So you’ve decided you’d like to try this awesome gig! But that hiring process… it sounds awfully intense, right? If that’s news to you, check out this post. It can be intense, but remember that it is hiring, and training! There are thousands and thousands of teachers who have made it into this job. You can do this! And with these five steps, you’ll be well on your way to your first class.
Treat this application, interview, and subsequent trainings as you would any “real” job. VIPKID is just as real as any other even though most of the interaction you’ll have with your co-workers and interviewers will be online. VIPKID is gaining popularity, and there are thousands of applicants. The competition is fierce, and only 6% of applicants advance to teaching their first class. You wouldn’t enter a job interview at a school, or office without doing your research… or maybe you’re just braver than I am and you might actually…
“But Kristina, I’ve been teaching ESL for years. I probably know more than you do!” Well… that might be true, but teaching online is extraordinarily different than teaching in a classroom in person. Maybe you’ve worked for a similar company. VIPKID is notorious for having different standards than the other companies teaching English online.
Read your emails/PowerPoints/portal information carefully. You are communicating with a Chinese company, so the communications may sound like they were translated from another language. That always makes me wary of businesses, but you can expect it with VIPKID. It does make it extra important to read the material they give you carefully.
There are some brilliant YouTube teachers out there, but be careful not to adopt a script from any of the videos. When the interviewers, and mentors are watching your classes, they want to see your teaching style. If you can’t adapt to the student you’re teaching, you will struggle teaching at VIPKID. Every student is different, and every interviewer and mentor will act the part of the student differently. Some will be very talkative and ask hard questions. Some will be reticent and quiet. Some will know the vocabulary words, but be unclear on other difficult words in the lesson.
Everyone you will interact with during the hiring process wants you to do well at VIPKID. They also have the advantage of having taught many, many VIPKID classes. Regardless of your experience, they are experts in VIPKID and have been well trained to help you be the best VIPKID teacher you can be. It’s in your favor to accept what they’re saying, and work on it. Remember that this is a competitive job space.
(*If you feel there was misconduct during your interview/mock class, please reach out to VIPKID.)
There are so many opportunities with VIPKID to be creative. Your reward system, your background, your TPR, your teaching. When you’re preparing your lesson, and your space, let yourself improvise a little!
There are some things you shouldn’t change, like the target sentences and questions, and the activities that produce these sentences.
Besides this, you can make this experience your own. The people who help with the hiring want to see your personal teaching styles!
I was so nervous when I was doing my interview. It was different than anything I’d ever done. It was harder than teaching in a normal classroom, and I get terrible stage fright. When it was time to teach, I faked it. I made myself believe the adult I was teaching was actually five. I faked that I knew all these ESL techniques (that, to be honest, I was just barely remembering from college). I had fun. I think that made all the difference. I know it makes all the difference when I’m teaching my real students. Prepare enough to fake the confidence you might not feel yet.
And be confident that it will get easier! Like anything, this takes some time and practice. Do your best, and have fun!