I stopped taking editing jobs after a string of bad clients over the summer and decided to focus my energy on studying for the FSOT back in October. I enjoyed not working but I missed a stable paycheck. After my exam I didn’t find as many editing jobs and I needed money. It didn’t help that I sat down and actually looked at my expenses for the past year. Eek!
Luckily I’ve started making money through VIPKID. In my first week I taught 16 classes (25-28 minutes/class) and made $201 all before 10am. Not bad, right?
What is VIPKID?
VIPKID is an online English teaching company based in China. The overall idea is to connect Chinese students (ages 4-12) with native English speakers. The company does more than just conversation practice. Every student is carefully placed in an appropriate level and has a specific course they follow. Each class is 25-28 minutes long. Before and after the lesson with the teacher, the child also has some interactive games and lessons to introduce them to new vocabulary and grammar.
To be honest, I was skeptical about VIPKID at first. It seemed too-good-to-be-true. There are a lot of remote “teach kids in China” jobs and they have questionable reviews online. However, all summer I kept seeing people write about it in my Facebook groups for “Digital Nomads of Medellin,” “Expats in Buenos Aires,” and “Online and Remote Work.” The teachers raved about VIPKID on Glassdoor. Finally, I decided just to apply.
The lessons are clearly designed by credible teachers who know how to both engage kids and progress English in stages. All I need is have a well-lit and quiet area with good wifi.*
My Experience Teaching Online
The kids are generally VERY well-behaved and really cute. In my first week I only taught trial students, meaning students considering signing up who have a free trial class. Their English ranges from struggling to say, “A, B, C, D” to being able to read full texts and talk about what it means to be a good friend. In general, it’s been a lot of “BIG A,” “small A.”
What I like the most is that, aside from being familiar with the slide material and having some props, I don’t have to lesson plan. In just a week I’ve memorized nearly all the lessons, so I just wake up, log on, and teach my classes.
It’s been a nice balance of not too difficult or stressful but still interesting and entertaining enough it isn’t boring. The tech aspect is pretty fun. I wish I had something like this when I was a kid.
Who Can Teach?
You must be a native English speaker from North America and you must have a Bachelor’s degree. Some experience teaching is preferred, though I don’t believe it is required. I applied online and got accepted to do an interview the next day. Honestly, if you are looking for a way to make some extra money but want to control your hours, it’s a great way to do it.
Also, these kids are located in China and taking classes after school. That means talking to them during the morning if you are in North (or South) America. My earliest class started at 7:30 am and my latest class at 10 am. That means by 10:30 in the morning, I’m done teaching kiddos for the day.
If you are interested, shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or just apply online: https://t.vipkid.com.cn/?refereeId=7568701&refersourceid=a01
(Full disclosure: If you use the link AND get hired, I get a small bonus. VIPKID is recruiting HEAVILY right now and have been encouraging all their teachers to spread the word. That being said, I would never, ever refer anyone to anything I didn’t like. I honestly think it’s a good side-gig to make money).
Some of the highlights of the last week include:
- A 5-year-old Chinese boy who told me his name was Luke Skywalker
- Every time I asked one student, “Can you read this?” She would boast her chest out and say, “Yes, teacher. I can!” Before reading.
- The mom who sat on the couch with her 5-year-old son and helped him distinguish “big A” and “small a.” After the lesson she left her camera on (mine was off) and I reentered the classroom a few minutes later to leave feedback. She was sitting on the couch with the boy and they were throwing their arms out in the arm together screaming “BIG A.”
- The little girl who showed her mom every time I gave her a “star” for a job well done.
- The little boy’s dad who came in the room and in a thick Chinese accent told his son (in English), “your English teacher is so pretty!” (Thank you, sir! I woke up this way.)