Hey There .. Welcome to the second entry in this Journey
So we left off last time after the ridiculous experience I had with my demo video. It only took a few hours for me to hear back that I had moved on to the Mock 1 phase of the process. A Mock 1 class is what they call a part of the interview that you do with a live person. You receive Power Point slides of two actual classes. One of the classes is for the lower level students who are typically around 5 years old and one class for a higher level students who know a fair amount of English, and are 8 and above.
I took several days with the material, watched untold amounts of videos and scripted this class from beginning to end. As a hint, do not script, it will throw you when you are doing the class. Be prepared for anything! Just know the material!!
Your interview is conducted in an actual VIPKid classroom, the person you are talking with first pretends to be a young Asian child. There is something a bit weird about a grown woman acting like a 5 year old who can not speak English. In the second part, they act like an older kid with the more advanced skills. They are grading you on things like the lighting in your classroom, are you wearing an orange shirt, did you correct their pronunciation mistakes, did you adjust your teaching style to match how they were learning, are you energetic, did you use proper props and so on. (you can learn much more about this by watching some videos that myself and others have done ….Penny Davis has a large library of videos and they are super helpful .. here is the link to her YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNbZMF9HfkBnXhc2ZH7t92w
Even though I felt it was awkward, the live person who pretended to be a child was extremely sweet, very helpful, gave me hints as we were going through the classes and really made the experience much less stressful.
It took around 24 hours for me to hear back from VIPKid, finally I did and I was hired!! Woo Hoo!!! This is where the process can differ for people…there is such a thing as Mock 2 (same premise different class, a Kick-off, an Express Interview and I believe something else) The videos all explain the process. It wasn’t my experience, so I am not going to get into all of this here!
After I received my Your Hired letter, I had to upload a pic of my license, a W2 form, Official Transcripts from the college I received my Bachelor’s from (you can also do a picture of your actual diploma, which would have been easier had mine not been in some box that I haven’ t unpacked from 3 moves. I did find the empty holder that I received at my graduation ceremony with a note that the actual diploma would be mailed at a later date) you have to have several pictures for your profile and record a 15 second video for the parents to view and hopefully pick you to teach their children. After all of this you can “open up your schedule” and wait for kids to show up.
As I mentioned before, China is 11-12 hours ahead of the East Coast. This means that classes can go all night and into the early morning. I personally am to old to stay up all night any longer, so I decided to start teaching at 5am and go until 8 or 8:30am.
I eagerly opened up 30 slots and began waiting for the notifications to come in. Crickets for a few days is all I heard. Then I received an email asking if I wanted to be a part of their new Level 1 Only program where I would be teaching PreVips. Ummmm WTF is a PreVip?
The people in my FB groups were a fantastic resource for finding out the PreVips are little kids, who are between 4-5 years old, have zero experience with learning English and you get bookings quite easily. Hmm OK, let’s try this. I read some web pages explaining the classes, took a quiz and a couple of days later I was “certified” to teach PreVips.
Within a day the bookings slowly began coming in. My first day I had two “trials” (trials are kiddos that are trying out VIPKid for free)
On that first day, I was up 2 hours before my class, preparing. Making sure that the props were all out in the order I would need them, I put the kids names into a translator so that I could say them properly, I reviewed the slides… I was prepared!
Finally the moment came to sign onto the website and then into the classroom for the first time. I waited until the proper time and put in my user name and password, clicked enter and saw the dreaded hourglass spinning and spinning and spinning. One minute, then two, then five went by. OMG now I was late for the class. What was I supposed to do, was I going to get fired on my first day, what was the kid I supposed to teach thinking? Oh man what to do ???
Good thing I was a member of several FB groups that I went into and found that everyone was having troubles. The VIPKid system had crashed, no one could get in. So instead of teaching I spent the next few hours telling everyone my tale of woe about this being my first day. Funny thing is that no one really gave a rats arse, as they too could not teach and were losing money. Oh well, so much for my first day.
I had gotten bookings for the next day …so I had to wait another 24 hours to begin …… and begin I did …..
more next week on how that went ……
If you would like more info on becoming a VIPKid teacher, you can read about it on their website. Please feel free to use this link https://t.vipkid.com.cn/?refereeId=6786448&refersourceid=a01
I decided to jump into the videos on YouTube game…. here is my first one…it’s how to prepare for your Mock 1, Interviews etc without breaking the bank…. https://youtu.be/Q5PvrgtDGs8
Full disclosure, yes you do earn a ONE TIME ONLY dollar amount for people you refer that become teachers! Which is cool, cuz then I can answer your questions, help you through the process and if you join one of the great FB groups I am a part of we do weekly live Zoom mentoring sessions!!