10 Reasons to Join (and Stay at) VIPKID

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On-demand economy is on the rise. We have all heard of Uber, Lyft, Airbnb providing a platform for people to match whatever they have (from fancy apartments to their passenger seat) with people that have a demand for those resources. The latest industry to follow is English language education. In China, this is booming.

VIPKID matches teachers from North American with Chinese students. Classes are live and one-on-one. Moreover, staying at the forefront of innovation in this industry, VIPKID’s curriculum uses a flipped classroom model and gamified homework to enable true English learning to happen.

Among so many online English learning companies, why should someone choose to be a teacher at VIPKID? Here are our top 10 reasons to join (and stay) at VIPKID.

By Beleza Chan

Continue reading 10 Reasons to Join (and Stay at) VIPKID

9 Things that Happen Once You Become an Online English Teacher for Children

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Thinking about working from home? Great idea! And how about teaching children English online? Hmmm…pretty fun, huh?

If you have not taught online, it might be hard to imagine what online teaching is like.

Here are 9 very interesting things that can happen after you become an online English teacher for children.

By Xing Han

Continue reading 9 Things that Happen Once You Become an Online English Teacher for Children

Why VIPKID lessons need to be ENGAGING and FUN!

tumblr_inline_og5zyqqtgR1tpruci_540Imagine coming home from a long day at school and spending hours on homework. It’s close to bedtime, and you have an English lesson scheduled shortly.

Scenario 1: The teacher speaks with a monotone voice. It’s so soothing and relaxing that it almost puts you to sleep!

Scenario 2: The teacher is very interesting, but you have a hard time focusing in class because you don’t quite understand the concepts, or you hardly speak.

As you can see, the traditional lecture format of teaching is not conducive to the VIPKID environment. Teachers need to make the lessons interesting and engaging from start to end. They need to really captivate their audience and invite them to participate.

By teacher Kimberly G

Here are five simple strategies that can be used in the classroom:

1.     Intonation: Using voice variation techniques will help maintain the student’s interest. Saying a word LOUDLY and [softly] will make them curious about the vocabulary, and will make word repetition fun.

2.     Energy/enthusiasm: When the teacher is excited about the lesson content, the student will often share that same excitement! Sometimes it’s difficult to be enthusiastic when the same lesson has been instructed time and time again. Teachers need to find a way to make the lesson new and interesting for *themselves* so that it may in turn be interesting for the students. Perhaps use a different approach when teaching a slide; incorporate new visuals and diagrams; make up a dance for the vocabulary word, etc.

3.     Props: How better to demonstrate a concept than to have a concrete example? Especially with young English Language Learners (ELLs), it’s very important to have simplified language and lots of visual support. Common household items normally do the trick! There’s no need to invest in a large collection of props; use what’s around you to engage the student. Example: If you’re teaching about the sense of smell, you can smell a sock. For ‘taste’ you can bring any produce that you may have in your fridge.

4.     Student TPR: We often talk about the teacher using exaggerated gestures to help explain an idea, but it’s important to note that *students* benefit from moving around and interacting with materials in order to learn. Doing actions along with the words will help the students create associations and remember the target vocabulary. Remember that lesson on the senses? Why not ask the *student* to find something they smell or taste?

5.     Student output: Perhaps the easiest way to keep the students awake and interested in the lesson is to have them do most of the talking. Ask lots of questions and wait for their responses. In the virtual classroom, there are at times sound delays; teachers can offer a longer wait time to make sure that the student has heard the question.

Those are my five quick tips. What strategies do you employ in the classroom?

Thanks for reading, and happy teaching!

If you want to learn more about the teaching opportunity teacher Kimberly has, learn more here.

To become a VIPKID teacher, please click here.

 

70+ VIPKID Teachers Celebrate #NationalFlexDay

Today marks “National Flex Day,” an initiative to promote and celebrate workplace flexibility, and VIPKID is proud to be fostering flexible work arrangements for over 3,000 teachers.

By VIPKID

“I just love that VIPKID allows me to be both mom and teacher without feeling I have to make a sacrifice. My children now see me in a different way; they respect my profession and view me as someone other than their Mom. I can see their pride when they talk to their friends about how mom teaches children in China.”

In celebration of National Flex Day, more than 70 VIPKID teachers from almost 30 states in the U.S. shared their stories of how workplace flexibility has helped them thrive or impacted them positively — personally or professionally.

“It has boosted my love of education ten-fold and most importantly gives me time with my family that I would not have if I was in the traditional classroom.”

“I have a lot of ESOL students in my Kindergarten classroom so it has been fun comparing strategies used in the classroom and VIPKID. It has also helped me see recurring patterns in students learning English whether as an ESOL student or a regular student.”

We’re inspired by the many heartfelt and personal stories shared by our teachers on why they value workplace flexibility, from:

  • being able to have time to take care of and stay close to elderly parents or a child with special needs,
  • to being able to spend more time raising their children,
  • to being able to create income to pursue endeavors such as traveling, stand-up comedy, master’s degrees or volunteer causes dear to their hearts,
  • to being able to work in an arrangement that works best for their families without sacrificing their career plans
  • to being able to deepen their love for teaching and education

and many more

“Having a flexible job allows me an understanding of what works best for my own productivity. I can work when I am happiest, and therefore most productive. This means my students get the best of me, every day, by design.”

To us, our teachers are all change-makers who are embracing the charge for more workplace flexibility, and we have no doubt their stories will inspire many others. We invite you to read and to share their inspiring stories.

To become a VIPKID teacher, please click here.

Weekend Series —- Memorable Moments at VIPKID (III)

tumblr_inline_ody7a34uPP1tpruci_540If you missed our memorable stories, check the previous posts. They were pretty funny. And awkward.

By Michelle Tang


Part Three — The Cute Moments

 

“I have found that if I reward students with candy (skittles!) at the end of class,” a teacher says, “[students] will pretend to put their mouth to the camera to accept it!” Yes, we feel your excitement. They are so cute!

 

When the kids create their own reward system…

“She was so creative she made her own reward system for her toy bird and told me I could only give her 3 points at a time until she got 15 points. After she got 15 points she decided that only then was she allowed to get a star. Although I tried to reward her as much as possible by the end of the lesson she realized she was not going to get all her stars! She was so surprised and asked if i would give her 30 points for completing the lesson so she could have her last two stars.”

 

When kids copy you…

“I have a student that will do anything I do. If I sip a coffee, he sips his water, if I pull out my puppet, he pulls out his stuffed bear. Sometimes he even repeats my teacher talk just to be funny. I know he’s messing with me because he’s a bright kid! Ha I love it!”

 

Moments when you are waiting for class to begin…

 

“I had [a] student who was getting closer and closer to the camera, to look at her face closely. She then opened her mouth and examined her teeth one by one. Students do not realize that the camera is NOT a mirror and they do the funniest things before class as they wait.”

 

Students can be so cute…

 

“Twin girls dressed [as] Cinderella and Aurora. They sang in unison and it melted my heart.”

 

“I entered my first classroom early and review the lesson. I logged out of the classroom and re-entered when I had about 5 minutes until starting class. My first student, Leo, was already in class talking to himself on the camera. I was trying to calm my nerves when Leo leaned into the camera and in the cutest Chinese accent said “Hello everybody!” I had to cover my mouth to stifle a laugh, but this one little thing calmed me down and reminded me what it means to be a teacher! Leo has a special place in my heart and still makes me smile every time we have class together. :)”

 

“There was once a time when I was teaching the word “like” and so I said to the student whose name is William: ‘I like William because he is very smart!’ and his response was “I like teacher because she is very pretty” It was very sweet :-)”

 

About Michelle:

Michelle Tang was an intern at VIPKID in the summer of 2016. A graduate of Palo Alto High School in California, Michelle was a staff writer on her school’s feature magazine Verde, and previously interned at the digital magazine Ozy Media based in Mountain View, CA. She loves cheesecakes and enthusiastically advocates for a VIPKID office dog. She is currently attending Columbia University.

To become a VIPKID teacher, please click here.

10 Ways You Know You’re a VIPKID Teacher

tumblr_inline_odsoytx23W1tpruci_540You know you are a VIPKID teacher when…

By Stephanie T.


  1. You now look great in the color orange, or at least you tell yourself you do.
  2. You pop out of bed every morning before the sun is up, whether you’re teaching or not. What is sleep?
  3. The person on the other end of the phone is confused as to why you’re speaking to them as if they are a child hard of hearing. “How… ARE… you?!?!”
  4. You are a professional sound effect maker in and out of the classroom. Shooting lasers as you dash the salt and pepper shakers over your dinner, anyone?
  5. The local dollar store clerks begin to recognize you and are curious as to why you keep buying finger puppets, silly hats, and wands.
  6. You’ve gotten really good at looking presentable from only the waist up. Hair’s done, make up is set, sweatpants are on… hey, not a bad look!
  7. You’ve figured out how to make a yawn look like a very excited face that does not look terrifying to the student on the other end. Oh no, not terrifying at all.
  8. Finally you can put your incredibly accurate animal impressions to good use.
  9. You learn new and interesting facts all the time thanks to the VIPKID curriculum and your students. An estuary?! Who’s teaching who?
  10. Your heart melts every time your student praises and appreciates you during class. “Teacher… You’re funny, I like you.”

All jokes aside…

You know you’re a VIPKID teacher when the ability to teach English from home to children on the other side of the world is the best way to start (or end) your day!

To become a VIPKID teacher, please click here.

 

Weekend Series —- Memorable Moments at VIPKID (II)

tumblr_inline_odond0tQ4N1tpruci_540If you missed part one, check here. It was pretty funny.

By Michelle Tang


Part Two — The Awkward Moments

Apparently, a dad walked by without a shirt on, not having realized that his daughter was in class. “He walked a little faster once he noticed,” the response says. Well, that’s understood —  he wanted to escape the scene. But the funny thing is, “when he walked by again he was wearing a shirt.” And then the dad spoke to the mom and they started laughing, which probably made it feel ok for the tutor to laugh a little too.

Here’s another one for you. During a trial class, a student’s entire family, that’s grandparents, aunts and uncles and all, sat around watching intently. While getting to “r” for robot, our teacher decides to act like a robot (this is why we love you guys). They said “I am a robot” with funny movements. Well according to this teacher, all eighteen, EIGHTEEN, of her relatives chimed in saying “I am a robot.” It must’ve been a good time.

 

“I had a lesson once and the mom repeated everything I said before the son did.  He kept looking at his mom with a frustrated look. I tried to ask her nicely to let him answer on his own, but it continued throughout the lesson even with the student waving her off!”

 

“I once taught a child who was in the bathroom. It was ok until I saw everyone in the background. The mother putting her make-up and the naked brother who was about to use the toilet.”

 

“I had a lesson once and the mom repeated everything I said before the son did.  He kept looking at his mom with a frustrated look. I tried to ask her nicely to let him answer on his own, but it continued throughout the lesson even with the student waving her off!”

 

“I had a new experience last week. I arrived at the classroom a few minutes early, and the student’s camera was already on. Like a driver at a pit stop, the parents were helping him prepare for the next lap, giving him something to drink, etc. Then the boy stood up, and I heard the distinct sound of him peeing, into a glass I assume. He looked at the camera, and I think the thought passed through his mind that maybe someone on the other end could hear what was going on (thankfully, I could ONLY hear). What was a self-respecting teacher to do? What else but wait a respectable amount of time after he had finished, then turn on my camera and act like nothing had happened. :)”

 

“Awkward moments do, however, exist. I once asked a boy to “dance,” (perhaps after asking him to read or swim or run in a warm up). This boy, gaining a burst of out-of-character energy, jumps up on the bed behind him and begins to breakdance, hip-hop style. Hilariously, he was wearing his one-piece nighty (and was probably 10 or 11 years old). I actually had to call him back to the computer to carry on with the lesson.”

 

Ever experienced technical difficulties in your lessons? Well, sometimes they make great stories.

 

A technical issue made a boy’s voice sound like batman. “The lesson was on hamburgers and other ‘h’ words,” the teacher says. “He kept saying ‘I want a hamburger’ in a deep batman voice.”

 

But having a computer and the wireless separating the student and teacher can make for simply adorable scenarios as well.

 

Then there’s the response that simply reads, “my student’s camera was upside down the entire class.”

 

 

About Michelle:

Michelle Tang was an intern at VIPKID in the summer of 2016. A graduate of Palo Alto High School in California, Michelle was a staff writer on her school’s feature magazine Verde, and previously interned at the digital magazine Ozy Media based in Mountain View, CA. She loves cheesecakes and enthusiastically advocates for a VIPKID office dog. She is currently attending Columbia University.

To become a VIPKID teacher, please click here.

4 ways VIPKID takes the stress out of teaching

tumblr_inline_odhp22CPbL1tpruci_540I just completed my first week with VIPKID. I’ve taugh 30 classes in just 4 days and I am hooked! I spent one year teaching in a formal classroom before I decided it was time to reevaluate. I wasn’t sure if teaching was for me.  I loved watching my students learn, and interacting with them, but all of this was outweighed by the stress that came with the job: endless staff meetings, prepping for standardized tests, and trying to keep the attention of 25 9th graders at one time. VIPKID has brilliantly eliminated the most stressful aspects of teaching.

By Chelsea F.

1. LESSON PLANNING

No more hours upon hours developing lesson plans, making worksheets, or writing tests. The good folks at VIPKID have done the work for you! The lessons are planned and they are good! There are plenty of visual aids, activities and opportunities to check for understanding. VIPKID even uses a flipped classroom approach so the students are at least familiar with new concepts and vocab before class starts! My only planning responsibility as a teacher is to go through the slides ahead of time, to familiarize myself with lesson, and maybe gather some extra props.

2. PARENT COMMUNICATION

As a classroom teacher I would sometimes spend entire evenings on the phone with parents, or tracking down phone numbers and contact info that had changed. With 250 students, staying in contact with each of their parents was a daunting task. Here at VIPKID, at the end of each lesson a box pops up. I simply type a note to the parents about how their child did, and , voila! The note is delivered to the parents.

3. Support System

I have been so impressed by the support system VIPKID has to offer. Help is readily available when needed. “Firemen” who serve as tech support are on call whenever you have a problem with a lesson. Email questions are always answered promptly. The other teachers have also been incredibly helpful, responding to a barrage of questions I had posted as I figured things out., and giving lots of helpful advice. Help is always just a click away.

4. Classroom Management

What I feel is the single greatest thing about VIPKID is that every single lesson is one on one. No wondering if the quiet kid in the back is actually grasping the material. No breaking up arguments between students. You have to keep just one child engaged. If they don’t understand something, simply go back and review it.  There is also a built in rewards system.  You can give out stars that students can use to buy things in the app. It’s fun to watch their little faces light up when you give them a star. Working one on one truly changes the entire teaching process and is as valuable for the students as it is for the teachers.

To become a VIPKID teacher, please click here.

Weekend Series —- Memorable Moments at VIPKID (I)

tumblr_inline_od8a1w68pr1tpruci_540Working at VIPKID, despite its potential challenges and difficulties, can be a positive experience. 39 teachers responded to the survey “Fun/Awkward Moments at VIP” recently released by our staff, telling humorous anecdotes about their experiences.

One of our teachers commented, “I know a lot of the teachers enjoy sharing their personal stories, but also hearing about each others’. [If]…VIPKID can allow for teachers to hear how other classes go [that] would be really helpful.” We’re glad that teachers feel this way. The survey was administered to share teaching experiences among teachers.

Results will be published in the following few blog posts. Hopefully these stories will brighten up your day the same way reading them aloud has livened up our office.

By Michelle Tang


Part One — The Funny Moments

A large portion of the responses were about funny things the kids do.

Apparently, there is a 7 year old student who can’t bear not knowing the answers. So she puts a barbie doll in front of her face, pretending the doll is confused instead, while she so obviously knows the answer. “We end up teaching the doll and all is well,” the anonymous teacher says.

Another response reads: “I was… introducing the letter… T. One of the vocabulary words introduced was ‘tongue’. Needless to say using a little TPR I showed my tongue and the tongue on my dog puppet… He [said] ‘tongue’ while proudly sticking his tongue out and covering the ENTIRE camera. I could not help but to laugh and wonder how wet his camera would be.” We are wondering the same.

What happens when a student has a lot of sass? Instead of answering questions, a teacher says, their student stopped them and said “teacher let me tell you what I know”. If that wasn’t enough, she proceeds to describe what she knew about all the slides in great detail, with ample sound effects. Moreover, at the end of class, she stops her teacher from singing the “goodbye song” and does a full theatrical performance herself. “It made my week,” said the teacher.

“I was teaching one of my repeat students about the sound /ie/ and he read the word iron. He got very excited and started yelling about iron man and other superheroes. We talked about them for a while and the next day he showed up to class in costume.”

“I’ll never forget the time one of my favorite students, Eric, introduced me to his turtles. He asked me if I wanted to meet them and I said yes! He brought out to baby turtles from the other room and put them on his table so I could see. Immediately they started RUNNING around the table as he tries to feed them these eel worms and he starts yelling and picks up his scissors to cut the eel worms. I respond with, ‘No! Eric! Put the scissors down!’ We both are laughing pretty hard at this point and turtles are running free.”

“I use a hand clapper to high five my students sometimes instead of my real hand. It makes a loud CLAP noise. The other day I went to congratulate and high five my student and HE HAD BOUGHT A CLAPPER TOO!”

“I had a student who came to class early in a towel from his bath. He proceeded to stand on the chair and dance for the camera. He did not realize that he could be seen.”

“ I found it very interesting that when a robber tried to break into my home, I continued my class and my student stayed in class. She and her Dad were remarkably cool and subsequently signed up for more classes.”

 

About Michelle:

Michelle Tang was an intern at VIPKID in the summer of 2016. A graduate of Palo Alto High School in California, Michelle was a staff writer on her school’s feature magazine Verde, and previously interned at the digital magazine Ozy Media based in Mountain View, CA. She loves cheesecakes and enthusiastically advocates for a VIPKID office dog. She is currently attending Columbia University.

To become a VIPKID teacher, please click here.