understand better
Give plenty of time for the student to respond
- There is a slight delay between your message to the student so they don’t hear it immediately, There is an equal short delay for their response to return to you
Correct mispronunciations in a gentle way – for most students this means just repeating it correctly and having them repeat it back to you
Do not interrupt students as they are talking – wait until they finish
Most important. Have fun so the child is having fun.
Here are some helpful youtube videos: