Teach online

I currently work for VIPkid teaching English to children in China.   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.

Forbes article about VIPkid

Requirements for the job:

4 year degree (does not matter what area)

Eligible to work in United States or Canada

Native North American English speaker

At least 2 years of past experience working with children (this can be your own children, babysitting, teaching Sunday school etc.  It does not have to be formal teaching)

Good computer – capable of streaming videos well

Very good internet

-here is a speed test you can use to check your internet quality.  You may need to “allow” flash.  You need to have the network result be “high quality”  You may want to run the test a few times and look a the average.  http://speedtest.wangxiaotong.com/?fbclid=IwAR2krkcP6p5DvVVmiIP_rqboR8-JhFfrvOt4SgekwoSQfPMpZsVGmrzz9C0

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) (Not daylight savings 6:30 pm to 8 am)

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:

https://t.vipkid.com.cn/?refereeId=13287558&refersourceid=a01

Supplies:

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

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Style-Selections-Erskin-17-7-in-White-Uplight-Table-Lamp-with-Paper-Shade/1000329091

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

  1. 2D – something printed
  2. 3D – fake but same shape etc
  3. Real item

Reward system

  • Have a reward system set up to reinforce positives
    • I’ve used minifigures, tiny stuffed animals, or plastic trophies

The process

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 slowly

  • 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: