And why I almost left after my first month…
I love VIPKID. I’ve been teaching with them for over a year and I can’t believe how fulfilling the work is. I heard about VIPKID a year before I applied. I have commitment issues… I know.
I had heard that the hours could be tough. I was worried about teaching young kids. My degree is in high school education and I have never had an ounce of desire to teach elementary school. Those teachers are saints. I didn’t think I had a lot of teaching experience they might look for. I’d never had a classroom of my own, and the only real teaching job I’d had was as a substitute teacher.
We were digging our way deeper into debt and I needed a job. Substitute teaching was difficult to manage with my husband’s work schedule, and the other at-home jobs I’d found were temporary and sporadic. I finally decided that the risk wasn’t that great. The worst that could happen was being rejected. It wouldn’t be that big a deal.
I checked on my resume and re-worded every job description so it sounded like I taught in every job. I had taught in every job, but sometimes training people in a restaurant doesn’t register as teaching experience in our brains. It is. I tried to keep my resume to the point. I was applying with a foreign company, after all. I think this made all the difference for me in the beginning (which is why I encourage you to do the same).
And just like that I had an interview, and then a mock class, and then a second mock class. And then I was hired!
I started just before Chinese New Year and I didn’t get any bookings my very first month. It was a little disheartening.
I talked with my husband about our options, and he pointed out that we had nothing to lose by waiting. I still had my temporary job, and maybe we could figure out a few days off substitute teaching to help. We’d be a little further in debt, maybe. I’d have a few extra picture frames with cartoon smiley faces and monkeys (my first, cheap reward systems) decorating my office space. At that point, none of those things were going to be the end of the world for my family. He was right so I opened as many slots as I could, even at odd hours of the day. And I waited.
It felt like it took forever! After three weeks I got my first booking. It was early in the morning and I was so excited! I don’t remember what I taught, and I sure hope the student learned something. It was awesome! I’d made $7.50 (we’ll talk about pay breakdown later). Sweet! That debt was well on its way to being paid! 😉
After that first class, the bookings started to trickle in. I taught 44 classes in my second month. I started adjusting my schedule so I was opening classes when I wanted to teach. I got my first regular student. I thought she hated me for the longest time. I couldn’t understand why she was booking with me, but I was glad to have her. She’s still on my schedule, and I figured out how to teach her so she doesn’t hate me. By my third month I was almost to my 150 class goal.
I’ve learned so much about VIPKID. I still feel like a beginner most of the time, but I know I’m a better teacher, and a better mother for my experience with this company. The money is good (we stopped going into debt every month after that third month with VIPKID, and now we’re almost debt free). I’m so glad I didn’t give up in those first slow months. I love VIPKID.