I’m doing an experiment. The $40 course will be set at a $10 if you use my coupon code BOLUDOENGLISH or just click the link. The coupon will run out in one month on April 26th.
More good news: I’m new to this online course stuff so that’s why I set my price as low as Udemy would let me for anyone who sees or follows my blog. I really want your feedback. With the course set at $10, I’m trying to hone my skills. I have no doubt this course has some serious value on how to find the work-from-home job you’re looking for. There are tons of online teaching companies out there looking for native English speakers. Check out the course and let me know what you think!
Screenshot of a live lesson for VIPKID (with an advanced English learner)
I Want to Help Aspiring Teachers Get a Job with VIPKID: Schedule a Skype Chat
VIPKID is hiring. I did a post on How to land a remote teaching job with VIPKID with best practices and what to say for the interview. I included my company referral link. Through the link I am able to see who has applied and whether or not they passed the interview process. I noticed that a number of people applied however they did not pass the interview. This kind of bummed me out! I noticed that the people who did receive an offer and are now successfully working for VIPKID as online teachers had an in person conversation with me. I now want to provide this opportunity to anyone using my referral link through Skype! Its a win/win for me and anyone who applies – If I can help you get the job then the company gives me a referral bonus and you get a teaching job with the coolest online ESL company out there.
The tips I include in the post worked for me and for the teachers I referred previously – but these were friends of mine so it was a face to face conversation.
I want to reach out to people who are genuinely interested in working for VIPKID. I encourage you to send me an email at email@example.com where we can schedule a chat and talk about what you need to say and do in the interview and mock lesson in order to make a good impression and land a job. Also if you sign up using my recruitment link you’re more likely to get an interview as opposed to applying through other channels.
Here’s a sample schedule of a week where I made $310 a week on a part time schedule with VIPKID.
Each “FINISHED” block represents a completed 28 minute class. I receive $10 per 28 minute class. Add up 31 blocks and that’s $310/week I earned part time. If you notice, my hours are very early in the morning (5:30am – 9:00am) or later at night (8:00pm -10:00pm) so I work before and after my day job hours.
If you like to hustle and get up early, there’s some decent money to be made part-time.
Native English speakers! You are valuable! Even if you don’t realize it. When I decided to enter the world of education and specifically ESL, I was naive. But one thing that I was beginning to understand was the fact that I have something other people want: A true and natural command of the single most important language on earth.
Let’s look at the top world languages, Googling…
900 million speak Mandarin
339 million speak English
472 million speak Spanish
295 million speak Arabic
260 million speak Hindi
These numbers represent L1 (first language)
Now let’s look at English, the world’s most important language for economic and social reasons:
603 million people speak English as their second language!
Compared to 410 million Chinese second language speakers and 94 million second language Spanish speakers.
Basically, English is the most dominant and most desired language in the world. Think about Hollywood, its reach and dominance worldwide in the entertainment industry. International business is conducted in English.
You know this already, who cares? As a native English speaker, you should care. With so many online schools and tutoring opportunities how could someone who has some education and a natural command of English ever be out of work? Many of these online schools require degrees, but some are purely conversational. Often they want you to have a TEFL certification. These courses can be taken online as well, and some for real cheap!
This adjustable desk extension allows me to stand up while teaching (much better for my back). The height of the camera also creates a good point of view for the Macbook’s camera so my students can see me at eye level. I can also store my props underneath my computer as shown in the photo above.
I’ve been working for VIPKID since April 2016 as an online ESL instructor to Chinese kids. I am on my second contract and at this point I have a decent grasp of the pros and cons working for this company. Spoiler alert: there will be more pros than cons.
The kiddos. These kids are coolest, smartest, most motivated children you will meet. The boys and girls range from ages 4-12 years old. It is so fascinating to spend 25 minutes (the length of one class) peering into their lives. Education is highly valued in China and these students are never not doing homework. As an online instructor you will encounter total beginners and six year-old geniuses who are reading at 5th grade level and above.
Work from anywhere (caveat: anywhere with decent internet connection). As of this post, there are around 5,000 ESL teachers currently teaching from their homes, apartments, Airbnbs, (dare I mention hostels) all around the world? So if you’re a wanderer this is a huge perk. I could write all day about the continents, countries and time zones these teachers live in. This is also a great gig if you’re just looking to work from home. There are many stay-at-home moms that have continued their career in education because of this as well. Many teachers use VIPKID as a travel hack to earn the US dollar while living in countries with a weaker currency.
Money, dinero, plata, moolah, CA$H. I am currently being paid 20$/hr. Each class is 25-28 minutes long so VIPKID pays 10$/28 minutes of teaching. Think about your other part time job options- do they pay 20$/hr? Can you do them in your living room with pajamas on?
Lessons are already planned. Okay, if you’re a teacher in the real life B&M setting, you probably have to write weekly or daily lesson plans. Go ahead and read that again: Lessons are already planned. PowerPoint style lessons contain teacher instructions written at the bottom. It is recommended that teachers look through the slides before teaching the lesson, but once you’ve taught for a few weeks you’ve seen the slides don’t need to meticulously review them before starting each class.
The community. While you may be home alone, you’re certainly not. There are 5,000 other teachers working with you. There are VIPKID Facebook groups, Skype chats and the company forums. Teachers discuss everything: best teaching practices, travel hacks and intense polarizing political views (just kidding).
Part time work that fits in with your schedule. As a teacher, you set your own schedule. It is required that you open at least 7.5 hours (15 individual classes) within China’s peak teaching hours (6am-10am weekdays and 8pm-10am weekends EST). Teachers can also teach other hours outside the peak times as long as it coincides with the Chinese children schedules (they can’t take lessons while they sleep). Don’t worry, teachers get used to the time zone difference (12 hours), its like chatting with baby geniuses from the future.
Incentives and VIPKID staff. The super cool people over there in the Beijing offices really support their teachers. They offer professional development, provide feedback to your lessons and offer all kinds of monetized incentives. They give bonuses for teachers who teach a lot of classes and offer extra money for teachers who work during holidays.
The job is fun. Being silly is encouraged. The kids feed off of the energy of their teachers. This company is on the forefront of Ed-tech and ESL learning (even Kobe Bryant invested). It’s a noble cause, teachers are bettering the lives of children through language and cultural exchange.
The early bird gets the worm. Not a morning person? This job may not be for you. Peak teaching hours in EST time zone are 6am-10am. Make sure you drink coffee. It can be tough just getting up early, let alone having to act animated for children who are looking forward to having a fun English lesson. If you’re not a morning person, there are also peak hours on the weekends, starting at 8pm until 10am in the morning on Fridays and Saturdays. So essentially there are not standard daytime hours for those in EST. This obviously depends on where you live. Someone in Spain would have normal working hours for VIPKID based on their time zone, for example.
No benefits, yet. This company is growing exponentially, but as of right now they do not offer any sort of health insurance or company investment opportunities, after all it’s a part time tutoring position. They do allow you to take two weeks off (unpaid) per six month contract. Keep in mind however that teachers may work 7.5 hours minimum one week and max out in hours the next week.
Part time work. As mentioned, this is not a full time position in the traditional sense. However there are 46 hours of available peak-teaching hours (mornings and all night over the weekend, EST). Not to mention there are also off-peak hours that can be booked as well. With the flexibility, this job works well around a regular full time job. There are teachers who are traveling the world working full time. I’ve seen many teachers in the forums who maximize their bookings and make a full time wage-especially if they live somewhere with a weaker currency but by definition this is part time work. There is no cap or limitation. Some teachers have a parent/student following sufficient enough for a full time wage.
Punctuality is crucial. This really shouldn’t be a con; I mean we should all be punctual all the time right? As a teacher, you have to open up teacher slots up to four weeks ahead of time. However, parents can only book you two weeks ahead of time, so you can make adjustments to your third and fourth weeks at any time. Once your class is booked, canceling is not a great option for teachers. Teachers in their first contract get six cancellations. This means that they can cancel a class, notifying the company with over twenty four hours notice, six times per six month contract. If you exceed this number than VIPKID maintains the right to terminate your contract – doesn’t mean they will, but they can, especially if these cancellations are a result of the teacher simply not showing up.
Most of the cons I’ve mentioned aren’t real negatives. I enjoy this job, its flexibility, community and compensation. It is totally worth it. If you have an English related degree and some teaching experience, especially with English Language Learners (ELLs) then apply through my recruitment page. Feel free to email with any questions concerning the job or interview process at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Federal teacher loan forgiveness program. Say whaaaat, sign me up. At this point there is some doubt whether I will qualify for this forgiveness, regardless of the amount of repenting I do. But here I go praying for forgiveness…
I’m sorry that I went to college right away without making an informed decision on the actual cost of my tuition. I am also sorry that I thought it was normal to pile on loads of debt that would magically be paid sometime after graduation (spring of 2009) when there were tons of jobs and opportunities for me to chip away at the subsidized and subsidized bedrock on my back (pun intended). I would also like to repent for the carelessness in which I enjoyed school so much 7 years ago. While I did my best and got good grades and graduated, I am sorry for the half-hazard way I pursued the idea of serious employment right out of college.
Now that I understand fully the consequences of having so much fun and going to a liberal arts school which I truly loved and enjoyed. I ask you to please, please, PLEASE forgive me of this student debt.
Do you think God reads my blog? Or perhaps more importantly, will the kind folks at the Department of Education grant me this absolution? Either way, I am coming up on the completion of 5 consecutive years in two low-income schools. I sure hope that ESL qualifies under the specific clause of a “teacher of special education.” If it does then I can have up to $17,500 forgiven. Do you qualify?
-Highly qualified Secondary Math Teacher
-Highly qualified Secondary Science Teacher
-Highly qualified Special Education Teacher
-Hold a state teaching license
-5 consecutive years in Title 1 low-income schools
-Cannot be in default
That’s the thing, ESL teachers are not specifically on the list of those who qualify. In the fine print however, there is a clause about language development under the “Special Education Teacher” definition. I am completing my fifth year in a Title 1 funded school, thus I hope to qualify. Fingers crossed.
More details about federal teacher student loan forgiveness can be found on the Department of Education’s website. Another good resource for those looking into loan forgiveness options is Student Loan Hero.
Want to work with VIPKID? They have over 3,000 online language teachers and they are currently looking for more. The company is really scaling up (Kobe Bryant even invested). It’s a fun place to work, the pay is great (up to 22$/hr) and the online community of teachers and travelers is refreshing.
I will break this blog into three parts. Things you should HAVE before the interview. Things you should SAY during the interview. Things you should DO during the teaching practicum. Read these tips but if you want to dive even deeper check out my Udemy course: Teach English Online (Anyone can do it!).
-A related degree (English, teaching, linguistics, literature etc.)
-A strong Internet connection – no interruptions – at the very least your speed should be 10 -15 mbps
– Experience working with English language learners (you must be culturally sensitive)
–Patience and a good attitude – Smile the whole time -a foreigner’s face on the screen can freak some kids out.
–Props – flashcards, toys, a whiteboard and pictures are all things to make your lesson more fun. For the interview process I recommend at least having a piece of paper and a marker – or preferably a small refrigerator whiteboard.
-Have a working camera and headset with microphone and earphones – I use a Mac so the camera is installed already, and I wear iphone earbuds because they work perfect for the microphone and the headphones.
-That you enjoy working with kids K-6
–70% student talk time vs. 30% teacher talk time – This one is important – The teacher should guide the learner, rather than explain concepts in long form. No lectures. This is the only chance these kids get to speak or “try out” their English. So if the 25-28 minutes is dominated by teacher-talk then the class is useless.
–Repetition – Discuss how important repetition is for the memory, pronunciation, practice and confidence of the English learner. In the practicum lesson don’t be afraid to make the student repeat something 3 or 4 times (or even more). No matter how awkward it seems.
–TPR – this is an ESL term for Total Physical Response. Essentially it provides context for students through action – For example: teach kids what stand up means by making them stand up 10 times – make it fun! This works with any type of vocabulary – hand motions can be used for describing words. Any memorable action associated with a new word will instill meaning for the learner.
–Be Punctual – Be on time for the interview – and your future classes it’s also so important that you END your class on time– cause there’s usually another class right behind it. They are looking to see that you end the practicum lesson on time.
–SpeakSlow and clear at all times (imagine you were learning Chinese – you’d want someone to speak turtle-speed).
–Wear a plain orange T shirt- This is a requirement for teachers when they’re hired, so if you wear it in the interview they see that you’re ready to start working for them ASAP, it shows preparedness.
-In the practicumlesson you will be teaching an adult for 10 minutes. This adult will be pretending to be a child (it’s awkward, not gonna lie). Smile, be energetic, and be very patient. Make the student (the adult in this case) repeat new words in full sentences. Use your whiteboard to demonstrate a new letter or just to draw a silly face. The lessons are supposed to be fun, so be a fun teacher.
Feel free to use my referral link for the application process. VIPKID. I receive a minor chunk of change every time I refer a new teacher (and you will too, if you get hired). The truth is, I really enjoy this job and if you follow the pointers above then you have a high likelihood of landing a job with VIPkid. Good luck!
Occasionally guilt creeps into my mind over the idea of leaving the brick and mortar school building behind. Not for the building’s sake itself but for the students and my fellow prisoners of the 9-5 (for teachers the 7-3). The fascination of foreign lands and freedom however, outweighs those feelings of guilt.
I am currently on my summer break working two part time jobs one of which is VIPkid and the other beach life guarding until the school year starts again. I can usually enjoy the beginning of the school year and fall here on the mid-Atlantic. But by the time mid January arrives I become so restless and depressed. This is probably due to a natural holiday hangover and the dreary weather we have to suffer through.
During this time though, I find myself googling any and all opportunities related (and unrelated) to my field. I think about other friends and acquaintances who have either quit their regular jobs or never had a real job in the first place. One guy-a beach lifeguard in the summer and surf instructor in the winter in Puerto Rico. Another – taking a “sabbatical” from his teaching job to travel wherever he pleases with literally no plan. And yet another friend who quit his full time gig as a fireman to be a first mate on a fishing boat-only God knows where he is right now.
At thirty years old I’m not sure it’s time to quit the regular job to work in a restaurant and travel. I mean I have school loans, a car payment, insurance and rent to pay. Maybe I don’t actually realize how good I have it with a teacher’s salary, three months off and all the major holidays off. Maybe I should be utilizing my summers to travel only, rather than work and hoard money.
For now I will continue my B&M teaching job while continuing my online tutoring as a supplemental income. School starts on Tuesday!