For anyone who has read my previous tips or reviews on VIPKid, you’ll find that there’s quite a bit of information and many of you still had questions. Also, for those hired lately (or looking to be hired), it may seem like I left out a lot, or that what I mentioned is no longer relevant. VIPKid has grown immensely very quickly, and lots of changes have come with it. Whether you work with VIPKID now or are looking into it, here are some updates for working with VIPKID in 2018.
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Getting Hired with VIPKID in 2018
First things first, make sure you meet the basic requirements of working for VIPKID. Many people have gotten excited about the opportunity to teach online just to fill in their information and immediately be rejected. As they’ve gotten more and more teachers, their hiring process has become stricter. To work with VIPKID in 2018 you absolutely must:
- Be eligible to work in the US or Canada
- Have a Bachelor’s Degree (in any field)
- Have some teaching experience (regular teacher in a school, a coach, an ESL teacher, an EA, etc)
- Your computer (no tablet teaching!) must have access to fast internet, a decent camera, and a headset
Have all this and still haven’t signed up? You can do so here:
Don’t meet the basic requirements? Don’t worry, there are many other online platforms you can work for:
After you’ve gone through the basic info, you’ll have your interview. You can now either record your interview or book one. You will be given either the “interview express” or “regular interview” slides (it is reportedly randomly assigned). While I understand that it can be nerve-racking, I would suggest booking an interview over the recorded one. It gives you a chance to ask questions and try to connect with the interviewer.
Once you’ve passed the interview, you complete the “Initial Teacher Prep”. You’ll be given A LOT of information to learn and then a quiz you’ll need to pass. Much of it is common sense. Some is a bit particular, but you can always keep the information open in another tab while taking the quiz. Don’t worry about it too much, you can take the quiz multiple times until you pass.
The Mock Class:
This is the part where everyone gets stressed about, but don’t worry, if you’ve prepared, you’ll do great. Here you’ll have to teach a class. You’ll be given the slides ahead of time to prepare. Remember, your mock class mentor will be acting like a five-year-old. It’s a little weird but just roll with it.
Some tips for the mock class:
- Do ALL the slides until the mentor tells you to stop. While I often skip the reward slide when actually teaching, use the sample given, maybe print it out and interact with it.
- Know the material. It’s really obvious if it’s your first time looking at it.
- Explain the activity to the “child” using as little incidental language as possible.
- Use TPR in everything you do.
- Ask questions and encourage full sentences – especially the target sentences.
After the Mock class, you’ll be given a score based on the Teacher Applicant Performance Indicator. You are “graded” based on the following criterion:
- TPR & Demonstration: this is modelling how to complete tasks.
- Level Appropriate Output: whether or not your output (speed, word choice, sentence length) is appropriate for the student’s level.
- Attitude: be enthusiastic, attentive, encouraging, and smile.
- Supplementary Tools: while I’m all about minimalist teaching, have some props during the mock lesson that can enhance the class.
- Mastery of English: show that you can speak English properly. Use synthetic phonics, correct grammar and syntax, etc.
- Positive Correction: the mock teacher will make an error at some point, give them constructive criticism and feedback.
- Repetition: prompt the student to repeat multiple times when they’re struggling or when there’s new content.
- Full Sentences: use the target sentences and encourage the student to as well.
- Classroom Management: reward the student for doing well, keep them focused and use an appropriate reward system.
- Lesson Planning: show that you’ve prepared yourself prior to class (don’t halt to read teacher tips/directions)
- Efficient Pacing & Timing: manage your time on slides based on comprehension and try to cover all slides.
- Rapport: ease into the class after greeting the student and introductions and ends with proper closure (not abruptly).
- Energy Level: have an energy level appropriate to the demeanour of the student and varies with parts of the lesson.
- Lesson Objectives: teach the content as laid out in the lesson
- Talk Time: student output influences teacher/student talk time. The higher the level, the more the student should talk.
- Adapting to the Student: change what you do based on your student’s learning style and personality
- Patience: give the student ample time to respond; don’t interrupt or rush them.
- Transcending: go beyond the PPT to explain the content.
- Extending: extend the content when the student shows capability or when there is time.
- Presentable: look neat and appropriate for teaching (while no longer required, it’s better to wear orange).
- Technology: computer, mouse, internet connection is ready and functional and audio is of high quality.
- Background: the setting behind you creates a learning atmosphere (props, clean, “fun” but not distracting).
- Distance: be a reasonable distance from the camera and always in frame.
- Lighting: balanced to clearly show the teacher, props, and background. Try to have as few shadows as possible.
Now, that’s a lot of information to take in. But if you’re serious about getting hired with VIPKID in 2018, this is the stuff you’ll need to know. In Part Two of the update, you’ll find out about what happens after the mock lesson, what the heck “The Hutong” is, and certifications for classes. If you’re already a part of the VIPKID team, feel free to share this info with your referrals to help them through the process, and if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below!